Hall of shame: Some of the worst E-commerce websites in Singapore

I have enough! Internet has arrived in Singapore more than 10 years ago, I can foregive companies doing a lousy job in the early days, but now that we have tasted the like of Amazon, eBay and iTune store, it is time that I have decided to list down some of the worst websites that I have encountered over the years.

1) iknow.com.sg

The website loads very slowly but what irks me when it comes to make payment online. They offers both Paypal and RBS Worldpay and none of them works on my Chrome browser. In the case of Paypal, an error message “Failed to start Paypal Express checkout!Please try another payment method”. So I tried the RBS Worldpay and got another message:

Sorry, there was an error in the processing of this payment.Please contact RBS WorldPay with details of your error if the problem persists.Server information 10/Feb/2011 05:25:06 Server ID mg4xxx4p (WPReq-xxxx)

So suspecting that this is a poor designed website, I used the IE browser to test it. My suspicion was half correct, Paypal still does not work but RBS Worldpay works this time.

I have other problem with iKnow website. While trying to register an account with them, I received a notification note but another email with the access code went straight into my junk box without my knowledge. There is no email contact listed on the website. I tried calling the for more than 7 times over 2 day in Feb 2010 and the line went unanswered. This is probably one of the worst experience I have with a local e-commerce website. They must have lost quite a few customers who will have given up the purchases after a few tries. I know I almost did that.

2) DBS.com.sg

All my other banks supports a variety of second factor authentications in Singapore esp SMS. DBS being the largest bank in Singapore only offer one type of second factor authentication facility after all these years: hardware token. When you are in overseas and you are desperate to make payment for the shares online, you will understand the frustration I face. I will urge DBS be more customer friendly, please offer both SMS and Token authentications. This is not a technical issue, it is a customer service issue.

I also frequently enocuntered in the past (though less frequent recently) where some of the services of DBS facilities not working after midnight. I suspect they may be performing some maintenances on some modules. The ones that encountered most where the services were down after midnight were the bill payment and share payment. Strangely, I do not encounter these issues with other local and foreign banks, but I could be wrong. But I expect DBS to better than other banks since they are the biggest bank here but I am sorely dissappointed and still waiting to see a marked improvement.

3) Singapore Government websites

Singapore government websites are notorously rigid to say the list, they still do not support Mac Safari and officially only support very limted browsers such as IE. I have encountered in numerous occasions esp CPF and payment related services (such as buying OPC license and paying fines), various errors encountered until you use a IE browser. Despite billions of dollars being poured into e-government websites, why are they less friendlier than say eBay and Amazon which works on almost all the popular browsers. This is something that still puzzle me. See one such example of eServices: LTA’s EDay license purchase, it only worked in Internet Explorer and I counted that it opened five windows just to make a payment, shame on LTA and its aggregator partner (I think is eNETS) for such dumb implementation!

eday license - a dumb implementation 1


Please send me your experience to highlight some of your worst enocunters with Singapore websites.

what tangled websites they weave The Sunday Times 12 Feb 2012

Two years after the poor LTA experience, I have another amazing experience again. Seriously, is our overpriced government portals are so pampered that they need a 6 hours rest at midnight? This kid is way too pampered compared to their hardworking cousins like eBay, Amazon. Imagine Ebay customers who serve 100millions of customers visit the page and was told to come back the next day. What the Fxxx?!

LTA e-portal only work from 6am-12pm

4) Citibank Singapore

Do these IT retards have some commonsense? It is easier to save or remember my password than ask me for four rarely used information and pwd just to reset a password. OMG!!! IT should make our lives simpler not more complicated, why not just send the reset pin to my mobile phone and email me an alert just in case someone got hold of my mobile and happens to know my userID?

Citibank - Resetting pwd, OMG!

Citibank – Resetting pwd, OMG!

Updated 5 Feb 2014


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