IDA to Singapore telcos: do not charge existing customers under contract for 4G

A collective sigh of relief can be heard from those who recently signed a two-year contract

Good news, everyone. The Singapore Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) has advised SingTel, M1, and StarHub not to charge existing customers under contract for 4G value-added services. And all three telcos have heeded the advice.

This announcement comes off the back of StarHub’s recent tactical move, which announced that from June, its customers had to fork out an extra promotional rate of S$2.14 a month for the service, till it reverts the charge to the full rate of S$10.70 at a later unspecified date.

This created ‘significant confusion’ amongst consumers over plans they contracted, according to IDA. The government agency stepped in to investigate the matter, and has ‘clarified’ the situation – now all three telcos won’t change 4G service prices for existing post-paid customers.

We can hear your sighs of relief. BUT the agreement does not apply to new and re-contracting subscribers, and the 4G charge will kick in when subscribers' existing contract comes to an end.

More after the break...

Breach of code

IDA released a statement that the decision was made as it deemed StarHub breached the Telecoms Competition Code (which states telcos must be transparent about the key terms and conditions to customers before they ink the deal).

StarHub defended itself in its statement, that it’s been upfront with customers in regards to the promotion. Its senior mobility vice-president, Chan Kin Hung, said “details of this service, including pricing and promotion expiry, have been made available in our sales and marketing materials as well as on our website since its introduction in September 2012."

“The company has decided to further extend the free promotion of its 4G service after careful consideration," he added. StarHub SmartSurf Lite, Value, Premium, and Elite customers, enjoy the promotion until the end of your contracts.

[Source: IDA]

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