My mother called me up yesterday, feeling all anxious. Apparently, she received an SMS telling her she was subscribed to an online games service named VIP Games. Now my mum is not young. She is not tech-savvy. She does not subscribe to games and the like. Why should she subscribe online? I thought it may have been the 3G smartphone I bought for her. All telcos will stop using the 2G spectrum in Singapore on April 1st. Not exactly an April Fools joke but there you are.
In any case, when I reached back home (my mum called me during office hours) I did some research on this company VIP Games. Apparently, the parent company is named Mobitrans, operating out of Dubai. That is when the alarm bells started ringing. They also run some other subscription services like the one from the screenshot above, which I got online, named Mobile Academy
In any case, I called up the useless SingTel hotline and asked them why was my mother getting all this? They said she must have subscribed to it. I told them that there was more chance of a one-legged blind man winning an arse-kicking contest than her subscribing to online games. Finally, after much reluctance, they said that she will be reimbursed for what she was charged. I told them that if my mum gets another one of these SMSes, I will change providers immediately
Bloody SingTel idiots. You bastards had better not cause my mum, who is a heart patient, anymore anxiety. If she takes ill, there will be HELL to pay.
I remember when M1 or Mobile One hot the market some time back, 20 years ago. They were new, fresh and really gave the incumbent SingTel a run for their money. I remember I was studying in Australia then and when I came back to Singapore, I immediately signed up for a plan with them. I remember the crowds at the Takashimaya outlet, lining up and waiting to be a part of them. Were SingTel worried? I should think so. There was a new kid in town. I was very happy with them till they started being a pain and not helping with spam issues. So I dropped them like a hot potato after 7 years with them and signed on with StarHub in 2004.
There is a new “telco” in town and it is named Circles.Life. Actually, I knew about them some time back, almost a year ago. They are not really a telco but a mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO for short. There is a good read-up about what MVNO is on Wikipedia. In any case, according to Wikipedia:
An MVNO is a wireless communications services provider that does not own the wireless network infrastructure over which the MVNO provides services to its customers. An MVNO enters into a business agreement with a mobile network operator to obtain bulk access to network services at wholesale rates, then sets retail prices independently. An MVNO may use its own customer service, billing support systems, marketing, and sales personnel
The mobile network operator that Circles.Life is “riding on” is Mobile One or M1, the telco mentioned about and so far, they seem to be doing eveything right i.e. setting great pricing plans, easy number porting, cheaper data plans than the rest of the telcos. Right now, right this minute, they are like the M1 from 20 years ago. There is a blog here that has done a review of Circles.Life and it is a great read. In short, they are doing all the right things that get people all excited. Check out their plans at the Circles.Life site.
I have been using a Superhot 128 top-up card from Singtel for a number of years now. I am quite happy with it because that $28 dollars (that is how much the top-up card costs) gets you $100 worth of local calls and $28 worth of international calls. The top-up card lasts for 50 days and if you do a top-up with the same card before the expiry, your balance rolls over. The maximum you can roll-over is up to $300 local calls and $84 in international calls. So far, I am quite happy with it because I can call people and talk to them forever with the amount of value I have in the card. Very handy for service calls!
Now there is another card that is bigger and better than the SuperHot 128. This the BigHot 130. What this offers is something similar to the SuperHot 128 in the sense that you get $100 worth of local calls and $30 worth of international calls. And that is not all. Free 300Mb of local data is given too! I am wondering if I should take it up but so far, I have no need of the data. I was wondering when SingTel would be coming up with something like the SuperHot 128, except with data. Looks like they have!
SingTel had a pretty big outage today, since the morning-time. many, many people were affected. People were not happy and were crying foul over this. Imagine. No broadband for the whole day, in the world of today that relies a lot on the Internet for business and such. And what does SingTel do? Offer local data waivers. This has been, so far, one of the WORST outages SingTel has had for their fibre broadband. Get ready for a fine SingTel. You bloody buggers deserve it for not having contingency plans in place.
My friend had the shock of her life yesterday. The power adapter powering her SingTel ADSL modem had obviously short-circuited and melted the plastic around it. You can see it in the photo above. If they were not home, this could have been a fire hazard and their home could have burnt down. And get this. When they tried to contact SingTel to tell them about this, SingTel wanted to charge her $248 for the modem as her contract is over. Never mind if the house could have burnt down…never mind if they lose their homes. Apparently, all they care about is the money.
Now do you see why I have never contracted with SingTel? Bloody bunch of unethical buggers
Singtel had an outage, of sorts, yesterday. Many people were left high and dry with no access to data like 3G and 4G. The picture above was taken from their Facebook page and it shows lots of angry customers getting rightfully pissed off with Singtel and the way they took to address the problem. One of the grouses was to post updates via Facebook. Now how in the blazes do you, Singtel, expect your customers to see how the progress with dealing with the situation is when they cannot even access Facebook in the first place? Idiotic isn’t it?
Well done SingTel. Try making everyday better.
That is not a view I share alone apparently. That is why I simply refused to pay for any World Cup transmissions from SingTel or even StarHub. Paying these buggers more than a hundred dollars when you can watch it for free on Indonesian TV is ludicrous. So today, I come across this article in The Today Newspaper, written by this guy K Kalidas. I must say that I sympathise with him. Poor fella coughed up all that money when he could have gotten himself a TV aereal and tunes in to the Indonesian TV channels. Do this from now on people, if you want to watch soccer. Forget about our telcos. Do it the smart way.