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 saw this on StarHub’s Facebook page and I think that this is plain bullshit. According to what I read, StarHub Mobile postpaid customers will be able to use the data in a single country or across multiple destinations for 30 days, starting from the date of purchase of the DataTravel plan. These destinations are: Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and The Philippines. Customers pay S$15 for 2GB of data, and S$20 for 3GB of data. The plan is billed upon purchase and has no additional monthly subscription or activation fee.
Now for all you fellas that travel, the best thing to do will be to buy a local data SIM in the country you are visiting. Take my trip to Vietnam for example. The data SIM was so cheap to buy (about $7 for 9Gb of data) and served me so well, who needs StarHub and their rip-off prices? $15 for 2Gb of data? That is rip-off by any amount. Take my advice…screw StarHub and their so-called data travel plan. Don’t take my word for it. Do a search on the Internet. They will corroborate my story
Starhub had a pretty big ourage yesterday. Hit me pretty hard ti say the least and it affected my business. Luckily WhatsApp was not affected as their 3G service seemed ok. This was a screenshot taken from their Facebook page. My gosh, were people pissed! But then again, Starhub is not as bad as M1. Now those outages by M1 were tragic to say the least! In any case, normal services resumed by the evening yesterday. But still, I am pissed. Let’s see how Starhub will compensate its customers for this.
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.
Did any of you Starhub subscribers get this personal data protection bullshit from Starhub? I know I did and this is a screenshot from my email. It is not the full length of the letter but a portion, but it is enough to tell you that Starhub is not being sincere. Right from the first paragraph:
StarHub recognises that the privacy of your personal information is important to you.
Now I do not know about you lot but when you click on a link given in that email, it brings you to this page which explains it even more. This where it totally pisses me off. Look at the ending bit where it says:
6.3 If you withdraw your consent to any or all use of your Personal Data, depending on the nature of your request, StarHub may not be in a position to continue to provide its Products and Services to you, administer any contractual relationship in place, which in turn may also result in the termination of any agreements with StarHub, and your being in breach of your contractual obligations or undertakings. StarHub’s legal rights and remedies in such event are expressly reserved.
Now that is a threat if there ever was one and I have requested for Starhub to explain to me why they have such a proviso.
Let us see how it goes
The telcos in Singapore are not very popular at this moment. Some time back, I posted about how telcos here in Singapore are a greedy bunch and StarHub is proof of just that with thjeir proposal to charge people for using 4G. I have had many clashes with them over this ten-year period I have been with them over all kinds of things so this should come of no surprise. But no matter what, kudos to IDA for nipping them in the bud!
Apparently, M1 was fined $25,000 yesterday for “not meeting some of the IDA’s outdoor coverage requirements” according to this report in the Today newspaper. This comes hot on the heels of a record million dollar fine last year. This looks a pretty serious thing that is happening to this telco that I used to be a customer of for seven years. But when they started screwing with me, that is when I ended the relationship I had with them, jumping to StarHub (an equally shitty telco by the way) in 2004. But credit where its due, StarHub is a bit more stable than M1…in Singapore that is and not in Indonesia. But I digress. M1, when is your next outage happening?