That is the reason why I have no loyalty to Singapore telcos. I do not jump from telco to telco but I will not praise them to the skies either. M1 started out by being a very good telco and then it slowly collapsed into shit. Look at what my friend shared with me after being with M1 for 16 years. $50. That is all he gets. And this goes towards offsetting the cost of a new mobile phone. Loyalty bonus my ass
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.
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!
This was the post on their Facebook page today. I seem to remember not long ago, they were fine over one million dollars for an outage and here we go again, another outage. People were turning to social media and all, condemning M1 for the outage. Looks like this could be another rap on the knuckles for M1. Guys, you had better pull your socks up. I just got a new prepaid M-Card for my wife and if I cannot get through to her today…
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?
This is a screen-grab of an article that appeared in Today Online…today. This was a fine levied on M1 because of a massive outage in January that left lots of people in a lurch. According to the article:
SINGAPORE — M1, the smallest local telco, has been hit with the biggest penalty yet for such a company here: A record S$1.5 million fine for a mobile service outage that affected about 250,000 of its subscribers.
The Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), which investigated the Jan 15-18 incident, said: “M1 had not fulfilled its obligation to provide resilient mobile telephone services.”
In a statement yesterday, the authority also announced that it will be implementing a new audit framework to review the “resiliency of the mobile networks” regularly and will work with the telcos to ensure minimal disruptions to consumers.
That is great news because I think our telcos here are really getting out of hand. I have said before that it is fruitless switching from one telco to another when you suffer from bad service from your current telco. Its like switching from Shit A to Shit B. I am currently with Starhub and admittedly, while it has not had a massive disruption like what M1 had, they have their bouts of bad service, such as throttling my connection on my mobile broadband. Happened to me twice.
So M1 got what they deserved, in my honest opinion. Starhub, if you are not careful, you will be getting this too…a big fine.
This is their Facebook page and this is the place where Starhub sends people, asking them to write in with their grievances against Starhub. And this is the funny thing….you can write in all you want…you can send as many posts as you want but nothing gets done. How do I know this? Funny you should ask. I will tell you a story
About a year ago, my Starhub Mobile Broadband was having issues with regards to playing videos from YouTube. Apparently, videos being played from Youtube were considered P2P browsing which was disallowed. What happened is that they throttled my bandwidth and as a result, when I was trying to show a client some videos I made for his firm, on my laptop with the afore-mentioned Starhub dongle attached, let us say that it was jerky. My client, a foreigner here, just laughed and jokingly asked if I had paid my bill. In any case, I apologised to my client and called up Starhub to complain, only to to be sent to this page. Writing in the whole story and what do I hear from Starhub? Zero. Zilch. Nada. So I call them up and blast them on the phone and finally, some manager comes over but cannot give me a satisfactory explanation. Long story short, they told me that they would check with their back-end to make sure I was not throttled again.
This is just one story. I could tell you more but I would have to write a book. maybe I will one day.
In any case, they also have a Twitter account, aptly named @StarHubCares and if you think that they will solve your issue when you write to that one, fat hope. You will still get zero, response-wise.
So ask yourself…is it worthy to write in to a portal like this? Do not waste your time. Go down to the head-office would be a better way. Its a time waster in my opinion. Another way would be to open a blog and write about it, like what I am doing now. The world deserves to know about this ridiculous telco from Singapore. And I can almost hear someone asking me to change to a different provider. I would but the other providers / telcos are just as shitty, with their own issues. In Singapore, when you switch telcos, it is like going from Shit A to Shit B. Go figure