My Love-Hate Relationship with SingTel

I do have a few Love-Hate Relationship which I have somehow written it on my blog or expressed it somehow one way or another. However, all of which are genuine one, be it whether it is just my luck or such a “coincidental”.

My Love-Hate Relationship started out in February/March 2016 after I started my new role with Condeco Software after leaving the big boy, VMware. I have been a fan or loyal user with Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) for a long time after switching from StarHub after I completes my National Service (NS) in 2010.

Fast forward, when I first joined Condeco Software as a Technical Consultant, I was tasked to be on the ground working with all the customers and fixing problems for then-unhappy customers. I still remember that during January 2016, I was using one of the SingTel plan where it gives me approximately 4 gigabytes (GB) of data as part of the package. However, just in January, I overshot the amount of data and end up paying $10.70 (inclusive of GST) for every 1 gigabyte (GB).

The ironic part of the billing from SingTel is that, even if you exceed 1 megabyte (MB), you will still prepay for the price of 1 gigabyte (GB). This is good for users who does monitoring of the usage closely but it will still rely heavily on how well SingTel is feedback you with the real-time data through to the SingTel App on the mobile phone.

At that point of time, the exceeding of data is purely due to the fact that I am required to connect my laptop via Tethering to my Apple iPhone to join remote conferencing tools such as GoToMeeting or GoToAssist. Been a great journey using such services from Citrix which we finally have moved on to using Zoom. Therefore, carrying an irrational mindset at that point of time, I went on to renew my contract with SingTel to Combo 12 plans which was one of the highest one available where it bundles with 12 gigabytes (GB) of data which is massive and more than enough for my day-to-day without any penalty.

One more advantage of the Combo 12 plan offering from SingTel will be the unlimited airtime (or talk time) and SMS. I am kind of the conservative type of person where I always love relying on reliable technology of using the air time for all my phone calls rather than relying on VoIP service such as WhatsApp or Skype.

So what exactly that I hate about SingTel?

Well. It is because, after renewing with SingTel on a 24-months contract on the highest plan possible due to the fact that I require additional data and is unwilling to pay an hefty amount. At the same time, that was the only plan that have unlimited talk time bundled in.

What made things worst was that right after re-contracting with SingTel on a 24-months contract, they release a plan known as “DataMore” or equivalent which allows existing / new customers to pay a fraction of fee to get more data. This further aggravate the fire in me as that’s what I have been looking for which will keep my monthly subscription plan to a more affordable one. It is certainly not that I couldn’t afford the highest plan but I am one who does the needful things.

Fast forward 19-months till today, September 2017 after having that contract with SingTel. I am so much looking forward to February 2018 for a few reasons:

  1. My 24 months contract with SingTel is going to end and I am not bounded contractually with them anymore.
  2. This gives me the ability to move on to another provider or downgrade my plan to a much much reasonable one than what I am paying right now.
  3. SingTel has introduced a few awesome plans that I feel put me in the right spot.

Capture

Remember that I am enjoying Unlimited Airtime (Talk Time) and SMS right now, therefore Combo 3 does fit into the requirements. As for data, SingTel has introduced “Data X Infinity” which allows mobile users to have “Unlimited” data on their mobile plans.

You can find more information about this add-on here and here.

The price point is pretty attractive at SGD 39.90. SingTel do have the X2 and X3 plans which double or triple the amount of data that you have in your base plans for approximately SGD 5 – 10. With an additional SGD 30 – 35, you get literally 50GB of 4G Data.

Where is the “Unlimited” then? SingTel need to ensure that every users are being good and fair therefore there is throttling implemented for users who used up the 50GB + the amount of data that is included in the base plan then the user mobile will be throttled to 1Mbps.

Why is Combo 12 no longer compelling to me? It is because:

  1. This plan most probably is suitable to end-users who are business users whom do not have any worries about the subscription cost per month.
  2. This plan is suitable to those who changes their mobile phones on a yearly basis. This plan gives you SGD 500 per year to offset the penalty charges SingTel will impose on you should you not meet the maturity of the 21 months for re-contracting.
  3. This plan offers unlimited talk time and SMS and is fulfilled by the recently revamped Combo 3.

As far as I can see with all the competition from StarHub, Mobile One and Circles Life, we will definitely see much more reduction in the rates provided in this small lion city. So let’s take a look at what will be more compelling for end-user like myself?

I evaluate plans based on a few criteria:

  1. Compelling and comprehensive overseas roaming coverage as I do travel a fair bit within Asia Pacific and at times to United States. I would like to have better offers that is compelling in such a way that it is no brainers choice that I should skip buying local SIM card.
  2. Stable and huge coverage within Singapore. This is definitely the main point because if the telecommunication provider isn’t strong within the motherland, then who can still call themselves the leader?
  3. You can be pricey than others, but please be reasonable! I do know that, you “Pay Peanuts, you get Monkey” kind of concept! So, I don’t mind paying 5-10% more to SingTel compared to other telecom as long as the service is up to standard and the coverage is good.

Have you had any love-hate relationship with any of the telecommunication provider?

Cheers,
Milton

My Love-Hate Relationship with SingTel

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