Our family has been with Singnet for more than 4 years now, ever since Mar 2001 when we got our first PC at a S'pore Expo exhibition. It is a Datamini which is still serving us faithfully albeit slowly. I recently heard from a sales person that the company had since closed down. No wonder I don't see this brand being sold in the hyperstores anymore. It makes me reflect on how many products we are still using for which their manufacturers have since closed shop. It might be that they don't make companies as well as their products anymore.
Except for the recent connection problem (see my recent blog entitled 'A World Without Internet') and a power supply problem with the PC, we are generally quite satisfied with Singnet's quality of service as well as our antique PC.
I had a chance to try out Starhub's MaxOnLine service recently (see recent blog) and was quite impressed with the reliable and fuss-free connection. I was eager to switch my loyalty to this ISP. So I sent an e-mail to Singnet asking what will be the penalty imposed if I switched loyalty now since my contract with Singnet was up to 1 Dec 2005. To my surprise, Singnet's reply was I have to pay a penalty of $315 if I breached the contract now. Compare this amount with the slightly over $140 which is the subscription fee that I would have incurred if I just let the contract expire by itself on 1 Dec 2005. Moreover, while I could pay the $140 by 3 monthly instalments, I doubt that I could do the same with the penalty amount.
Which of the 2 options would a sane person choose? Unless I am a moron, the answer is obvious. And it looks like Singnet is treating me like a moron because their opt-out offer to me looks as good as a 'backdoor that is locked'. It remains a mystery to me how Singnet came up with the magical figure of $315. According to what is written in the fine print of the contract (which I have earlier 'misplaced') the penalty amount should be the 'monthly subscription' x 'remaining number of months of contract period'. This is logically the maximum amount Singnet could charge as penalty. Whether the amount is reasonable or not is however another matter.