29 August 2005

A Backdoor That Is Locked

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.


Chris said...
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Chris said...

My oh my... my dear Victor. You're stuck between the Devil and the deep blue see, aren't you? Terminate your account with Singnet and you have to shell out a hefty penalty. Continue with your subscription and you have to endure their "noisy" lines and crappy services. But for the man on the street, it may not be wise for him to pit against a "giant" like Singtel, who is just out to scare you and deter you from early termination. How else can you explain the $315 penalty?

I think it's time you stop being such a pushover, Victor. Get them to compensate you for the time lost when, instead of surfing the net for porn, you were left staring at the computer, trying to figure what exactly was wrong with your internet connection.

It also effected your son if I remember one of your entries. Weren't his homework in disarray as a result of the Internet breakdown? A man's got to do what a man's got to do Victor:

1. Go to Hello store, ask to see the Manager (you must learn more from VT you know, who is very good at seeing managers.. hee!), create a scene (or a rukus) by demanding a refund for all the inconveniences you've experienced.

2. If no refund, demand that your account be terminated immediately and WITHOU penalty.

3. Tell them your RI son flunk his school project and has to retain for a year. All thanks to Singnet for not being able to resolve the Internet connection on time! And get SINGNET to COMPENSATE you for your son's failure.

4. Start an on-line petition to get people to boycott Singnet. You'll be amazed at what a petition could do. Just look at NKF.

5. If all else fail, migrate to Perth. It's a paradise. Just ask Lim Kay Tong.

I await eagerly for Singnet's reply to your blog....