31 August 2005

'A Rule Is A Rule, Locked Doors Have To Remain Locked'

I have received an e-mail response from Singnet to my query about their unreasonably high charges for the premature termination of my broadband account. In a terse, business-like manner, it says unflinchingly:

"Dear Mr Koo

Thank you for your email.

I would like to inform you that we base our Early Termination Charge for 512kbps Unlimited plan as follows:-

For contract balance of more than 12 months: $420
For contract balance of less than 12 months: $315

I would also like to highlight that this is applied across for all existing 512kbps SingNet Subscribers who wish to terminate their account prematurely. I seek your understanding on this and hope that you would comprehend."

I checked the agreement form that I have signed. The above terms and conditions were indeed stated clearly in the form. The different terms and conditions which I mentioned in my last post were nowhere to be found in the agreement - I must have seen them somewhere else. But I still think that what I mentioned is the maximum anyone can charge for any breach of contract. A more reasonable amount should be even lesser.

In any case, how many of us read the small print before we sign on the dotted line of an agreement? At my age, I couldn't read them even if I wanted to, if I didn't bring my reading glasses along. In addition, there are so many clauses and legal terms in the agreement, the sales staff never have the time or patience to explain them to the customer. In all likelihood, the customer might not understand the legal mumbo jumbo even if they did.

Is this another case of poor service and inflexible rules? Well, maybe and maybe not. I can only utter the same words as I did in an earlier post, i.e. caveat emptor or buyers beware.


Chris said...
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Chris said...

I still think the case is not totally lost. You can try calling up that chap who told you about offering you some compensation. On the other hand, you sound as if you're resigned to having to pay the $315. Just do what you think is best for you Victor. My take is that just like the contract lapse. After all, the line has been "cleared", has it not?

About reading the small or fine prints. I've always wonder why they called it the "fine print", cos it certainly was not "fine" to consumers like us.