No charge for 4G add-on users

SINGAPORE - The three telcos here have decided not to charge customers on contracts for their 4G add-on services after the industry regulator stepped in.

It came after StarHub announced plans last Tuesday to start charging for 4G, which it now offers for free - as do SingTel and M1.

StarHub planned to charge most of its 4G customers $2.14 a month from June 1 for the add-on service.

An online poll of about 1,000 people by The Straits Times last Friday revealed that close to 90 per cent of the mobile users thought they had already bought a 4G mobile plan and did not know the service was merely an extra with a 3G plan.

The Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) said yesterday that "there is significant consumer confusion over the service plans they signed up for".

The IDA also noted that the mobile operators "could have done more at points-of-sale and customer interface channels" to communicate their 4G position to subscribers.

"Telecom operators should not change prices mid-way that affect customers with minimum term contracts, if they were not clear to customers upfront what those price changes might be."

Said StarHub in a statement last night: "After careful consideration, we decided to further extend the free promotion to existing customers of our SmartSurf Lite/Value/Premium/Elite price plans till the end of their contract.

"In regard to this promotion, we have been upfront with customers. Details of this service, including pricing and promotion expiry have been made available in our sales and marketing materials, as well as on our website, since its introduction in September 2012."

This article was published on April 24 in The New Paper.Get The New Paper for more stories.