SingTel fire: 60,000 customers to be compensated

Singtel said it would compensate as many as 60,000 home customers whose broadband Internet was crippled for days due to a fire at one of its exchange facilities. But some affected subscribers were not appeased.

Affected customers will get a speed boost for the next three months, the telco told The Straits Times on Monday. For instance, those on a 200Mbps plan will get bumped up to 300Mbps for free.

The 44,000 customers who had their mioTV service disrupted will be given a month's worth of free viewing of all channels.

Those whose fixed voice lines went down will get one month's worth of free local calls.

"We are very sorry about this... while we cannot reverse the events that have taken place in the last few days, we'd really like to thank our customers for their patience and their understanding," said Mr Yuen Kuan Moon, chief executive of SingTel's consumer division here.

Many affected subscribers The Straits Times spoke to did not seem assuaged by the telco's offer. Civil servant Sallihin Othman, whose broadband connection was down for 36 hours, said he had been expecting "a much more significant compensation".

The 28-year-old resorted to using his mobile data connection during the outage. "I think customers would have been happier to get broadband or mobile data bills waived, at least for that period of time," he said.

Writing on The Straits Times' Facebook page, Mr Wee Kheng Leong said the compensation had "no loss on SingTel's side and little real gains on the user's side".

Meanwhile, StarHub, whose fibre broadband, cable TV and voice customers were affected, said it was working towards full restoration of services. Some 500 fibre broadband customers still faced issues, it said on Monday.

M1 revealed that around 300 of its fibre broadband customers were still affected. Both telcos added that they were working on details of compensation.

In a statement on Monday, the Infocomm Development Authority said it has urged all operators to cooperate and step up efforts "urgently" to restore all remaining connections, adding that it was monitoring the situation "closely".

Last Wednesday's fire at SingTel's Bukit Panjang Internet Exchange building also affected banks, Singapore Pools, ATMs, AXS machines and even retrieval of polyclinic patient records - all of which have been restored.

As for compensation to business customers, SingTel's Mr Yuen said it will be reaching out to them separately "to better appreciate how they were affected and to address their needs".

derrickh@sph.com.sg

Additional reporting by Rachel Au-Yong


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