SingTel probing SMS disruption

SINGAPORE - Irate SingTel subscribers flooded the telco with complaints yesterday after they experienced problems receiving and sending SMS messages.

A spokesman for the telco said: "Some SingTel mobile customers may have experienced intermittent difficulty in sending and receiving SMS messages from 11.32am to 2.56pm today. We are investigating the cause of the issue and apologise for the inconvenience to our customers."

He did not say how many subscribers were affected, but more than 200 users complained about the incident on SingTel's Facebook page and an equal number spoke up on The Straits Times' Facebook page.

Several said that they could not complete online-banking transactions that required an SMS one-time password, or OTP.

Mr Kevin Lam, 35, said he needed these passwords twice: To log in to one bank account to trade stocks, and for a separate banking matter. He realised that the problem was with the mobile network only when the second OTP did not arrive.

"It would have been more responsible if I learnt of the issue from SingTel, rather than via a third party," he said.

Netizen Val Koo, like several others, said on SingTel's Facebook page: "SingTel should really give some rebates for all (the) inconvenience caused."

But Mr Bryan Chihan, 27, said that he relies more on data-based messaging services like Whatsapp or Line than on SMS.

However, the outrage over the problem is understandable, he added, as people have high expectations of services here.

"It's the fear of being disconnected - the fear that critical infrastructure will go down - that causes people to worry. We're used to being connected," he said.

This article by The Straits Times was published in MyPaper, a free, bilingual newspaper published by Singapore Press Holdings.

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