Singnet broadband upgrade policy is stupid

My question:
If I subscribe to 6mbps broadband with 24-month contract, can I upgrade to 10mbps without penalty during the 24-month period? If so, will the contract need to be extended and re-signed?

Their answer:
It depends on what kind of plan that you sign up for and the date that you wish to upgrade. It also depends whether the plan comes with any premium.

My thoughts:
How many plans with 6mbps broadband with 24-month contract and 6mbps broadband with 24-month contract do they have?
So I asked the question again.

My question again:
If I subscribe to 6mbps broadband with 24-month contract, can I upgrade to 10mbps without penalty during the 24-month period? If so, will the contract need to be extended and re-signed?

I want to subscribe to 6mbps broadband with 24-month contract and free integrated wireless modem. (I included the link in case their own customer service people don't know that there's only one such plan being offered.) If the speed is not good enough I may wish to upgrade to: 10mbps broadband without taking any additional equipment.

Their answer:
If you subscribe to 6mbps broadband with 24-month contract, you will not be allowed to upgrade for 6 months. If the singnet broadband contract is more than 6 months, there will be some penalty charges. If the contract is less than 3 months to the expiry date, there will be no penalty charges.

My thoughts:
This is really stupid. If I'm upgrading, meaning I pay more each month, why do I need to pay a penalty?? And why would they NOT want me to pay more each month??

How a company who wants to turn interested customers into real customers should respond:
1. Their first response is really stupid. It appears that their own customer service people do not know what broadband plans are offered.
2. Their second response also shows that their own customer service people do not know what the penalty charge is. They did not even tell me how much the "penalty charge" for upgrading is. Obviously, they'll have to check what the penalty charge is and they're too lazy to do it.
3. Since speed is my concern, they should recommend to me which plan is more appropriate for my usage. For example, have a chart that suggests 15mbps for gaming and video streaming and 6mpbs for simple emailing and surfing.
4. Imposing a penalty charge for upgrading is ridiculous! I have to pay a penalty for paying them more money each month!

Because the telecom market here is an oligopoly, service and quality from the 3 service providers are terrible. The market here is too small to support more providers. Judging from the long queues at the shops daily, there's no incentive for the providers to buck up and all they'll ever do is mark up prices.

(Oligopoly: A market dominated by a small number of participants who are able to collectively exert control over supply and market prices.)


Anonymous said...

Actually, 6mbps should be enough, unless you are going for gaming like SC2, then you need about 10mbps :)

Yu-Kym said...

How about for video streaming? I don't know what the usage pattern will be like yet. It's possible that both my sister and I to be using the Internet at the same time. I would think 6mpbs would be enough? Usually the bottleneck is at the content server rather than the ISP.

Anonymous said...

It is actually a monopoly because they are all GLCs ( i.e. Government-Linked-Companies ) i.e. it is government money behind them. Most of the largest companies on Singapore stock exchange are GLCs, and all the newspapers, TV stations, etc are gov't owned but made to look as though there is competition.

So since there is no REAL competition, you can screw the customer any how you like.

Squiggle said...

Just make sure you don't have MIO TV, if not. it might conflict with the network. If both operate at the same time.

Yu-Kym said...

Anon, right. It's actually a monopoly but technically not. The government lays the infrastructure and those GLCs just operate on them.

Squiggle, ok, noted. We were not planning on getting Mio TV. There are so many free channels on the Internet with better content.

Anonymous said...

Yes, video streaming for 2-3 people at the same time is more enough. However, it depends on how fast you are expecting for it to load, and how many videos you are loading at the same time. Moderately, its fine. Also, you have to make sure your computers are good enough to fully enjoy your 6mbps too.

If you were talking starhub, then it will have to be 10mbps.

I strongly do not recommend mio tv, even though its mad cheap.


Anonymous said...

Oh by the way, you may like to check their website instead. I can assure you the staffs are mainly picking up information off their sites for you. There should be somewhere stating the amount of penalty you have to pay if you really want to do upgrading during your plan.

Do check the min. requirements :)

Yu-Kym said...

Thanks for your advice. The ISPs are always trying to get us to sign up on the higher-speed plans when the lower-priced plan can meet our needs.

I don't find MioTV cheap when I can watch the latest stuff commercial-free for free!

The penalty amount for upgrading is not stated in their terms and conditions. Anyway, I think you know more about their products than their paid customer service officers!

Anonymous said...

the resaon why they said it depends is becos the same 6mbps is charge at different rate, depending on if they have road show, promo, big events like sitex, comp fair etc.

another possible reason why they don't allow upgrade within 6mths, is due to bad debts. same consumer signup for 24 mth, and never pay, then, sign up again for another promo package at say, a fair. since the amt is much less than if it takes to sue u for the mthly charges so far, it makes more sense for them 2 cut loss, and write off the debt, instead of legal action. so it is a staggered penalty depending on the contract period.

Yu-Kym said...

I believe they won't allow customers who have not paid their bills to sign up for a new connection. But what I'm asking about is an upgrade, i.e. I'm asking to pay them higher monthly charges for higher speed. I don't see what the problem could be. If it costs them alot of money to switch my connection, then there's a problem with their internal process which they should aim to improve. While most companies want to get existing customers to pay more for their services, Singnet is penalising customers for wanting to pay more.

Anonymous said...

Well, mio plans are cheap to a certain extent because it comes along with the home line, internet and during promotion, it comes with attractive freebies. I do not agree with mioTV though, it screwed up alot. I do not understand why they actually release it when it is not even stable. Anyway, that's not a problem as long as you do not sign up for it, lol.

Anyway, Singtel broadband is the best. Starhub always disconnect you in the middle of the night, and my friends having problems watching youtube with 10mbps while I can load at least 4 videos, 6mbps only (Singtel)


David said...


I would agree with those who have suggested that 6mbps are more than adequate for video streaming, even if you and your sister are streaming at the same time.

If you have not already tried these checks and tips, here are my recommendations:

CNET's How section gives some useful tips for improving Wireless connection speeds.

The site below will allow you to test your connection speed.

One has to remember that the highest speed one is supposed to download is dependent on other factors including how many others are on the network node your portion of the network resides. Heavy local use can reduce speed within ones home.

Most of this assumes you are using a Wireless g/n router with your computers.

All the reference sites give useful tips on how to fix common problems.

Let me know if you can improve your connection speeds without resorting to the more expensive upgrade.

I have to comment that in my neighborhood three ISPs compete.

We were able to get VOIP, Cavbe TV and 6mbps internet for a two year guaranteed price.


The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as
in what direction we are moving.

-- Holmes