Third-party charges: Singtel replies

We thank Mr Tan Meng Peow ("Customer left in the lurch over unauthorised 'subscription'"; last Wednesday), Mr Cheng Shoong Tat ("Time to crack down on mobile content scammers") and Mr Nicholas Teo Eu Jin ("Verify that subscription is real before charging"; both published yesterday).

We have followed up on the matter with Mr Tan. From our records, the third-party content services were actually activated on his wife's mobile number.

When Mr Tan expressed concerns about his wife's third-party content service charges, we reviewed her charges and immediately activated third-party content barring on both Mr Tan's and his wife's mobile numbers. We also conducted a thorough investigation with the content provider. The issue has now been resolved and we thank Mr Tan for his patience.

To protect the interests of our mobile customers, Singtel requires all third-party content providers to fulfil stringent criteria and service guidelines before we agree to bill on their behalf.

Critical criteria include a multi-step registration process and a double confirmation from customers for each transaction.

For instance, to subscribe to third-party content services, customers must complete a three-step confirmation process. This involves submitting their mobile number to the content provider, and responding to two separate messages to confirm. This process was put in place to prevent accidental subscriptions.

In addition, we also require all content providers to clearly state upfront the charges for each and every transaction. They must also provide easy-to-follow instructions on how to unsubscribe, as well as a number to call for assistance.

Singtel offers a free service for customers to bar mobile phone numbers under their names from accessing chargeable third-party content, such as games, quizzes, contests and chat lines.

The service can be activated by dialling *BLOCK (*25625) or calling our customer hotline (1688).

Tricia Lee (Ms)
Senior Corporate Communications
Manager, Singtel

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 07, 2015, with the headline 'Third-party charges: Singtel replies'. Print Edition | Subscribe