The Straits Times
Published on Nov 15, 2012

Yes, changing pay-TV packages is unfair


I AGREE with Mr Ng Eng Kiat ("Unfair to change pay-TV sports pack"; Tuesday).

How could SingTel unilaterally change a bundled package it sold to a customer three months ago? If a customer changes his end of the contract, that is, cancels his package, he would have to pay a penalty fee.

When I started subscribing to mio TV, I had a sports package and an English news channel from India called Times Now.

The sports package included English Premier League football, Star Sports, ESPN and Champions League broadcasts. It cost me $25 for this package and $6 for Times Now.

Now, Champions League broadcasts have been removed from the sports package, and rebundled into a revised package called Sports Plus, costing $34 - an increase of $9 for the same content.

But when accepting this new package, I was told by SingTel that I had to buy another package, costing $20, just to continue watching Times Now.

SingTel says that for the extra $23 in total that I have to pay - just to watch the same channels that I previously had - it is providing more than 20 other channels, which I do not want or need.

When SingTel first emerged on the scene with its mio TV service, one of its main selling points was that it did not bundle channels together, unlike its competitor StarHub. You could pick and choose what you wanted from its stable of channels.

I accept that SingTel may have had to pay more for certain sports content, and therefore needs to increase charges for the sports package, but to force consumers to subscribe to content they do not want or need is unacceptable.

Prasad Nair