The Straits Times
Published on Dec 14, 2012

Rules should be fairer to telco consumers


I WAS glad to learn that the Infocomm Development Authority has decided to fine the telcos for their poor service ("All three telcos fined for poor 3G coverage"; last Friday). I agree with Mr Harold Tan ("3G relief, but more needs to be done"; Tuesday) that such penalties were overdue.

The telcos offer various plans with various features, but under actual working conditions, nothing seems to work. The 3G reception on my phone is so weak that I end up staring at the "loading" page during my entire commute to the office.

For the Wi-Fi broadband connection, the router and modem have to be restarted at least 10 times a week.

Leaving a complaint on the telco's hotline voicebox ensures a return call and two days of monitoring but with absolutely no change to user experience.

Why is it that when users want to terminate the contract because of poor service, they have to fork out a huge sum as penalty but telcos can refrain from providing the same service with no legal or monetary consequences?

And why should users have to pay $5 for caller ID for using smartphones with a screen whose basic purpose is to display calls and SMSes?

It is time for more regulations to address these issues.

Lakshmi Menon (Mrs)