The elderly

Forum: Telcos should give hard copies of contracts

A man wears a mask uses his mobile phone while queueing for food at the Adam Road Food Centre on May 6, 2020. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Telcos switching to remote sales and paperless transactions have caused elderly customers like myself great difficulty and anxiety.

I recently converted my Singtel SIM-only plan to a special SIM plan. However, I had no immediate means to check the effective date and the actual new content.

As an octogenarian, I had great difficulty recalling the details of the transaction, and I struggled to navigate Singtel's webpages.

I had a similar experience with StarHub, which had certain charges stated in the 13 pages of fine print.

Telcos should provide a hard copy of the contract, along with a concise summary of the terms in simple language or bullet points, perhaps printed on a convenient pocket-size card.

Hard copies are arguably far easier for non-tech-savvy customers to store, retrieve and parse, and provide a reasonable low-cost backup for soft copies.

In view of Singapore's demographics - with more than 581,000 residents aged 65 and above last year - telcos should seriously consider accommodating the needs of elderly customers.

Paul Chan Poh Hoi

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 04, 2020, with the headline Forum: Telcos should give hard copies of contracts. Subscribe