Wednesday, December 21, 2011

$350,000 overseas phone bill for Singtel customer

A nightmare scenario for a mobile user came to life for Singaporean Kave Goh when he has received a mobile phone bill of 350,000 Singapore Dollars (270,140 USD)! This is largely for his 17 days stay in Taiwan. Mr Goh had subscribed to SingTel’s Bridge DataRoam plan before going overseas. This is despite Singtel says the following in the web page of the plan:  "Now you can surf the Internet and read emails on your mobile when you're overseas, without worrying about unpredictable charges." Bridge DataRoam plan allows subscribers to pay a flat rate of 14 SGD and surf websites and access the Internet at that rate. But the user need to manually lock onto the partner network while overseas. In the case of Mr. Goh, his mobile phone locked in auto mode to another provider which is not in the partner network of the plan. Mr. Goh, unaware of this, used his phone these 17 days and later was shocked by the bill![1]

Singtel told that he actually need to pay 14,000 SGD under the 14 SGD per day plan. Luckily(!) he has used the plan for 15 GB of the downloads and downloaded only 600 MB from non-partner network which cost him 14,000 SGD.[1]

After this incident, CASE issued a statement to warn the mobile phone users going overseas:

"Mobile users need to manage their smartphones and data plans properly when travelling overseas, said
consumer watchdog Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE). This includes disabling functions like
data roaming, turning off push notification settings and working with their telecommunications company to ensure they  do not chalk up exorbitant Internet data charges, said CASE executive director Seah Seng Choon."[2]

[1] - Singtel customer posts $350,000 overseas phone bill online
[2] -  Manage smartphones, data plans  properly while overseas: CASE, Today

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