Dear Singtel, I’ve had an extremely unsatisfactory experience with your company (yet again!), and being in customer service myself - Singtel has a lot to do to catch up on what’s ‘satisfactory’ in the industry. ‘Exceptional’ would be a pipe dream at this rate.
As for context, my previous contract with Singtel expired in September 2021, which led to a monthly increase on my phone bills by $20 with 20GB less free data. I can understand it is not Singtel’s prerogative to inform their customers (it should be!) via a call, email or app notification. I’ve decided to stomach the total $160 additional charges due to my own procrastination, and recontract with Singtel afresh.
I reached out to Singtel via their WhatsApp business account on 29th June 2022 (Wednesday) to recontract for a new plan. The CSO (customer service officer) on the other end of the line confirmed the details of the recontract, sent me the T&Cs etc, then arranged to have the new SIM card delivered to me on Wednesday, 6th July between 6pm - 9pm
A week later, 5th July 2022 (Tuesday) I realised that my mobile phone did not have any service, even after my attempts to re-start the phone, manually select the service provider, etc.
I tried to reach out via WhatsApp business account but there was no response - thus I called their hotline. The CSO lady on the other end of the line looked into the matter and informed me that the new SIM card (the one I’ve yet to receive) had been activated by mistake, rendering the one I’m still using useless. This made me uncontactable outside of work and home by all means, except for free public wifi.
I was then told of my options:
Wait for my new SIM Card to arrive, scheduled the following evening (6th July) which meant I had 2 days with no mobile phone service
Instruct them to suspend the delivery of the new SIM card - but only if I could make my way to a main Singtel store to collect a new SIM Card (also to waive any suspension fees)
As I had critical family affairs to tend to (coupled with the inconvenience of not being reachable) I decided to go with option (a) and wait for the delivery of the new SIM Card and survive by leaping on to public wifi for 2 days. I also decided this would mean that it is less of a hassle for Singtel to sort out the logistics to suspend/unsuspend the SIM card, etc.
Amazingly, another CSO (from #4) got back to me via Whatsapp. I shared the details on the matter as it was briefed to me over the hotline. He summarily concurred on the options that were available to me. At this point of time, I felt certain that some compensation would be helpful seeing as how I’m being inconvenienced for 2 whole working days, not counting when I’m traveling between locations.
The first compensation offered to me was 1 months’ worth of Free Caller ID - that’s worth $5.35. When I asked if $5.35 was the value of me being blind-sided and uncontactable outside by no volition of my own, for 2 whole working days, he then counter-offered with 2 months’ worth of Free Caller ID – worth $10.70. Their best offer after another attempt to get them to understand my whole situation, and making me wait another hour and a half was with 3 months’ worth of Free Caller ID – worth $16.05. These compensation offers, one after another, just kept adding insult to injury. If Singtel’s response to such a complaint is to rub salt into the wound, salty tastes like $16.05. At this stage it got too tiresome being frustrated, I relented.
On Wednesday, 6th July 2022 while I was at work and just before 6.58pm. A Ninja Van courier arrived at my home to deliver my SIM Card. My family had initially waited but had to leave for dinner appointments. The courier tried to call me to inform me of my SIM Card delivery. Let that sink in for a while - the courier tried to call me on the number of the activated SIM Card he was delivering, in his hands. If a new mobile was also being delivered with this SIM Card inside of it, his package would have rung. He tried to reach me while I was uncontactable. I couldn’t even seek my family members’ help if they were still nearby, or my neighbours’ help for that matter.
In the evening, still unaware of the status of the delivery - I checked on FB Messenger only to find out that estimated delivery is now Thursday, 7th July 2022 between 6-10pm! Did Singtel not brief the courier service that the recipient is not contactable? Did Singtel not ask for another contact number that could have helped with receiving the delivery? This is not lack of foresight - this just lacks common sense
Thursday, 7th July 2022 - after a mountain of frustration, I got a response from Singtel via Whatsapp, after the new CSO got up to speed with my situation - I was told there was the option to reactivate the current SIM Card (that was deactivated by mistake) until the new SIM Card arrives. I did not have high hopes this time but, surprisingly, my SIM Card was successfully reactivated at 1.23 pm! So why did I have to experience #3,#4,#5,#6,#7,#8,#9 and #10 for nothing? How does the cost of frustration and inconvenience look like to Singtel? $16.05?
This is just appalling. I’m in the CS line - I know there are situations your customer can face that you have to duly manage, investigate, rectify and review - never to repeat again and at best, learn it in a case study. Singtel - you’ve just made a customer angry for no apparent reason. The best solution was right under your noses but you decided to leave your customer in a labyrinth of issues? What a kicker!
And by the way, initially, Ninja Van still couldn’t even confirm that I would definitely get my package on Thursday, 7th July 2022 between 6-10pm because for some reason, they were expecting me to call them back before assigning a driver to my delivery! Luckily they were able to accommodate in the end.
So Singtel, let me ask you again - the value of everything I've had to experience, through no fault of mine, is still $16.05?