Thursday, November 18, 2010

Singtel Slammed

The mystery is solved - why our super duper broadband access sometimes dwindle to such a pathetic crawl that we can't even connect to Yahoo! mail. It so happens that ISP Singtel is at liberty to, and actually does, "throttle" their consumers' broadband speeds to suit their nefarious intents.

The Sydney-based Australian Federation Court has found Singtel-Optus guilty of "deceptive conduct" under the Trade Practices Act. Singtel's ads had offered a monthly plan for download of data during peak and off-peak hours. But if a consumer had exceeded his quota of peak hour usage, his broadband speed during off-peak would slow substantially (the whole service would be slowed to 64 Kbps). This occurs even if the consumer had not used any of his off-peak data quota. Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCS) took them to court for the trickery. The Court ruled that Singtel had failed to sufficiently inform potential consumers their broadband speeds would be throttled back to sub-broadband levels.

Here in Singapore, they don't bother to give you 3 Mbps of promised speed even if you had explictly signed up for it. And who is there to stop them from siphoning off bandwidth to support their higher priced 10 Mbps customers (who is also conned by the same "up to" qualifier in the ads)? Or feed their resource hungry mioTV service?

The judge noted that in its arguments, Singtel-Optus implied that consumers do not rely on ads and cannot, under those circumstances, be misled by them. Note also the caustic in Justice Nye Perram's remarks, "This proposition sits uncomfortably with the size of the advertising campaign in question, which is clearly substantial and inconsistent with an exercise conducted sheerly for the merriment of its designers."


  1. If and when the Australian Authority is able to convict the Culprit for the Said Offence, hope it will slap the maximun penalty. And if it is able to help any other countries which has the Same Service Provider, it will be good for the Australian to give a helping hand in exposing the Scam.
    Many businesses in the World had gone berserk in their greeds to profiteer from consumers. Australia had done very well in exposing fraudulent deeds since the day it convicted Sharp Electronic(Aus) for the claim of its' Nuvistor, Ribena for its' claim of Vitamin C content(by primary school students-mind You) and now unravelling one more.
    Now, the question has to be why only Australian is able uncover all these malpractices when other First World Countries seem ignorant of them, are the Authorities in other countries in cahoot with businesses???

  2. Remember the unauthorised scanning of personal computers in the late 90s by singtel? that's a classic!

  3. This explains why on one occasion, the broadband grounded to a stop and I thought it was some hard ware failure. The Singnet contractor's technician came on our call and after a lot of hassle at trouble shooting came up with a fat zero on the cause of the problem. In the process he tried to suggest we take up Mio but I avoided the obvious trap since I was NEVER impressed with Mio from day one inspite of many repeated offers from the telco.

    I had refused to be contracted anymore inspite of the bait of a 'free' upgrade to 10 mp. I suspect the telco was deliberately targetting my line to pressure me to sign up.