No more free home phone line from StarHub from Sept 1

July 26th, 2012 | by Alfred Siew
No more free home phone line from StarHub from Sept 1

StarHub users who have been enjoying free local calls on their Digital Voice home phone lines will have to start paying S$2.10 a month from September 1, when the free offer ends.

This will affect users across the board, including those who have just signed up for broadband and pay-TV bundles recently and are still under contract with the service provider.

Voice calls, which have been bundled free with StarHub’s services since 2005, have previously been scheduled to end by August 2012, according to a StarHub statement released last week.

The actual cost of the subscription is S$10.49 a month, a spokesman told Techgoondu, and the special S$2.10 rate will only be valid until December 2013.

The news will not be welcome by users who recently signed up with StarHub and perhaps even ported their phone numbers over from other operators. In an unusual turn of events, they will now have to pay more for their bundle of services even while they are under contract with the telecom operator.

The change is indicative of the tighter margins facing telcos of late. Just a few years ago, analysts and other experts had expected voice calls to be free as higher value broadband services become the main revenue stream for telcos.

However, with users sucking up more bandwidth with “over the top” services such as Skype that bypass these telcos for free, the phone companies have decided to charge for services that were once deemed too cheap to charge for (read more about telcos at the crossroads).

To inform users, StarHub has said that it will mail a notice to users along with this month’s bill, and e-mail those who are on its electronic billing system. Users who wish to terminate the service can call 1633 or fill in an online form.

One Comment

  1. Kena tipu says:

    This is a case where the regulating body needs to urgently intervene. It is curious why they allow a situation where the subscriber needs to pay a penalty when he/she breaks his/her contract with StarHub but not the other way round.

    It was StarHub that offered a free Digital line to subscribers who were willing to take up a contract for their service. Now they want to levy a monthly charge. Isn’t StarHub breaking its contract with its subscriber? And they get away with it by just informing their subscribers. Why does the regulating body allow this to happen?

    To be fair to its subscribers, StarHub should wait until a subscriber’s current contract is about to expire before informing him/her that upon re-contracting there is going to be a charge for the Digital line. Then, the subscriber has a choice – to re-contract under the new terms or to terminate subscription..

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