When it's time to recontract our Singtel Fibre Broadband internet plan, how do you find the best recontract deal?
I imagine you would start by browsing through the websites of all the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Singapore and comparing the plans that are relevant to you, deciding whether you should recontract with your current ISP or switch to a new one. Then you proceed with the recontract or sign up.
While the above is the easiest way to recontract or sign up for a Fibre Broadband internet plan, you're not going to be getting the best deal.
I found that out when I did a recontract with Singtel for a 1Gbps Fibre Broadband plan recently.
My existing Fibre Broadband plan with Singtel is a 500 Mbps for $39.90 with no contract.
The easiest recontract method usually offers the worst deal
The easiest way for a Singtel customer to sign up for a Singtel Fibre Broadband recontract is through the Singtel website. The prices are made available online and the entire process is fairly seamless and fast.
That is, if you want to recontract with the WORST deal for the next 12-24 months.
If I were to recontract online for a 1Gbps plan today, the 'online exclusive' offer is a $4 monthly bill rebate with free weekend router installation, bringing the cost of my monthly Internet subscription to $45.90 per month with a lock-in period of 2 years.
Singtel penalises loyal customers by shortchanging them
Like many outdated companies, Singtel is more interested in acquiring new customers instead of retaining existing ones. So if you're planning to sign up for a new Fibre Broadband plan with Singtel, you're in luck because on top of a cheaper plan of $39.90 per month, they throw in heaps of freebies like 6 months of Singtel TV and $100 off your mobile phone purchase.
I find it ridiculous that Singtel prefers to spend marketing dollars on new customers while telling existing customers to f**k off by overcharging them.
Singtel innovations are pretty much useless
Singtel tries to pretend that they are innovative by launching things like chatbots. I gave their chatbot 'Shirley' a shot and couldn't find what I wanted to know, most of the time. Even the rule-based chatbot they implemented on Whatsapp was silly and poorly thought through.
Avoid using them if you want to try to find better recontract offers. They are mostly rule-based and there's no easter egg for you.
I suspect that all these fake innovations were simply cost-cutting measures to reduce their call center headcounts. I gave the 1688 hotline a shot and found that Singtel removed any way to speak to a human, even after jumping through endless hoops of "press 1 for..."
Stick to traditional negotiation tactics to get the best deal
The best way to get a better deal from Singtel is surprisingly old-school - by speaking to a Singtel customer service officer.
Unfortunately Singtel's customer service officers are somewhat like Santa's elves and it's impossible to reach them. The only way you can get to speak to a Singtel customer service officer is by scheduling a callback.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the callback service has been temporarily suspended and we can only use the Singtel enquiry form to request for a callback. It took 2 days for a Singtel customer service officer to call me back.
I didn't have to beat around the bush to get a better recontract offer. I simply had to be factual about the offers that are on the Singtel website and the better prices that their competitors were offering. Thereafter, I simply asked if they have a better offer for me.
As you imagined, I got a better recontract offer there and then.
I was offered to recontract for a 2-year 1 Gbps Singtel Fibre Broadband plan for $37.90 per month with a free wireless mesh router that I could self-collect from a Singtel service centre. The same deal is priced at $45.90 on the Singtel website (sure, I missed out on the 500MB 4G Mobile Broadband plan that I didn't need anyway).
All I had to do was to reply 'yes' and the customer service officer would handle everything on my behalf. Naturally, I agreed with the recontract in a heartbeat.
In a nutshell, I am doubling the Internet speed of my Fibre Broadband plan for $2 lesser than what I am currently paying. I'm also just saved $144 per year ($288 for the 24-month contract) by not taking the easy way out and recontract online.
Speak to a human the next time you want to recontract with Singtel
So if you're considering to recontract your Fibre Broadband plan with Singtel (I believe this would work with M1 and Starhub as well), don't take the easy way out and recontract online. Speak to a Singtel customer service offer and negotiate for the best deal.
I know this article sounds very negative and you may question why I still choose to use Singtel even though I sounded like I hate them.
The reality is that all 3 telcos are probably practicing the same business mentality, opting to focus on acquiring new customers instead of making existing customers happy and loyal. I don't think I'd get a better customer experience if I were to switch to M1 or Starhub. Therefore I'm just staying put, while negotiating for the best deal possible to avoid the hassle of switching.
How has your Fibre Broadband recontract experience been like? Please let me know in the comment section below.