As a post-paid customer I was recently in Thailand and had to make two conference calls that were both about an hour long and to the same local dial-in number. Turns out one of the calls was charged at $1.10 per minute and the other at $1.50 per minute.
I contacted StarHub on this because their website clearly states there is a "flat rate for voice calls, SMS and data" and if you chose the destination as Thailand the flat rate given is $1.10 per minute. (See here: http://www.starhub.com/personal/mobile/value-added-services/roaming/postpaid-roaming.html)
Here is the response I got back from Customer Support just now:
We have investigated and noted that the charge on the bill dated ... , was charged with a toll charge.
You may wish to refer to the following link for more information on the Toll Charges: http://www.starhub.com/about-us/legal-notices-and-terms/terms-and-conditions/consumer/mobile-service...
Please note that the charges are based on what the international roaming operator has billed to ys for an international toll-free number. Thus the charge for that call will be $1.50 per min.
As you can see this customer service agent clearly states that international roaming rates are based on what Starhub is charged with is in direct contradiction with what Starhub advertises on their website above!
Here is screen shot of the website before they change this to be in-line with the actual T&C as claimed:
HI Andy Schmid,
We are sorry to hear that you have experienced such a situation. To help to resolve this problem, do PM me so that we can get
the relevant team to assist you regarding this issue.
How to send a PM (Private Message) on StarHub Community?
Hi Wei Hao,
PM sent to you. Once more I just like to highlight that I have already contacted Starhub customer service and get the above reply which is in contradiction with what is stated on your website.
As a customer I'd assume that Starhub customer service takes my issues seriously and not only reply with standard messages referring to T&C that do not answer the issue in question.
Further I'd strongly assume that Starhub is not using fales advertising on their website to lure customers in and then go back on their promises but pointing to vague T&C.
Finally I got another reply from customer service, now they are claiming:
We would like to share that the call made was to an international toll-free number and not a local call. As shared by our colleague Azra, the charges are based on what the international roaming operator has billed to us for an international toll-free number.
Yes it was a toll-free number but it was NOT and international number. It was a local Thailand toll-free number for our conferencing system. So it's a local toll-free call that I made.
Again statement on their website says: “Roam to over 230 destination at one flat rate for voice calls, SMS, and data with StarHub Mobile.”
So now Starhub is trying to twist the story claiming calls to toll-free numbers are not VOICE calls and hence do not apply to our promise of one flat rate?
Ok. I am finished with this now since apparently Starhub has in their T&C something different to what they promise on their website. Here is the recent response I got:
Please know that the mobile line is registered under StarHub and when you are using it in overseas, it is considered an overseas usage/roaming usage. Therefore, the toll-free number is an international toll-free number.
It is correct that we charged customers flat rate for calls/sms (depends on countries) regardless of mobile operators. However, based on the link provided below (point 4), the charges making toll-free numbers may be different from making normal calls such as mobile number/landline number.
You may also refer to point 4.2 of the above link that the charges are billed based on the overseas operator.
If you read the last sentece it means that their website is a complete lie to their customers! I am not sure how this can be allowed in Singapore? Any watchdog who looks into this?
My advise to anyone who is not a Starhub subscriber DO NOT MAKE A CONTRACT with them as they are probably one of the most deceptive companies I have ever dealt with.
The complete irony about this whole thing is that I just got a letter from AMEX that I am apparently a Platinum customer with Starhub now. I spend over $500 with them per month and I am an alleged Platinum customer but they couldn't care less.
You'll pay the ~$30 for that call because we are above the law and any customer service!
Hi Andy Schmid, our customer service officer have sent you an email on 15 May 2016.
Yes I have copied the email your customer service representative sent me above.
What's the point of this comment?
Here we go section 4:
So you see even they promise a flat roaming rate they have a backdoor where they can charge you whatever they want based on the additional charges clause!
Again I am not sure how this is legal to advertise a flat roaming rate and have T&C stating the contrary?
Hi Andy, We appreciate the time taken to provide us with this feedback over the phone earlier. We wish to share that as per our website under General Mobile Terms and condition point 4.1.4 http://www.starhub.com/about-us/legal-notices-and-terms/terms-and-conditions/consumer/mobile-service... the airtime usage for local and international toll-free calls, including but not limited to that made to the 1800- and/or 800- services, through the Services; and the airtime usage for calls made to premium rate services, including but not limited to that made to the 1900- services, through the Services. This is applicable to any countries. Such toll-free numbers are considered premium service, hence we are unable to determine the charges until it has been published by the roaming partners.
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to check on this and your understanding on this matter.