Isn’t it cool that you can hold the entire world wide web in the palm of your hand? We should be thankful for smartphones, or we’d still be writing letters to each other. Really, how would we text friends during class or in the middle of a meeting without our phones?
But what happens when your telco fails to do right by you? Your beautiful, shiny smartphone turns into a brick in your pocket. Doing simple tasks takes so long and costs half your paycheque.
You can tell when your relationship with your telco isn’t right for you. It’s not complicated, like other relationships. Yes, I’ve figured out why I hate my telco.
Expensive Data Plans with Little Data
You know what data is – it’s the thing that lets you live online. Anything you consume on the internet, be it videos, music or memes, is made up of data.
But data isn’t free. If you want to watch those IGTV vids without interruption, you must purchase a data plan from a telco. Your telco is the gatekeeper to the internet, the bouncer to Club Online (I clearly don’t go out enough).
Most telcos charge an arm and a leg and leave you with little crumbs of data. It’s the reason why your internet is as slow as it is, and why your videos keep buffering. The internet echoes these sentiments:
Do a little bit of research, and switch to a telco who’s giving you your money’s worth. The only thing that should be getting fleeced is sheep, not you.
Poor Customer Service
Imagine that you’re an unfortunate person with the slowest data. You want to fix it, so you reach out to your telco provider’s customer service. It turns out that their customer service is slower than their data! You give up and go home to cry.
What you get in the name of customer service is a gamut of instructions from an automated voice on the phone. Or you are put on hold without so much as a brb and are made to listen on loop to offers you don’t care about. Listen to this harrowed customer’s complains:
If you brave the physical world and go interact with real humans, you might end up waiting in long lines. You’re speaking with an overworked customer care personnel or chatting with a robot named Jim. Jim is too happy to help, but eventually not of much use.
All you wanted was to watch your TikTok videos in peace, and now you’ve been forced to interact with people. And your problem is far from fixed.
Long lock-in contracts
Just like the cops, you shouldn’t talk to telcos without a lawyer present. Okay, I’m exaggerating. But do read the fine print in the contracts. Cause like they say, the devil really is in the details 😈
Telcos offer you a shiny new phone, which you can pay off in instalments. I know it sounds like a harmless, generous offer, but there’s a catch. You can use the phone only with a sim from the said telco. The new phone is the digital carrot at the end of an expensive stick. Look at this annoyed user spilling the tea on Twitter:
When you can’t stand the extra minutes it took to download that gif of a dog dancing, it’s too late escape. You’ve signed on the dotted line.
Hidden fees and outrageous charges for exceeding their monthly caps
What’s the most dreaded thing in a telco plan? The humble asterisk. You know what that little star means; there’s information you don’t know and will only find out when it’s time to pay.
The data plans provided by telcos come with caps on data usage. It’s the amount of data you can use for the price you’re paying. Telco companies advertise the low plan prices in the largest font possible.
But keep your eyes on the fine print. That’s where you’ll find the hidden cost. If you exceed the data cap, you need to pay extra. So, not only will you annoy your family for using up the internet, now you need to pay up a ransom.
And trust me; the hidden charges can sneak up on you. If you do a bit of detective work and some math (ugh), you’ll realise that you’re paying 30% more than you thought you would pay. Well, there go your groceries for a week.
Maybe it’s time for telco companies to use some of that surcharge money to print the little details in a larger font. Be wary, very wary, of the asterisk.
They overpromise and under deliver on all of the above
You signed on to the plan because you loved the captivating ads, the bundled offers, cheap data plans and lightning-fast internet. “You are our most valuable customer,” you heard them say.
But the moment you sign up, they go from Dr Jekyll to Mr Hyde faster than you can say ‘telecommunications’. Even as your charges pile up fast, your data downloads slow down to a crawl, and you end up paying more for less.
So, what should you do?
Well, you don’t have to be a Houdini to escape a telco’s claws. Just do your research and go with a company that’s transparent about plans and pricing, doesn’t lock you into lengthy contracts and cares about you even after you become a customer.
Is there such a telco?
You know the answer to that one, don’t you? You are here, after all 😉
You won't believe how easy it is to make the switch to a better Telco with Circles.Life! Watch our newest Customer Happiness Agents, Aziz and Siti, show you how to join Singapore's Most Recommended Telco. According to YouGov, we were in the top 5 most recommended brands in SG for 2018 & 2019 (also the only telco to make the list 😉).