SingTel SIM Only Plan Post Circles Life Nuclear Bomb

Thanks to my previous two posts on Circles Life, I got a lot of readers checking in and understanding the rationale behind just getting Communication services from the Telcos and just buy the phone from the retailers and online which will save you money in the long run.

I am not saying my posts is the main drive for people to change. I can only say I am one of the guys who put up the dollars and sense (not cents) to tell people you do have a choice not to get the phone and enslaving yourself to a company for close to two years and get paltry services in return.

With the PC show happening this weekend, I am now faced with a dilemma.  I have to re-examine my relationship with the red camp.

So I went to the SIM Only plan website and I saw the new promotions and new features

a) They now have a 0% installment payment plan and on sale are iPhone 7 32GB and Samsung Galaxy S8. They claimed it is 8% discount on retail prices and the condition is you must subscribe to SIM Only plan. So let’s examine this:

iPhone 7 32GB monthly at S$40.17 so total is S$40.17 x 24 months = S$964.08

Samsung Galaxy S8 monthly at S$44.01 so total is S$44.01 x 24 months = S$1056.24

Let’s go to Kasia one of my favourite mobile phone shops dated 31 May 2017 (Disclaimer: I earn no commission from them)

iPhone 7 32GB – S$850.00 (cheaper than SingTel SIM Only plan by S$114.08)

Samsung Galaxy S8 – S$910.00 (cheaper than SingTel SIM Only plan by S$146.24)

…and lastly if you do get the SIM Only plan from Singtel Shop (not online), the cost of having 23GB of data, 1200 SMS and 200 min of phone time = $137.70. Really ah? This is what 8% ‘discount’ give you?

TLDR Version: The so called 8% discount is from recommended retail price. As compared to the real street retail price, it is still expensive and the SIM Only deal they calculate out for you is definitely daylight robbery. Buyers beware. Avoid at all costs.

b) They give sweeter deals for 12-months contract and this is at the Singtelshop.com website. i.e. You order everything online.

The calculation
= Base + 5GB Add-on + Promotion + Caller ID + 12 months contract
= (5GB + 150 min +500 SMS) + (5GB + 20GB) + Caller ID + 12 months contract
= $20 + $26.75 + $5.35 + 12 months contract
= $52.10 + 12 months contract (30GB data in total)

(Note I did not add the SingTel 2GB Wifi because it is seriously inconsequential in the scheme of things. Besides Wireless@SG app makes life a wee bit simple these days)

Non-Contract
= Base + 20 GB Add-on +200 mins +1200 SMS/MMS (No option for Caller ID)
= 20 + 107.00 + 5.35 +5.35
= $137.70 (23GB and no Caller ID)
My Thoughts:

  1. Lack of a cohesive website experience. There are two SIM Only plan websites. One is hosted at Singtel.com and the other is at Singtelshop.com. As though the market is not sick of their complicated information fronting customers. Once you go over to the Singtelshop.com, there’s no way to get the 8% discount handsets unless you go to the shop and buy it. Anyway no loss of love there if you get at other places.
  2. Why is there such a HUGE difference between contract and non-contracting customers? I have been saying for the longest time “The best customer service one can give to their customer is to give them the most services, at the most competitive price without tying them to any contract” Why do I say that? If your service sucks and the customer cannot leave because you are taking your customers for a ride and taking them for granted. The best defense against crap services is the ability to walk away. Are you willing to sign away the ability to walk away for $85.60 per month savings?
  3. The 8% discount from retail price is just hogwash. Retail price is just recommended price and can be shown to be higher in order to arrive at a price that retailers can earn a profit margin. I think the difference between $114 and $146 is significant which is more than 10% of the cheapest phone sets you can get outside of SingTel Shops. No point paying more at SingTel when the SIM Only plans with the more expensive handsets gives nothing back to the customers.
  4. With point (3) being so obvious, then the ability to walk away as stated in point (2) is even more important. Better keep your options open.
  5. Just to compare Circles Life:  $50 = 26GB + 100 mins + Caller ID + Unlimited WhatsApp Data (Does not include video calls) + Free incoming SMS and 5 cents per SMS sent.
  6. I am keeping my 12GB SingTel Plan @$44 for now. Yes I can port over and pay $50 as stated in point 5 above but due to a purchase I made using the SingTel UOB credit card, I have to clear that installment plan before breaking the relationship with SingTel (yes the credit card hook gives you benefits but is an additional link to keep you with SingTel on top of the contract. Learnt my lesson.)
  7. That said, I am willing to pay for the $28 per month with Circles Life because of the fact I can build loyalty points to gain 1GB per every year with them. So technically speaking in 6 years I can match my old SingTel plan and pay about half the money I do to SingTel. I have two lines is for a reason – I do mobile phone reviews so leaving the Circles Life line on review phones is more convenient than switching my SIM card over. Once I cleared my Credit Card debt, I can just port the number over anyways and add data as and when I need.
  8. Add on to point (7), I get more data by referring people too. If you find my posts helpful, I will give you my code in private message to help you to defray the registration costs or you can help your own friends/family members by using their codes too. This point is important. Yes you get lesser data (around 4GB) and it only costs you $2 more for that. However, between the choice of signing contract to treat you like a loyal customer or giving you 1GB of data for staying with the company, which one is better customer loyalty ‘program’? I think the answer is obvious.
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