StarHub starts charging 4G VAS for new and re-contracting customers, M1 to follow suit later
If you are planning to re-contract or sign up for a new 4G mobile plan at StarHub, do note that the telco is charging a promotional rate of S$2.14 per month for the 4G Speed Boost - also known as 4G value-added service (VAS) - since July 1st. The promotional rate will end on December 31st, 2015.
Assuming that you had signed up for a 4G contract plan in September 2012 and it is due for a re-contract in two months, StarHub would have sent you a text message informing you of the additional cost. You will also be given the option to unsubscribe from the 4G Speed Boost. If StarHub receives no opt-out request from you, it will continue charging for the 4G Speed Boost at S$2.14 per month.
M1 currently waives the monthly subscription of the 4G VAS for new sign-ups or re-contracting customers till the end of this year. The 4G VAS is applicable on any of its smartphone plans, iPhone plans, SunSurf VAS or BlackBerry VAS.
As for SingTel, the telco has decided to provide the 4G VAS at no additional cost for new or re-contracting customers until further notice. This applies for its SuperLite, Lite, Value, Plus, Prestige and EasyMobile price plans.
StarHub initially announced plans to start charging for its 4G Speed Boost from June 1st, and defended its decision by stating that the 4G Speed Boost had been offered free-of-charge as a promotion since September 2012. The explanation did not go down well with consumers and the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) had to step in a week later.
Upon clarification and further discussion with IDA on this issue, all three telcos announced that they would not charge existing customers on contract for the 4G VAS. At that point in time, new and re-contracting customers were still subjected to the additional charges if they wanted the 4G VAS. Now, it seems that StarHub is the first to charge its customers for 4G VAS if your pre-contracted plans have expired.