SingTel subscriber John Lee seems to have struck a raw nerve.
This after his Facebook post last Thursday evening complaining about the local telco's 3G network went viral with over 12,000 likes and over 1,000 comments.
"Dear SingTel, my friends are complaining about your network. How could you set up a 4G network where your 3G suck [sic] big time and you want to lower our data plan but still charge us the same price and yet we still get many drop call and slow network. You guys are taking our money but not giving us the service so here I'm complaining right at your face and wait for your feedback," vented the freelance make-up artist.
The majority of those who left comments agreed with Lee's feedback and said that they too experienced disruptive reception on their mobile phones.
One of the administrators on SingTel's Facebook page acknowledged the feedback.
"We hear you. We would like to assure you that SingTel is committed to providing high-quality and consistent 3G and 4G mobile coverage to its customers."
The post went on to explain that "sometimes experience weak reception in locations, such as basement car parks and lifts, where signals are blocked by walls and structures".
It added that in the last 3 years, it had invested over S$2 billion across its networks, including mobile, and that it was adding more base station sites islandwide and upgrading existing ones to handle more traffic.
Lee's post and SingTel's response has been the subject of a public relations blog called "Small steps for social PR".
SingTel subscribers Yahoo! Singapore spoke to also complained their 3G network signal was also patchy.
Mr Ng, 28, who lives in Jurong, said, "I don’t get a (regular phone) signal in Jurong, and get Digi or Celcom instead. When I called up the customer service, I was told it’s because I’m near the border, which is ridiculous because I stay in Toh Guan (near Jurong East MRT). Was also forced to cancel autoroaming to avoid getting Digi or Celcom signals. Now sometimes at night, I don’t get a signal at all,” he said.
Several others complained of their homes being in a "dead zone".
Software engineer Charlotte Tan, 26, who lives in Toa Payoh said she couldn't get any 3G service in her own home so much so she "does not use 3G as much as possible, unless I’m very desperate. I only use my phone for messages now.”
Pamy Tan, 24, who lives in Hougang and on the ground floor, also said her room was in a 3G dead zone.
Consultant Koh Teck Wei, 26, said what's frustrating is that even when he's standing at the same spot, he "can be surfing the net (on my phone) and be cut off suddenly... it’s happened so many times.”
Gabriel Goh, NSF, also said the connection on his mobile phone was poor at times.
“The connection while underground can be a little poor at times. Also, with 3G turned on, it still loads at about the same speed as 2G, which shouldn’t be the case. The worst thing is, I don’t even experience service at all sometimes. It happens more frequently now,“ he said.
This is not the first time SingTel has drawn the ire of frustrated subscribers.
During the final day of the last English Premiership season in May, thousands of mioTV subscribers were hit by patchy broadcasts of critical games.
Last month, SingTel was fined a total of $380,000 for TV and fixed line disruptions by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA).