Starhub to implement a ‘one-minute minimum charge’

Starhub’s mobile customers have to pay 16.05 cents for the first minute of each local outgoing call starting 1 May, even for talk times shorter than one minute.

This means that customers will have to pay more than they do now for calls lasting less than 60 seconds, according to information found on the telco’s website.

Starhub customers are currently being billed at about 0.27 cents per second from the start of each local outgoing call.

By next month, a one-minute charge will be fixed to each call before customers are billed on a per second basis starting from the 61st second of talk time, according to Starhub’s assistant vice president of mobile post-paid services, Mr Tian Ung Ping.

The new billing method will apply to all mobile post-paid customers when they make local outgoing calls through voice or 3G video.

Tian, who noted that Starhub has been billing their customers on a per second basis for the past 13 years, added that the company has decided to implement the new method instead of increasing call rates amid rising costs of “network maintenance, upgrade and expansion”.

Since April, the telco has been notifying their customers on the new billing method through their website as well as notices sent to customers together with their bills, he said. Customers who want to sign up or renew their mobile plans, will also be informed by the staff available at Starhub stores.

Furthermore, Tian said that customers would not see a “significant difference” in their charges as most customers use their outgoing calls within their monthly talk-time bundle.