Thanks to a comment from “Passerby” on my previous post on SingTel’s unfair tactic, I now believe – though I’m not a lawyer – that SingTel has violated the Telecommunications Act’s Code of Practice for Provision of Premium Rate Services, which states:
“2.3.1 No premium rate service provider shall engage in the practice of providing any unsolicited free service to any person which requires such person to take action to unsubscribe from the service, failing which he is automatically subscribed and charged for a premium rate service.
2.3.2 For the avoidance of doubt, a person shall be treated as having been provided with an unsolicited free service so long as he did not specifically take action to request for that service prior to it being provided to him.”
By the act’s definitions (see bottom of page 3), SingTel’s connect tone service is obviously a premium rate service.
So, in my expert opinion, SingTel has violated the IDA Code.
A friend also got the Colour-Me-Tones service automatically FORCED upon her WITHOUT her consent. This is the unsolicited SMS she received:
“From SingTel: Your FREE 30days Colour-Me-Tones trial has started from 10Dec.To add another song or manage your Colour-Me-Tones playlist,call *590 or visit www.ideas.singtel.com/CMT.$4.28/mth subscription applies after 30days,*590 to unsubscribe from Colour-Me-Tones”
[Update 20 Dec: SingTel has stopped this illegal promotion. I also read in yesterday’s My Paper that Case is aware of this and has in fact advised SingTel that such opt-out promotions were “not acceptable”. The consumer watchdog also said “silence cannot be allowed to mean that the consumer is deemed to agree under a business contract.” I await to see if IDA is interested in giving SingTel a stern warning. Maybe SingTel should be fined as well.]