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Monday, July 15, 2024
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Mind your own problems… and modem – Singnet

1.5Mps duh!

One problem, one too many, I am quite fad up with an incident trying get my modem repaired today but never got anything done at all. It have to be like that, the day where I have to submit my UCAS application online, the day just after the Comex IT show, my DSL modem just went poof. After further inspection, it turned out that the power supply adapter was faulty, so the modem is completely A-ok.

The object of attention
The victim is my reliable and trusty 2wire 1800HG gateway modem, 3 years and only one disconnect in it’s entire life. Not bad an experience after not-so pleasant experiences with Aztech and Linksys modems and routers myself, this is one little mean modem, only that’s it’s power supply ain’t working. So got up the Singnet technical line and told them of my problem. They told me that my current modem is out of warranty, (ok yes fair enough, I know) and the only place to get any replacement will be their suppler and the official (and only) 2wire vendor in Singapore is at 76 Playfair Road, in the LHK 2 Building.

The service center
So I got my butt off there after calling the supplier up and confirming with their counter staff, who informed me that they do offer walk-in power supply replacements for out-of-warranty models for $35 each. Later do I come to know after braving the long journey there, putting and wading through the heavy rain (to appear at their service center drenched), I was told that my modem is and end-of-life model and they do not offer any more repairs or spare parts. What?

The technicians there blatantly told me to head to Simlim Square or Tower to look for second hand adapters or an equivalent. A new modem there cost $300. Failing to accept the fact that I could have possibly wasted 3 hours of my time, all wet and miserable, just to get my equipment repaired. I called Singtel technical help line up there again hoping (and considering) that they could strike a deal with them for a replacement of failed equipment, also considering that I was still on a contract with Singtel, so aliasing with them will prove some help, after all Singtel is a big customer to the supplier.

Left hanging
I explained to them my problem, the fix I was in and how it led to my current situation. But no, I can only get a new modem by renewing or extending or upgrading my contract with them, otherwise, I can consider purchasing one from their hello shop as exclaimed by the operator “It might be cheaper than what they are offering there”. They knew I needed a replacement, but the conversation was not about helping customers, it’s more like fighting for you to put the money on them- Singtel or the supplier. It just simply paints a situation in line with the Chinese saying: “chen huo da jie” or thriving/making opportunities over other’s misfortune.

Now what?
That was getting me nowhere, I thanked the Singnet operator, coyly saying: “Thank you so much for not offering any good support at all” and hung up. I accepted the fact on being sent on a wild goose chase and started questioning myself on my way back on my loyalty with Singtel. I had been with them for almost 15 years for my home internet connection since the Teleview era, let be patronizing their service to my business clients and even my whole family mobile lines with them. Was I wrong to stay with them all this while? I guess so, they don’t bother after all.

Looking back
Reflecting on this, there were few questionable quirks in this incident, firstly both the supplier and Singtel knew what modem I was using, but they were more efficient into telling you “Your warranty is out!” rather than clarifying that they even have support for the model. There should be at least some form of continued support for products passed EOL they can’t assume that no one in Singapore still uses their old products and just dump the whole line away.

I just feel that we customers are just more of less just entities to offer a paid service and no more than that. The thing which I am sure of now is the obvious lack of recognition to long term customers- the ones the operator should pay more attention on rather than trying to get people to jump the orange and green boats. No wonder I keep getting stories from contacts I have working with Singtel about the negative subscribers rate they are having now, let be the mobile side with the new number retention policy in place and the known failure of Mio TV.

I definitely won’t be obligated to extend my contract with them next year.

With all that aside, I can always look into fixing the power supply problem myself, after all, I am an engineer. Only that I always felt that using 3rd party power supplies will have long term consequences to using tested supplies for the model itself.

Good thing I have a spare modem lying around the house.


    • LOL, I feel your wrath against them.

      As a followup on this blog post, I managed to pop by Sim Lim tower just a few days after this blog post and managed to get an adapter within 5 minutes- with the exalt same amperage and voltage as well, all for $25, which is $10 cheaper than what the official price is.

      In fact this new charger is even more compact than the original one. And had been working fine for over a month now.

      From this lesson, it goes to say- Do not depend on your ISP when you need help from them. Especially with regards to areas out of their area of responsibility. It’s a responsibility pushing game.

      I guess the best thing is to do, is to do it yourself.

  1. Huh. They (Singnet) are not even bothered if you recontract or not. They now simply don’t care. Just 15 mins ago I called up the helpdesk to report my faulty modem and guess what they have to say… “Your modem is out of warranty. Please call the modem vendor for support.”

  2. I don’t get it. Warranty expires as soon as contract ends, and renews after a new contract – stated on their terms. Your modems works for 3 years, so by then warranty is already over unless you renew your contract.

    I think you probably asked something wrongly and signalled you want a repair instead of a replacement, like asking “where can I get my modem repaired?” rather than “where can I get my modem replaced?”

    Btw, singnet probably don’t do modem servicing – also stated clearly in the terms in the contract you signed. Any thing hardware problem have to call modem vendor.

    Also, if you arrived wet in front of a counter and feels frustrated, pls dun vent out all your frustration on the counter stuff – he/she is probably wondering why didn’t you bring an umbrella or rather come another day 🙂

    • Hey dude, read the blog post again, I think you misunderstood about me bringing this up to the Singnet counter, (which is pretty dumb if I did).

      I am aware that Singnet do not do modem repairs, man that is not even their area of expertise, but their suppliers. That is why I called Singtel in the first place, got their directions to their sole modem distro and repair center in SG for that particular modem brand I am using, that’s all.

      It was there at the modem repair center smacked right in remote Eunos where they could not even get it repaired for a fee (I was offering to PAY to get my junk fixed), let be even offer a replacement unit where I could buy it off them. I particularly liked the 2wire modem I was using over the years and am sold on it’s reliability, that is why I wanted it fixed. It wasn’t even haggling about the warranty issue, as that is of course out of the question.

      And man… the modem is not even spoilt, it’s just it’s external power adapter which was faulty, which can be so easily replaced cheaply and not even one soul there was helpful to fix it for me or offer a replacement. They offered me their latest modem model, seeing my dire situation to sell it to me at $300SGD+ (and they think I am idiot to buy it from from when I can get a better spec-ed modem for a third of the price from Sim lim). It was then where even calling up Singnet at that point to help out for an old customer didn’t help either, it’s all about money, money, money and more contracts. heck it, so much for customer loyalty.

      I am not surprised that Singtel had a negative subscriber over the last year, it all starting to make sense now.


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