Irene Hoe is demanding answers from Starhub over her problems with prepaid numbers, but she is having difficulty getting them to explain.
She wrote this angry email to someone called Buvan of the telco's Customer Affairs:
"Take note that this is no mere ENQUIRY on my prepaid number. I did not present this as an enquiry though clearly you wish to treat it as such.
"You obviously have not understood that I require an explanation from Starhub, an explanation that I have not received.
"Let me repeat and elaborate.
"I have three prepaid numbers registered in my name, in addition to one postpaid number. For the prepaid numbers, Starhub has been content to accept my automatic monthly top-up each month for years.
"Then some months ago, it abruptly cancelled one of them. This is the one that one of my sisters uses.
"That event forced me to go to one of your inaptly-named service centres to "register" a number for which I had been paying for years. And I was also forced to change that number.
"On that occasion and each time I have called in to find out why Starhub is sending out these unpleasant messages, your staff recognised that the numbers were registered to my name.
"Nonetheless, I was first told that my stored value, which amounted to two to three hundred dollars had suddenly evaporated because the number was not "registered".
"On that first occasion, Starhub staff assured me after I had "registered" the number that all was in order with the other two numbers. That turned out to be a lie.
"So again, I had to visit one of your "service centres" and after much to-ing and fro-ing and the intervention of one of your senior people, I got the stored value reinstated. But I had to change the number.
"Once again I was assured after that second inconvenience that all was in order. Now this, too, has turned out to be a lie, and you are again demanding that I "register" my THIRD prepaid SIM.
"Along the way, I have been forced to visit your so-called service centres to consolidate my accounts into one, not once, not twice, but three times. Each time, I would be assured that ALL my accounts would not be represented by ONE statement.
"Other visits have been occasioned by problems with my BlackBerry.
"To get married, I only had to go to the Registry of Marriages ONCE.
"I am fed up, Starhub. Do you understand? FED UP.
"Now, EXPLAIN yourself, Starhub."
Yesterday (June 11), Buvan replied to Irene:
"Dear Ms Hoe
Thank you for your email.
We note from our records that Prepaid number -------- is active and in good order. Further, we have done a test call and we are able to get a successful tone. We would appreciate if you could verify our findings.
"On the same note, we note from our records that your particulars for your prepaid service(s) are incomplete. Hence, we would appreciate if could visit our Customer Service Centres (CSC) with your identification to complete the registration. This is to avoid disruption of service due to incomplete registration. We apologise
for any inconvenience caused and seek your understanding on the matter."
After Buvan's response, Irene shot back another email to Starhub Customer Service with the subject heading, "You cannot be serious!"
She said: "One of my prepaid numbers is -------- and it is currently on loan to
a friend visiting from Scotland. She tells me that she's been getting messages from Starhub to get the SIM registered!
"What the heck is going on?
"It is linked to my Starhub account and each month it gets topped up and I pay by Giro. Please explain."
Meanwhile, Irene waits patiently for Starhub's reply...