It’s done! Dear1 and Dear2 have shifted from M1 to Singtel. And now, on with the story.
Disclaimer: I can’t remember some of the exact prices so I may get them wrong. Pls pardon me. :)
Many many years ago, Dear1 got his first mobile phone. Back then, Dear1 was too young to sign up for a line, so Dear1’s dad applied for the line under his name. Back then, M1 had this 1+1 plan where the first line is a prime plan @ $30 and the second line will also be a prime plan @ only $10. This meant that each plan was paying $20 per month. The prime plan comes with $20 worth of talktime and the charges are divided into 20cents per minute for peak hours, 10cents per minute for off peak hours and 5cents per minute for super off peak hours. Back then, there was no such thing as free incoming calls. The plan also comes with 300 free sms. Also, top up $5 for caller ID.
Some months after that, Dear2 also wanted to get a phone (Yes, Dear1 and Dear2 started dating in the era *without* mobile phones. That is so amazing…). And so the plan was to make full use of the 1+1 plan and that was why Dear1’s mum (who still did not have a mobile phone) applied for 2 more M1 lines, one for herself and one for Dear2. After many years, M1 awarded some loyalty discounts and the total bill of the 2 lines under the 1+1 plan became $28 per month. That meant $14 per line per month.
Fast forward. Free incoming calls became the norm and the prime plan was officially discontinued. But those who were already on the prime plan will retain the same billing structure of the prime plan until they opt out of it. At around the same time, Dear2 needed the free incoming call service as she was bursting her free talktime every month due to the nature of her job. So, Dear2 left the 1+1 plan (much to Dear1’s mum’s disappointment) and signed up for the sunsaver plan for $25. This came with 100 minutes free talktime, free incoming call and 500 sms. Later, Dear2 also added the mobile email value added service for $5 per month because she needed to be connected, again for work purposes.
There was one nagging problem with this arrangement over the years. The phone lines were under Dear1’s parents’ names. This meant that every time Dear1 and Dear2 wanted to upgrade their mobile phones, Dear1’s parents had to come along to sign the line upgrade contract. It takes quite a bit of coordination and also making parents wait in queue for 1 hour isn’t very nice. This was the same situation for even minor issues such as checking of contract status and applying for value added services. Quite inconvenient.
Most recently, another problem surfaced. That is, Dear1 and Dear2 moved out and into their own love nest. Yeah! However, that also meant that Dear1 and Dear2 needed to get their own house line and internet service in their new home. House line is a hidden cost of internet service if you are getting broadband from Singtel because the broadband requires the house line to operate. However, no such problems with Starhub. Who uses the house line these days anyway? In the end, Dear1 and Dear2 still decided on Singtel broadband as it was cheaper and so we had to get the house line as part of the deal. Broadband was $33 per month while house line was $25 for 3 months, let’s just take it as $8 per month.
At this point, let’s tally Dear1 and Dear2’s total telecommunications expenses monthly. House line $8 + 1Mbps broadband $33 + Dear1 mobile $14 + Dear1 caller ID $5 + Dear2 mobile $25 + Dear2 caller ID $5 + Dear2 mobile email $5 = $95. Wow. Nearly a hundred dollars gone every month!!
And that was why Dear1 had been hatching a plan for the past 2 years, to consolidate the mixture of M1 and Singtel services in order to save some money. It was a rather obvious decision for Dear1 consolidate everything under Singtel as Singtel broadband was the preferred choice. So Dear1 told his parents not to sign anymore contract for Dear1 and Dear2’s M1 number and to allow them to run out their existing contracts. Full number portability was also announced around this time and that made it all the more attractive.
At this point, Dear1’s mum was a little bit upset because she still thinks that *just* $10 for a mobile plan (under the 1+1 plan) was too good a deal to give up. There are 2 flaws with this argument. One, it should not be viewed as $10 for a mobile plan. Rather, it should be calculated as an average of $14 per plan under the 1+1 plan. Second, the billing structure for the prime plan is outdated and $20 worth talktime during peak hours is only equivalent to 100 mins for both outgoing and incoming calls. This may work for very light users but its a bit tight for an average working adult.
Another disadvantage of waiting for the two years contract to run out would mean that Dear1 and Dear2 cannot change their phones within this time. Not true! Gee… Since Dear1’s parents dun really keep up with the latest trends in mobile phones anyway, Dear1 and Dear2 upgraded Dear1’s parents’ lines to get new mobile phones. Another option would be to buy an expensive no-contract phone, which Dear1 eventually did.
Finally, the day came. Last week, Dear1 switched both Dear1 and Dear2’s M1 lines to Singtel mobile. Also, Dear1 signed up for the 3Mbps mio Home service which would provide the home line + broadband + mio TV at a discounted rate of around $40 (actual price $39.90), and get 20% off mobile plans for 2 nominated mobile numbers + free caller ID for one number. Yes, there exist an unadvertised 3Mbps mio Home plan. You must ask for it over the counter at the Hello! shop. Sounds great as far. Let’s do the sums again in a visual table form for easy reading.
Overall, Dear1 gets free incoming calls, lower peak hours talktime charges, 200 more sms and free caller ID; Dear2 gets exactly the same billing structure; and our home gets a 3 times increase in broadband bandwidth, and 3 extra TV channels (HD5, mio Home movies channel & Sony Entertainment Television); and we saved $5 on our monthly telecommunication bills. Not bad, not bad at all. And there’s no admin charges incurred during this whole migration process. New SIM cards are free, mobile phone delivery is free, mio TV installation is free, number portability is free, all other registration charges waived. :D
Of course, there may be better combinations of deals out there but Dear1 and Dear2 are comfortable with this arrangement for now. At least until the 2 yr contract is over. The key point here is, consolidation does help to save some money. And do not hold on to the past (M1 1+1 plan) blindly. Do your sums and you may get more for less.