Help with my Starhub Mobile iPhone Bill!!?

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Brooklynjenn
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Help with my Starhub Mobile iPhone Bill!!?

Post by Brooklynjenn » Wed, 14 Dec 2011 8:35 am

I got my first mobile phone bill, and I am completely confused by the charges. I was hoping someone could help me understand some of the terminology, because when I called customer service to get an explanation, she just spoke in circular logic and didn't seem to have the skills to translate into plain English.

When I signed up for my Starhub contract, the guy told me that for $5 a month, my calls to the USA would be included in my regular minutes. I did get charged the $5, but I was also charged $55 in IDD 018 charges. The customer service person could not explain to me what 018 charges were or how I should be dialing to avoid. She also kept talking about international roaming, like maybe that is what my $5 is going for (and if it means what it means at home, I don't need it as I don't travel back home much).

When I dialed home, I dialed +1 ###-###-####. Should I be dialing 018 first? Did I do it the most expensive way possible? She also couldn't explain how I should be dialing. It was like she couldn't understand the subtle nuances in my questions. This is how part of thhe conversation went:

Me: Can you explain what an IDD 018 call is?
Star hub: IDD 018 is international direct dial calls.
Me: what is the 018 part for?
Starhub: It is the IDD 018 calls.
Me: I didn't dial 018 before my calls. Are you telling me I should have? Would it be a better rate?
Starhub: IDD 018 give you best rate.
Me: So are you saying I should dial 018 or not?
Starhub: the best rate will be IDD 018 rate.
Me: What does the $5 get me?
Starhub: the $5 is the international roaming
Me: what is international roaming?
Starhub: international roaming is covered with the $5
Me: But what does that do for me? What is international roaming?
Starhub: let's you count your international calls in your regular air time minutes.
Me: then why did I get charged $55 in calls? How can I avoid this?

And so on, so on, until she finally gave up and asked to call me back with a more detailed answer. Of course that never happened. if anyone can help me understand how I SHOULD be dialing to get the best rate, that would be great. Also, can someone tell me what international roaming covers? Do they have a plan where you can get a reduced rate to the USA? After this conversation I am ready to pull my hair out. Please help!!

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the lynx
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Post by the lynx » Wed, 14 Dec 2011 9:12 am

Here there you go http://www.starhub.com/voice/starhubint ... dd018.html

To put it simply:

Free IDD 018 means that you can make IDD calls to the 18 listed countries (including USA) at no IDD rate (means you're charged on local rate instead).
To use that IDD 018, the details is in the URL I gave you. Punch 018 followed by the country code and so forth. Skip the '+' sign.

Hope this helps. I always had good service rendered by Starhub customer service officers. I guess you were not lucky.

Edit to add:
Regarding international roaming, it plainly means that if you use your mobile OUTSIDE of Singapore, you'll be charged extra on top of your usage in your SMS and calls. Not sure that SGD5 is for which (mine's a different contract). And you mentioned iPhone so you have data plan (you may wanna check for international data roaming - if you're not covered and you use it out of Singapore, every single byte counted will kill your wallet).

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Post by evehow » Thu, 15 Dec 2011 12:10 pm

The $5 is likely a monthly subscription charge for international roaming. It's to enable you to make and receive calls when you are overseas. To receive calls in Singapore from overseas, there is no additional charge involved.

There is this thing about making international calls from different phone companies. As I am a Starhub subscriber, I cannot make international calls using 001 (which belongs to SingTel) but only 008 (Starhub). If I want to use 001, I have to sign up for it or something!

018 is the budget version of 008.

This post may explain it better: http://www.guidemesingapore.com/blog-po ... -singapore

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Post by nutnut » Thu, 15 Dec 2011 1:19 pm

I have IDD 018, it is $5 for the facility to call one of the 18 countries under the scheme under your local minutes, there are of course restrictions, but you need to dial 018 then as the number before you dial the +1 for US, SPAMMER for UK etc.

For instance. Calling a landline in the UK from Singapore I would dial something like this...

018 44 20 7367 4500

This would then be in the cost of my inclusive minutes. If I allow my iphone to dial without stipulating the 018 then it doesn't apply (if for instance I use 019 or just 01)

Hope this helps.

Not sure about International Roaming.
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Post by BillyB » Thu, 15 Dec 2011 1:37 pm

You've likely not keyed in 018 before making overseas calls. The 018 rate is actually really good value for a home based phone plan. The rate without using this code is much higher.

And nothing is free in Singapore with regard to phone calls - a likely case of mis-selling or mis-understanding!

International roaming with SH is a joke. You pay to get lower rates when abroad, but use data (1mb = $20) and you can have a bill in the 1000's for a 2 week trip abroad - I was in HK last year for 4 days and my bill was over $1500 for the month, and the cheeky twats sent me an interim bill!

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Post by zzm9980 » Thu, 15 Dec 2011 3:43 pm

Another thing to consider with Starhub's IDD 018 is that it sounds like an AM radio signal under water being relayed via the Moon. If think you might want to use it at all, definitely try it out first before signing up for it. Especially in Singapore, the land of mininum contracts with termination fees on every itemized line item on your cell phone bill.

I'd strongly recommend just using Skype or Google Voice for high quality cheap international calls. But not via Starhub's 3G data plan. But that's another rant for another day.

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Post by nutnut » Thu, 15 Dec 2011 4:03 pm

BillyB wrote:I was in HK last year for 4 days and my bill was over $1500 for the month, and the cheeky twats sent me an interim bill!
Looking at specialist websites whilst away izzit?

I must admit I had a $300+ bill for miniscule amount of data in Malaysia for a night away golfing... just for Facebook auto updates and such. best turn it off in the iPhone if you haven't already (there is a specific option on the iPhone)
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Post by teck21 » Fri, 16 Dec 2011 10:16 am

BillyB wrote:International roaming with SH is a joke. You pay to get lower rates when abroad, but use data (1mb = $20) and you can have a bill in the 1000's for a 2 week trip abroad - I was in HK last year for 4 days and my bill was over $1500 for the month, and the cheeky twats sent me an interim bill!
Sounds like you didn't use the provider SH has a tie-up with which caps your data at SG$15 per day. Can't remember the name, but it was terrible anyhow, and there was no way to get 3G at all on that provider.

Last time I gave up and stepped into a telco shop and simply bought their prepaid, cost about SG$20 for 5 days of unlimited seamlessly smooth 3G data.

Frequent traveller to Malaysia now, and also use a pre-paid there now, although keeping in line with the best practices of their southern neighbour, the usage charges are opaque and incomprehensible. Still loads cheaper than roaming though.

Think I may need another new iPhone. Quite the hassle to be switching cards.

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Post by the lynx » Fri, 16 Dec 2011 10:20 am

teck21 wrote: Frequent traveller to Malaysia now, and also use a pre-paid there now, although keeping in line with the best practices of their southern neighbour, the usage charges are opaque and incomprehensible. Still loads cheaper than roaming though.

Think I may need another new iPhone. Quite the hassle to be switching cards.
If I'm not wrong, you can link your SH to DIGI in Malaysia by purchasing MYR10 for unlimited data usage per day.

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