Negotiating With Starhub - A Successful Case Study
I have taken all this in my stride because - to quote the now (in)famous words, "what to do. it has happened". The only service from Starhub that was not affected in all these years was the CableTV - and then it happened.
I am a fairly avid soccer fan. I watch the major competitions and reasonably follow the major leagues (English, Spanish, Italian, German). Naturally, for the World Cup in 2006, I took up the offer to pay an additional S$10.70 to receive the coverage by Starhub. Similarly, for the Euro 2008, I intended to take up the offer as well.
However, unlike 2006, this year I did not receive a mailer to inform me to sign up for the S$10.70 promotion. And by the time I got around to visiting the Starhub website to check, I realised that the promotional period (early bird thing) had ended, and I would only be able to enjoy the coverage at double the cost - S$21.40. With prices everywhere going up, I saw no reason to pay double for the privilege of watching Euro 2008.
I was awaiting the letter from Starhub offering the EURO 2008 coverage at $10.70 (as for the World Cup in 2006) but did not receive any notification. I have just realised that the special price offer expired on 12 May 2008 and it would now cost me double the amount to take up the coverage. If Starhub is inclined to offer me, a loyal customer of several years who has a CREDIT balance of over $500 in his broadband account with it, the preferential rate of $10.70, then I will be keen to take up the EURO 2008 coverage package, otherwise I will forego the opportunity to watch the competition, thank you. - 22/05/2008 2:06:37 PMI didn't think much of it and felt that it was pretty much a case of either wanting to indulge me or not, and so was slightly annoyed with the unfeeling 'standard' response I received 24 hours later.
Thank you for your e-mail of 22 May 2008. We regret to inform you that the early bird offer for the Season pass has ended on 12 May 2008. We wish to inform you that you can sign up for STARHUB UEFA EURO 2008™ Season Pass at $21.40 now and stand a chance to win a HubStation daily. This promotional contest will end on 31 May 2008. If you have any questions on our services, please e-mail us at this address or fax in to +65 6725 1603. Best regards, Wong Boon Chai, Customer Affairs. - May 23, 2008 2:10 PM
Thank you for your reply. In my initial query to you, I acknowledged that I am fully aware of the expiry of the early bird promotion on 12 May 2008. It was wonderful of you to notify me this notwithstanding. Please confirm if a mailer was sent out to me, which was what I was looking out for to begin with. As my contention is that I was not duly informed of the promotion, I am not prepared to pay $21.40 (or, in other words, double) now for the opportunity to watch Euro 2008.
If I am counted as one of the valued customers of Starhub, then some arrangement should be made to recognise this 'value'. After all, we are talking about an amount of $10+ which to a large company like Starhub is surely an insignificant price to placate a loyal customer of several years - customer since 2000, Hub Club member, and, a total of 4 mobile lines, one fixed line, CableTV & Broadband for my residential address.
If no effort is taken on the part of Starhub, then I will take it that this is how it views its customers and consider switching to a competitor at the next available opportunity. I am disappointed that Starhub does not value its customers and will let my friends and family know as such, thank you. - 23/05/2008 4:14:18 PM
Thank you for your e-mail of 23 May 2008. We refer to our telephone conversation earlier. We wish to inform you that we have made an exception and added the STARHUB UEFA EURO Season Pass to your subscription as you have requested. The early bird charge of $10.70 (w/GST) will be shown in your next invoice. You will receive the acknowledgement letter with the channel details at your service address. If you have any questions on our services, please e-mail us at this address or fax in to +65 6725 1603. Best regards, Lim Song Yee, Customer Affairs. - May 23, 2008 4:40 PM
Thank you indeed for the pleasant surprise of your call. I am not sure how and why Mr Wong (the initial officer who emailed me) could not exercise the initiative and decisive action that you so clearly displayed in the first place, but nevertheless, I appreciate your prompt resolution of the matter in a mere half hour from my reply. Sincerely, I do feel appreciated as a customer and Starhub can certainly look forward to my patronage for years to come. Accordingly, if you require a testimonial with regard to this incident for any internal or corporate purpose at all, feel free to request for one from me - I will be more than happy to provide you with the same.
In the meanwhile, I would like to go on record as saying that it is staff such as you, Mr Lim Song Yee, that can bring an organisation like Starhub further forward. Thank you for the experience and I now look forward to relating this positive occurrence to others - and to watch Euro 2008 as well! - 23/05/2008 5:06:54 PM