Digital mobile telco Circles.Life is offering an extra 20GB worth of data for S$20 for new and existing subscribers.
Currently, its base plan — which offers 6GB of mobile data — costs S$28. With the latest option, a 26GB plan will cost S$48 monthly, making it the cheapest no-contract plan in Singapore.
A 23GB sim-only plan offered by Singtel costs S$107 monthly, while Starhub customers are charged S$110 monthly for a 12Gb no-contract plan. Similarly, M1's no-contract plan with 15GB of data will cost customers S$125 monthly.
With this latest data plan, Circles.Life hopes to capture a bigger share of the local telco market.
Mr Rameez Ansar, Circles.Life Co-Founder and Director said: "In Singapore, we are on track to achieving a high single-digit market share within a few years."
The digital telco, which is currently leasing mobile network capacity from M1, also revealed that it will be expanding to Indonesia and Hong Kong, partnering regional telco players in the process.
Circles.Life has hired a new director, Donald Chan, to spearhead its plans to expand abroad. Mr Chan was the former Chief Operating Officer (COO) for Clifford Capital, and previously worked for Temasek Holdings and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
Circles.Life customers running in circles after complaints about services
Nearly one year after its launch in May 2016, Singapore’s mobile digital telco Circles.Life is facing a chorus of complaints about its delivery of SIM cards, botched number porting, and customer service responsiveness.
However, the virtual network operator is adamant that these complaints are isolated, stating that its customer satisfaction scores are “unparallelled in the industry”.
Some customers of Circles.Life feel that they are running around in circles, especially since the company does not have any brick and mortar storefronts.
SIM cards are issued via couriers, while other services like number-porting and purchases of phones are done online.
Ms Jane Leow is one of the customers who was left without a SIM card after a scheduled delivery was not fulfilled by Circles.Life, despite waiting in her office the entire day.
“I scheduled the delivery to my office on March 29 since it’s a weekday, between 2pm to 6pm,” said Ms Leow, 33, a civil servant. “I waited at my office the whole day and there was no call.
“I later got an SMS that the delivery attempt was not successful. I was prompted to pay $15 for a redelivery.”
Since its public launch in May 2016, the Consumers Association Of Singapore (Case) has received seven complaints against Liberty Wireless, which operates Circles.Life.
The latest complaint filed to Case in April 2017 was regarding number porting.
“The consumer reported that the company failed to properly transfer his existing phone number from his original service provider,” Case’s executive director Loy York Jiun told TODAY.
A check on Circles.Life’s Facebook page also revealed numerous feedback over the past two weeks about the delivery of SIM cards, number porting, and customer service responsiveness.
It was deja vu again for Ms Leow on April 3, as she applied for leave from work just to receive the delivery of her new SIM card — this time at her home — between 2pm and 6pm.
At 5pm, Ms Leow was worried that the delivery would fail again.
Frustrated that there was a long waiting time just to chat with one of its agents online, she decided to message them on their Facebook page instead at 5.11pm.
Ms Leow explained: “The website indicated that there were 10 customers ahead of me, and I didn’t want to wait for 30 minutes and repeat my complaint.”
To her horror, the Circles.Life officer manning its Facebook page claimed that the courier delivered her SIM card at 1.59pm.
Shortly after leaving a flurry of messages on the Circles.Life Facebook page, there was a knock on her door at 6.10pm by the Singapore Post courier, with her SIM card.
Despite the deluge of customer feedback, Circles.Life said its delivery success rates are “in the highest tier of the industry benchmarks”, which includes telcos as well as other e-commerce companies.
“We are always improving our delivery process with the goal of zero failed deliveries in mind at all times. Therefore, we are always exploring options,” said the company’s marketing manager, Megan Yulga.
While there are no current plans to allow for self-collection, Circles.Life is not ruling out that option, as long as the regulatory documentation checks are fulfilled.
The lack of other channels to contact Circles.Life representatives is also a big concern for customers.
“What if there is a network outage? We can’t even chat with them online then,” said Mr Muzkmmil Mohamad, 30.
“The current channel isn’t feasible. (Circles.Life) needs to have a customer service hotline,” the administrative assistant added.
The lack of 24hours live chat is also a concern for Ms Leow. Currently, Circles.Life’s live chat channel is only manned from 9am to 10pm on weekdays.
“What if I have a query in the middle of the night? Do I need to wait until the next morning?” Ms Leow asked.
For now, Circles.Life claims that it has been achieving industry standard customer service ratings of “well above” 90 per cent, while averages for the telco industry hovers between 60 per cent and 70 per cent.
“If our customers give overwhelming feedback that new channels would make their experience even better, we will absolutely explore those options,” Ms Yulga said.
Ms Yulga also stressed that Circles.Life’s infrastructure is ready to accommodate a bigger capacity, such as its recent promotion offering an extra 20GB worth of data for S$20 for new and existing subscribers.
“Given our operations experience and long planning for the 20 GB for S$20 data plus option, we have been able to not only maintain, but also in some metrics, exceeded our operational metrics despite the strong response from the launch of our new product,” said Ms Yulga.
“Despite us meeting our operational metrics, the sheer volume of growth means there are rare and isolated cases where deliveries have not gone to plan.
“Separately, our port-in your number system continues to be the most seamless experience in Singapore today and issues related to that have been extremely rare.”