That $400,000 fine

In News Reports, Writing on May 30, 2012 at 11:55 pm

The number $400,000 stood out in today’s papers, for being the record fine slapped ON SingTel. (I am so pleased that no paper wrote that SingTel was slapped WITH a $400,000 fine! Yay!) A big deal was made about it being a record. But numbers mean nothing without a context. It’s a record but is it high? The maximum is $1m. One possible indication is what had been slapped ON M1 for its outage last May – $300,000 – which it is appealing against. But the reader doesn’t have enough points of comparison. How long did that M1 outage last? Affecting how many people? I suppose if I wanted to, I could dig up the old stories to get a better idea. But hey, I am a reader. I have no time to do these background checks! So in comparison to M1, was SingTel heavily penalised or not?

On numbers again, the Home page on SMS use declining. Thing is, I have read this story before. It’s not new. Unless you want to grab hold of a new (I think) number and make a song and dance of it. IDA’s March figure for SMS is 2.2 billion, down from 2.3 billion in December, and 2.46 billion in September. Sets me thinking – just chart the figures. There’s definitely space on the page for it.

Maybe the article should have been more forward looking and deal with the telcos’ plans to counter the trend, especially what they are doing on the mobile data front which took up the bottom bit of the story.

On numbers again or maybe not quite – about Singapore slipping down the competitive slope. Last few pars in the ST story talks about how “open and positive attitudes” ranked near the bottom among executives here. What’s this? What are they referring to? Business culture? Unquestioning subordinates? Bad bosses? Resistance to change? I would so love to know…

  1. These reports of fines by IDA always leave me wondering – what about the rest of the story? IDA collects $400K from SingTel for failing to maintain a certain standard of service. Meanwhile, what did customers get for their loss of service? Did SingTel rebate money or give services in kind comparable to $400K to customers? What’s the point of IDA collecting fines if/when paying customers are not compensated for substandard service? Seems like a hollow victory for the customers.

  2. The actual ranking is online, including criteria. Don’t see why readers should have to do the digging though:

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