Many Singaporeans in this day and age often travel overseas, be it for business or leisure.
According to the Department of Statistics Singapore 2018 report, there are a total of 9,888,852 outbound departures by Singaporeans, either by air (8.1 Million) or by sea (1.7 Million) in 2017 and according to VISA, it is estimated that by 2025, Singaporean would spend US$ 44.9 billion (S$ 61.5 billion) in overseas travels and placing them 7th globally in overseas spending.
One of the reasons as to why Singaporeans travel overseas often could be due to Singapore’s geographical position as they have quite a number of neighbouring countries such as Malaysia, Australia, Indonesia, and Thailand for locals to travel to.
As Singapore’s dollar value is higher in relative to other neighbouring countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, this also allows many Singaporeans to spend more during their trips than they would back home.
Aside from overseas travel, Singapore is also known to be a tech-savvy country, evident from their No.1 ranking World’s Most Tech-Savvy country for 3 straight years.
It shows that technology is an essential part of their lives. As tech-savvy travellers are getting more dependent on the use of smartphones while travelling overseas, there is an even greater need for mobile data in order to fully utilise the applications on their phone.
The common thought for most travellers when it comes to having internet access overseas would either be purchasing a data roaming plan from a local telecommunication company they are currently tied to, purchasing a local SIM card from their travel destination or using Wi-Fi in restaurants & hotels.
Not many know that another option actually exists, one that is cheaper and more convenient for travellers to use compared to those that were mentioned earlier.
That option would be Flexiroam X, a SIM-sticker microchip that is placed on top of your existing SIM card which allows you to roam to more than 140+ countries without the hassle of changing SIM cards or worrying about expensive roaming bills.
Below is a comparison between Flexiroam and a few telecommunication companies in Singapore, in terms of pricing, coverage, validity, and data plan.
– 1GB Xtra Data Lite
→ 1GB / 15 days, 21.99 USD
→ 1GB / 90 days, 29.99 USD
→ 2GB / 100 days, 59.99 USD
→ 3GB / 150 days, 79.99 USD
→ 5GB / 180 days, 129.99 USD
– 7GB Xtra Data
→ 7GB / 360 days, 199.99 USD
– 58 types of data local data plans available (e.g Korea, Japan,Europe,United States,South Africa)
– Cheapest local plan starts from 3 USD (1GB), depending on location.
*For more information, you can visit
-READYROAM 1GB 30 DAYS
→ 1GB / 30 Days, 25.76 USD for 56 countries
→ 100MB / day, 7.36 USD for 131 countries
-Data Travel Global, 56 countries
→ 2GB/30 days, 29.41 USD
→ 3GB/30 days, 36.79 USD
→ 400MB / month, 29.43 USD + 7.35 USD (Registration Fee) for 130 countries
*Upper Peninsula – 52.76 USD
*Upper Peninsula – 131.9 USD
– Data Passport (Singular Destination)
→ 7.33 USD / month for 27 countries only
→ 18.32 USD / month for ASEAN (9 countries)
→ 36.76 USD / month for Asia (23 countries, including ASEAN)
→ 36.76 USD / month for Europe (34 countries)
*Data allocation depends on customers’ existing data plan for all three Data Passport
From the comparison table above, it can be seen that Flexiroam’s Global data roaming packages are generally quite reasonable for the given amount of data, country coverage, and validity period as compared to those provided by Singaporean telecommunication companies.
Flexiroam also offers local data plans if you travel to a single country like France, Germany, Australia and other countries that we cover.
Now, let’s take a couple of case studies to show how the Singapore telco companies might advertise their attractive roaming plans on paper BUT charge differently in reality and how it has badly affected the users.
“At the rate, Singtel handles it’s customers complaints regarding unreasonable data roaming charges, you are sure to lose many subscribers!! I have been a Singtel customer for more than 15 years with a monthly bills of at least $200 per month and with the latest saga where you waived 50% of my $3500 data roaming bill “in goodwill” despite my having subscribed to the unlimited data roaming bundle, you have pushed me over the limit!! You can say Bye Bye to this 15-year subscriber…and another telco company will be thankful to you… I just heard another friend complaining about the same issue to me…You guys just don learn!!! Losing a major bank corporate account is not bad enough??!! Still sleeping in your laurels??!!!!!”
Let’s take Michelle Tan’s situation for example where she got a “bill-shock” of 3500 SGD (2,568.74 USD) despite subscribing to Singtel’s “UNLIMITED DATA ROAMING BUNDLE.”
Michelle further commented that she manually selected the network that is partnered with Singtel so that she is not charged, however, the non-partnered network is still “selected” on her phone.
Kudos to Singtel for having a 50% off waiver policy but it is simply FALSE ADVERTISING to offer UNLIMITED DATA if they cannot live up to what was agreed upon.
“I have personally experienced this with M1. Activated their data passport Malaysia cos I need to use it there for 1 month, then I de-activate my Data passport Malaysia after 1 month on the M1 app. As my job requires me to travel multiple countries (up to 4 countries within 2 weeks), When my M1 bill came, I got a shock cos it shows data roaming usage in all the countries I went to. I swear I have switched off my data-roaming on my phone. But data is still being transferred.
So I called M1, they say I have to de-activate one more 4G roaming services to completely prevent the above from happening. I challenged them to show me where are the specific instructions to switch off the 4G roaming to prevent such a shocking bill.
What shock me also is that we as consumers have absolutely zero control over our data-roaming options. (ie: we cannot switch off data roaming from our phone settings). We have to switch off the data-roaming at the Telco level, otherwise, we will be charged an exorbitant rate for data-roaming which we didn’t use.
I seriously suggest we should band together, and approach M1 to set this Data Passport settings/instructions right once and for all. We are fleeced because we didn’t know there are additional steps to switch off data roaming once we subscribe to their Data Passport!!
It is simply unclear totally from their Data Passport program that we have additional steps to switch off data roaming on a Telco level when all these while, we were told that switching off data-roaming settings on the phone is enough”
Then we also have a Hardwarezone forum user eric16 saying that he is unknowingly charged with roaming bills DESPITE turning off their data roaming on the phone.
The user was also not aware of the additional steps required to turn off the 4G Roaming service as most people would think that switching off data-roaming settings on the phone is enough. The user further commented that the data leaks would cost him $20 – $90 when used in Europe.
“I was charged for mobile data and data roaming by Singtel while using wifi overseas and this is while my mobile data and data roaming was switched OFF on my phone. Singtel initially claims these charges were by two different telcos at different times.
After many attempts, Singtel admits the application they had installed on my phone (which I am unable to uninstall) “My Singtel App” over-rides these normal functions of the phone.
This is fraud, and I brought this matter up to IMDA-InfoComm Media Development Authority (questioning the integrity of SingTel’s billing), while operators M1 and Starhub do not install such an app on their subscribers’ phones.
I was charged for data I did not use, plus roaming. Singtel claims “goodwill” refunding the roaming charges but subsequently charge me again for data I did not use on a second bill, while I was overseas again.
I had data recorded locally in Singapore by Singtel while my phone was switched to wifi while asleep during the hours of 4 am to 5 am on several days, proving to Singtel their misguided billing. IMDA has been unable to act on this, I hope this will bring about awareness for Singtel mobile subscribers and a full refund of these fraudulent charges.
I am contactable via email: email@example.com or via mobile if clarification is required, with documentary proof.”
And yet again we can see that how telecommunication companies have unreasonably charged their users with exorbitant roaming charges.
We can see Singtel abuses their mobile application to AUTOMATICALLY OVERRIDE the “normal” phone function and the user was CHARGED with the roaming data HE/SHE DID NOT USE. It is utterly irresponsible for the telco to have done such a thing.
In Flexiroam, we have clear, understandable and easy to follow instructions on how to deactivate and activate our data roaming services.
We DO NOT have any HIDDEN CHARGES, HIDDEN TERMS AND CONDITIONS, NO CONTRACT and NO LONG-TERM COMMITMENT but it is simply a PAY-FOR-USE data roaming service.
Download the app or visit our website at https://www.flexiroam.com and enjoy using our data roaming services.
Reference: <https://www.visa.com.sg/about-visa/newsroom/press-releases/singapore-households-estimated-to-be-worlds-7th-top-overseas-travel-spenders-by-2025.html> <https://web.facebook.com/singtel/posts/at-the-rate-singtel-handles/10152205975931677/?_rdc=1&_rdr> <https://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/iphone-chat-room-240/data-roaming-cellular-data-off-but-still-charged-data-roaming-5519417-2.html> <https://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/iphone-chat-room-240/data-roaming-cellular-data-off-but-still-charged-data-roaming-5519417.html> <https://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/singapore-singtel-fraudulent-data-roaming-charges-c879934.html> <https://www.facebook.com/singtel/posts/at-the-rate-singtel-handles/10152205975931677/>