11am, Singtel Compasspoint branch.
It has been drizzling this ever slightly since I woke up in the morning. But I still went ahead to attend the appoinment I had with my gynecologist. I reached slightly later than the appointment time, but luckily the branch wasn’t too crowded and I got the queue number 1005. I spent the time waiting for my turn exploring the store and observing. It’s interesting that they have already set up a section displaying accessories for the iPhone specifically. One other customer was already getting his baby delivered. Interestingly enough he’s rather aged. This is a good sign for Apple if the phone was meant for himself. One other interesting observation is that all the counters were at chest level. The customer service officer (CSO) would be seated behind the counters but the clients would be standing or leaning on the counters. Is this a sign of Singtel’s confidence in efficiency or a purposeful choice of making the customers have their transaction as short as possible?
Ah… 1005. Counter 1. The CSO was quite a nice guy. I explained to him whichever plan I needed and he knew what I wanted immediately. After we got all the nitty gritty details of the plan determined (such as cancelling my voicemail immediately), he asked which phone I want to get. Surprise surprise… So much for making appointment with Singtel and making reservations. *Ahem* Anyways, I declared that I wanted iPhone 3G, 16GB black model. He immediately informed me that the $100 off phone promotion is not applicable to iPhone 3G. An alarm sounded off at the back of my head. Where are the fine prints that mention the iPhone is excluded? Never mind that… Let’s proceed with the rest of the application.
I signed my signature on the dotted line. I saw the iPhone taken out from the store. *My baby!* The box was opened and the SIM card was inserted. Then… The store manager came and told the CSO that the promotion was already over. 27 August.
Shucks… My attempt to swindle the store has failed. Truth is I knew that the promotion was over on 27 August. But I didn’t notice the date until the day after. And I am rather confident that the date previously was 31 August. So I decided to go down in the morning to try my luck on some unknowing CSO… Hee hee hee…
Anyways, the CSO was kind enough to do some quick calculations for me. I’d need to pay $5 more per month for the following 24 months. That sets me back a total of $220 over the span of two years. Nah~ That’s too much. And I didn’t like the fact that Singtel is making some undocumented exclusion for iPhone anyways. So I kindly rejected the iPhone and bade it goodbye~
I have been tracking the whole iPhone 3G launch via Hardwarezone.com forums. It appears that this was a poorly coordinated launch, with different CSOs at different Singtel branches having different standards for what discounts are allowed, and what are not. Even the CSOs at the call centre 1626 (I’ve seen this number on the forum too many times) have different standards. I guess this is what happens when you start putting unnecessary exclusions for a single phone.
Next, it’s obvious that Singtel does not understand the minds of a typical Apple product user. Unboxing the product is meant to be part of the fun of owning an Apple product. Don’t jump up and say that I’m saying this because I am an Apple fan boy; because anyone who has owned an Apple product before can attest to this fact that the unboxing experience is different. However, the CSO just ripped the plastic wrapping apart himself, opened the box himself, and touch the virgin phone even before I get to touch it. Nooo~!!!
Maybe that by itself helped me to reject the changes in the contract.
And I have been preparing for the arrival of the baby la~ I’ve ordered the protective film and the right pair of earphones (that has integrated microphone and can remotely control the iPhone) from the US and they are in the process of shipping to Singapore right now. According to Yixin, this is like buying the crib for the baby before the baby arrives. Hur hur~
Well well… Me and my wife shall look forward to the day we become parents. Heh~