Parliament Sitting on 3 November 2020

QUESTION FOR WRITTEN ANSWER


11. Mr Christopher de Souza:
To ask the Minister for Communications and Information what are the service standards required for telecommunication operators and whether these service standards are able to accommodate those who are less tech savvy such as those who are elderly.  

Answer:

The Info-communications Media Development Authority (“IMDA”) protects consumers’ interests by prescribing baseline requirements that telecom operators should adhere to.  These include requirements to accurately disclose subscription terms and conditions upfront to customers and provide avenues for customers to contest charges.  The IMDA has also stepped in to prescribe service standards for specific telecom operators where necessary.   

2. Several telecom operators have implemented measures to meet the needs of their elderly customers.  For example, some telecom operators have express queues for seniors at retail shops and processes for service providers to call customers back so they do not have to wait on the line for too long.  They will also arrange for elderly customers to be served by officers who can speak the same language or dialect when receiving calls on their hotline, where possible.  

3. IMDA’s Consumer Awareness and Satisfaction Survey conducted from January to March 2020 showed that consumers are generally satisfied with their telecom operators, and consumer satisfaction has improved in several areas such as telecom operators’ customer care services.

4. In addition to the measures by telecom operators, the IMDA organises programmes to help seniors learn to use mobile and digital technologies safely and meaningfully.  IMDA’s Seniors Go Digital programme has reached out to more than 36,000 seniors since it was launched in May 2020.  About 80% of the seniors who received training continue to apply the digital skills they have picked up in their everyday lives.  

5. The IMDA will continue to monitor the public’s feedback and work with telecom operators to better accommodate those who are less tech savvy, such as the elderly.