When Zero Mobile (also known as Zero SG) discontinued its mobile services in December 2019, it promised a comeback with “new and modular pricing plans.”
However, the firm never followed through with releasing any new plans.
The Australia-based company had been Singapore’s second virtual mobile telco after Circles.Life since it launched here in 2017.
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) later suspended its license in March for the failure to “address outstanding billing disputes.”
Besides an immediate suspension of its license, IMDA also blacklisted Zero SG and its directors.
Fast forward about three months later, Zero SG released a media statement today (June 30) in light of the reinstatement of its license by IMDA.
Zero SG’s License Is Reinstated
Looking back at its past journey, Zero SG’s CEO Glenn Mohammed admits that it has been fraught with challenges.
He said that they were taken aback when IMDA “unilaterally and without advance notice” suspended their license over 12 customer complaints.
While the firm thinks that IMDA’s reaction was “excessive”, they still respect IMDA’s decision and apologise for taking longer than they should have to resolve these complaints.
Most of the complaints in questions were addressed as a matter of urgency and resolved within a week of the suspension of our license, as we are already in the process of addressing them. Some complaints that required further information, took a little longer.
Although the wheels of bureaucracy turn slowly, we are happy to confirm that as notified by IMDA to us: Zero Mobiles’ operating license in Singapore was reinstated on June 24.
– Glenn Mohammed, CEO of Zero SG
License Suspension Caused “Damage” And Disruption
According to Zero SG, the telco have been working to secure additional investment, restructure its organisation and relaunch its service in conjunction with a system upgrade with partners in Singapore.
These changes were deemed to be “critical” to its project as it would have provided better prices, connectivity and fewer operational issues; ultimately benefiting the consumer.
Amid negotiating and implementing these changes, IMDA’s abrupt suspension of their license has “jeopardised” their project.
Negotiations were put on hold, the investment fell through, and it caused damage to their reputation.
Glenn said that IMDA’s labelling of Zero and its directors as ‘blacklisted’ were “unjustified,” adding that they never received any notice about the blacklisting from IMDA.
IMDA’s abrupt and very public dressing down of Zero was overly harsh. To our knowledge, no other company, even with their chronic billing issues being reported by their customers publicly, has been treated this harshly in Singapore.
– Glenn Mohammed, CEO of Zero SG
What’s Next For Zero SG Now?
Rounding up the media statement, Glenn implored IMDA to address “fundamental issues” that have stifled the growth of many local MVNO ventures, such as IMDA’s complaints process, credit reporting environment and market cannibalisation.
Now that Zero SG’s suspension have been lifted, Zero SG intends to review its options and reconnect with their partners to explore the possibility of relaunching its services in Singapore.
“We love Singapore and Singaporeans, and therefore we chose to invest in this market. It is our aim to be part of a more resilient, balanced, and a sustainable telecommunications sector in Singapore.”
Featured Image Credit: Zero SG
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