Saturday, December 31, 2011

A pro-active regulator acting on behalf of consumers

Verizon (a telephone operator in the US) wanted to charge a "convenience fee" of $2 to its customers making a payment through the telephone. It drew protest from consumers. The regulator, i.e. the Federal Communication Commission, felt that it was their duty to look into this fee "on behalf of consumers" to see if any regulation has been infringed.  Verizon changed its mind and decided to withdraw this fee.

Read this report "Verizon scraps $2 fee"

The approach of the regulator in America seem to be quite different from the regulator in Singapore. The US regulator felt that it was their duty to look after the interest of the people. The Singapore regulator would probably say that this is a commercial decision, and that consumers could go to another service provider.

I prefer the US approach.


yujuan said...

Dear Mr. Tan

We appreciate your tenacity on harping on issues that would improve the lives of ordinary people, and you would never give up hope in trying.
But we've seen time and time again, our Regulator detests getting his hands dirty, and won't wan to do what he terms as "extra tedious work" to be a jaga for the people, more prestigious to do monitoring on grander schemes for the outside world to see.
All Govt Agencies follow the same mould, taichi away the responsibility, concentrating on protecting their ricebowls first, like the new ex navy PUB CEO, blaming the Liat Towers Management their company pumps can't handle sudden excess rainwater flow when the Stamford canal is full.The failure of the small capacity of the canal to divert water away, the failure of the Marina barage to open the floodgates in time to drain canal water away fast, all these are never at fault, it's always the people's fault.
Ditto MAS's philosophy.
You never give up, do you.
Great, keep trying. We really give our hats to you.
God bless.

Lye Khuen Way said...

Hmm, this is one of those times when I sincerely wish our regulators could emulate those oversea in their discharge of their duties.
" People first, then money" was Suzy Orman motto. If only our elected leaders could agree to adopt it as well.

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