Zero Mobile and its directors blacklisted, IMDA suspends service licence


The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has blacklisted telco Zero Mobile and its directors, along with suspending its licence to provide mobile services in Singapore. This comes following Zero Mobile’s failure to address outstanding billing disputes with ex-subscribers in spite of IMDA’s reminders, following the cessation of Zero Mobile’s service plans in December 2019. 

Zero Mobile entered the Singapore market in September 2017, licenced by IMDA. The telco also claims to have no lock-in contract plans in its services. Marketing has reached out to Zero Mobile for comment. 

Currently, IMDA is investigating Zero Mobile for contraventions of consumer protection requirements under IMDA’s Telecom Competition Code, and will take enforcement action if there are any breaches. Concurrently, IMDA has worked with Zero Mobile to minimise the impact on about 230 ex-subscribers affected by its service cessation, including ensuring the porting of their numbers to existing telcos. According to IMDA, it has also directed Zero Mobile to resolve its billing issues with ex-subscribers, and advises affected ex-subscribers to stop their recurring auto-payment arrangements, if any, with Zero Mobile. 

“We are currently assisting 12 remaining ex- subscribers with their billing issues. If Zero Mobile fails to comply with IMDA’s direction to resolve all billing disputes, IMDA will cancel Zero Mobile’s licence on 18 March 2020,” the statement read. 

Meanwhile, Zero Mobile was one of the telco players took a shot at Circles.Life's founders' letter in April 2019. With a version of its own, Zero Mobile said Circles.Life's letter is "preoccupied with alternative facts". This came a day after Circles.Life released an ad, in the form of a letter on The Straits Times and The New Paper, to fellow telcos “red” (presumably, Singtel) and “green” (ironically, StarHub) in Singapore. The letter said that its competitors “finally recognised that its customers are not happy”. In Zero Mobile's open letter, it called out Circles.Life for saying it's the "world's first digital telco" when in fact it is a mobile virtual network operator.