Facebook has come under fire for privacy related issues. But it seems an unsolicited sms from one of the telco’s premium partner got a subscriber concerned about the privacy of his mobile number

A Mr Ang wrote on Starhub Facebook Page that he was shocked to receive an unsolicited sms from eFusion reminding him that a premium sms service will be renewed for $20 if he didn’t send an sms back to to stop the service.

Mr Ang first called Starhub hotline and they told him to call eFusion. When he tried the eFusion number, it was a non-working number. Further calls to Starhub only led to more confusion.

Wrote Mr Ang on Starhub Facebook Page,

1. why am I getting this sms when I got no dealing wtih eFusion ?

2. I was told by Starhub CSC that their Premium Partner like eFusion has all the subscribers' phone numbers from Starhub. Why is this so and how is Starhub protecting our privacy ?

3. how is Starhub ensuring that their Premium Partners do not anyhow bill their subscriber, especially using unethical reminder to automatically renewing service?

4. is Starhub ensuring that all its Premium Partners identify themselves clearly on their sms, the service that is being provided and also add working office number for clarification instead of the agonising time-wasting process of going through 1633?

Point number 2 sounds rather disturbing as it seems that Starhub is sharing or “selling” mobile phone numbers of subscribers to Premium Partners. This means any Starhub mobile user could contact you for telemarketing purposes.

Is this explanation a mistake on the part of Starhub’s CSC? If it is true, are there any options to opt out of this? Are there any SLAs between Starhub and their premium partners to ensure that this is not abused?

Are the other two telcos, M1 and Singtel, also practising this? Do they have options for their subscribers opting out of it?

To readers, are you concern about the telcos giving away mobile numbers to premium partners? If you are, please comment below.


  1. Zhong  

    October 26, 2010 at 6:12 PM

    I am with M1 for 9 years. Reading these kind of story, it seems I am spared from the 3rd party provider.

    I am not sure about other M1 customers, though.
    One thing I do, I only deal with M1 shop directly. I learned enough not to go to any authorised dealer anymore.

  2. Aaron Koh  

    October 26, 2010 at 7:03 PM

    Hi Zhong,

    The premium partners refer to other service providers that Starhub works with such as eFusion.

    You are right though. It could be better to go to the vendor directly.

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