SmarTone, a caution for Expats. PCCW however is honest and fair..

If your an Expat on assignment in Hong Kong, we found that the consumer protections for Expats are not quite up to speed with other areas of the world.   Expats often move, in our case after four years in HK. When departing PCCW will review your contract and work out a departure plan that includes early termination of your agreements. It is still a bit painstaking, but it gets done to you satisfaction.   SMARTONE however, is a true nightmare for a departing expat. They advise you are stuck paying the full amount for the full term of the agreement and get nasty when asking for consideration to terminate at time of your move out of HK.  And they go after you! be careful when deciding on going with not-so-SmatTone.  Be careful.


Let me see.

You're complaining a company you signed an agreement with doesn't like it when YOU want to break the terms of the contact.

I see the company holding no fault if YOU break the contract and they have every right to take you to court.

I see  some departing expats are a true nightmare for SMARTONE, especially when that expat joins a forum to moan how they're mistreated when they try to cheat a company.

Man up and pay up.

Again, due caution when singing up. Read their small print if it's even printed.  The Expat expectation is that this company would be like others around the world when departing HK to a new assignment. They are not, and they are very closed to allowing any communication on such an issue. But, PCCW is like the rest of the world...

Yes read the small print.
If it says, "12 months" it probably means you're agreeing to 12 months, not a shorter time with a hope they'll let you off if you decide not to bother keeping to the terms of the contract you agreed to.

Whatever Fred... It's not my phone contract anyway, so I didn't read it.    I did not read the small print at PCCW either, but they indeed work with the Expat customers upon departure for a fair settlement, realizing that Expats are faced with moves every now and then.   Again, the word is to watch out and exercise due caution when choosing your new service provider in HK.

Fred?   Anyway. The point stands.  Nothing at all wrong with SmarTone service throughout the stay in HK, and maybe even better than others in some areas.  But, this is an Expat forum and the advice is to read their small print, ask about what they do when you depart HK, and then carefully decide. One was not understanding or accommodating of a departing Expat, while the other choice was..

GaryYoungblood wrote:

Whatever Fred... It's not my phone contract anyway, so I didn't read it.

So what are you moaning about?
Are you now saying a company is holding you to someone else's contact?

Of course reading the small print is important, but you clearly didn't or you wouldn't have joined a forum to moan about someone keeping to their contract when you want to break it.

Let's look at this - The opening post says you want to break a contract you signed, but doesn't mention details such as did you get a free phone out of them when you signed it.

No free phone with this contract, renewed with own phone. You are so full of assumptions...  Why are you son interested in this anyway?  You must really like SmarTone to be so empathic. Or maybe this is a hobby?

Anyway, the point still stands, when the slick salesman in Central sells the phone deal to your arriving family, read through the pages of details and verify with them whether they have any clause for departing expats. 

SmarTone is the first provider in five different parts of the world to be so abusive and not lettingany access to management for discussion of the service termination, to the departing client and also the relocation company assisting the move..  On the contrary, PCCW was just fine. 

Point for Expats on this Expat forum, > be careful what you chose and do not assume forward thinking HK has all communications providers on the up-and-up like around the world.  .. 

Is there a Better Business Bureau in HK? Couldn't find it...


YOU signed a contract
YOU are trying to break that contract

They can legally and morally charge you a fee for early termination or they can hold you to the contract YOU signed.

No issue, save you opening post is trying to make them out as unfair or unreasonable when it's YOU who is at fault by your own admission.

Still, I think this is a civil matter rather than a criminal one, so you can always leave the country with the bad debt and hope they can't catch up with you for the money you owe them.
Be aware, if they do the court and collection costs could be pretty steep so perhaps better to just cough up and live with YOUR mistake.

You assume the bill is not being paid.  Your Tone sounds suspiciously like SmarTone itself..  Even the relocation company trying to work the services termination was taken aback by their audacity...

Fair warning to that one communications company in Hong Kong did it one way, and the other one did the other way.

Only one of the two noted companies had the typical internationally prevailing methods for ending their services for departing expats, - and that good, friendly, understanding, and proper acting company is PCCW.    :)     


Tell us, what is unfair about their practices?
Did they con you into the contract?
You've said their service was good, so there are no grounds to claim they didn't offer the services they promised and you've stated you want to break the contract.
Did they show any intent to break the contact or did you?
Have they acted outside the terms of the contract in any way?

You signed a contract knowing the terms - live with it.

They advise you are stuck paying the full amount for the full term of the agreement

OMG - They want you to stick to an agreement - What a terrible company.

and get nasty when asking for consideration to terminate

Given you joined a forum just to moan about how they want you to stick to your commitments, I wonder who got nasty.

Your Tone sounds suspiciously like SmarTone itself.

I also find paranoia is quite handy from time to time.

What you say is exactly the opposite of the experience I had with PCCW. I had to move out of HK because of a change in job - PCCW did NOT agree to any change of terms, and charged me the full amount for the rest of my contract term.

PCCW is as inflexible as anyone else when it comes to enforcement of a contract. It did hurt to lose HKD3,000 for an unintentional break of the contract. Such contracts in a lot of other Asian countries have expat break clauses where you are penalized but not to this extent. While a contract is a contract, and both parties have to honor it, I would say the PCCW contract is extremely harsh.

I would recommend anyone to carefully look at the harsh PCCW penalty before signing up for a long term contract. The same goes for other service providers.