Thursday, June 23, 2005

Funny Way To Do Business

A few days back, my mobile phone service provider sent me a letter informing me that my current mobile post-paid plan has been converted to a minutes plan. Basically what this means is that I would have to pay a fixed amount of ringgit every month for a fixed block of minutes and SMS text messages. Any extra call minutes or SMS that I use above the specific package will be charged accordingly. So now instead of paying a monthly service fee, everything I pay now goes towards my total call minutes and SMS text quotas. My kindly mobile phone company even calculated my average mobile phone bill based on my bills for the past 4 months. From the average, they have recommended me to take the 480 minutes plan with 50 free SMS texts.

“Recommended” is not actually accurate in this case. They basically switched me over to the 480 minutes plan based on the monthly average that they calculated which by the way included the service fee that I had to pay each month. If the people who actually come up with the calculation were to really look at my monthly bill they would surely find that I hardly use more than 30 minutes of calls each month. In fact, my SMS text total is usually 5 times more than my call total. If I stayed with the 480 minutes package that they assigned to me, I could have potentially wasted 450 minutes every month if I didn’t decide to change to a different plan. Instead of making their subscribers go through the hassle of changing to another plan from what they provider automatically assign to them they should have asked the subscriber to choose their own preferred plan in the first place. Imagine the number of calls to the customer service hotline they could have avoided had they did this instead of assigning the plan without the subscriber’s input.

On the bright side, I didn’t run into too many problems trying to switch my current minutes plan to another that has much less call minutes assigned to the block. It took me only a few minutes and a few questions to verify my identity to change my current plan that would give me a savings of RM50 per month on my mobile phone bill. The only downside to this new plan that I choose is that I get less free SMS texts compared to my recommended plan. I wished that the mobile service provider would allow unused call minutes to be converted to SMS text but according to the customer service person I talked to that day this was not part of the plan. Still the low cost for each additional SMS text and the RM50 savings that I’m getting from this plan makes this choice acceptable.

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