How to completely turn off mobile data in Android?

When you own a smartphone, are you expected to be subscribed to a data plan with it?

Apparently, the answer is yes if you own an Android device.

Turning off Mobile/Cellular Data in the Settings

In iPhones, if you turn cellular data off, it means no cellular data — completely. As long as it stays off, you will not be charged for any unintentional background data use.

That is not the case for Android. Apparently, even if you turn off mobile data in your Android device and solely use wifi for internet connection, the system still uses mobile data and connects to the internet from time to time.

So now you can’t fault me when my money mostly goes to my ever reliable iPhone in the battle between the two systems. Continue reading

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Load Protect feature is permanently ON for all Smart Bro accounts

Well, I was just about to write about this: about how Android keeps accessing data even though Mobile Data is off in the settings. I mean, off means “off”, right? Apparently, that’s not the case for Android. For Android systems, OFF means OS Services will still use data and access the internet — charged to your account, unless you go the Airplane mode.

Anyway, just today, I received an SMS from Smart saying that the Load Protect feature of Smart Bro is now permanently turned ON. Furthermore, to surf your favorite apps/sites, you are now required to subscribe to a data package. Thus, this means that the automatic default rate of P5/15mins.of internet has been removed to avoid any unwanted charges.

Smart Bro advisory about the Load Protect feature

Smart Bro advisory about the Load Protect feature

Continue reading

Smart’s regular internet, is it P10 per 15 minutes now?

I have a Smart (Freedom) postpaid plan. I used it merely for internet via a pocket wifi. Since Unlisurf is now gone (the plan is not eligible for SurfMax), I opted for the regular P5 per block of 15 minutes data instead.

Last week, I used it for less than 45 minutes. Going with Smart’s current rate, my unbilled usage should have only been P13.39 (net of VAT), but instead what reflected in My Smart Dashboard was P22.32 (net of VAT).

Last Monday, I used it for another 26 minutes (less than 30 minutes). My total unbilled usage for 75 minutes should have been P22.32 (net of VAT), and yet lo and behold, My Smart Dashboard indicate I have unbilled usage of P44.60 (net of VAT). Continue reading

A clear testament that Smart Bro Flexitime is a rip off

So I’ve been blogging about this and calling @SMARTCares‘ attention for the last two weeks or so:

Perhaps, to make up for their flawed service or a futile attempt to buy me and this blog off, they reversed P100 to my Smart Bro account;

10-12-2015 8-11-09 PM

Indeed, I received that P100. But wait, there’s more »

Smart Communications, Inc. under-delivers on its Flexitime promise

I can’t seem to get over this issue. How can I? Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) was a disappointment, especially when it came to its Smart Bro Flexitime offering.

Just a recap on what my gripe was all about, I subscribed (and resubscribed) to Flexitime 100, a surf package that promises 15 hours internet browsing valid for 7 days at a cost of P100, but noted that my data minutes deplete faster than my actual use. On top of that, I observed that my data minutes are depleting further even if I no longer use that particular data connection.

After exchanging DM’s and replies with @SMARTCares on Twitter, they just can’t seem to help me at all. I’ve laid down my issues, complete with screenshots and everything, and they still can’t seem to get to the bottom of this mess. They said they’re investigating, but all my data minutes have already been fully wiped out (that’s according to their monitoring system, not based on my actual usage), and they still have to come up with a solution. Or, better yet, just admit that their system and this offer in particular is flawed. Read further and find out what happened next »

The curious case of disappearing data minutes in Smart #Flexitime

I was resubscribed to Smart Flexitime 100 this week. Yes, silly me — I didn’t learn from my experience about the depleting data minutes faster than real time use. But more than the hurried diminution of data minutes during use of Smart’s (Smart Communications Inc.) internet, what irks me the most is the continued depletion of data minutes even when their internet is not in use — at all!

I was using my Smart Bro sim for the last two days while subscribed to Flexitime 100 and plugged to my 3G Wifi modem router, the Huawei E355 — a batteryless pocket wifi that can only be powered when plugged in a running USB slot: Continue reading

The Smart Bro Flexitime Data Minutes that deplete faster than real time use

The Smart Bro Flexitime offers allow you to take full control of your time and enjoy every surfing minute.

Smart Bro Flexitime 100

Smart Bro Flexitime 100

The main feature of this offer is it’s basically internet charged by the minute — not by blocks of 15 minutes nor by volume. It is good for people who like to do ‘hit-and-run’ when it comes to internet use.

I subscribed to Smart Bro’s Flexitime 100, which allowed me 15 hours of internet access valid for 7 days. This subscription costs P100, and should translate to 900 minutes of data. Continue reading

Why the Need for a “Fair Use Policy?”

I don’t understand the need for a “Fair Use Policy” (FUP). No, I’m not even referring to Smart and Globe’s “unlimited” internet misrepresentation.

According to Globe’s website:

This policy allows us to maintain the quality of our mobile internet service and give all Globe customers a fair opportunity to enjoy our network.

Mobile surfing offers from Globe are generally meant for emailing, browsing and search activities. Customers who frequently use file-sharing software or download large files are usually the ones affected by our policy. Media streaming and downloading of torrents also contribute to the excessive use of bandwidth capacity.

If that truly is their intention, why not make users pay for what they actually use, instead of offering “unlimited” and capping them just the same.

Continue reading

The Complicated Globe Superplans

Subscribing to a new Globe Telecom postpaid plan today has never been complicated. Globe is trying to project that you are getting value for your money by making you go through their slow (and I mean slow and painful loading of their website) process of choosing the plan, gadget, combos, etc. The sad truth is — that is not the case.

If we are to simplify Globe’s postpaid plan and compare it to Smart Communications’, let’s take a look at the table below, assuming we are to get an iPhone 5 with 16GB capacity at both Plan 999:

  Globe Smart
Device iPhone5 16GB iPhone5 16GB
Monthly MSF* ₱ 999 ₱ 999
Cash Out* ₱ 19,200 ₱ 19,000
Free Data Unlimited Unlimited
Free Calls nil 40 mins.
Free SMS nil 100 texts
Remaining Consumable* ₱ 101 nil

* In Philippine Peso

Globe uses Peso Value as unit of measure to be allocated/amortized among the cost of the gadget (e.g., iPhone 5), combos, and consumables. Yet, it appears (from the table above) that you really are not getting value for your peso.

Smart Freedom Plan Updated

Plans and/or promos that you can subscribe to under the Smart Freedom Plan has been updated as of October 21, 2012, particularly Data plans. Now it includes various Always On denominations. Check out their webpage for more info.

Would have subscribed to one of the Always On options, but my Freedom Plan SIM was installed in my iPad, which since it’s not yet jailbroken, it can’t send SMS to complete the subscription. Another way could have been through the Account Management page in the Smart Communications website, but there was no option there for Data Packages, unlike when you’re using a Smart Bro prepaid SIM.

So there, another potential revenue gone for Smart.