Smart

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. …

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: …

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. …

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.

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.

The Truth About Smart’s Freedom Plan

Smart Communications’ Freedom Plan is a postpaid plan but without the minimum monthly service fee (MSF). In other words, you only pay for what you actually used. For me, this is like a prepaid sim without load expiration, but without the worry of where to reload. This is perfect for my iPad (Wifi + 3G), especially that I have wifi both at home and in the office, and I only need to use 3G connectivity when I’m out.

Applying for the plan, according to the official webpage, is as easy as showing your face at any Smart Wireless Center and present a valid ID. But talk about false advertising. Here are additional important details you need to know that are absent from their website and/or ads: …

Smart vs. Globe Battle on iPhone 4S

Unbox did actual tests of both networks on two iPhone 4S’s.

Truth is I’m not surprised at all by the results. Smart Communications beat Globe Telecom 8 times to nil. Based on my personal experience, Smart’s 3G network is usually faster as compared to Globe’s, even at the heart of the Ayala Center in Makati, which is supposedly Globe’s home turf. Nevertheless, I just hope Smart could/had broaden its 3G wireless network coverage to include my hometown, in Tigbauan, Iloilo, as I’ll be spending my time there during the coming holidays.

Smart Telecom’s ‘Always On’ Plans

As I have commented at Yugatech’s post, this is exactly what I’ve been waiting for. I hope Globe will implement the same, if not a more attractive, plan soon. Otherwise, I may have to get that Gevey Sim to use Smart in my iPhone 4.

Check out the new tiered pricing from Smart:

This is what you can call ‘You Pay for What You Use’. …

Smart GPRS

About two weeks ago I received an SMS from Smart saying that I can now browse the internet through GPRS for only P10 in 30 minutes. It states further that my P10 does not expire automatically once I quit my connection. Instead, I’ll start from where I left once I resume browsing the net.

Using a USB data cable to connect my phone to my PC via Nokia PC Suite installed in my laptop, I tried opening “Connect to the Internet” (which by the way uses the phone as a modem). Guess what? It worked!

At 460.8 kbps, …

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