Yesterday, I made the switch from Smart Communications to Globe Telecom. After more than six years with this mobile number, it wasn’t necessarily easy, but a variety of factors made the decision a virtual no-brainer.
My lock-in with Smart ends December 17. Yesterday, I was still on the fence regarding whether or not to go prepaid or go for a smaller postpaid line with either Smart or Globe. My officemate Bheng was raving about a flexible plan where the total postpaid amount was consumable in either SMS or phone calls. (I thought she was on Globe; it turns out she was talking about Smart.) To make the decision easier, I called Smart, and here’s what I learned from their operator:
1) If I wanted to downgrade to a cheaper line, I would be charged a processing fee.
2) I could terminate the plan anytime before the end of my contract. All I had to do is call them and the monthly advance I paid at the start of my plan would cover the last month.
3) She says they don’t have what I called a ‘flexible plan.’
I was appalled that I was going to be charged a fee to downgrade my line, and taken aback they did not have a flexible plan. I called it ‘flexi plan’ because that’s what Bheng called it. (Turns out Globe’s consumable postpaid plans are called GFlex. Globe, you may need to rebrand your consumable plan because people think it’s a Smart plan. Smart, you need to tell your operators about your consumable plans and the alternative ‘flexi’ so they’ll know what to answer if people ask.)
I then visited the Globe Platinum Service Center on the fifth floor of Glorietta (near Friday’s), where I was assisted by a lovely girl named Maps. She filled me in on the different options available to me via GFlex, and this is what I learned:
1) GFlex is a consumable plan that allows me to choose however I wish to spend my PHP1200 on. SMS or calls. It’s like prepaid on a postpaid plan, without the hassle of reloading whenever my load runs out. That’s exactly what I want. (Smart has it too, but surprise, I’m not willing to pay extra just to shift plans. You’d think a six-year subscriber would at least merit some kind of loyalty.)
2) I can choose the last four digits of my number, assuming it is still available, for free. OMG! It could be, like, 0917-831-GANS! Heeheehee! Vanity mobile number!
3) Cathy is also on Globe, so texting and calling her will be cheaper. Plus, I can take advantage of Globe’s 232 and 235 services for short and long calls. Additional savings!
4) I already have a fantastic mobile phone, so what would I do with the new handset Globe will give me for my two-year lock in? Nothing, because Globe will help me pay for my gas! I couldn’t believe it. I get PHP900 a month for 12 months via Petron with my GFlex 1200 plan. I mean, come on!
Plus, Petron Blue Wave and Petron Macapagal Avenue have a promo now that says I can get triple my SM Advantage points when I gas up with them (until January 20, 2008)! More points! And if Cathy uses her credit card to take care of the difference between PHP900 and PHP1500 (which is the cost of a full tank of gas on my Philippines Hyundai Getz Gina), she also gets credit card reward points! Woohoo!
This is the clincher. This morning, I called Smart up to terminate my plan, and the operator told me that I had to go to a Smart Wireless Center with an ID to terminate it. Oh, and I had to do it on December 17, not before, and not after, or I would be charged. That wasn’t what I was told yesterday! And since there’s not a single Smart Wireless Center in all of Glorietta and Greenbelt, I need to get myself to the Smart center along Ayala Avenue, a brief and delightful 30-minute walk away, along Makati’s noisiest, most polluted road. On December 17. Hay, Smart, thy name is irony.
UPDATE: I just got my Globe SIM and I love my new Globe number! Please email me so I can send you my new Globe mobile number. I promise you, it’s AWESOME!