You may have seen my reviews of being a Globe postpaid subscriber and my reviews of being a Smart postpaid subscriber. This post is about the hassles of being a Smart postpaid subscriber, which is not included in my previous post (Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Get a Smart Freedom Postpaid). These are the inconveniences that you should know that Smart will not let you know. I consider the activities a waste of time because people nowadays are all connected to the internet and can process everything online.
1. Activating international roaming requires a deposit and a visit to the Smart Store.
Activating international roaming is a big convenience for travelers who will leave the country for a short time or for a long time. There are instances that the country that you will visit will not allow you to get a prepaid subscription if you have not stayed in the country where you are visiting for a short number of days, such as Korea. (You can only get a prepaid subscription once three days have passed since your entry to Korea.)
I don’t understand why Smart doesn’t offer an online “roaming deposit” payment and a page where you should press a “I AGREE” button where you will agree about the things you should know before roaming is activated.
2. Changing cellphone numbers cannot be done online.
If you’re a Globe postpaid subscriber, you can just call the hotline and just tell them that you want to change your cellphone number. With Smart, you have to visit the Smart Store again.
Smart could just make an online facility where they can ask their subscriber three kinds of options: random and custom. The custom will allow you to search for a number and then will quote you a price. The price on the custom page depends if it’s a golden number or just a normal preferred number.
3. Modifying your monthly cellphone plan cannot be done online.
If you’re again a Globe postpaid subscriber, it’s very easy. Just call the hotline, tell them that you want to change to a higher or lower plan, tell them the effective date (immediate or on the start of the new billing period) and that’s it. You can even change your plan directly at Globe’s MyAccount portal. Unfortunately with Smart, you have to visit the Smart store again.
My Dad has a Smart Plan 599 with unlimited calls and texts to Smart and TNT. I assume that my dad has submitted all the proof of financial capability when he applied for Plan 599. Much to my surprise, when he called the hotline, the agent told him that he should submit more proof of financial capability. I don’t understand.
Smart could have just provided an online facility where my dad can scan the required documents and then wait for approval online. Smart does it again. You have to visit the Smart store.
4. Facetime, Skype and watching video is not free while using unlimited data roaming.
Imagine that your relatives living in the United States suddenly contacted you via
Yes you got that right! Calls done through Facetime and Skype are not considered free even if you are paying for the one day unlimited data roaming.
I certainly agree that Smart should restrict its users from watching Youtube videos because this really consumes a lot of network resources but preventing them from using Skype or Facetime is completely absurd.
5. Their call center agents are just professional note takers and have no powers.
From my four year subscription with Smart, I observe that their agents love the phrase, “We’ll take note of that, Sir.” I requested one of their agents to send the details of all outgoing roaming text messages. Much to my surprise, it has been hours and their agent didn’t do anything.
6. The app is just for “display purposes only”.
To be really honest, there are lots of tasks that the customer service agents can do that the app can’t. Also, there are lots of tasks that can be done automatic by putting it into the app that Smart doesn’t. Smart just cares on one stuff–showing how much you should pay. That’s it. The rest should be done offline. Nice technology, right?
In the information age, it seems that Smart is not yet adopting business processes to be done online. Smart wants you to waste at most 3 hours of your day by queuing in their blockbuster hit Smart Stores that never ran out of frustrated prepaid subscribers. You would be very lucky if you have a Smart Infinity subscription because if you visit a Smart Store, you will get priority.
Smart should follow the practices of other telecommunications network outside the Philippines. If you take a look at AT&T, it’s as if AT&T wants to make life easier for its subscribers. AT&T wants things to be done online. My current telecommunications network here in Korea, also provides most of the options online. The only time that you have to visit a after-sales store is when you want to disconnect your line.
I am not endorsing Globe Telecom’s postpaid services but Globe’s postpaid deserves a thumbs up because they want you to process things through their hotline (even though you have to experience a lot of times you have to be placed on hold because the agent cannot find the correct help article) or process things online.