22 July 2014

SMART is arrogant, GLOBE is dumb. KAMOTE

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I left Globe late 2011 and moved to SMART. Nearly two (2) years later my situation with SMART has deteriorated to deplorable levels at home and so-so at work. Still no LTE for both. I got a Globe line recently and have been testing their service. I must admit the last time I was with Globe I had a terrible experience during their upgrade phase.

SMART - I pay 999PhP/monthly for 40 mins, 100 sms, and unlimited data.
GLOBE – for testing I got a 299PhP/monthly plan with 500 peso value, this peso value I applied to a GoSURF 499 package (1.5Gb data + Spotify Premium for 6 months) so I have 1 peso left. that’s 1 SMS everything else is on top.

My strategy: Reduce my SMART plan from 999 to 349 (the lowest plan with SMART) as I transition from SMART to Globe. Increase Globe from 299 to 999 (peso value 1,700) and get GoSURF 999 (5Gb).
The staff at Globe center V-Mall told me I can upgrade anytime so I call GLOBE and ask how to upgrade my plan. Now here is the dumb part: I was informed to upgrade my plan I needed to pay a pre-termination fee for the months I have left on contract (in my case that is 299 for 5 months = 1,495) this doesn’t make sense! I want to pay Globe more money but before I can do that I need to be penalized. I don’t like but I do understand a pre-termination fee to cancel an account or to lower a plan. What I do not understand why there should be a pre-termination fee for a plan upgrade.
Dear Globe. A pre-termination fee to upgrade a plan is dumb, it discourages subscribers from upgrading and giving more money to your company.
On the one-hand SMART is too arrogant to admit that their network still needs work. It seems they have stopped adding sites and my experience has been getting worse. Repeated complaints will only get you a canned response of “there is no issue in your area” and “reboot your phone”.

On the other-hand the GLOBE network has improved in the two years I have been away. Their upgrade policy is dumb so I am stuck for six months with a low plan which doesn’t really fit my needs.

The duopoly of SMART and GLOBE has left us with two shitty networks who don’t really take care of their customers, we need more competition, we need better regulations/regulators because the NTC clearly isn’t doing us consumers any favors and they are basically useless.

20 July 2014

Spotify Premium + LTE at Home. TYVM Globe.

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The Globe SIM card has activated at 6:38PM. I was able to link my existing free Spotify account and convert it to a Premium account. So I have Spotify Premium until January 21, 2015 2:43AM to be exact. 

Spotify Premium works across all devices even if it was registered via Globe. So it is working on the Mi3W which is currently using my SMART SIM card. 

Now on to the all important data. Do I have LTE at home? 

The answer is yes and the speed is good. This is a definitely a point for Globe and against SMART. 

Let me recap, 

At Home in Mandaluyong city: 
Globe = LTE 
SMART = No Service or GPRS or 3G with no data / slow data.

At Work Marikina city:
Globe = TBD, I need to test it. 
SMART = 3G acceptable speed

Note: with my plan I have 1.5Gb of data or 1500Mb that means 50Mb for 30 days. Not much for a heavy user but I think this will be sufficient for testing and emergency purposes. 

Back with Globe After 2 Years. I Hope I Don't Regret This...

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Got myself a Globe line after 2 yrs.  I hope I don't regret this. 
I chose the lowest plan possible which is P299/mo which has a P500 PV (peso value). For my combo I chose GoSurf 499 which includes.
  • 1.5Gb data
  • Spotify Premium 

So basically I have 1 peso left on my plan and everything else is on top. I do not expect to exceed 1.5Gb as this is a secondary line and not my main one. 

According to Gerry (or Jerry) the sales person at Globe Center V-Mall
  1. My LTE SIM card should be activated in 3 to 5 hours. 
  2. Spotify Premium is free for six months only, after that I can choose to continue the service for 129PhP/mo via Spotify or Globe (I haven't checked)
  3. Data allowance is not affected by using Spotify. I am skeptical that this is the case. I mean will they monitor the traffic on my device and mark Spotify's usage as free while the rest of my consumption is counted against my allowance? [edit: reading between the FAQ lines it seems Spotify Premium will eat up your data allowance. I hope you can still cache the songs over WiFi so your data isn't slurped up. http://www.globe.com.ph/help/data-and-network/gosurf-and-spotify/gosurf-spotify]
  4. As for setup... he said that once my SIM card is active I can switch over my free account to the Premium account. I am a bit skeptical is it truly that simple and easy? Granted Globe is Spotify's network partner. [edit: doing some research online and you can activate Spotify Premium 6-month trial here http://spotify.globe.com.ph/home/activate/manual/1]
Over the next few days I will chronicle (time permitting) my experience with Globe. This is the 3rd time I have returned to Globe, in the past I left them because of sub-par service. Since my main provider SMART telecom has been deteriorating and repeated complaints have fallen on deaf ears, I have decided to give Globe another chance. As always I opted for a SIM card only option so I am locked for six months only. 

If the service is worse than SMART I will cut the line but if it is better I may have to cut SMART. So I guess both are on probation.