When you ask a mobile phone user if they are happy with their current mobile operator, probably a very low percentage will answer with a resounding yes. Despite their lack of enthusiasm for their mobile operator, they still stay with the same operator for a long time.
Ask yourself, when was the last time you checked your mobile phone plan, and compared it against the competitors to see how it fares? Though the mobile services in Malaysia have improved by leaps and bounds through the years, there’s still room for improvement.
To add salt to the wound, the price we are paying monthly can be quite substantial. It is not uncommon for people to pay over RM100 a month to their provider. This amounts to about RM1,200 a year!
The problem is not just how much we are paying for our mobile plan, but about how we may be overpaying for features and services that we don’t need. Especially when itemised billing is no longer easily available, most people have no idea how much call time, SMS or data they are using. Unless, they do some snooping and really keep track of their monthly usage, they have no idea if they have signed up for a more-expensive-than-they-need mobile plan.
However, there are ways to reduce the cost of using a mobile phone in Malaysia. Here are five clever ways to cut the cost of your mobile usage, without sacrificing any of the great features you’ve come to expect.
1. Compare mobile plans
New deals are constantly introduced into the market, so it pays to see whether you can get a better deal elsewhere. Unless, your provider rewards you for your loyalty – which they probably don’t.
If you are the type who gets a new phone with a mobile plan contract, it pays to sniff around for a better deal towards the end of your contract. If your current operator is offering the same good deal, then you can just stick around – until something better comes along, of course.
Comparing all mobile plans in Malaysia with the latest smartphones is really easy right now. This will give you an idea whether to switch operator, or just to check the price of that spanking new iPhone with a contract!
2. Pay your bills on time
Most mobile operators charge an additional penalty to reactivate a barred mobile phone line. This is a fee that you should not have to pay. Just remember to pay your bill on time and avoid getting your phone barred.
However, if sometimes you just simply forget, try negotiating with the customer service operator. Let them know that you will be paying the bill on the same day, and sometimes they may just reconnect the line for you. Ensure you keep you promise though, as this does not always work.
3. Friends and family plan
DiGi has the friends and family service, where users can register six other DiGi numbers for free, to enjoy discounted rates for voice, video, SMS and MMS. If your family and close friends are all on DiGi, it makes sense to be in the service and enjoy great savings.
This is how much you can save:
Similar plan is also offered by other mobile operators.
4. Unlimited data plan
According to report published on Business Today, bill shock is estimated to now affect one in three phone owners, with bills often climbing well into the thousands of dollars.
This can happen to anyone. Even our Communication and Multimedia Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek was not spared. He was charged RM4,500 after data roaming for a few minutes in Indonesia!
What’s the solution to this problem? Even though mobile users can ease this by setting a maximum bill limit, and also sending notification when data usage reaches 80% or more, most mobile users are so afraid of getting a bill shock, they subscribe to the highest possible data plan instead.
Unlimited data plans are all good, but do you really need it? Today’s data plans provided by mobile operators are all “unlimited” where the usage is capped using Fair Usage Policy. This means you can still use your data even after exceeding your limit, at no extra costs, but at a much slower speed (64 kbps).
If you are fine with slower internet in the event you exceed your limit, then why pay the extra? If it really bugs you, you can always depend on Wi-Fi, which is available almost everywhere.
Here’s how much you can save by opting for lower data plan compared to a higher data plan:
5. Consider prepaid mobile plan
If you do not consider your smartphone as an extension of your arm, you may not even need a postpaid plan. For those who don’t really talk, message or surf on their phone, a prepaid mobile plan is a good option. With a set amount of credit loaded, there is no worries of exceeding your monthly phone bill budget!
And if you really need to use your phone when you run out of minutes or data, you can easily purchase more.
With a little more forethought and planning, you can outsmart your mobile operator and stop paying extra for services that you do not need. Start by comparing all mobile plans and find one that suits your needs.