U Mobile had kicked off the new year with their latest slogan “Simply Different”. Now they are doing a special promo where you can get a Nokia E5 or Nokia 7230 absolutely free only at selected U Mobile Service Centres at Berjaya Times Square, 1 Utama, AEON AU2, Sunway Pyramid and BBT One Bukit Tinggi.
Having to see U Mobile giving free phones now is something different, but there are some similarities in the way the phones are being bundled. Firstly the offer is primarily tied to a UB68 Data Rate Plan which gives you unlimited data access (5GB FUP) with bolt-on U Mobile Pay as you use Voice Plan. Now doesn’t that remind you of DiGi’s Smart Plan? Let’s take a closer look at U Mobile’s UB68 + PAYU rate offer.
For the Nokia 7230 bundle, it is tied with a 12 months contract while the higher end Nokia E5 is tied longer at 18 months. Upon sign up, you would need to pay 5 months advance payment which is equivalent to RM340.
Now looking at the call rates, things start to look more expensive. The Pay As You Use (PAYU) rates are charged at 20sen/minute for calls within U Mobile and 25sen/minute for calls to other network. While SMS are charged at 5 sen to U Mobile and 15 sen to others. For those who talk a lot, obviously U Mobile’s PAYU rate for this bundle isn’t worthwhile. Plus, it is even more expensive than their U Mobile Prepaid rate of 18/sen per minute to all networks.
If you do spend a lot on calls and SMS, U Mobile does not have any tiered discount like what’s being offered by DG Smart Plan. The way we look at it, the cost of the RM0 Nokia devices is transfered to their higher than usual call rates. Before you sign up, we suggest looking at your call usage first as 25 sen/minute for calls is quite pricey. If you’re a heavy data user, you also would need to consider about their coverage area as U Mobile’s 3G coverage is only available at a selected areas such as Klang Valley, Ipoh, Seremban and JB.
Instead of offering phones for free, U Mobile should consider offering partial phone subsidy and PAYU rates that match current industry rates. Consumers these day are getting more cost conscious and the usual dangling of FREE carrots doesn’t work as well as they do before. For higher usage customers, why not offer discounts on bill or offer credit rebates for subsequent months? That way customers will feel that they are saving more on U Mobile compared to its competition. Speaking of savings, we sincerely hope that U Mobile will once again offer per second billing which they have championed previously.
According to U Mobile’s Facebook page, this will be officially available 13th January onwards but you can pre-book at Berjaya Times Square from now until Sunday. Seriously? Pre-booking for a low-mid range phone that’s already widely sold in the market? We don’t understand why can’t they start offering it now.
For more information, head to U Mobile’s Facebook page.
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