The KL Series Starts: More Phone Roaming Problems

I'd hate to start this Kuala Lumpur visit series with a problem but I might as well get this out of my system. My phone didn't work on time again. Remember, India? Well, it happened again and I ain't amused. I wonder why they offer roaming services at all for prepaid accounts when twice, I have not been able to use my phone - contrary to their promises.

I applied for roaming on April 24, which was more than 3 days from my departure of April 28. I even told the girl I was dealing with of my problem in India (when I previously applied for roaming but in the end, still had to call my husband using the Oberoi hotel phone to complain that my phone refused to work!) and she said: "Minsan kasi may problema sa carriers sa India. Intermittent ang service. Pero sa KL po, for sure na ho na walang problem."

Well, nothing is ever for sure. I ended up buying an Extisave phone card at Lot 10 Mall (look for the information desk on the first floor.) I got the card worth RM 30 (that's about P450) but there were also cards worth 20,50, and 100. I complained to my husband on April 29. Up until May 1, I could still not use my phone. May 1, it finally worked after the telecom company concerned said they will now manually activate it. Why did it take them so long to fix it? And why did they manually activate it so late? At least in India it only took them one day. They also didn't insist that it was activated (when it was not, since I could not use it - NO ACCESS was a familiar daily message) then, unlike in Kuala Lumpur.

So, I was able to use my cellphone during the last day of my trip. So much for convenience. At least, with my Extisave card, I was only charged RM 0.65 per minute for an overseas call even if I called from a hotel phone. Without an Extisave card, it would have cost RM 6 a minute.

My officemates, who all had postpaid accounts, didn't have any trouble though as their roaming was automatic. One of them kidded me by saying that I should get a postpaid plan to prevent any future hassles. And reward inefficiency with higher, assured revenues? No way. If I do go postpaid sometime, I will definitely shop around for better service.

» Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Index of Articles

[By Angelica Viloria | Tuesday, May 25, 2004]

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