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SmarTone vodafone - frustrating

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  1. #1

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    Oct 2005
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    Angry SmarTone vodafone - frustrating

    OK, I am frustrated, but here it goes...

    When i signed up for my mobile phone contract 6 month ago, I initially wanted to buy a new phone and enquired about special phone offers that might come with a new contract. I was told that in HK they don't have such packages (in many countries you get a phone for free just to sign up), but have a standard reduced price for all existing customers, which smartone logically calls "customer price". Stupid me believed them (sounds logical as the difference between standard price and customer price is often marginally) and signed up without purchasing a phone.

    Yesterday i finally decided to buy a phone, and checked out smartone.
    First glance at the phone I wanted, I see two prices and the so called "customer price" looks good enough to buy the phone.
    Enquiring about the phone, I find out that the customer price is only available if I sign up for another 18 month (I am just 6 month into my existing 18 month contract...)
    Not too bad, I can live with that. Next thing they tell me that I also have to upgrade to a new HK$178/month plan.
    Trying to do my maths and asking them if my calculation is finally correct, I am told that as mine is a G3 phone, I also must sign up for at least one of the additional services like sports results, gambling, etc - another HK$35/month.
    Asking if there is anything else they have not told me yet, I find out about the HK$10/month admin charge (which I might pay already, but a plan openly advertised as HK$178 should not have so many surprises.)
    And to make the story complete, I will have to pay "a little bit more than advertised" if I don't have a DBS credit card.

    All in all I will have additional charges of more than HK$ 2,000 over 18 month, just to save a few hundred $$ on the original price.

    None of the extra charges is mentioned openly (beside a DBS logo I finally discovered below the price in the shop), and none of the staff was able to provide me with a leaflet of something that would tell you the "real" price.

    I have now decided to buy my phone somewhere else.

    Don't you also know these countries where they beg you to sign up and throw in gifts, accessories, and whatever? I remember in Singapore i even got presents for my birthday, vouchers every now and then, just because my monthly bill was so high. Smartone does not care that my bill here in HK averages HK$ 2500.


  2. #2

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    Jan 2006
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    Is that true? I'm about to buy a phone with Smart Tone...Maybe I should look at other phone companies


  3. #3

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    Oct 2005
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    it will be pretty much the same wherever you go to be honest as the handset with no contract attached to it will only be a few hundred dollars more than one with a contract.


  4. #4

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    i thought there are some companies that allow the what you paid for the phone to be used to offset subscription fees ?
    i remembered there is a abn credit card promotion with sunday or 3.. anyone have any details on that ?

    i saw a 3G phone at vodafone yesterday and i did not think the 450hkd discount is worth for me to subscribe to a 3G plan that I have no interest in using...


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Lol i totally 100% agree with that.. More or less all phone companies here are just rip off!... in states just simply sign your name and you get the latest mobile phone for free...

    but i always go away from mobile companies such as
    :1010, Smart Tone and the infamous 1 2 free (bull*******)


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    154

    I have been with one2free ever since I'd started to use mobile phone. They call me once in a while to give me special offers, eg, a cheaper plan. Maybe a way to keep long term customer. Just don't find they are that bad......

    Quote Originally Posted by shiver
    Lol i totally 100% agree with that.. More or less all phone companies here are just rip off!... in states just simply sign your name and you get the latest mobile phone for free...

    but i always go away from mobile companies such as
    :1010, Smart Tone and the infamous 1 2 free (bull*******)

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    its not that the company is bad actually its the false ads that annoys me.. but then again.. all most all of them are PCCW so i don't think it matters..

    I myself use sunday (PCCW)


  8. #8

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    on the other hand, i think the plans here are probably cheaper than in the states. so its not fair to say that u are being ripped off.
    if u are paying 170hkd, which is only 20USD for the free minutes and stuffs, i don't think you can expect them to give you much freebies without a long contract.


  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by freeier
    on the other hand, i think the plans here are probably cheaper than in the states. so its not fair to say that u are being ripped off.
    if u are paying 170hkd, which is only 20USD for the free minutes and stuffs, i don't think you can expect them to give you much freebies without a long contract.
    True, its defenitely not a rip off in terms of overeall costs. It's more about all the hidden costs that are not advertised. If they just could be open and honest right from the start. Instead you have to dig really deep to find all the dirt...

    Not sure about US, but i know a lot of people at home who don't have a mobile phone because it is just too expensive. Good old Europe! Just checked online, at home they advertise 50 minutes free talking for EUR 15/month, every additional minute cost EUR 0.29. SMS cost EUR 0.19. Makes smartone look like a real bargain after all...

  10. #10

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    Jul 2006
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    who don't have a mobile phone because it is just too expensive.
    Very true in many countries. Then again , the HK pricing model doesn't have free incoming, which makes the 1000s of minutes on offer not really comparable to other countries. You can call a mobile for free, again very different from many countries.

    So, the plans are not really comparable, though it is cheaper to use a mobile here. However, they can do without the scams, like the one mentioned above as well as the "one minute blocks" for timing calls etc which are always in the very small print.

    I end up using PCCW and CSL for most things simply because I can usually speak to somebody and be understood. Try calling HKBN for their broadband phone - the lady at the hotline had been taught only one line - "Can you speak Chinese?". Since I can't - I gave up and went back to normal phone with PCCW

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