Sunday, July 13, 2008

Smart Quietly Kills Off Addict Mobile And My Cellphone Number

I have been an Addict Mobile subscriber for 5 years.

My cellphone was recently stolen so I had to ask for a replacement SIM card. On my first visit, Smart promised me that they will be requesting a new SIM card as the SM Bacolod office had none available.

Ten days later, they asked me if I wanted to get a Smart Gold SIM card instead so that my service would be restored earlier. But there was a catch - I would not be able to retain my old cellphone number.

The reason was that Addict Mobile uses a different type of SIM card (well, I would think that it's the same, only encoded differently) and there was a NATIONWIDE shortage of the cards. To their credit, they offered to write to other Wireless Centers to see if they had any spare cards.

I told them calmly that I would be arranging this in Iloilo City instead, after they assured me that there would be a bill adjustment for the time period that I was not able to use my postpaid plan.

I thought about it, and when I checked it, I realized that Addict Mobile is not even in the main Smart home page anymore.

Addict Mobile was much hyped a few years ago - an edgier, sexier service that had (for a time) a different set of available handsets, and an emphasis on GPRS and 3G.

Today, if you lose your Addict Mobile SIM card, or in the very likely event that it would be damaged, Smart cannot replace it. And if you need to have your service restored, Smart will have to give you a Smart Gold SIM with a new cellphone number.

I am presuming that Smart is quietly killing off Addict Mobile. This decision makes sense - Addict Mobile does not fit its new redesigned logo scheme.

Did Smart publicize the discontinuation of their Addict Mobile service? I have my latest bill here, and it still has an Addict Mobile logo on it.

And even if they did, would it be that hard to retain my old mobile phone number?

The main selling point for shifting to a postpaid plan from prepaid was that if you lose your SIM, you can get a replacement SIM with the same number. If my experience is any indication, you better stick to a prepaid SIM card.


Postscript: I went to the Smart Wireless Center at SM City Iloilo. There I was assisted by a wonderful Customer Care Officer named Jeanette. She told me that, yes, they're having problems with the availability of the Addict SIM card. It was sheer luck that there were a couple of SIM cards available (apparently requested by another subscriber) and that I get to keep my number after all. Jeanette, if you're reading this, thank you for being professional and efficient.

Notwithstanding this lucky event, I am still keeping the original post intact. Addict Mobile is being relegated to the shadows.

And I have yet to test the replacement SIM card.

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