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We have to unmask Digicel

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Tue, Mar 03, 2015

EDITOR: Analyzing the Retail Rates as of February 9, 2015, published by the NTRC, I came to several conclusions. Digicel’s pre-paid non Blackberry mobile data rates are shockingly discriminatory.

This is the perfect example of how to exploit mobile cell phone users. BlackBerry Personal Consumer Market has declined significantly over the last few years.{{more}} Why must Digicel exploit pre-paid non Blackberry mobile users in broad daylight like that?

One of Digicel’s day plans offers 60MB costing $2.99, while Lime offers 150MB for $2.75 for the same day plan for non Blackberry users. Lime is able to offer 90MB more and is still cheaper than Digicel. Digicel’s Blackberry mobile users are offered 750MB for a day plan at $15, while non Blackberry users are offered 250 MB at $12. It is difficult to analyze Digicel’s rates and come up with a different conclusion other than ‘rip off’! To give an idea how the Digicel day plan works, I cannot listen to YouTube on my cell for more than an hour. What is so unique about Digicel, that all their rates must be significantly higher than Lime?

For the same users (pre-paid Blackberry) Lime offers Unlimited Data for $10 or less and non Blackberry users are offered 750MB for $12. Digicel offers the lowest MB at the highest cost.

And then Digicel mobile rates are over 30 per cent higher than Lime, even Digicel to Digicel calls are higher in comparison. Digicel mobile users need to scrutinize in greater detail what Digicel offers in terms of rates, inducements, etc. When we ask our friends and family in North America to top up our Digicel phones, it means fewer remittances will be available for us and fewer barrels at Christmas time.

All this is primarily at Digicel’s benefit. Their aim seems to maximize revenue collection in United States dollars. When we top up online at Digicelsvg.com, this is all done in American dollars. It saves Digicel conversion rates! That’s why Digicel spends so much time and money trying to get us to top up online.

To get any benefits from triple credit and double top up for mobile users, we have to live on our cell phones every minute talking. The terms and conditions attached to this extra credit make it difficult for us to benefit meaningfully.

We, as consumers, need to wise up and manage our mobile data and calls in a smart way. We do not benefit much from any Consumer Watchdog body with regulatory power. Minister Gonsalves suggested several times, that Internet rates are overpriced and under powered. It is time for the Minister to tell us something different, tell us what will be done about it, moral suasion not working, certainly not with Digicel.

It is glaring; Digicel formulates the dumbest and most costly packages to offer its customers.

GB

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