Sunday, July 29, 2012

Smart's Freedom Plan: Postpaid Plan Redefined

Who wants complete freedom with a postpaid plan that starts from ZERO, has no monthly fees, has no lock-in period and does not require the presentation of documents before you can be given a subscriber line?

That's what Smart is offering to prepaid subscribers now with its Freedom Plan.

My Smart Freedom Plan sim

For the next few months, I will be testing out this plan.

The facts: I'm a prepaid subscriber on both Globe and Smart (and I used to be one with Sun too). Many friends ask me why I have stayed prepaid all these years although I was a postpaid subscriber when I was still fully employed. I tell them that with prepaid, I can monitor my mobile spending based on how much I load (very important for one with no full-time job and is on a tight budget). I have the freedom to choose what telco and even what plan I will enroll in from day to day (I use my home wifi most times and only need internet when I am mobile). I am free of bill shock risk. When they tell me that postpaid subscribers get a free phone, I just shrug and tell them that the phone I want usually comes with a monthly plan (which is too inflexible for what I need) so I'd rather just buy the phone I really want and use a prepaid sim.

I really enjoy my prepaid freedom and won't just give it up and be tied to a network or postpaid plan unless I enjoy the same or better flexibility I now enjoy as a prepaid mobile user.

So when Smart invited me to try out their Freedom Plan, I agreed to give it a test run. Here's what the Freedom Plan is all about.

Key Features

* No fixed monthly fees (you start from ZERO)
* No lock-in period (you just get the SIM. No phones are bundled with the plan.)
* No documents to submit if you stay within the default credit limit
* No bill shock - Each SIM is ready with a P600 credit limit. You can mix/match the plan's  "postpaid buckets" for the month until you reach P600.

Available Postpaid Buckets

You can use a combination of any of available postpaid buckets (up to the credit limit of P600) in any month, depending on your planned usage. Just use the corresponding keyword and send to 9990.

For example, you decide to choose this combination:

Trio Talk 150 + All Text 200 = 150 minutes of Tri-net (Smart, Sun, Talk 'N Text) calls + 2,000 texts to all networks + 150MB internet surfing

That will only cost you P350. Since you're well within the P600 monthly limit, you can still avail of another postpaid bucket worth P250 within the month.

What if you are close to or hit P600 limit before month is over? 

You can do either of the following;

1. Pay what you have already used up so you can free up the credit limit and allow you to subscribe to more buckets. Payment is available in many ways: through Smart Store, online banking, Smart Money, etc.
2. You can always apply for a higher monthly limit. Smart will just require some additional documentation from you.

Rates when not on Postpaid Buckets

When you are not subscribed to any of the Freedom Plan postpaid buckets, the following rates will apply:

Voice calls per minute (to Smart, Talk 'N Text - P6.50
Voice calls per minute (to other networks) - P7.50
SMS/MMS to all networks - P1.00/SMS
IDD per minute (to any country) - US$ 0.40
International texts (to any country) - P10.00/SMS
Mobile surfing - P10 for every 30 minutes

Current Promo for New Freedom Plan Subscribers

For new Freedom Plan Subscribers up to January 15, 2013, you can enjoy a 10% rebate on the first 6 months of your subscription under the following conditions:

1. You have a paid bill of at least P300
2. You paid your previous month's bill completely

Rebate is applied on your next bill.

How to Apply

1. Just visit any Smart Store.
2. Present just one valid school or company ID.
3. Pay a P250 application fee.
4. You get your Smart Freedom SIM on the spot. Within 24 hours, you can begin availing of the Freedom Plan.

While the initial target market of the Freedom Plan is yuppies in their 20s to early 30s, on a tight budget because they are just establishing their careers, I already see that there are other markets that will want this kind of plan. Senior citizens who may be living on pension are also on a tight budget and want to stretch their load and cap it at a predictable amount.

I am eager to test this plan for several months and see how this would fit the budget needs of my own kids, some of whom are fresh out of college and fall within this target market.

How does the Freedom Plan sound to you? 


Anonymous said...

how about subscribing to mobile browsing which is 1000 and your credit limit is 600???

Jane said...

@Anonymous - Good question. I also asked Smart that. I guess if you will be using that option regularly, it pays to ask for a higher credit limit from the start. You just need to present some docs, according to them. But wait also because they will be bringing the Always On plans in at some future time.

Anonymous said...

will u pls.mention a plan wc cntains free fone?

Anonymous said...

Can I still enroll to other smart promos like all-net text 20 etc???

Jane said...

"will u pls.mention a plan wc cntains free fone?"

Unless Smart changes its features, the Freedom Plan currently does not have a free phone. The target market is different. This plan is for those who do not want lock-in periods. A free phone means a lock-in period.

Jane said...

"Can I still enroll to other smart promos like all-net text 20 etc???"

At the moment, the promos above are the only ones under Freedom Plan. But Smart is continuing to tweak this plan depending on feedback so the other plans now available on prepaid may still have a chance of being included. Stay tuned to their announcements.

Anonymous said...

Is it strictly for Students and Working Professionals only? Kasi nakalagay School ID or Company ID lang. What about those who are unemployed/currently out of job, these people are on tight budget too. Will they require more documents before one can apply or maybe deny the application altogther?

Edwin said...

I have a good idea when it comes to subscribing unlisurf... If your credit limit is only 600 /month, then you can avail of the blackberry add on instead.... < href =""

That's only 599/month... You may ask how? Click on the link above. If you are wise & vigilant enough, the blackberry add on 599 includes Unli BBM, BlackBerry Email, Social Networking and UnliSurf! See? UNLISURF.. They wouldn't know if you're using BB or not right? hehehe :) That's what I actually do with my SUN postpaid... plan 600 and unlimited internet and bbm and all.. except call and text... haba na! hehe Suggestion lang naman po... pero diba, pwedeng pwede? ;p hehehe Let me know if it works for you! :) yebah hehe :) wag na lang siguro maxado maingay para di nila mahalata hehehe :)

Edwin said...

For All In and Freedom Plan Subscribers

UI, paedit na lang nung unang link haha mali ang anchor text ko lols :) Thanks

Edwin said...

Oh teka, my bad haha... parang add on lang talaga ata yung bagong price... so baka on top xa ng 600? pero confusing kasi ang freedom plan ay parang load mo ung 600 diba? :)