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Maxis customer gets a Bill Shock from Roaming, “Unmatched” Customer Experience [Comment]

A Maxis customer traveled to Mauritius recently. The customer came back home two months ago and found out she was charged RM800 for data roaming despite no data was used, she claimed.

Unlike the other Telcos, Maxis is the only mobile operator in Malaysia to provide “Unmatched Customer Experience”. In May 2015, the Telco said it is IMPOSSIBLE for its postpaid customers to experience bill shock, “no matter which Maxis postpaid plan you’re on” or “your money back”.

“Nasty bill surprises do more than cost customers money. They instill fear and mistrust. Which is why with something like ‘Zero Bill Shock’, we knew a marketing claim alone is simply not enough. Like with all our customer experience promises, we wanted to set extremely clear and tangible promises so customers know exactly what to expect from us. And in order to keep ourselves on our toes, we invite the customers to experience – even test – every one of these improvements for themselves.” said Sulin Lau, Maxis’ Head of Marketing Services.

This wasn’t the case for P.Kumari who was charged excessively for roaming. The matter wasn’t resolved immediately by Maxis customer service despite its “money back” guarantee. As reported by New Straits Times (NST), P.Kumari said “I raised the issue with Maxis’s Customer Service Department after my return to Malaysia, but they could not resolve it.”

“I hope Maxis can look into this matter as I have been a loyal Maxis user and promptly paid my bills all these years,” she said.

Eventually, a Maxis spokesman told NST’s Actionline that the matter was resolved. However, it wasn’t clear if the Maxis customer was happy with the solution.

Maxis said that the customer “was charged pay-per-use for roaming because Maxis does not have a preferred (telco) partner in Mauritius.”

“However, Maxis is working towards having a preferred partner in Mauritius in the near future so that our customers can enjoy worry-free data roaming pass there,” reported New Straits Times.

For postpaid roaming in Mauritus, Maxis charges RM38 for every one Megabytes (1MB) usage of data. Calls to Malaysia is charged RM11.99 per minute and SMS is RM1 each. For Hotlink Prepaid, the rate is RM30 per MB, calls to Malaysia at RM10/min and RM1/sms.

Maxis ‘Zero Bill Shock’ claim is based on 5 distinct promises covering different elements of postpaid charging including Pay-Per-Use (PPU) data charges, calls & SMS rates and even roaming.

  • NEVER WORRY ABOUT UNINTENTIONAL DATA CHARGES – Smartphone “oops” are unavoidable, but Maxis won’t charge you for it any more. The first 250kb of accidental PPU data every month is now free, whether caused by your child playing with your phone or accidentally launching an app
  • NEVER WORRY ABOUT DATA CHARGES WITHOUT WARNING – For those without monthly internet passes, Maxis will SMS alert users BEFORE they even charge and they will SMS you again for every RM10 of data usage
  • NEVER WORRY ABOUT DATA ROAMING BILL SHOCK – Maxis promises you will never exceed RM38/day in data roaming charges in over 106 countries. Even if you’re visiting a new country, you won’t even need to remember the preferred roaming operator in each country because Maxis now automatically selects the right network for you
  • NEVER WORRY ABOUT CHARGES TO ANY LOCAL NUMBER – With the MaxisONE plan it no longer matters what numbers you call – whether you are calling fixed lines or mobile lines, making short calls or long calls, peak or non-peak. Your domestic call and SMS charges will always be zero.
  • EVEN WITHOUT A DATA PLAN, YOUR PAY-PER-USE DATA WILL NEVER EXCEED RM50 – Maxis doesn’t believe in the industry practice of penalising PPU data usage by charging the equivalent of RM10,000 per 1 GB. Which is why Maxis is the only telco that now caps PPU data charges at RM50/month

Maxis uses Roaming Service Controller (RSC) solution from Mobileum for selected countries. RSC is a roaming management tool that helps subscribers track and manage their data roaming usage in real-time, to prevent bill chock.

Comment:

As the Maxis Head of Marketing said, “marketing claim alone is simply not enough”, it was a different case for P. Kumari as she was charged excessively for roaming.

Here’s some of my thoughts on Maxis “Zero Bill Shock Promise”:

  • Will Maxis be held accountable for their guarantees and promises?
  • Where there other similar bill shock cases?
  • What are the meaning of these No Bill Shock claims (Maxis may have a different definition of these words): “…or your money back“, “If you didn’t intend to use it, you won’t be charged for it
  • Since this is not a “marketing claim”, is Maxis bold enough to compensate 10x the amount of bill that was wrongly charged to prove their sincerity?
  • Why did the Maxis customer service team took so long to resolve P. Kumari’s bill shock problem?
  • Did Maxis apologise to P. Kumari for the bill shock?
  • Since Maxis doesn’t have a preferred roaming partner in Mauritius, will the other existing customers get bill shock as well?
  • What further guarantees does Maxis have to offer to customers who will be roaming to other countries in the future?

About Kugan

Kugan is the founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy