Digicel announces prepaid plan changes

Abraham Smith and Jabbor Kayumov prepare a new smartphone to demonstrate the notification system. Photo by Mark Lyndersay. - Mark Lyndersay
Abraham Smith and Jabbor Kayumov prepare a new smartphone to demonstrate the notification system. Photo by Mark Lyndersay. - Mark Lyndersay

DIGICEL has announced changes to its prepaid plans in response to customer "pain-points" it has discovered in focus groups and in social media feedback.

From Monday, customers who sign up with a new prepaid card or access the Internet from a smartphone without a plan will get an on-screen notification explaining their options, which range from purchasing data at a rate of $1.90 per megabyte to plans that offer, at minimum, 15GB for $250.

CEO of DigicelTT Jabbor Kayumov said that in listening to the company's customers, they have found that data leakage, specifically losing credit on prepaid plans to apps that connect without user knowledge, causing confusion around mobile data charges.

"When I came here," Kayumov said, "I realised that many people were not using mobile data."

"A lot of the market is prepaid and there wasn't enough understanding about the use of mobile data, and that sipping of data was a big issue."

Digicel's investigations revealed that people were just turning off mobile data, rather than doing the work to limit access by apps to data.

"What the changes in the business and in customer behaviour seem to have been ignoring is that if the customer is unhappy, well, to me, that's toxic money."

The Digicel CEO acknowledged that pay-as-you-go plans end up being very expensive for customers and the company brainstormed ways to make using mobile data more transparent for customers.

"We've been working on this for 30 minutes every morning, 30 minutes every evening," said Colin Greaves, newly appointed corporate communications lead.

"Just on this, for the last eight weeks.

"I guarantee that customers will not have bill shock with their plans with this new system," Kayumov said.

"Once you make a connection, the notification will advise the customer on their options for data service from Digicel,"

"If you are unhappy, reach out to me and explain it to me." he said.

"If it's our fault, then I'll give you back your money. There won't be rebates for everybody, but we are willing to have a conversation and to take responsibility for the customer experience."

The company has been working continuously on the new notification system, testing on different smartphone brands and on both Android and iOS.

Noting that Waze is one of the most commonly used apps on the Digicel network, Digicel has made the location finding software zero-rated on its networks, which means that anyone with a smartphone can use it, even if they don't have a data connection. The app will not consume data on existing plans.

"This is what you use," said Kayumov, "we want you to be able to use it comfortably and often."

The company's online news service has also been returned to zero-rated status.

The company is targeting visitors to TT for Carnival with its revamped prepaid packages.

Of the new initiative, Abraham Smith, consumer director said, "The path to success is solving customer problems, not Digicel problems."

"We have been very deliberate about listening, on social networks, in focus groups. We are going to continue to listen to the customers, those are the signals we are paying attention to."


"Digicel announces prepaid plan changes"

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