‘Hello? Hello? Ma move into the other room I can’t hear you!’ With three main telecom providers on the market, it is difficult to know who will give a decent service with a fair contract and unnecessary bill shocks. The following are MCA’s Consumer Tips when choosing a telecom provider.
Consumer Tip #1: Monitor Usage Patterns
Oh no! It’s still the beginning of the month and my data has run out – no more belting out favourite songs while driving to work! To avoid going over your monthly allowances, monitor usage with apps, such as My Data Manager, which provide an approximation of mobile data usage. You can also use your service provider’s balance check to see monthly usage for calls, SMS and data.
Consumer Tip #2: Subscribe to an Internet plan that suits you
If you can’t get enough of streaming Netflix, you will need an unlimited fixed internet plan which offers fast speeds and unlimited downloads. If on the other hand, you’re looking for a fixed Internet plan for your parents who only use it for Facebook, then a plan with limited downloads will do the trick.
Consumer Tip #3: Test Reception
There are instances when poor reception comes in handy, like when it’s 5am and you’re still on your way home from Gianpula, and you’re avoiding calls from your parents. But, most of time, a bad signal prevents you from uploading a really cool pic on Instagram – so you should test the telecom provider’s reception by purchasing a prepaid SIM and using it in different places to gauge network performance.
Consumer Tip #4: Check out Roaming Footprints
Have you got the travel bug? Jetsetters need access to places of interest, maps and to upload those postcard moments! Before deciding on a provider, look into who can provide the best roaming rates and networks around the globe.
Consumer Tip #5: Understand Terms and Conditions
Terms and conditions can be a bore, but a necessary evil and must include:
- Contract duration (cannot exceed 24 months)
- Monthly repayments
- Maximum installation time
- Service levels
- Termination conditions
- Compensation if the service fails
- Payment options
- Penalties for unpaid bills
Consumer Tip #6: Track Complaints
Still being ping-ponged from one customer rep to another? If you’re unhappy with your service provider and lodge a complaint, ensure it is tracked and saved, and keep a record of who you spoke to when you filed it.
For further information, find the Malta Communications Authority (MCA) on Facebook or visit https://www.mca.org.mt/consumertips