Not a long time ago, in one of my previous posts, I did write about the best prepaid service when you are 25 years old and above (click here to read). I threw in all the arguments, assumptions and comparisons and the final winner is Celcom Blue. I did mention the reason why Celcom Xpax was not included, simply because the rate are irrational and not realistic enough, at least in my point of view.
Celcom Blue holds the best prepaid title for quite a time, until 8th April 2011, situation somehow has changed.
Celcom has revised the rate of the Xpax plan, and they call it a ‘new’ Xpax. The naming convention is somehow confusing, at least for current Celcom prepaid customers, because previous prepaid plan is also called ‘New Xpax’. Simply, they refer this all-new, revised rate as ‘Xpax 2’ or simply ‘X2’. This supposely new plan was launched in conjuction with the Celcom owned social networking website called Kolony.
What are the difference, you ask. Well, continue reading folks!
Old X and New X: In Depth
The first and most obvious difference, of course, as I mentioned, is the rate. The rate itself is somehow employ a very different concept – calls are charged based on 10 or 5 minutes block, and not 60 seconds block as before. SMS rate also has been revised, no longer flat rate to all operators, but based on on-net and off-net, but cheaper. Refer to the table below
Eh, the call block is now longer, I am better off or worst off? Yes, many had asked this question, they wonder if this new charging block is more value for money. If you call for 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes or 10 minutes, you will be charged 28 sen, roughly, you may assume those who often do short calls will be in disadvantaged. Is it value for money? If you asked me, my answer is YES, and my arguments are
FIRST: You do not have to rush off on your conversation. Since you pay 28 sen for 10 minutes call (on-net), you have much longer time to say all your things clearly, less errors, and no more misunderstood words. Relax, take your time, sweeten you words. Even if you have dragged your calls until one hour, you only pay RM1.68, and this is a lot more cheaper than 8pax/15pax, Activ10 and Friends & Family. Chatters heaven eh? Count for yourself if you do not believe me!
SECOND: Longer call block does not mean hell to individuals who love to do short calls. Let us take a real life example. Suppose you need to make 3 different calls, the first call is about 5 minutes, the second call is 2 minutes, and the third call is just 30 seconds in length. If you use the new Xpax, the total cost is (28 sen + 28 sen + 28 sen = 84 sen), whereas on other operator, total cost is (36 sen x 5 minutes) plus (36 sen x 2 minutes) plus (36 sen x 1 minute) = RM 2.88. Obviously, which is better in terms of cost?
THIRD: Dropped calls, or those voicemail, you hate it! You talk with your sweetheart for about 5 minutes and suddenly your batteries died on you. Damn, dropped call, and you already spent 60 sen for the call (assuming your sweetheart is on your 8pax/Activ10 list, which is 12sen/minute). If you on new Xpax plan, well, it cost just 28 sen. Repeat as necessary.
OK, some of you are not born as chatters, or you hate to speak out. So voice rate is not your main concern, and you ask, how about the SMS rate? The old Xpax propagated the idea of one-flat rate which is 10 sen per SMS, all network, all time. Owh, ok, competitive, even Hotlink and DiGi charge the same. The new Xpax, however, is no longer one-flat rate, and the rate now is based on destination network. Oh well, a backward step, you laughed. Wait, the rate is even better, 1 sen to Celcom and 5 sen to other networks. Owh, that is damn cheap, almost similar with SOX/OUX and Hotlink Youth Club. Now exercise your thumb mate! MMS? Still a flat rate of 35 sen to all network, and one-day unlimited data for RM5 (pay per use is still 10 sen / 10 kb).
Any Shortcoming? Or Hidden Trap?
Yes, the deal is sweet, alluring, seducing, etc. and deep in your mind, you are still skeptical. Wait a minute, with these cheap, inexpensive rate, there must be some conditions, strings, or limitations. You learnt economics, you understand the concept “there is no free lunch”. Indeed, there are several shortcomings, which are;
FIRST: The 8pax/15pax feature is no longer available. No more list of preferred numbers. This is understandable since the call and SMS rate are already quite cheap, and having the said feature will be redundant. Why limit yourself to 8 or 15 people when you can call/SMS everyone without worrying about the cost?
SECOND: The day of free one week call and SMS during your birthday will gone forever when you switch to this plan. Yes folks, all those bonuses you used to love (Birthday Bonus, SMS Bonus, Loyalty Bonuses, etc.) are not available in this new Xpax plan. Ouch!
THIRD: I am not very sure about this, but if you are SOX/OUX user and switch to this plan, your no-expiry-until-25 validity period will be forfeited. You will reverted to normal prepaid system RM30 for 30 days validity period, RM10 for one week thingy. No way! So, the strategy is, just stay with SOX/UOX until 25 years old or if you want to switch, use the Extended Validity feature (RM30 for one year, RM50 for two years).
Give-and-take, of course! If not, how to make money? The shortcomings above are not really a big deal for those who not on UOX/SOX. If you are from other telco, or even a postpaid user, you might find this new Xpax is better, and can help you to manage the cost.
Why Only Now?
Personally, I am also very surprised when Celcom announce this new plan, and it totally makes other Celcom prepaid plans (UOX/SOX, old Xpax, Blue and Sukses) and well as contemporary prepaid plans (Hotlink & DiGi Prepaid) are the loser. Even some of my friends, wondering, why Celcom release this plan so late, when people already had perception that Xpax is the most expensive prepaid on Earth? The answer is with Celcom, do ask them if you want to know. But let me give my personal, humble opinion.
First, I think lah, the other Celcom prepaid plans (old Xpax, Blue, Sukses) act as a ‘stop-gap’ to fill the unserved market before this new Xpax is launched. Celcom Blue targets 25 years and above, the Sukses targeted those foreign workers, and old Xpax, well, I think just a dummy plan since most 25 years old and below go for SOX/OUX. Thus, when this new Xpax is launched, I think most on Celcom Blue and Sukses will switch to this plan, which offer cheaper rate for local call and SMS compared to their original plan. Users of SOX/UOX might switch as well, but they will lose the validity period, which I think they never want to let go.
Second, most of UOX pioneer users will reach their age of 25, and since UOX rate is applicable until 25 years old, and after that, they will be reverted to normal Xpax. For your information, all Xpax starter pack activated after 8th April 2011 will default to this new Xpax plan, and therefore, when those UOX users reach their age of 25, they will automatically upgraded (or reverted, whichever suitable) to this new plan. Now, see the connection? This new Xpax is actually a continuation of UOX plan, since the rate is almost similar. Therefore, it is a double-edged sword – Celcom hope it can retain the user to continue using Celcom prepaid service and at the same time attract new customers. It is marketing strategy.
How To Switch?
For existing Celcom prepaid users, just type MIG X2 and send to 28882. If this is your first time switch, the cost is F.O.C. and if you had switch plan before (e.g. old Xpax > Blue and now to new Xpax), you will be charged RM5.
For user of other telco, you have two options, either buy a new Xpax starter pack (a new mobile number), or MNP your current number to this new Xpax plan, if you want to keep your current mobile number.
For Celcom Postpaid user, I am not very sure if you can switch from postpaid to prepaid. Just call 1111 or go to Celcom Centre and asked them.