Thursday, 28 February 2013

Digi International Roaming: Charges to watch for


If you search around the internet you may find a number of articles about this issue, such as this one here.  I got caught with it the first time I used Digi outside Malaysia but luckily only a couple of times before I noticed it and promptly discontinued the 'rogue' service responsible.

When you take out a Digi line (pre or post paid), you will get the option to activate voicemail.  This can be useful for some people but it's not a service I subscribe to.  I work on the basis that either I'll call the person back when I get chance (caller ID is activated by default in Malaysia so 9 times out of 10 I can see the name of the person calling me if they are in my contacts list, or the number if they are not) or the caller will call me again.  The only time this doesn't work is where sometimes calls are received from companies where calls are routed through a certain type of switchboard, in these cases it's simply a case of 'Unknown' being listed against the caller number.  Another service that people may notice, but not be aware of the implications of, is the 'Missed Call Alert' (MCA) which is almost always activated by default on your line.  In this respect Digi is no better and no worse than many other mobile phone network operators who often also enable this service by default.

In Malaysia it's rarely an issue cost wise but again it's a service I don't need.  If I have a missed call my phone has a 'Missed Calls' list which I can check and again, it will show contact names or numbers.  If however you have international roaming activated on your phone this is DEFINITELY one you want to watch for.  If you are overseas and you have voice mail activated you will charged as the callers message is left on your phone and you will also be charged for the MCA notifications that you will get.  Some people have been caught out quite badly with this and had bills for several hundred ringgit as a result.

Apparently both voicemail (if active) and MCA can be disabled by dialling *128# and going through the menu system but the menus are very long and not very intuitive such that the services are not easy to find from the menu titles.  Get it wrong and you will soon get frustrated as you need to start all over again.  Many of the websites telling people how to disable these services through the menu system are also out of date.  By far the easiest two ways to disable the services are to a) dial Digi Customer Services on +60 16-221-1800 and ask for the two services to be switched off or (and this is my preferred method as you get a written confirmation), b) log on to their Online Customer Service (which is easy to activate if you have not already done so) and send them a message online asking for deactivation.  Generally within 24 hours you will get a reply back confirming it's been done.  Obviously this can be useful in the event of an error and if for any reason the service is not deactivated. You can actually use the OCS online facility to deactivate one of these services (either Voice Mail or MCA) but, for some unbeknown reason, not both?

It's definitely a good idea to be aware of these service issues and the potential charges that can result and while this article relates to Digi it would likely be a good idea to check out the basis on which your provider(s) operate these services and decide whether you want them active or not, especially overseas.

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