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Why I’m Switching From Digi…After 15 Years.

I’ve been a long time user of Digi, ever since I got my first mobile phone. Back then (this was in the mid- 2000s) not many phones had internet connectivity – people bought prepaid reload cards that cost RM30 per month, and sent SMSes and MMSes (remember those?) for between 0.20 to RM1 each.

When I entered college and needed Internet on-the-go, I switched to a postpaid plan, which I’ve been using ever since. And despite the criticism about Digi’s connectivity, coverage area, speed, etc, I’ve always remained loyal to the brand, because a) It has worked for my needs, most of the time (keyword here being MOST of the time. But more on this later.) and b)Digi provides the cheapest package among the three telcos. When the difference is an extra RM20 to 40 per month between different telcos, it makes for significant savings in a year.

So why am I switching, after being brand loyal for over 15 years?

Well, it’s mainly because I have a problem, and Digi is not offering me a SOLUTION beyond ‘there’s nothing we can do about it’. And I find this unacceptable as a paying customer.

The pandemic has changed many aspects of our lives, from the way we work to the way we shop. E-Commerce, in particular, is booming, as more people turn to buying items online, myself included. I also work from home full-time, so connectivity is very important.

Unfortunately, this is where Digi has failed me.

When I moved into my current place 14 years ago, network coverage was already a problem. The three people in my house who use Digi (my brother, my mom and myself – my dad uses Maxis) could never get a decent phone signal: sometimes calls would come through, but most of the time, we’d have to walk outside of our house to receive phone calls or messages. Messages would also come in late, like an hour after they were first sent.

Now, this wouldn’t have been a problem a couple of years ago, because I still worked in an office, which meant I was out of my house most of the time. We have Unifi at home, so I didn’t really use much of my mobile data at all.

But now that I’m stuck at home 24/7, this poor network connectivity is becoming a problem – to the point that it sometimes affects my work, and my ability to make purchases.

Case in point: online shopping.

If you’re familiar with online banking, you’ll know that banks send you a secure code which you’ll have to key into the site, in order for a transaction to go through.

So what do you think happens when you’re unable to receive the confirmation SMS?

Yep. Your purchase doesn’t go through.

In a way I guess I have to thank Digi? Because sometimes the experience is so frustrating, I give up trying to make my purchase. Thanks for helping me save money… not.

The same applies for any other transactions I try to do online, such as online transfers. In fact, I tried to transfer some money this morning, and only managed to do so after almost 20 minutes. The PAC code kept expiring, I kept trying, no messages came through my phone. That’s some level of bullshittery right there. Now, I’m just a shopper, so this is probably an inconvenience; but imagine if I was doing a business, where time is of the essence. I haven’t even talked about the times some riders try to call me because they can’t find my house, or can’t see anyone inside, and they couldn’t get through.

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The online banking site kicked me out after 5 minutes, so I had to do the process several times. I even restarted the phone twice. Then for some inexplicable reason, ALL the codes came in at the same time, 18 minutes after the initial try.

Digi’s suckage doesn’t only extend to messages and calls. My mobile data is virtually non-existent inside my house. Instead of H+, the symbol on the top shows E (stands for EDGE – maximum speed of 236kb. KB! What era are we in, the 1990s?), or best of all – “Emergency Calls Only”. So if anything happens to my Unifi, I cannot rely on my Digi internet as backup.

Case in point 2: My electricity was out the other day. TNB said it would take four hours to fix. I thought okay, I can at least surf the internet while waiting. But no. I couldn’t get ANY internet on my phone, so I contented to sitting in the dark. For four hours. Usually we’d go to the mall for a bit, but since we’re in quarantine, this wasn’t possible.

Oh, so you had to sit in the dark, big deal, you say. There are people out there who don’t have internet at all, so count your blessings. See, this is the thing about the culture where you’re not allowed to talk about your problems, because ‘other people have it worse’. Of course I know having internet is a privilege. But the problem is about paying X amount for a service each month, and the company not delivering on their services. Also, if you’re not complaining and you’re just accepting things as it is, how are they going to improve?

The experience was so frustrating, I decided to file a complain on Digi’s app (it was already night and I wasn’t sure if their helpline is open 24/7. But of course:

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I ended up using my UNIFI internet to file a complaint about my Digi internet, after the electricity came back on. And Digi’s reply, after three days, was basically “Yeah, we know. But we can’t do anything about it, sorry. We’ll just continue taking RM80+ from you every month for services we can’t provide. K thanks bye!

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“Poor penetration in your location…” for the past 14 years. Since I moved in to this place.
So can I expect future coverage enhancement some time before I’m dead?

When the app prompted, I gave it 0 stars as to how helpful it was.

Surprisingly someone called me to ‘follow up’, and I told them about the situation in a polite manner (I understand customer service agents are just doing their jobs and it’s really not their call as to how an issue like this can be resolved). And they basically repeated what the app said, that ‘they’ll inform the coverage team and hopefully it’ll get better in the future’. Ergo, no solution. Zilch. Nada.

2021-02-07
Digi’s manifesto on their website.
Apparently it has 91% LTE and 74% LTE-A population coverage but I guess my housing is the 9%. Special sia

Once this MCO is lifted, I’m heading to another telco provider to make the switch. Bye, Digi. You’ve been a part of half my life … but it’s time to say goodbye.