As highlighted by our reader recently, Maxis postpaid customers are charged RM15 for making or answering a single voice call while travelling overseas. This exorbitant charge is due to Maxis’ 1 Day Calls and SMS Unlimited Pass, which is activated automatically when you make or receive a call, or after sending more than 3 SMS in a day. The pass is offered in 13 countries which include Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, China and Hong Kong.
As we’ve highlighted before, the pass is great for travellers who make a lot of voice calls but it is too much for casual users who only want to make or receive a couple of urgent calls while abroad. This mandatory auto-activation of RM15 per day is only applicable to customers of the current Maxis Postpaid plans while customers on older postpaid as well as Hotlink prepaid and postpaid, are still charged based on pay-per-use, which is more appropriate.
After publishing the story, Maxis sent us the following statement:
We thank our customer for the feedback, which is important to our continuous improvements to our products, services and customer experience. We are committed to providing all our customers with the best travel experience for all their needs. Our intention for the unlimited Call & SMS daily pass was for everyone to enjoy worry free unlimited calls and SMS capped at RM15, not just incoming calls. This is especially so during the pandemic, where unlimited calls and SMS were a crucial part of connecting people to loved ones who were separated by borders. Rest assured, we will address customers who are light users, taking into consideration those whose preference is to have affordable pay-as-you-go rates with an option to opt-out to the unlimited pack.
It looks like Maxis has acknowledged the concern and they are working on giving users the option to opt out of the unlimited pack. Ideally, Maxis should charge users based on their current pay-per-use rate until the total usage reaches a specific threshold. Maxis currently charges RM1.75/minute to receive calls if you’re travelling to Singapore and the pass would come in handy once the user has spent more than RM15 just for call roaming.
Among the big four telcos, Maxis has one of the most expensive postpaid plans in the market. Instead of adding more domestic data, it is probably time for Maxis to provide roaming perks similar to Digi’s Roam Like Home or U Mobile’s Unbeating roaming. Since postpaid customers are already paying a premium, it would be nice if all telcos provide a decent amount of roaming data and voice minutes for a hassle-free and bill-shock-free experience.