A few weeks ago, Smart launched their newest postpaid plan that promises to deliver a much more flexible, accessible, and inexpensive way to get into their subscription services – the aptly-called new Freedom Plan. What it is, basically, is a postpaid subscription service without all the tougher requirement hassles of approval such as higher forms of Identification; proof of billing statements; bank statements; or other such ways to prove your capacity to pay for such bills – it only requires the applicant to be of legal age and have a Student ID or Office ID. (This is the first time students can get decent postpaid subscriptions.) At the same time, it is also the least expensive, no-shock way to get into a line subscription – with a soft ceiling of PHP 600 per month. (which you can reset by paying at any convenient payment center) Finally, you can enjoy the “Freedom” (see what we did there?) of having no lock-in period and a zero minimum bill for maximum flexibility.
Smart is hoping that the new Freedom Plan will entice prepaid subscribers who are wary of losing the advantages of their pay-as-you-go service by going into a lined plan. They’ve done this by removing all of the issues that most prepaid consumers face in getting a subscription. First, they’ve done away with the convoluted application process that requires proper forms of identification, proof of billing, bank statements, and the like. The process of approval now takes the same day and all you need to bring is a School or Office ID at the minimum. Second, they’ve given it the advantage of the prepaid subscribers’ “pay only for what you use” kind of billing. With a minimum bill of PHP 0.00, subscribers will effectively only pay for what they use, and will never be billed a flat rate even if they didn’t use the line. (This is great for people who spend time abroad as they will not be billed for the time they are away.) Finally, they’ve added a soft “no bill shock” ceiling (which prepaid users enjoy via using up their credits) that will warn you, then pause your service as you reach a bill of PHP 600. We call it a soft ceiling because you can always just pay the bill at any convenient payment center to get access to another PHP 600 that same billing month.
With all those features combined, what you’ll be getting is a postpaid plan with no hassles of buying prepaid cards in the middle of the night when you need it; that effectively costs only the amount you use; requires no troublesome application process; has no lock-in contract periods; and gives you all the advantages of a Smart Gold postpaid subscription (namely a higher internet speed cap). Smart is also throwing in a bunch of “bucket” subscriptions popular in the prepaid world available with the plan – currently with AlltText, UnliText, Trio Talk, UnliTalk, UnliCall & Txt, TRINET, Call to All, UnliSurf, and Blackberry buckets. And while not all buckets are available, namely the lack of Always On or cheaper UnliSurf options, Smart did mention that they hope to add more of them in the future.
Smart is definitely definitely targeting students and 20-somethings with this plan – allowing them a better alternative to prepaid with all the trappings of a postpaid subscription. At the same time, senior citizens or individuals who travel abroad often can take advantage of the zero minimum costs and lock-in periods. While we don’t know if a peer-pressured students with a majority using prepaid will shift into it, anybody who clearly sees the advantages will not think twice to apply for it. For a quick discussion on the Freedom Plan and its advantages/disadvantages, you can check out the video to that part of our show below.
The Smart Freedom Plan is available now from Smart Centers nationwide. All you need to apply for it is a minimum of a Student or Office ID (and 18+ years of age). For more information about the plan and/or its bucket subscriptions, check out Smart’s Freedom Plan page here. If you’re part of the large demographic that might take advantage of it, then you should really consider checking it out!