For the longest time, I’ve been wondering what’s the deal with the different procedures when activating international roaming for these two networks.
My wife and I travel abroad from time to time. She’s a postpaid Smart subscriber while I’m a postpaid Globe subscriber. Every time we go abroad, we would leave her phone at home. Why? Because it’s a hassle activating outbound international roaming on SMART.
Globe International Roaming
Way back in 2005, I had to leave for the US so I need International Roaming on my phone. I went to a Globe Business Center and asked them to activate it for me. They did and that was it. I didn’t have to pay for the service. And they said that once it’s on, it will stay on unless I will have it deactivated. I’m on a cheapo plan by the way so it’s nice that they didn’t make this service exclusive to business plans.
Right now, you can also call 211 from your handset and have international roaming activated.
Smart International Roaming
The first time my wife went abroad, she had to activate her International Roaming. We went to a Smart Wireless Center and she had to fill up this activation form and pay a deposit of Php2,500! SMART will refund her payment when she gets back but in the form of credit to her bill. Not only that, you have to personally go back to a Smart Wireless Center just to get it done. There was also this issue one time that we had to go back yet another time because the change hasn’t reflected. It was quite a hassle I should say.
If you want a hassle-free international roaming from Smart, you need to be on Plan 1800 and up. With those plans, your number is automatically set for international roaming.
So what gives? Why can’t Smart adopt the automatic international roaming to its lower plans? Based on experience, a Smart Wireless Center is not a place that breeds quick and efficient people (to be fair, Globe Centers are not as well). The time that is required to activate international roaming for one person can be spent servicing three people who have simple queries.
Note: I found this other roaming instruction from Smart where you only need to register on a website to activate. Now I’m confused what’s the difference between this and the link above.