My SMART Bro Postpaid Plan Outstanding Balance Journey: Paying my Debt in Response to Amnesty Letter

I know I don't have any excuse on why I was delinquent on paying my monthly bill via Smart Bro postpaid plan except for one stupid reason. I was oblivious of the term data when it came to internet memory back in the day. I never really had a care on how much data I was consuming. There was Unli Surf offered by Smart Bro back then that you could essentially avail of unlimited data (especially if you love to download movies) at a snail's pace.
Smart Plan Amnesty Letter for Delinquents

And then 2013 hit. (Or was it 2014?)

Unli Surf was phased out. In its place, came Flexi Time (which got phased out too, come August 2016).

I thought my old USB plug-it kit became obsolete (turns out it was indeed obsolete since Windows 7 but otherwise, still functional with the newest version of Ubuntu) so I decided to purchase Smart's Pocket WiFi LTE, offering speeds (that's what they said) of up to 48Mbps. I was saving on the ₱3,500 one-time fee that I opted for Plan 999. I just kept saying yes on the guy handling my subscription, ignorant of the forced Big Bytes plan of 6GB Sharable data. Of course, 6GB of data nowadays will get you nowhere especially if you're using a laptop. I could consume that in 4 days!
I was stupid, I know.

For 6 months of usage, I was paying ₱3,000 monthly (with the additional ₱2,000 of Flexi Time add-on). It's okay to be delayed in paying for a month for as long as you pay on the second month. I went on a vacation and missed my window on paying an outstanding balance of ₱5,000 (which I think was the maximum although according to the website, the maximum credit limit was ₱1,500).

I was just angry with the whole thing and got lazy on paying.

Well, the reality was I got an ailment the month after the vacation and was out of work for 5 months. Thus, making me incapacitate to pay.

I just put that at the back of my head and just forgot about it.

Of course, I wasn't cutoff from the internet. True, my Postpaid Plan was disconnected but that doesn't mean my gadget no longer worked. I just bought a Prepaid LTE SIM, and voila! While Flexi Time was gone, there's Giga Surf. For ₱50 a day, I was able to avail 1 GB of data + 300 Mb for YouTube. I'm already good with paying top-up ₱1,500/month worth of load. If only I realized how cheap I could get early on, I wouldn't have wasted money on any of Smart's Postpaid plans.

Since I kept loading, I was able to earn points via Smart Perks and slowly paid off my outstanding debt with some points (just ₱300 all-in-all). By December 2017, Smart's Consumer Credit & Collection Management offered me a Worry-Free 50% discount for my unpaid balance, with waived interest and collection fees so that I could avail of Smart's services again.

It said that I should just bring the letter to the nearest SMART Retail Store or any accredited payment channels to avail of the one-time promo.

Of course, the plan's contract was for 12 months and I only used up 6 months. While I only had ₱4,700 of billed credit left, I still have to pay for the remaining 6 months. All-in-all, I had a discounted balance of ₱5,863.99, which isn't really bad.

Right now, I'm not thinking of availing any of their services again. They seem to find ways of maximizing what they can get from their consumers. I mean, why offer add-ons like Surf Max, All Out Surf and terribly useless Big Bytes when you can just have Giga Surf? Just browse http://store.smart.com.ph/addons/ and you'll know what I mean.

So I went to the nearest Smart Retail Store, talked to the same guy that approved my postpaid plan, and paid my 50% discounted balance.

I'm not sold by the discounted balance. I paid because this was what got me:
  • Based on its mutual agreement & undertakings with CMAP (Credit Management Association of the Philippines), SMART is authorized to submit the names of its delinquent or non-paying subscribers which names shall be included in a delinquent file list shared with other Credit Agencies through CMAP. Inclusion in the delinquent file list may affect a person's credit standing and/or may result to disapproval of any bank and loan applications.

By 2019 (or perhaps, 2020), I expect Facebook's ISP to be available in the Philippines already. I will subscribe there eventually. At this point, I'm not sure if I'm already blacklisted on CMAP but considering the offer is open until January 31, 2018, then it stands that we, delinquent consumers still have a fighting chance of not being put up there until then, by paying our dues. But if I'm already on the list, perhaps, Smart will clear my name. It is said that CMAP cleans its database every 5 years.

Well, whatever the case, I'm just glad I no longer have any outstanding debt anywhere.
  • After dusting off my list of drafts, I find this. This was written on January 17, 2018 and had only gone live now since I don't want to put to waste my effort then in writing this. Until now, I have no idea if I was put on CMAP's delinquent list. Facebook's ISP project has been shelved.

2 Comments

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