This is an opinion piece, written by an ex-Unifi customer.
Telekom Malaysia (TM), the most popular Internet Service Provider (ISP) in Malaysia (maybe for all the wrong reasons) has got a new Group CEO. Dato’ Noor Kamarul Anuar Nuruddin officially joined the ISP on 13 June 2019.
Here’s 5 things he needs to fix for TM customers:
1. Super High Streamyx Pricing for Super Slow Broadband Plans
Its 2019 and TM is charging RM110/month for just 1Mbps. And to add more pain, there’s a 1 year contract as well. The newer Unifi Broadband plans starts from RM79/month for 30Mbps and its cheaper than the decade old Streamyx packages.
But what about 1 million Streamyx customers who don’t live within Unifi coverage area? Its not even their fault because TM failed miserably to widen up their HSBB coverage and has poorly deployed the network (no port availability in a number of areas while there are some 1.3 million ports available probably in the middle of no where).
So why punish these loyal Streamyx users with super high-decade old pricing? I think Streamyx 8Mbps should not be priced more than RM50/month. At least don’t charge these users more than Unifi. At RM50/month, TM could keep them under contract and automatically upgrade them to Unifi when it becomes available.
Another quick solution is to deploy Unifi Mobile 4G LTE coverage at these non-Unifi fixed broadband areas. TM could offer some exclusive Unlimited Wireless Broadband plans to these users at a special price.
There are just so many ways to deal with this problem, perhaps those working in TM all over these years just don’t have the brains to do it. Wait, or is it because TM is making so much money from these Streamyx users, so they don’t want to reduce the price?
2. Unifi Contract
All Unifi fixed broadband plans comes with a 2 year contract. Even if the service is bad, customers will still need to pay for it.
Make a change to the broadband plan (downgrade), the contract is renewed. This even applies to users who have completed their contract term. Why does TM like to impose contract? To lock in users for long term?
The 24-months contract is just too much althogh justified, on terms set by TM- cost for installation, free dect phone, wifi modem…. What if certain customers want to use their own Wifi modem (instead of TM’s crappy modem) and configure everything themself, can they get 12-months contract? Heck, if TM is really world class, customers can choose to drop by a TM point, collect the BTU/ONU/Modem and take it back home, plug and play, and the TM contractor don’t even need to visit the customer premise.
Can TM offer 12-months contract for Unifi customers?
3. Unifi Termination
Based on my observation, TM has the worst termination procedures among all the major service providers in Malaysia (similar to ASTRO).
Life Made Easier is TM’s motto…but its totally the opposite for Unifi customers. First you got to tell them you want to terminate your Unifi, and then wait a month (TM still bills you for this period), and then TM gives a certain time frame for users to return the modem or the whole procedure will repeat again.
If TM is truly upholding its motto…Life Made Easier means TM Unifi customers should be able to terminate the broadband plan IMMEDIATELY (by calling customer service/live chat/support ticket). And then they get like 2 weeks to return the BTU/ONU/Modem to TM Point and if they don’t return the devices, TM could bill them for it. Why make Life So Difficult? Just because they want to terminate?
Even the Termination Fee is not industry standard. While Maxis and TIME dotCom are charging at flat penalty of RM500, Unifi termination fee could go up to RM4,776 with the new plans.
4. Lower down Unifi Pricing
TM is connected to the global Internet network via 20 submarine cable system / over 54,000 km of fibre deployed globally (in summary, allowing it to offer super cheap broadband plans for consumers) while TIME dotCom is only connected to 4 submarine cable system.
Yet if you look at Unifi Broadband plans, it is more expensive than TIME fibre broadband. A 100Mbps plan from Unifi cost RM129/month while the same plan from TIME cost RM99/month. Not only that, TIME guarantees end to end fibre for all its customers (up to 1Gbps) while TM is still offering a maximum 30Mbps speed in a number of old condominium.
As a consumer myself, I can only conclude here that TM and its shareholders (especially Khazanah Nasional) are greedy people. Perhaps they are charging a high price for Unifi so TM could use those money to expand its Unifi network? That’s just not fair.
I am so glad that Maxis is now offering cheaper and faster broadband plans via the same Unifi network (its like a slap on TM’s face and huge embarrassment because Maxis could do better within TM’s own Territory).
Now with the new CEO in place, will TM be able to redeem its honour?
5. Restructure the Entire TM Senior Management Team
This is most important thing of all. I strongly believe that If you got happy customers, they will be loyal to the brand, like forever and this translates into revenue, long term.
Does TM have Happy customers?
At the moment, and probably all these years, there’s only happy shareholders in TM (maybe including those customers who got free Turbo Speed upgrade but unaware that the Unifi plans are still expensive).
For TM to move forward, it has got to drop its old mentality of doing business. For example, YTL recently mentioned that it was able to deliver speeds over 800Mbps using the copper (Streamyx) infrastructure. The Giga Wire technology can work without any modification to the existing copper wiring within a building. (You can read more here). So what was TM doing all these years, why it didn’t adopt the latest technology?
I hope Dato’ Noor Kamarul will be able to replace the entire VPs of TM… there’s VP for Unifi and CEO of webe (wait, they are the same people), VP of Group Brand and Communication (one of the worst corp comm team in the industry), COO, and the rest of them. In my opinion as a consumer, with these people onboard, you can never transform TM to a better ISP.
So, here’s a challenge for Dato’ Noor Kamarul: Can you transform TM into the best ISP in Malaysia, make all your customers happy?
Btw, the #KhabarBaik campaign is one stupid campaign.
Note: I doubt if Dato’ Noor Kamarul will ever read this post, but hey, I tried. God bless TM.
Disclaimer: This is an opinion piece.