Since June 1st, 2005, Digicel’s Loyalty Points programme has been making it possible for regular users of Digicel Services to redeem their accumulated Loyalty Points for a discount on a new handset or even an entire phone. To check your Loyalty Points, which is part of Digicel’s way of rewarding Loyal users of their service as explained in their FAQ for Handset Loyalty, you use the USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) codes as follows:
Text “points” to 444-2402
If you haven’t checked it in quite awhile, you’ll be in for a surprise. The cost to even check your Loyalty Balance is JA$1.00….and that’s not the only change that’ll hit you upside your head!
Apparently rollover has been killed off too, as a recent change in the Digicel’s Loyalty Points Terms and Conditions since February 2014 on Digicel’s Website indicates that your Loyalty Points for Prepaid customers expires every 12 months and for Postpaid customer every 18 months. In other words, no more rollover of points!
Back then, you earned 1 Loyalty Point for every JA$100 you topped up with on your Prepaid phone or JA$100 of your Postpaid plan as long as you made phone calls and used their services, such as Digicel VIP Text , which I suspect some people STILL use even in this day and age of Data Plans and smartphones as explained in How to activate Digicel VIP Text and get Free Texting on Digicel or LIME phone as IM gets more popular.
Apparently Digicel, realizing that their DL700 and DL600 smartphones are so popular and that many Jamaicans covet the phone to distraction, have decided to capitalize on this phone-lust. As Loyalty Points are a legitimate to get a discount on purchasing the phone, they decided to turn it up a notch, literally.
By making sure that there is no rollover of Loyalty Points, it puts pressure on Customers to make more calls and thus spend more money on Calling Credit in order to achieve the desired 100 or more points in order to qualify for discounts on handsets.
For many, this will seem unfair, especially given the hoops one has to jump through in order to get to accumulate the Loyalty Points in the first place as explained in FAQ for Handset Loyalty. Worse, their ‘Pay The Right Price’ Campaign’ as described in Digicel’s Green Tick ‘Pay The Right Price’ Campaign, albeit well-thought out, is a might bit inconvenient when face with Vendors late at night and no ATM Card to use to buy Credit.
The solution for Vendors is easy; kill off physical Voucher Credit and replace it with Street Flex, which the Digicel Customer Care at the JUTC Transport Center in Half Way Tree uses to retail Digicel Credit. But it’ll be hard to woo customers towards using Voice Service again once WhatsApp, now property of Facebook for a nice tidy sum of US$19 billion, decided to unleash Voice Calling on all their members worldwide.
Voice Calling over GSM Networks is dead for sure. So too will be International Calling as described in How to set up an International Calling Plan for Digicel or LIME Prepaid and Postpaid.
Digicel will gain new Smartphone Customers and converts to the religion of Data. Especially now that they have new Data Plans in the form of Data Lite, Data Plus and Data Max Plans as described in Digicel’s DataLite and DataPLus FAQ, about which I have an analysis article lined up for later.
But one thing is for sure; not only will WhatsApp herald the decline in Voice Calling, but it’ll also herald the slow and steady migration of Customers away from Digicel to LIME. It seems to be happening, with LIME reporting a 25% boost in their subscriber base as recently in the Jamaica Observer on Friday, February 14th, 2014!
The perception that Digicel is deceiving customers to spend credit on services that were previously free, such as Loyalty Points as described in Horace’s article Has your Digicel prepaid credit been vanishing lately? continues to grow among the Loyal but Restless Digicel customers!
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