Frustrated with the slowness of EDGE, I figured it's time to check out 3G from Celcom. After all, the "free modem" advertisement aggressively plastered on newspapers etc. grabbed my attention.
So I drove down to Celcom centre in Bayan Baru and this time there are three counters set up for resellers (instead of only one not too long ago) showing how aggressive they are in marketing Celcom Broadband. I approached one reseller inside the shop (to enjoy the air-conditioned environment) and a salesgirl immediately explaining to me their on-going promotion for Celcom 3G Data Broadband - SALE prices for two types of HSDPA modems ranging from under RM400 to over RM700, and the unlimited data subscription packages starting at RM68/month for download speed up to 384Kbps, and RM98 for download speed up to 3.6Mbps. She explained though that with the latter package, only 1Mbps is guaranteed for Penang -- I was already turned off this time when all along I was expecting to get at least something close to 3Mbps.
I then asked "where's the free modem package?"
She quickly explained, to get the "FREE modem", I'd have to agree to a different set of subscription fees at RM99 and RM129 respectively instead, and get the "free" modem (that's supposed to sell for under RM400 -- retailed by Celcom for RM499 though, which Celcom insisted at a discounted price from the original price of RM799).
She put up a calculator for me: RM31 extra per month times 18 months (contract period or a penalty of RM350 is applicable, and NO 7-DAY REFUND GUARANTEE!) equals RM558, a lot more than the price of the modem!
So, for Celcom, customers need to pay an extra RM588 to get the "FREE modem!" Is it ironic?
Oh well, it's rather the same logic used to market TM Net Streamyx DSL packages, adding RM10/month for 12-24 months to pay for the "free DSL modem" (at a cost of RM120-240 to customer for modems that are available from under RM100 each).
Since I already have Streamyx service at home (still in love-hate relationship after using this DSL service for about five years now), I said thanks to the salesgirl and moved on to another reseller's counter to inquire about Celcom+Streamyx package, but was pointed to take queue for the official Celcom's counters. I figured, I'll just call or check its website first...
Celcom Broadband HSDPA modem: FREE = RM588!
TMNET Streamyx DSL modem: FREE = RM120+
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