Mobistar simply doesn't get it
I've been a Mobistar business client for many years and never had any real problems with them. That is of course, not taking into account the fact that I didn't have an affordable mobile data plan and there was nobody to speak to when I had questions about their services.
Sure, you could give the Mobistar call center a call, but let's not get into that, unless you want me to play a piano and radio hit compilation for the next 35 minutes or so. I don't think I'm asking for much either. I make the occasional phone call, send a few text messages a day and I like to surf or check emails from time to time when I'm out and about.
Where Mobistar really pushed me over the edge
Like I said, I never really hated Mobistar. I could make phone calls, I could send text messages and if I wanted to pay too much for my mobile internet usage, I had the option to do so. I've paid Mobistar for almost 10 years via direct debit (or domiciliëring as we say in Dutch). That means they were able to grab the money I owed them automatically and without any delay. For ten years!
I never even thought about it until now. I don't have clients yet that have been with me for ten year (I only started freelancing about 5 years ago), but let's imagine one of my or your clients paid an invoice a few days late. It happens. Clients forget to pay invoices right on time. It's nothing a simple and friendly email can't solve, especially if you have been doing business with them for years.
It's not as if there are just not willing to pay your invoices. In that case, of course it's time to politely terminate that relationship. That's not the way Mobistar operates however. They are a big company with many small and unimportant clients like me. I've recently cancelled my direct debit authorisation and switched over to Mobistar. That way, I had to pay for my final invoice or two manually which I did. Unfortunately, since I had been out of the country for a few days (which is no excuse) during the period where I normally settle my open invoices I had left my final Mobistar invoice unpaid for a couple of days.
To solve that matter, Mobistar has just sent me a new letter with an additional invoice of 3 Euro's to charge me for having to send me a payment reminder. Is that how any company treats their clients after being a customer for 10 years who never once missed a payment? Or even just 2 years? In 2012? If that's how a company operates I don't feel like I want to be their customer. Not anymore.
For the record, I quit Mobistar more than two months ago, long before receiving their last invoice and letter. For me, this Mobistar "goodbye note" was a reason to write a blog post about them. It's my goodbye note to them.
Why Mobile Vikings is better than Mobistar
I agree to some extent that Mobile Vikings can't be compared to Mobistar. With Mobile Vikings, you pre-pay for your usage and don't get surprise invoices at the end of the month, but that seems like a good thing to me, right? I even authorised the automatic direct debit option on my bank account so that Mobile Vikings can auto top-up my credit when it runs low. That's not something I would ever do again with another company like Mobistar.
I trust Mobile Vikings. They've helped my out since I got in touch with them on Twitter and through email. They helped me out with every question or problem I had and I even feel like they treated me like a human being, not like an orange they squeeze to get the juice out. They are a company just like Mobistar is a company. The difference is that you feel happy about using their services. There are no surprises.
There are people helping out when necessary. Can't Mobile Vikings make a mistake? Sure. The network coverage could probably be better if you're not in the city. They could mess something up that would break service for a little while. But it seems like they dare to communicate, unlike Mobistar, where you can't even call or email them to ask if anything is wrong with your own subscription.
Mobistar is on Twitter now, that should solve the problem
Mobistar is on Twitter since a couple of months last year. They try. But it's too late. It's too late because many people are leaving their big carriers for the smaller and more friendly offers on the market. No Twitter account is going to make up for the way a company inherently treats its clients.
If Mobistar really wants to change something, they should help their clients pick the most optimal rate, something that didn't happen in my 10 years being a client. They should try to help out when somebody has questions. I literally waited for two weeks for a Mobistar employee to reply to an email asking him to activate a new micro SIM card on their network. Two weeks. I got an additional invoice much faster than that, to pay for the stamp and the letter they used to remind me of the invoice I paid a couple of days too late. GoodBye Mobistar.
Also switching to Mobile Vikings?
If you also feel like switching to Mobile Vikings after reading this post, say hi from me and let Mobile Vikings give me a free credit top up by using this sign up link. If you don't feel like being referred by me, just check out their website and go from there, you'll be glad you left Mobistar!