Author’s Blurb: All my life, I’ve only used my telco’s (DiGi) app to check the balance of my postpaid plan and when/if I was overdue on payment. Only recently, I began experimenting with the other features of said app—and found out that there’re actually more benefits to using them than we might be aware of.
This article isn’t a plea for you to switch telcos.
Instead, it’s an urge to explore the nooks and crannies of your telco’s app, so that you’re not missing out on secret ways you can maximise the benefits and goodies that you qualify for.
We didn’t manage to cover every single telco app under the sun as these were the only ones I had access to, courtesy of my colleagues and friends.
The interface: DiGi’s interface is clean and minimal, with the information I’m looking for (credit balance and payment dates) right where I expect to find them.
Rewards: Calculated through different membership tiers: Yellow, Gold, and Platinum.
As you climb the ranks, you automatically get access to more deals, priority queues to their helpline, event invites, priority access to certain device deals, etc.
Basically, every RM1 spent settling your postpaid or prepaid bill = 1 DiGi point.
Add-Ons To Purchase: Through the app, you can buy the basics such as international roaming passes, extra calls and texts, top up your internet data and international call passes.
Support Received: To communicate with a rep, you have the option to open a live chat.
Features You May Not Have Known About: Digi Video & Music Freedom is the ability to stream music (Spotify, JOOX, etc.) and videos (from YouTube, Netflix, etc.) without Internet charges. It comes with its own terms and conditions though, so you might want to take a look those first.
The interface: Compared to MyDiGi’s, I’m not a big fan of uMobile’s homepage. It has the potential to be sweet and simple, but for some reason, they cram a slideshow of distracting ads right at the top.
I do like that they have controls at the bottom where you can switch easily back and forth to monitor credit, usage, and rewards all without jumping to another page.
Rewards: No tiers here. You can simply browse through their rewards page and ‘save’ the ones that you’re interested in.
Add-Ons To Purchase: Besides the basic calls and internet top-ups, you can also purchase extra gaming data ‘Game-Onz’ and hotspot boosters from their add-ons section.
Support Received: No live chat options. You either have to call their helpline (1318) or submit a ticket for them to get back to you.
Features You May Not Have Known About: The ability to pay bills on other people’s behalf, top-up credit balances, and even transfer your own credit balances.
As a user, I would’ve liked to see all of these options lumped together. But uMobile separates each of them in their drop-down menu which makes it more stretched out than it needs to be.
There are also select insurance plans from GoLife (developed by UMobile), with subscriptions starting from as low as RM5/month.
The interface: Very bare bones. All Maxis shows you is the internet data you have left, the name of your plan as well as a few current deals/promotions at the bottom of the page.
Rewards: Much like uMobile, all you need to do is download the deals you’re interested in and you can redeem/browse through them any time you want.
Add-Ons To Purchase: I spent 10 minutes searching for their supposed ‘add-ons’. Turns out, they just have a few extra deals stashed under their ‘Shop’ category where you can top up with music and video streaming passes.
Support Received: They do have a live chat option.
Features You May Not Have Known About: As far as I’m concerned—literally nothing.
I’m assuming that this app falls under the one you recommend to your parents if they want something uncomplicated and straight to the point, because there’s really not much you can do at all from here.
4. Celcom Life
The interface: Very clearly, Celcom immediately displays your internet data usage on its homepage. Celcom also lets you pay for stuff through Boost’s e-wallet option, and that’s displayed on the upper right corner of the app.
Rewards: You can access this from the drop-down menu on the left, under ‘Privileges’.
Add-Ons To Purchase: Their add-ons aren’t accessible in the drop-down menu, only on the homepage. Again, nothing new here, just the very basic necessities you can top up.
Support Received: For support, Celcom urges you to reach out to them on their Facebook page, call their hotline (*123#) or a specified number if you’re from other telcos.
Features You May Not Have Known About: Their ‘Ole-Ole’ option allows users to ‘shop’ and send e-gifts to their friends or family. These e-gifts present themselves in the form of vouchers (like sending an RM20 Zalora voucher code, so on and so forth.)
You can also request for a SIM card replacement on the app in the case it’s damaged, or if you’re switching to do a different phone.
The only complaint I really have about Celcom’s app is the fact that certain pages are quite slow to load compared to the others. Some discounts from the Ole-Ole services page are also buggy, and I couldn’t scroll all the way down to the redeem button.
5. HOTLINK by Maxis
The interface: Hotlink’s app is a bit hard to follow at first because everything is the same colour scheme and similar block design, but you get used to it. Instead of a drop-down menu, everything is set at the bottom of the page.
Rewards: If you can manage, boot up the app every once in a while to redeem daily rewards. There are only two tiers for now (Silver and Gold) but once you reach the latter, your daily rewards double. Your reward points are then used to redeem deals.
This is the first time I’ve logged on to the app—and I immediately got 6 points. Browsing their existing deals, I’ve got to admit, they do have a healthy selection going and it doesn’t seem that ‘expensive’ in terms of points.
Add-Ons To Purchase: From what I can tell, they don’t have a page dedicated to just add-ons. You can, however, top-up internet passes as you wish.
Support Received: You can only contact their helpline (123). That, or look through their FAQ, but everyone knows that hardly helps in most situations.
Features You May Not Have Known About: Nothing really jumps out for me. If I was a Hotlink user, I can totally see myself being a big fan of the daily rewards login feature.
It’s a clever way of getting users to use the app more often, especially since I’m sure most of us just open it to check balances.
The interface: Besides Maxis, Yoodo is another app with a homepage that’s extremely bare. One interesting thing to note is that whilst other apps require your number and TAC code to sign up—Yoodo asks you to key in your email.
They also have a timeline feature I found pretty handy. Here, you can see all your past transactions and activity done on the app.
Rewards: At the moment of writing, Yoodo has less than 10 deals listed on their app. I believe that they’re building their portfolio up and can only do so much compared to giants such as Maxis or DiGi, but it’s very clearly an area that’s suffering.
Add-Ons To Purchase: Yoodo’s add-ons actually have to be purchased with the base plan itself, when you’re customising it. This means that you can already select if you need an extra 20GB for YouTube, Netflix, etc.
When you do need to top-up to your plan in the middle of use, this is called a ‘Booster’—which is just basically additional packets you can choose to pile onto to your plan’s 30-day period.
I’m using the account of a previous Yoodo user (so it’s inactive), but you can buy more boosters from the dashboard of your app.
This is all done through your Yoodo wallet that you need to top up in order to do anything on the app.
Support Received: Submit a ticket or join their live chat which operates from Monday to Friday (9AM-9PM) and Saturday to Sunday (9AM-6PM).
Features You May Not Have Known About: For Apple users using the iPhone 11 and up, you can switch to Yoodo’s eSIM (even from a different telco) just by downloading the app. No physical SIM needed.
They have a referral program which involves sharing a unique invite link to someone, and getting rewarded with RM20 in credit once they sign up.
In a nutshell, here are the telco apps and a comparison of the features they offer (or lack), put into a table for your viewing ease:
|Live chat support||Yes||–||–||–||–||Yes|
There doesn’t seem to be one that ticks all the boxes here, but they do have their own strong suits.
Based on usability alone, I believe that uMobile walks away with the features I would most likely be inclined to use such as the credit transfers and hotspot boosters.
Bottom Line: I don’t have the discipline to check my telco’s app each and every day, but after writing this, I’ll try my best to do so a little more frequently—just for the sake of their deals.
- You can read more about other telco related pieces we’ve covered here.