Digicel confirms rate increase
Digicel has made adjustments to some of its rates and data packages for prepaid customers, in the face of its January 7 announcement that it would be absorbing the 4.5 per cent increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) on cell phone use, which took effect at the start of the year.
On its rate sheet, there is now one rate of $0.56 per minute for Digicel to Digicel calls made during the day, evening and weekends. Also, instead of talking for three minutes and getting the other 57 free, customers now have to talk for four minutes in order to get the other 56 free.
The new $0.56 rate compares with previous Digicel to Digicel mobile calls of $0.55 during the day, $0.49 on evenings and $0.32 on weekends. Calls from a Digicel mobile to “other mobile” has moved to $0.78, up from $0.72 for weekdays. It also now costs $0.72 to make calls from a Digicel mobile to “other mobile” on evenings as well as weekends.
The rate for calling from a Digicel mobile to a fixed line remains $0.72 while it costs $0.25 to send a text message locally and $0.46 to send one internationally.
Calls to the United States used to cost $1.28 from a Digicel mobile prepaid phone. As of January 8, the rate moved to $1.32 per minute.
In relation to its various data plans, the company scrapped its 30-day 1GB Prepaid Classic plan for $19.99 and instead introduced a 30-day 1.5GB prepaid Classic plan for $26.99. Also, instead of the 30-day 5GB Prepaid Social Plus plan for $49.99, the company now has a 30-day 4GB costing $42.99.
According to Digicel’s notice, the data plan rates were effective December 9, 2015.
In terms of postpaid, the lowest plan they had was the Smart Lite. The data component has moved from 250 megabytes of data to 500 megabytes, but the price which includes 150 minutes of calls and 150 text messages remains $49.99.
Marketing executive of Digicel (Barbados) Limited Marc Massiah confirmed the changes, telling Barbados TODAY the company had “put in a small price adjustment to our prepaid calling rates and announced this online as is customary”.
“Digicel announced that it will be absorbing the VAT increase specifically for prepaid bundles, postpaid Smart Plans and business customers. We have done this because we know that our customers get the best value from our bundles and we want to encourage them to try them out,” said Massiah.
“In terms of our prepaid data packages, we have taken the opportunity in the New Year to review our plans with a view to ensuring that our customers get even more value from us. As such, we have introduced a new plan, which is actually 30 per cent cheaper per megabyte,” said Massiah in response to questions posed by Barbados TODAY.
He added that given customers’ desire to be constantly connected, “the feedback from them has been positive, especially as overall we continue to offer best value”.
“And we will continue to find ways to deliver more value for them. An example of this is our social plans that deliver free music streaming, free WhatsApp, free Facebook, free Instagram and free Twitter, which have been well received by our valued customers,” Massiah said.