On my way to the office this morning, I stopped over at the Smile outlet along Toyin Street. My intention was to purchase a Smile 4G SIM card. Yes, yes, yes; I know that you know that I already own a Smile SIM. What I need another on for? Let me explain.
Why I Needed Another Smile 4G SIM Card
My current Smile SIM is a micro-SIM and I have it semi-permanently in a mifi device. Semi-permanently because if a 4G device with a micro-SIM slot comes in and I need to test Smile compatibility, the SIM comes out from the mifi and spends some time in the review phone for the 4G test. Now, if the review phone uses a nano-SIM slot, arrrgh! No show. And I am tired of cutting SIM cards all over the place. So, getting a Smile nano-SIM for such scenarios seemed like a good idea.
Another benefit of having a second SIM would be that my first SIM can stay permanently in the mifi while the nano-SIM is dedicated to device testing (I can always use a SIM adapter with it depending on the kind of SIM slot each review device uses). Plus, the back cover of my mifi is taking a beating from me pulling it off and snapping it back ever so often. You get. Ehen.
Now, The Story
So, I was warmly welcomed at the door and I was pretty sure that I would buy the SIM card and be out in ten minutes maximum. The lady who attended to me requested to see the smartphone that I wanted to use it with. Errr…. Now, I had to explain my predicament. I am an existing Smile customer. I understand the issues involved (some 4G phones are not compatible with Smile’s network and so the ISP wants to reduce chances of user dissatisfaction/.complaints/bla-bla).
“Sir, a technical person has to see the phone that you want to use before I can sell to you.”
Me: “I am a technical person. I work in the industry.”
“I am sorry, sir, but management left specific instructions. Only after a technical person has confirmed that your phone is compatible can I sell you a SIM.”
This was getting tiring. I recognise a pre-recorded voice message when I hear one. This was a bad case of programming. I also didn’t have time to waste on stuff like this. I had the phone number of a few Smile top management officials, including two of them at that branch. But I so hate to throw my weight around.
“So, you cannot sell me a SIM card,” I asked her politely. She apologised again. I thanked her for her time, wished her a nice day and headed for the door.
Smile – Now You Can’t
I understand the policy. The 4G LTE compatibility issues are nasty. But…But…this policy has been taken to an extreme. Customers are adults. If I say to you that I understand the compatibility issues and take my time to explain things to you, I should be able to walk out with a SIM card.
I got one thing right though: I was out in ten minutes just like I projected – just without a Smile 4G SIM. I am at my desk now and still smiling, not because Smile lived up to their motto today. Effectively, what Smile said to me this morning was, “Now you can’t”.