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”.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.