March 19, 2021

10 Things I Don't Miss After Porting Into Circles.Life

5 years on, here's why Circles.Life still rocks my world

10 Things I Don't Miss After Porting Into Circles.Life

I never once regretted the day where I ported out of my old telco to come onboard with Circles.Life! I even cancelled my contract to port over without any added incentive from what was then an unknown new telco operator.

Yep, just tearing away that contract (with a price). Source

The only reason I was because ‘it made sense’ financially to take advantage of the promotions Circles.Life was offering in the past. Close to 5 years on now (wow time really flies), I’m still a loyal user of Circles.Life because of many reasons including meeting my data needs and making my life a whole lot more simpler.

I feel that I have started to take a lot of things for granted because that’s how good a job Circles.Life is in giving back power to its customers. It’s really a lot of these small things that add up to the big reason why I’m still on this network despite other MNVOs and telcos throwing cheaper prices now.

So here’s 10 inconvenient things I would never ever have to face again thanks to Circles.Life

1. Counting how much data I’m left with

With the unlimited data addon, I don’t even need to worry about the little things like turning on WiFi at home or the accidental hotspot.

Also, counting how much data I’m left with until the end of my billing cycle. I remember having to portion only 100 mb per day of usage, constantly checking my settings to ensure I don’t exceed that.

500 mb… no 400 mb left.. oh wait. Source

With unlimited data, I now ask myself why I’m not using as much data as I wanted to and still have 300+ GB of data at the end of the month 😅 I don’t consider myself a heavy data user, but just having this assurance is just a load off my shoulder on a daily basis.

2. Complicated Billing Cycles

One thing I'm 100% grateful for is I don’t need to remember the start and the end of my billing cycle.

Remember when your data plan was from the 12th of the month to the 11th next month? How about when trying to remember your mobile plan and the billing cycle now changes to 17th to 16th of the month?

Asking this question myself constantly with my ex-telco 😥 Source

I still remember talking to a customer service agent from my last telco to break down the details when I was renewing my contract that last time, I was told that “you need to remember it” and implied it wasn’t their problem.

With so many things going in your life, trying to recall another mundane thing just adds another clutter in my life which I don’t need. So with Circles.Life standardizing the billing cycle from the 1st to the end of the month, it makes it a lot simpler for both the user and for Circles.Life as well too.

3) Paying $40+ for 2 to 3 GB data

Remember when we were still enjoying our 12 GB data when mobile plans just launched? I remember those good old times.

It was because when it was suddenly announced that all the telcos decided to reduce the base plan data to 2 to 3 GB when 4G networks launched, many people were furious. Imagine still having 3 GB data in this day and age. You can probably kiss goodbye to streaming services like Netflix, Spotify and Youtube. No scrolling that Instagram feed too.

Oh yeah, it sure felt like it. Source

I also remembered that some people decided to ‘protest’ and not change their mobile plan so they can stay on the 12 GB plan, even if it means slower network speeds.

Thankfully Circles.Life came along with a 6 GB base plan when they launched, and provided cheap data add ons as well. With the launch of $20 for 20 GB back in 2017, it made the other telcos to step up a lot more in terms of their data plan. No longer can they afford to offer low data for high prices.

Thanks to Circles.Life, we’re all paying a lot cheaper for data now even if you didn't sign up with them.

4) Pay $10+ For exceeding your Data Plan

To add on from the previous point, exceeding your data even by 1 KB costs you $10+. It really hurts, especially if you’re trying so hard to save data and not to exceed your plan.

What it feels like exceeding your data plan. Source

Also, there wasn’t really a choice to turn off your data plan in the past when you run out of data unlike now. You’re charged up-front first if anything. Calling customer service to see if they can waive? Good luck with that.

Circles.Life made it much easier by providing the ‘boost’ function when they first launched. You can pay 1 GB for just $6 as and when you need it, even the auto-boost function in case you need that extra data just for emergency texting.

But with the release of Unlimited data, this is probably a thing in the past if you’re a Circles.Life user.

5) Forced to ‘Upgrade’ your phone

Every 2 years, we’re ‘forced’ to upgrade our phones because not doing so means paying more for our mobile plans as it ‘reverts to original pricing’.

While some people are excited to always change their phones, I don’t really fall in that category. I know I can get a new phone just to sell it, but it’s still an extra hassle just to do so.

My face when I’m told to ‘upgrade’. Source

With Circles.Life, at least I get the choice to upgrade whenever I want. Typically, I’ll wait for a few more years before I swap my current phone for a new one.

6) Stuck in Contract - Can’t port out without penalty

One of the biggest advantages of Circles.Life is not being in a contract. That means there’s no penalty if you choose to port out 1 month after porting in.

I think that’s one of the reasons why I chose to port into Circles.Life when I first signed up, because it was virtually no risk. I could easily port out if I didn’t like it back to my previous telco.

What it feels like after signing a mobile contract. Source

I know most people who choose to renew their contract just want to get a cheaper phone, but the cost is actually the same if you choose to buy it on instalment separately.

Many providers, including Circles.Life, provide 0% 24 month instalments on phones which means you can choose to pay $0 upfront and pay over 24 months for the same price. With such options, there’s really not much reason to get into a contract anymore.

7) Queuing up at a physical shop for hours

One thing I really dreaded was going down to a telco shop just so I can renew my contract. Most of the time, the wait would easily stretch to hours. I remember even just getting my new sim card would take at least a 2 hour wait time minimum.

How queuing now in Covid times is still equally bad. Source

I never like to queue for things, and even actively avoided queues well before the whole Covid-19 situation. So when Circles.Life offered an option to deliver your SIM card to your house during sign up, I was really excited for it.

When they started to offer phones as well, it comes right to your doorstep as well. I’m glad to say that for the past 5 years, I never had to queue for anything telco related which is a huge relief for me.

8) Bill shock Issues

I remember in the past that encountering ‘extra items’ on my bill was a pretty common issue. I’ve also heard many horror stories where users were suddenly slapped with $100+ roaming charges for no apparent reason too.

And the problem of trying to get a waiver for such a charge is such a pain as well.

Bill shock? Just pay up first! Source

Well, I wouldn’t say that Circles.Life doesn’t have this issue but they certainly handle these matters a lot better and aim to solve it quickly as well. As a long time customer now, I haven’t gotten any bill shock so far which is a really good thing.

I can't imagine getting such charges every once in a while and then being unable to connect with customer support….

9) Good luck getting in touch with customer support

“Thank you for calling… Please note that we are offering things and stuff…. For english press 1…”

And by the time you get to click the first option, you had to wait a minute. Then go through another few minutes before actually getting in touch with a customer support person. Also I have to strongly express this point:

Inner Introvert me is speaking. Source

This is why I’m 100% supportive of Circles.Life chat. When things go wrong, the first level of assurance is really being able to talk to someone who can provide you with live support.

There’s been many times with other products or services where I had to take time to figure out how to get support, or find out that support is not available. It’s pretty frustrating, to be honest.

So with Circles.Life live chat across the app, Facebook Messenger and Instagram DMs you can almost instantly get support when you need it. 5 years in and the chat support team has always provided me with a satisfactory solution to all my problems.

Biggest plus - I don’t ever need to hear these lines ever again:

“Thank you for holding, your call is important to us. All our service personnel are busy at the moment” 🙄

10) Rewards? What rewards?

If you haven’t noticed, Circles.Life has been constantly giving out rewards ever since they started in 2016. From free data, to bill waivers, to many different prizes and contests, they’re constantly rewarding users who stay on the Circles.Life network.

Compared to most other telcos, this is probably what you’ll get:

Here’s a good offer for sure lol. Source

I have been rewarded quite a lot just being on the network, and was one of the biggest reason why I chose to cut my contract and port over. I did not regret that decision because the reward justified the prices too.

Just recently writing this blog post, Circles.Life is launching new rewards especially for its long term customers to give you even more value for staying with them. Makes it a lot more rewarding just being a customer!

Miss Those Times?

One thing I can say to my old telco would probably be this:

Truth. Source

While it’s easy to take it for granted now, Circles.Life played a big part in giving more power back to its customers. We don’t need to pay ridiculous prices for data anymore, or be locked in a contract where the only way out is to pay more money.

There is a lot more freedom to do whatever you like, whenever you like. Just looking back at all of these, it was actually ‘the norm’. So thank goodness Circles.Life had something to say about it!

I’ll still probably be a Circles.Life customer in the near future even if there’s a cheaper offer in the other telcos. I know I don’t miss everything that I listed above, so that’s why I’ll be staying put in Circles.Life for now.

How about you?