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Docomo to offer additional advantages to long-term subscribers

16 Comments

NTT Docomo will offer two new benefits to long-term subscribers: the Zutto Docomo Discount Course and the Free Course. These benefits will be available for customers completing a two-year contract after June 1.

Also, starting June 1, Docomo will extend the eligibility of its Zutto Docomo Discount loyalty scheme to customers who have been with Docomo for a minimum of four years under any of their basic "Kake-hodai & Pake-aeru" billing plans. The discount was previously available only after five years.

The Zutto Docomo Discount Course offers a reward of 3,000 "d points" for Docomo's loyalty program to customers who sign another two-year contract. The course can be selected in tandem with the Zutto Docomo Discount loyalty scheme. Customers selecting the Free Course will not be eligible for the loyalty scheme, but their basic monthly charge will remain unchanged and they will be entitled to cancel their contract at any time without incurring fees.

Customers who subscribe to the Kake-hodai Plan for smartphones/tablets and feature phones, the Kake-hodai Light Plan and the Data Plan for smartphones/tablets and routers can choose one of these two options during the two-month period following the completion of a two-year contract. A cancellation beyond that period will incur a fee of 9,500 yen in the Zutto Docomo Discount Course, while Free Course subscribers can switch to the Zutto Docomo Discount Course at any time.

In a related move, Docomo will raise maximum monthly discounts available under the Share pack 10, 15, 20 and 30 discount services. For example, the monthly discount for Share pack 30 will rise to up to 2,500 yen from 2,000 yen. Also, subscribers of Data M Pack, Data L Pack and Share pack 5 will be entitled to a monthly discount after subscribing for at least four years.

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16 Comments
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If the "new contract" discounts at soft bank give me a better price than your "loyalty" schemes, then goodbye.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

All of these point and reward schemes have the same basic aim; to confuse and mislead consumers until they're no longer able to easily or accurately compare the value of their existing plan with those of another company.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Right on M3. What really cracks me up is, if you were to go to the Docomo store and tell the staff "hey, I can get a better deal if I sign with SoftBank" they'd say "go ahead" lol. No flexibility at the counter to keep you as a customer.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I agree with the above posters - I'd much rather have a cheaper monthly plan. Jesus, smartphone bills are so expensive.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Fizzbit, this is a novel idea. The major telephone companies offer disloyalty bonuses. It is advantageous to change or get screwed after your initial two year contract. Offering a bonus for renewing a contract a two year contract, which they will do automatically if you do not actively prevent them from doing so in the 25 month, is novel and a great improvement over the current system of screwing loyal customers and offering deals for disloyalty.

Speed, don't use the big three is you complain about their bills. I now use BIC's SIM and Line will soon join BIC and other MVNOs. BIC uses Docomo's service at a lower price and seems to give me a better connection than Softbank ever did.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

gaijintraveller, call it the fizzbit no-loyalty plan. Got a new 6+ from a 4s with a ¥6,000. a month payment, unlimited net. The trick is waiting 4+ years wih your old model.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If you use one of the major carriers, keep updating your phone every two years. They subsidize new phones with discounts off your monthly plan, so you might as well have the latest model. Such subsidies only seem to last two years, and you lose them once your phone is paid off. They give you the handset discount in dribs and drabs so you keep signing new data/phone contracts that you have to pay to break. The perfect situation in their business model is where your phone/data contract and handset contract don't coincide, so that breaking one of them puts you at a loss. Either you have to pay off the residual on the handset, or pay a fine for breaking the phone/data contract.

If you are happy using an older handset and don't use your phone so much for calls, leave the big three carriers and go to an mvno. Their contracts are the cheapest. You need to provide your own phone though. There are mvnos on both docomo and au.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Can you use an iphone on an mvno?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm waiting till Apple introduces the Apple Update plan to Japan; it's currently only available in the US. Basically it's a subscription plan for the phone—you get the new model every year. The phone is unlocked so you can use the cheapest provider you can find.

(I wonder how the carriers will try to block that?)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I've moved from au to a free sim account a year ago and have not looked back since. Now I only pay about 2,000 yen+ any actual phone calls a month with 5G worth of LTE Wi-Fi which is more then enough. I was a subscriber of loyal au for 20 years but they disregarded me like dirt that went from bad to worse hiking up the price and cutting off longtime subscriber privileges one at a time.

Basically the large carriers doesn't have a balance and needs to poach new subscribers keep them afloat. I hope they choke especially au on their terrible service.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

When all is said & done, data plans are still a massive rip off here. I've been with each carrier (some twice) and no matter what deals they throw at you, you still end up paying around ¥10,000 a month. Funny how Docomo has separate plans for iPhone users, where they fleece you even more. Data prices keep going up, rather than down. Don't even get me started on the lack of prepaid options.

If you wanted to study the rampant collusion that goes on in Japan Inc., the "big three" telcos would be a good start. Surreal what they get away with!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It really surprised me that the Japanese companies didn't offer any long-time customer discounts. Recently, my 2-year contract with au ended, and when I went there to talk about renewing my contract and buying a new phone, they couldn't offer any discounts to me. It was simply 'your monthly bill will go up to this amount". I even mentioned I could get a cheaper price at Softbank, but they still weren't able to offer me any discounts. So I switched to Softbank. It's so strange to me that you get the cheapest deals when starting a new contract. Of course customers are going to change to new companies if they can get better deals there. The big 3 basically offer the same services, so there's no point in being loyal to only 1 of them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Tbh, I don't think the docomo iphone plan is that big a ripoff, because the iphone is a very expensive phone. You also get unlimited calls.

What is a ripoff is if you are on docomo, hardly make any calls, and stay on docomo with an old handset because you are used to it or like pre-SE small Iphones or want to be eco or can't be bothered to change. Their whole pricing structure benefits people who make tons of calls and keep switching handsets.

For cheapskates, 20,000 yen gets you an unused Nexus 5 from Hong Kong on ebay that will run Android 6 and 2000 yen or so a month gets you at least 5GB and a proper mobile number with pay as you go calls on a docomo mvno. Over two years, that should be over 100,000 yen cheaper than any of the three big Japanese carriers.

I think all new Iphones are unlocked. To see whether an older docomo one will work on a docomo mvno, check any of the big mvno's websites. The biggest docomo mvno is .... drum roll .... OCN, in other words, docomo themselves.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Strangerland, you can use a Docomo smartphone on an MVNO as virtually all MVNOs use Docomo connections. An Au or Softbank smartphone probably needs unlocking although a friend told me he had no trouble connecting with a BIC SIM in his Nexus from Yahoo.

The BIC SIM does not give you free phone calls but cheap-rate internet calls, and the big advantage of their internet call system over the OCN internet call system that their Miofone software, which you use to make the call, displays a 090 or 080 number or name at the other end rather than a 050 number that people may not answer because they do not know who the caller is.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

NTT has been loosing its customers lately as their pricing is still expensive compared to it's competitors. I bet it's still going to be expensive even after these "loyalty" marketing propaganda. Typical NTT business mindset.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

New types of international services such as Google Fi may be a better choice for use in Japan.

Docomo although has information on their website appearing to treat foreign customers equally, the fine print and internal guidelines and procedures still racially profile foreign permanent residents. For example have a look at the docomo website(In English) about Documents Verifying Identity. It says in bright Red print:

"If a Japanese driver's license or an Individual Number Card (My Number Card) is used as the identification document of the subscriber, an additional document is not required regardless of the payment method."

Then below in fine print it says: *You may be asked to present an additional document regardless of the above.

If you enquire with dodomo by phone they will tell you that if you are a foreign resident their standard procedure is to ask for a copy of a Residence card or Certificate of Alien Registration.

This is clearly racial profiling. Shame on you Docomo.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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