StarHub SIM Only customers can change a phone every year with StarHub JUMPhone

PHOTO: The Straits Times

Customers on StarHub's #HelloChange SIM Only plans will be able to enjoy a new phone every year with the launch of StarHub JUMPhone offering.

Under this, customers can buy a new phone annually for $0 upfront cost and with immediate guaranteed savings every time they do so.

They will pay a monthly fee for the phone that will be charged to their monthly bill and will also enjoy full protection with after-sales care included.

Is this a contract-based plan?

Yes. The JUMPhone offering comes with a 24-month contract to complete the 24-month instalment for the device, even if it's a SIM-Only plan.

What kind of after-care and service protection does a JUMPhone come with?

To be clear, what JUMPhone is offering is a SIM Only plan that allows you to pay for your new device via monthly instalments and adding in StarHub's full-fledged SmartSupport service.

The latter is slightly different from the SmartSupport Lite that was launched earlier and is applicable to SIM Only plan users.

At a value of $12 a month (which is now bundled in as part of the JUMPhone plan), SmartSupport offers two phone swaps OR one phone swap + one phone replacement within a 12-month period.

The Lite version valued at $8 per month offers only two phone swaps within a 12-month period.

Essentially, the full-fledged SmartSupport gives you more assurance and is especially useful if you misplaced your device or it got stolen where you can invoke a device replacement option for a fixed fee and not having to pay the full price of a new device.

For more details, you can check here and here.

You also get technical support on any matter via phone, chat or via their app.

"Our new StarHub JUMPhone service is bringing the excitement back to phone upgrades for customers," Johan Buse, Chief of Consumer Business Group at StarHub said. "It is the easiest way for customers to enjoy the new phone feeling every year, with guaranteed upfront savings, complete phone care, and no hassles ever." 

What sort of savings can you expect?

This also means a JUMPhone device is priced higher to factor in the service bundled. However, there's also a Guaranteed Upfront Device Savings portion that varies from phone to phone.

According to the following example StarHub provided online, a customer on an $25 SIM Only plan with JUMPhone buying a new Samsung Galaxy S20+ would save up $284 compared to buying the phone on a regular SIM Only plan over a period of two years:

Here's an example of a SIM Only plan vs. a SIM Only with JUMPhone plan when considering a Samsung Galaxy S20+. Calculations and savings derived are over a span of two years. Upfront savings offset is dependent on the phone model and is accurate as of March 13, 2020. PHOTO: StarHub

Now, this may not seem like a lot of savings, but what you do get is SmartSupport service thrown in for the entire 2-year contract which is worth $288, while paying for the plan and the phone at a monthly rate.

So yes, there is guaranteed savings, payment convenience and some level of service support if you're committed to the plan for 24 months.

What's the catch?

You will need to return the phone to StarHub after the 24-month contract period ends. Otherwise, your instalment plan gets extended automatically for 6 more months.

Granted that many people do change their phones after two years, this may not be as bad as it sounds and you get some coverage and support options through the bundled SmartSupport service, plus you get to pay via instalments.

There's always a catch, but it depends on your personal view and preferences.

What phones are available now with JUMPhone SIM Only plan options?

At launch, StarHub is offering the following devices:

  • Samsung Galaxy S20
  • Samsung Galaxy S20+
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
  • Samsung Galaxy Fold
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e

StarHub says there will be more device options added later this year as more 2020 phone models emerge in the market.

Where and how can you get this phone plan?

You can get it through StarHub stores or online.

To purchase a JUMPhone plan and device online, follow-through the SIM Only plan purchase route and select one of the eligible devices listed above to get the JUMPhone lease payment option as seen below:

Here's where you will find the JUMPhone payment option on StarHub's e-store when choosing the SIM Only plan with the Galaxy S20 as an example. PHOTO: StarHub

When can you switch/jump to a new phone?

Anytime after 1 year in order to enjoy the savings accorded for JUMPhone plans at that point in time.

You won't be eligible to new JUMPhone options if you return the phone earlier or get out of the contract earlier than than a year.

In both cases, you're required to pay the balance cost of your JUMPhone device and hand over the phone to StarHub.

As long as the existing phone is in good working condition, StarHub will accept the device at the rates they've predefined.

The jump/return fee is as follows in this PDF document and the cost reduces over time until the 24-month contract ends.

What if you wanted to keep the device?

You could, but a different set of fees would apply as follows here. There is no termination fee.

Are there other such options in the market?

Singtel has a similar plan with the option for customers to lease phones for up to two years.

This article was first published in Hardware Zone.