I decided to stop using my secondary Beeline SIM card because it became more expensive to use it than to use Mobitel/Cellcard. Beeline does not send any notification by SMS about expiring balance. They take away all pre-charged money immediately on the expiration date with no warning. This happened 3 times and that was enough. I am not doing business with a company whose main source of income is taking away customers’ pre-paid money, at least in my case (it obviously is not the telephone calls because they are dumping the prices so low that they can not get any profit from calls).
At least Mobitel/Cellcard offers a day after expiration date when you can still recharge and reclaim your past balance. And they are nowadays good at sending notification messages about expiration, already before the balance expiration actually happens. They are clearly putting some efforts in customer service these days (unlike in the past).
Also Beeline was sending some stupid advertisement SMS messages (spam) every day for long time periods. It was quite irritating. I don’t want to receive such crap when I am busy doing something.
Recently Beeline had a marketing campaign titled “Join now. Start getting cool prizes.” which ended on 2010-02-14. They were supposed to be giving one point per every cent spent on their services including surfing the net. Customers were supposed to get their marketing items (pens, umbrellas etc.) after reaching certain point levels. In reality they did not give points for using their GPRS service. No prize for me.
Their international SMS connectivity seemed to be quite bad as well. They did not forget to charge for sent messages, but they did not deliver them. This certainly varies from destination to another.
Their web site is still “under construction” (for about 1.5 months now). They have completely incompetent marketing department if they cannot get some web-monkey to set up something there. Hi Benoit Janin (Beeline’s commercial director), maybe you should go back to Africa and put up your road signs there. If you can set up 86 road signs in one month but can not get a simple web site running for ages, you should not be working in a high-tech company.
My conclusion is that Beeline sucks big time. I will not use their services again. It is surprising that a big international company like VimpelCom fails so miserably in very basic things by appointing incompetent country leaders.
Update on 2010-04-08: Beeline is now (possibly as a result of this article) re-directing visitors to their web site to their Facebook profile which has some useful information. People seem to be able to ask questions publicly there, and they are getting answered by Beeline. That is nice service. Still, it is lacking compared to their past web site: for example it is not possible to find their pricing information or GPRS settings or other similar basic things there. I am confident that the situation will improve.