Yoodo Review - the good & the bad (+2020 Update!)

Wednesday, March 27, 2019
UPDATE: A 2020 update at the bottom! 

Hello, friends!

I’m finally penning a non-sponsored post. To be honest, although I love writing and talk a mile a minute, it can be pretty difficult to decide to put down the iPad or book or whatever it is that I’m currently into, to sit down and write something. Unless they’re giving me something free. Or I’m getting paid to do it. Does that make me a sell-out? Sigh, kinda. But for some reason, being sponsored gives me an illusion of credibility. Like, if someone’s job is to give me things to get me to write something, then I must be doing something right… right?

In reality, when you’ve found yourself a blogging network or you land yourself on enough PR lists, there will be opportunities to write for companies - some you love, some you’ve never heard of but turn out to be great.  And I gotta say, it’s incredibly gratifying to know that some companies believe in you enough to want you to represent their brand or want you to try their products. But I think I have to remember that at the end of the day, I started this blog to share my views, stories, experiences and if I withhold that genuine aspect of sharing in favour of only remunerated or sponsored views, where would I stand on credibility?

Although it’s true that I only write what I want, and won’t share something I don’t believe in, there’s a compulsion to censor myself in my views to ensure that even the negative feedback is presented in a less damning light. This filter to make things sound better than they are is scattered across the internet to the point that even I feel tempted to only read really incendiary views, then add in my “optimist” filter which balances out that terrible view, i.e. man, this guy sounds really picky/ is expecting too much, etc. And this is reflected in the reviews I write about a product! My friends would message me after I share something and ask – eh, this really legit ah? I mean, if my friends think that I’m going to give a more ‘honest’ view when messaging personally than via my blog, I guess it does come across like the blog is a little less credible.

With that in mind, and a renewed “I can do anything I set my mind to” attitude (I’ve been reading Rachel Hollis’ newest offering – Girl, Stop Apologizing - so forgive me if I start overflowing with goals-digger vibes), here I am sharing my thoughts on Yoodo - a phone line I swapped to after over 10 years of unwavering loyalty to Maxis.

There’s been a lot of these ‘lower budget’ customisable telco offerings as of late, Yoodo by Celcom being one of them. Some others include Ookyo by Maxis (only for Android) and MCalls. I went with Yoodo after my Maxis 128 plan expired because Boyfriend’s been using Yoodo since he came to Malaysia and is generally pretty pleased with it.

Onwards to the Yoodo review!

Set Up

I need to first talk about setting this up. When you first download the app, they give you an option to Order a SIM or Activate a SIM. If you click through to Order a SIM, you can then decide whether you want to start customising your plan or pick a free SIM. They then get you to create an account (pretty standard stuff), fill in your address and they'll send over a card! I recommend doing this earlier because it can take about a week to arrive and you don't want to start severing ties with your existing telco before you have the SIM card in your hands. 

Once the SIM card arrives, you can then Activate your SIM and choose your number! I wanted to keep my Maxis number so that meant I had to port over. However, my phone number is a subsidiary number under my dad's account which added a layer of complexity to the process. In order to swap over to the principal line at Maxis, I would have to pay some sort of fee. Which, being cheap, I didn't want to. So I just made an account on Yoodo with my dad's name, IC and photograph so my number could be ported over to Yoodo. Once I did that, it took about 48 hours for my new Yoodo SIM card to be active. 

Bear in mind that until your old line is terminated, you won't be able to use your new Yoodo line, so I suggest holding onto both SIM cards till you're sure that the new line is active. 

It's actually a super easy process - I thought it would require a lot of form filling or annoying bureaucracy but all I had to do was key in the number through the app. The hardest part was getting my dad to help me out with the e-KYC (involved him having to take a photo to link him as the owner of the IC). At one point, Maxis gave me a call to ask me why I'm swapping over. I told them it's because I wanted a cheaper plan. They half-heartedly told me that their plans aren't too expensive, then when I was certain I wanted to port over, it happened very quickly after. 
The Plan 
So here's the real deal - why I decided to go with Yoodo. I loved that I could customise my plan monthly. I know that some months will be a lot more data-intensive for me because I would be travelling out of state, or some months would require very little data since I wouldn't be in the country and I wanted to be able to accommodate that. The flexibility of being able to change my plan every month down to how many texts I would get or minutes of a call I need PLUS the chance to top it up without hassle if I burned through my quota earlier than expected really spoke to me.

In March, this was the plan I chose for RM45 -

I severely misjudged the amount of data I would use on general web-surfing. So as you can see, I signed up for app-specific data packages which were really cheap, but if you're on Facebook and click on a link to a site, the data allocation stops tracking it as "Facebook" data, but instead, takes that use out of your normal data. Which I suppose makes sense, but I was hopeful that I would be able to rely on the app-specific data combos. Eventually, I had to top up with another 3GB in the middle of the month for RM8, bringing my total plan expenditure to RM53 in March. 

You can see how cheap the app-specific data is here.

For this month, I've decided to change up my allocation with this plan instead: 

I did away with so many of the app-specific data because I realised I burned through very little of it, and instead spent more on general data itself. I decided to do away with SMS entirely, which I hope isn't a mistake (I can always buy 50 texts for RM3 if need be) but I think this plan will serve me well for the month of April. 

Now, here's the biggest concern for everyone - coverage. Before swapping over, I was worried that I would experience periods of poor signal. I remember times when Boyfriend would not be able to get data and my phone was thriving on 4G while underground.

That concern proved valid because throughout the month, there were patches of time where I would get no line as well as no data at all. I think Yoodo still has a couple of things to sort out in terms of the stability of its line.

However, these periods of instability were few and far in between, perhaps about twice throughout the whole month. Nevertheless, they sent all of their customers an email with an apology for the patchy network along with a free 3GB for our next plan. That's why for April, although I only chose 10GB of data, I have a quota of 13GB allocated to me.

Ahh, there's nothing quite like young companies taking accountability for their shortcomings to build loyalty. Because of that, I'm willing to give it another go for the next month and would quite happily recommend this to those looking for a cheaper plan.

Final thoughts
I think Yoodo's ultimate strengths are its competitive pricing and flexibility. If you wanted a plan with 100GB a month, along with 50 minutes of calls, it'd only set you back RM103, which is a ridiculous steal. How can someone use 100GB a month?? Flexibility-wise, I really like how I don't have to get any SMS as part of my plan because honestly, does anyone use that nowadays - I sent a grand total of one (1) text in March. I also think it's great that I can boost my plan whenever.

What I don't like is that I'm not confident that their plans will stay this cheap. Nothing's really stopping them from hiking up prices once it gets more popular. With this flexibility, they're at the discretion to up the price at any time, whereas when you sign up for a postpaid plan, at least you know you'll be paying pretty much the same price for as long as you're on the plan. Sigh, it's true - ClassPass' price hike gave me trust issues. 

I'm also a little wary of how stable the connection's going to be. It's great that they take accountability for the poor signal throughout March, which seems to indicate that they hold themselves to a higher standard (unlike certain Internet providers (yeah, Unifi, I'm looking at you) who make it sound like an everyday occurrence that your line is crap).

Anyway, if this sounds good to you, feel free to use my promo code! You get RM20, and I'll get RM20. It's one of those win-win things that makes everyone feel good-


Yes, it's one of those randomly generated codes that you can't change.

I'm not hell-bent on sticking to this provider after realising how easy it is to change, so if you've got a telco that you absolutely love, feel free to share that too!

Till next time! 


2020 UPDATE: 

I have been using Yoodo for over a year to date and my assessment of it has been fairly consistent with what's stated above. You do get the occasional data interruptions I mentioned but all in all, it provides a steady connection throughout Klang Valley and other major cities. I am sufficiently satisfied that I got my mom and colleagues on Yoodo too. 

However, one thing to note is that Yoodo does not permit corporate accounts. You can only register for an account as an individual and not a company, which could be something to consider if you are thinking of setting up these numbers for your business.

In addition, the promo code offer is no longer as lucrative. Instead of RM20 credit, users of the code instead get 7GB worth of data, a significant reduction in the offer. 

Hope this update has been helpful! I've tried to address all the questions in the comments below. :) 

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