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Frustrations With Ais Foreigner-Unfriendly Website


Sam Drucker

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Bit of a rant here . . .

I have a 1-2-Call account with AIS. I've used their website in the past with limited success. Typically I toggle English, the home page changes to English, but as I drill deeper to find the information I seek, it reverts to Thai because they haven't created matching English content throughout the website.

So today, I notice my balance seems to have really gone down quickly since I last topped up, and I'd like to see calling detail to find out why? I don't talk on the phone that much. I look at the website, I contact AIS on the phone at 1175, and they told me to go to "e-service," then I can get a detailed call history. So I did that, which required obtaining a One Time Password (OTP) for security, then I clicked on the button "One-2-Call Service Summary" and it takes me to a page to create a customer profile instead. They don't tell you before hand, but they require this profile before they'll give you your call detail.

The Customer Profile has all kinds of private information they require and it is completely oriented toward Thais, without thought for foreigners with different info. It requires my birthdate, it requires an ID Card number (with no provision for foreigners that don't have a Thailand ID card with 13-digit number), it requires complete address information populating all of 12 different fields (with no provision for me to enter my local Thailand P.O. Box.) On this all-English page the fields for Province and District have drop-down selection boxes with all the choices shown in Thai only.

So I was back on 1175 talking with them about it. The lady tells me to make up a 13 digit number for the ID card field. But if I make up stuff to fill in these fields, I have to be able to recall it later if needed, so that's not a very good solution. I explained the other problems with this web site address information, etc. and it appears that the only solution is for me to go to a local AIS office. But I was forewarned that they only give out this call detail if there is a serious reason to do it. Seems like my money is getting spent down pretty quickly. Serious enough to me, but I don't know if they'll agree?

She also (somehow?) got off topic and mentioned that when going into an AIS office to replace a lost SIM card, they require a police report first. Police? For a lost SIM card??

So I guess I'm headed into an AIS office to try to find out where my money is going?

To top it all off, after I got off the phone with AIS 1175 customer service, my phone went off with a low balance warning. They apparently charge for calls to Customer Service. :realangry:

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AFAIK all the carriers (and ISP's etc) charge for calls to customer service. If you're not in a hurry you can email them at callcenter [at] ais.co.th, they usually reply in a day or two.

Anything official in Thailand is always complicated to do for foreigners: Getting a telephone, electricity, water, ISP, car, bike etc. I let my Thai wife stand as the registered person for all those things, just saves a lot of stress. I realize of course you need to be married to a Thai for this option.

Agree about the terrible English websites. AIS is definitely the worst, but even DTAC that supposedly is at least partially foreign owned has a pretty useless English website. (They Thai version may not be any better, I don't know, I don't read Thai). Anyway, not much point complaining about it here, I don't think their management reads Thaivisa ;)

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I put my wife's ID card number in, fortunately I can read Thai a little, so was able to select the right province from the drop down menus and filled in her address as well. I don't really think it matters though, as long as you've got a profile, you'll be able to then use the website.

Just put anything in.

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AFAIK all the carriers (and ISP's etc) charge for calls to customer service. If you're not in a hurry you can email them at callcenter [at] ais.co.th, they usually reply in a day or two.

Anything official in Thailand is always complicated to do for foreigners: Getting a telephone, electricity, water, ISP, car, bike etc. I let my Thai wife stand as the registered person for all those things, just saves a lot of stress. I realize of course you need to be married to a Thai for this option.

Agree about the terrible English websites. AIS is definitely the worst, but even DTAC that supposedly is at least partially foreign owned has a pretty useless English website. (They Thai version may not be any better, I don't know, I don't read Thai). Anyway, not much point complaining about it here, I don't think their management reads Thaivisa ;)

But with DTAC/HAPPY it is much easier to retrieve your call information and to replace a lost SIM. Plus they have a Live Chat facility if you don't want to spend the 3 baht to call customer service.

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AFAIK all the carriers (and ISP's etc) charge for calls to customer service. If you're not in a hurry you can email them at callcenter [at] ais.co.th, they usually reply in a day or two.

Anything official in Thailand is always complicated to do for foreigners: Getting a telephone, electricity, water, ISP, car, bike etc. I let my Thai wife stand as the registered person for all those things, just saves a lot of stress. I realize of course you need to be married to a Thai for this option.

Agree about the terrible English websites. AIS is definitely the worst, but even DTAC that supposedly is at least partially foreign owned has a pretty useless English website. (They Thai version may not be any better, I don't know, I don't read Thai). Anyway, not much point complaining about it here, I don't think their management reads Thaivisa ;)

But with DTAC/HAPPY it is much easier to retrieve your call information and to replace a lost SIM. Plus they have a Live Chat facility if you don't want to spend the 3 baht to call customer service.

With AIS it goes much further than the website right to the heat of the corporate ethos. They are an organisation that sees itself as above the law & everything else. The concept of client centricity simply does not exist. I switched to DTAC last year & get better service from them than I do from Vodacom in S. Africa. They are genuinely interested in clients and are much more prepared to go the extra mile than AIS or True. A friend recently got to end of his patience with AIs & elected to switch to True. He was subjected to over a month of delays, obfuscation & downright intransigence by AIS simply to prevent him taking his number with him. It took a heated discussion & legal threats to the local AIS head honcho to get the transfer actually initiated.

Remember the heritage of AIS. It is a culture that is rotten to the core.

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I too found AIS extremely difficult to deal with with a attitude that if you are not a 15 year old thai girl then they are not interested. I have been using DTAC for well over the past two years ,including using DTAC phone internet and have had not the problems or the <deleted> attitude of AIS. Same attitude as that other Bank that also has connections to that family.

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But with DTAC/HAPPY it is much easier to retrieve your call information and to replace a lost SIM. Plus they have a Live Chat facility if you don't want to spend the 3 baht to call customer service.

Sorry but I have to disagree with this. If your sim is properly registered (as obliged by law) receiving your call details is exactly the same procedure.

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I'm really surprised hearing those bad experiences with AIS. I agree the phone system has more problems (more dropped calls/unable to connect) than DTAC but OTOH their Internet connectivity is in my experience much better, at least here in Pattaya. I find the helpdesk both places courteous and helpful and speaking excellent English. They both charge the same for a call (standard home-network call charge). I've had some bad experiences with True, mainly with their counter staff in Tesco/North - unfamiliar with offerings, conditions, prices - and I don't like the litigious attitude - instead of competing they take DTAC to court on a technicality. Stuff like that loses my business.

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But with DTAC/HAPPY it is much easier to retrieve your call information and to replace a lost SIM. Plus they have a Live Chat facility if you don't want to spend the 3 baht to call customer service.

Sorry but I have to disagree with this. If your sim is properly registered (as obliged by law) receiving your call details is exactly the same procedure.

Well for starters, is it possible with DTAC for a foreigner to properly register their SIM? Because with AIS, the answer is no. The AIS site is unable to handle anything but a Thai ID. What you indicated earlier (registering in a Thai wife's name) is a work-around perhaps suitable for you, but probably not legal nor "properly registered (as obliged by law)" if you come right down to it. And certainly not suitable nor legal for those foreigners not legally married here.

I have to admit that with my limited experience on the DTAC website and at their local office, I do get a much more "welcoming" feeling and attitude from them. They seem more accomodating to foreigners and their needs. I probably should make consideration to porting my number over to them.

As for the above remark about "if you don't want to spend the 3 baht to call customer service": The main point was just the fact that they had the audacity to charge their own customers for calling them to settle mutual business. As for 3 baht, with the length of the call and time I was put on hold, it was more like 15 baht.

Edited by Sam Drucker
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Oh, I agree, they shouldn't charge for calls to their helpdesk, my point was just that they all do it.

I don't think there is anything illegal about having my wife register for my phone. I'm not a lawyer but I think the bottom line is someone needs to be responsible for every number out there. I don't think it says anywhere that you're not allowed to let someone else use your phone.

It may be that the website doesn't allow you to register as a foreigner, but I'm sure if you went to one of their offices there are no problem registering.

Anyway, you should of course go with who you feel like. All I'm saying is after years of using DTAC and being frustrated by their slow internet I decided to move to AIS some months ago, and have not had reason to regret that decision so far.

FWIW we also cut our total phone bill at least by half - but I admit that probably has just as much to do with us not having the most appropriate calling plan with DTAC.

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But with DTAC/HAPPY it is much easier to retrieve your call information and to replace a lost SIM. Plus they have a Live Chat facility if you don't want to spend the 3 baht to call customer service.

Sorry but I have to disagree with this. If your sim is properly registered (as obliged by law) receiving your call details is exactly the same procedure.

Well for starters, is it possible with DTAC for a foreigner to properly register their SIM? Because with AIS, the answer is no. The AIS site is unable to handle anything but a Thai ID. What you indicated earlier (registering in a Thai wife's name) is a work-around perhaps suitable for you, but probably not legal nor "properly registered (as obliged by law)" if you come right down to it. And certainly not suitable nor legal for those foreigners not legally married here.

I have to admit that with my limited experience on the DTAC website and at their local office, I do get a much more "welcoming" feeling and attitude from them. They seem more accomodating to foreigners and their needs. I probably should make consideration to porting my number over to them.

As for the above remark about "if you don't want to spend the 3 baht to call customer service": The main point was just the fact that they had the audacity to charge their own customers for calling them to settle mutual business. As for 3 baht, with the length of the call and time I was put on hold, it was more like 15 baht.

My sim is registered in my name using my missus' ID number.

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For those who've successfully set up the requisite customer profile, can you share what the Service Summary looks like?

Does it detail all originated calls, SMSes, MMSes? Data sessions? Top-ups? Monthly recurring charges, say for a data plan?

Can you go to a Telewiz or AIS shop and request this information?

edited to add:

I have to say that the Happy (DTAC pre-paid) on-line "Itemized Billing", requires a separate one-time password after you've already logged in to eServices, is amazingly detailed.

You can select a month (not sure how far back this goes as I only started with DTAC in August), then it will display every call (13 pages in my case for September), then there are tabs for Refill Service, Service Application Fee VAS Package Application Fee.

But I couldn't find my 3G Data Plan (1 GB/30 days/349 baht); I can find MB used to date but no deduction for the service, I may have to look around a bit. There are maybe too many options?

Edited by lomatopo
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But with DTAC/HAPPY it is much easier to retrieve your call information and to replace a lost SIM. Plus they have a Live Chat facility if you don't want to spend the 3 baht to call customer service.

Sorry but I have to disagree with this. If your sim is properly registered (as obliged by law) receiving your call details is exactly the same procedure.

Well we'll just have to disagree. But by the looks of it, it appears that others agree with my interpretation. Do you have a HAPPY SIM? Have you been through the procedure in order to retrieve call information? Can you explain the differences, if any?

If you have not, then perhaps you should rescind your statement.

Adding "If your sim is properly registered (as obliged by law)" appears disingenuous, especially as it ignores the effort involved in doing so.

The question is, "is it easier to retrieve your call details with DTAC or is it not?" I insist that it is.

AIS Call Centre Chat here

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Jiu-Jitsu, I've mentionned several times that I used DTAC for years so, yes, I have plenty of experience retrieving my call details through both DTAC's and AIS's websites, and it is straight forward in both cases: Enter your phone number, they SMS you a pincode, you enter it and you're in your details page. With AIS you then need to enter your registered ID number to get access to the call details, presumably for privacy reasons, I don't know. I think it was the same with DTAC.

As has been discussed before, I leave my wife to take care of the bureaucracy here. I was with her when we registered the SIM's (the whole family's is in her name) and it was a matter of a few minutes. From other posters experience it seem that you can simply use your passport number, padded with zeroes as necessary, if for any reason you have/want to register the SIM in your own name. In the worst case I'm still convinced if you go to one of their offices with your passport and SIM it should be reasonably simple to register. No?

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Jiu-Jitsu, I've mentionned several times that I used DTAC for years so, yes, I have plenty of experience retrieving my call details through both DTAC's and AIS's websites, and it is straight forward in both cases: Enter your phone number, they SMS you a pincode, you enter it and you're in your details page. With AIS you then need to enter your registered ID number to get access to the call details, presumably for privacy reasons, I don't know. I think it was the same with DTAC.

As has been discussed before, I leave my wife to take care of the bureaucracy here. I was with her when we registered the SIM's (the whole family's is in her name) and it was a matter of a few minutes. From other posters experience it seem that you can simply use your passport number, padded with zeroes as necessary, if for any reason you have/want to register the SIM in your own name. In the worst case I'm still convinced if you go to one of their offices with your passport and SIM it should be reasonably simple to register. No?

I think that says it all. ;) So you don't know...your wife does. It is easier with DTAC. You can take my word for it.

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Jiu-Jitsu, I've mentionned several times that I used DTAC for years so, yes, I have plenty of experience retrieving my call details through both DTAC's and AIS's websites, and it is straight forward in both cases: Enter your phone number, they SMS you a pincode, you enter it and you're in your details page. With AIS you then need to enter your registered ID number to get access to the call details, presumably for privacy reasons, I don't know. I think it was the same with DTAC.

As has been discussed before, I leave my wife to take care of the bureaucracy here. I was with her when we registered the SIM's (the whole family's is in her name) and it was a matter of a few minutes. From other posters experience it seem that you can simply use your passport number, padded with zeroes as necessary, if for any reason you have/want to register the SIM in your own name. In the worst case I'm still convinced if you go to one of their offices with your passport and SIM it should be reasonably simple to register. No?

I think that says it all. ;) So you don't know...your wife does. It is easier with DTAC. You can take my word for it.

No, there are two different issues at this point of the discussion:

1) registration of a SIM by a foreigner

2) is it easier to see your call details in AIS or DTAC

I replied to (2) that it is the same procedure in both carriers. Somehow that ended up becoming a discussion about registering a SIM. I admit I haven't done this myself but judging by other posts such as #12 of this thread it seems to be pretty easy too.

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Jiu-Jitsu, I've mentionned several times that I used DTAC for years so, yes, I have plenty of experience retrieving my call details through both DTAC's and AIS's websites, and it is straight forward in both cases: Enter your phone number, they SMS you a pincode, you enter it and you're in your details page. With AIS you then need to enter your registered ID number to get access to the call details, presumably for privacy reasons, I don't know. I think it was the same with DTAC.

As has been discussed before, I leave my wife to take care of the bureaucracy here. I was with her when we registered the SIM's (the whole family's is in her name) and it was a matter of a few minutes. From other posters experience it seem that you can simply use your passport number, padded with zeroes as necessary, if for any reason you have/want to register the SIM in your own name. In the worst case I'm still convinced if you go to one of their offices with your passport and SIM it should be reasonably simple to register. No?

I think that says it all. ;) So you don't know...your wife does. It is easier with DTAC. You can take my word for it.

No, there are two different issues at this point of the discussion:

1) registration of a SIM by a foreigner

2) is it easier to see your call details in AIS or DTAC

I replied to (2) that it is the same procedure in both carriers. Somehow that ended up becoming a discussion about registering a SIM. I admit I haven't done this myself but judging by other posts such as #12 of this thread it seems to be pretty easy too.

No. it is not the same. That's what I mean.

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I totally agree that AIS has an unfriendly half-finished Website and I assume they are not going to change that style, because they haven't changed it ever since they started the website. However I've never had any bad experiences with AIS here in ChiangMai. I've been an AIS customer since 1997 and a 1-2-call user since 2003. I usually go to their head office in ChiangMai and people working there are all helpfull. They sometimes even help me with things usual Thai works would not offer a help with. So I guess it depends on which office you visit. Nowadays they have a foreign customer-counter where you can actually get yourself understood in English. :)

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In defence of AIS I find their e-Service really good. I am on post paid though so maybe the pre paid One2Call part isn't as good. Once logged in, if I want to check my balance and useage history it asks me to enter either my ID card no. or my passport no., so I must have registered my passport no. when I signed up for it.

I like the fact that I can change my service plan online very easily.

As another positive, I had the 30 hour Edge package. My (not so)SmartPhone kept turning on the Edge, even after turning it off, so I used up the hours and started to get charged Bt1 per minute. Someone from AIS actually called me to tell me that I had accrued Bt 1,000 in excess charges and that I could change to the Bt 799 unlimited 3G/Edge package, which would abosrb the already generated charge. Very pro-active customert service.

I do wish they'd stop SMSing me roaming offers though.

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To access the itemized billing for Happy (DTAC pre-paid) I did not have to provider any personal details other than my name.

If it's any consolation Truemove does not even offer this type of service for pre-paid customers. ;)

I haven't bothered signing up with One-2-Call.

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The OP talked about the websites of the different mobile companies...

As for the new True Move H operation, they're following the bad trend of True Corp. lately in that a) they're not providing most of their pages in English, and b] they're building their Thai pages entirely with graphic content (images of text vs plain text) that cannot be translated online via Google, etc....

All throughout True's corporate web sites, you'll find pages with the little TH/EN bug up in the top right corner... Most of the time, clicking EN either doesn't lead to anything (a dead link) or it leads to a Thai language page.... Sometimes it actually does lead to an English language page, but that's more the exception than the rule...

I'm sure someone will say, "Well, True Move H is a brand-new operation, give them time..." That's true, but unfortunately, a lot of the other divisions of True Corp., which aren't new, have been moving in exactly the same direction.... It's a bad trend....

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I'm sure someone will say, "Well, True Move H is a brand-new operation, give them time..." That's true, but unfortunately, a lot of the other divisions of True Corp., which aren't new, have been moving in exactly the same direction.... It's a bad trend....

Yes, AIS was a new brand too (in 1997) and we can see how giving them time has turned out (as far as a web site with English language throughout is concerned.) What these companies need to realize is that there are a large number of foreigners in Thailand, and as a whole they are a (relatively) affluent group of people. (Thai women figured this out years ago! :D ) And for even those foreigners coming from non-English-speaking countries, English is typically (at least) a second language for them. So it benefits these companies to welcome this group of customers rather than dealing with them as an after-thought.

And speaking of after-thoughts, these systems used by companies (like AIS) of taking the foreigner's passport number and just padding it with 0's to use as a pseudo-Thai ID number just adds another potential hiccup down the road. Don't know about other countries, but my country's passport numbers change with every passport renewal. It also means my Thai Driver License number (which is my passport number) will need to change eventually, with an intermediate period where my Driver License number doesn't match my Passport number. :rolleyes:

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Well for starters, is it possible with DTAC for a foreigner to properly register their SIM? Because with AIS, the answer is no. The AIS site is unable to handle anything but a Thai ID. What you indicated earlier (registering in a Thai wife's name) is a work-around perhaps suitable for you, but probably not legal nor "properly registered (as obliged by law)" if you come right down to it. And certainly not suitable nor legal for those foreigners not legally married here.

I registered with a friend's card. The AIS people said "any" thai id would be ok. All the other fields have my information. And if you lose your sim, just take your passport to Telewiz or AIS shop and they will replace. Sometimes free, sometimes 50 baht.

As for the above remark about "if you don't want to spend the 3 baht to call customer service": The main point was just the fact that they had the audacity to charge their own customers for calling them to settle mutual business. As for 3 baht, with the length of the call and time I was put on hold, it was more like 15 baht.

There have been times where if they cannot resolve a problem immediately, they will call me back. And they do actually call back. So I suppose it works both ways. I had problems when I first came to thailand, figuring out how to tether internet, mac compatibility, and stuff like that. But I rarely have to call them now. I only had to call CAT CDMA 3 times. Twice to report an outage. In malaysia, DiGi customer service was free from the mobile. I think it's more of a psychological thing. If you know you have to pay for the call, you're much more likely to call only when you have an issue pressing enough. Ramit Sethi had pointed out the psychological barriers and mentioned how a grocery store started charging 2 cents a bag and how the amount of bags used went down 70-80%. I observed this myself in Malaysia. Carrefour charged 6 cents per bag. If i could carry it in my hand, i did.....and I always thought twice about double-bagging.

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