The free WiFi 6 router that Maxis is touting isn’t exactly FREE as claimed.
Here’s what I just found out, and what you should know about their “free” WiFi 6 router.
Maxis Fibre Broadband : What Free WiFi 6 Router?
On 18 February 2021, Maxis announced that they would make a new WiFi 6 router available for FREE to all new and existing Maxis Fibre Broadband customers!
The WiFi 6 router will be available for free from today, 18 February onwards for new customers who sign up for Maxis Fibre plans of 100Mbps and above. Existing Maxis Fibre customers will be contacted in phases for the router upgrade exercise. Maxis’ specialised Internet experts, Maxperts, will also provide free installation of the router to ensure that the WiFi is optimized for the best connectivity experience for the home.
When I wrote about it, I thought that was pretty generous of them, and a brilliant way to reduce churn and eat into Unifi’s business.
I quickly called up Maxis, eager to give it a try myself. But almost 7 months later, no one from the Maxis Fibre Broadband team called me up about this free WiFi 6 router upgrade.
Today, I found out that what Maxis announced in February was not exactly the truth. Here are the facts…
Maxis Fibre Warning : WiFi 6 Router NOT Exactly Free!
When Maxis first announced the availability of their free WiFi 6 router, they specifically stated that :
- it would be made available for FREE for new customers who sign up for 100 Mbps or faster plans, and
- existing customers would receive the upgrade in phases.
Neither are true… which is good news and bad news.
Based on my conversation with Amir from their Customer Service team, and Intan from their Fibre Broadband team on 17 September 2021, here are the facts :
- The WiFi 6 router is only available to new customers, and existing customers who are already (or almost) out-of-contract.
This WiFi 6 router will not be made available to customers who are still under contract.
- Existing customers will not be upgraded in phases as claimed. Rather, you have to call up Maxis customer service to request for the upgrade.
- Existing customers MUST upgrade their existing plans to qualify for the WiFi 6 router upgrade.
If you are on 30 Mbps, you must upgrade to 100 Mbps or higher
If you are on 300 Mbps, you must upgrade to 500 Mbps or higher
Existing customers MUST sign up for a 2-year contract, which introduces this penalty should you terminate the contract at any point in time :
Early Termination Charge of RM500 or the remaining monthly subscription charges in the contract period, whichever is higher.
- For existing customers, the WiFi 6 router replaces your existing router, which will be taken back by Maxis.
Since this occurs at the end of a contract, this implies that the routers are “leased” and do not belong to you even after you complete the contract.
None of the information I gleaned above were posted in the official Maxis WiFi 6 router page.
Their FAQ mentioned that the WiFi 6 router is only given free to “new installations for all plans of Maxis Fibre“, including their cheaper 30 Mbps plan.
There is NO MENTION in the Maxis website of any requirement to upgrade your plan, or sign up for a new 2-year contract, to receive this “free” WiFi 6 router upgrade.
The only reference to the Early Termination Charge is found in the Maxis Fibre Service Specific Terms & Conditions (SSTC) page, but that appears to refer to new installations.
Maxis Fibre WiFi 6 Router : Caveat Emptor!
As a long-time Maxis Mobile and Maxis Fibre customer, I’m very disappointed to see them quietly change the terms for what would have been a great upgrade for their loyal customers.
Forcing people to upgrade their plans when they don’t need the extra speed means you are essentially paying for the router.
That’s RM20 to RM80 extra per month, or between RM480 and RM1,920 for a 2-year contract!
Don’t be the fool who ends up paying RM80 extra per month for a “free” WiFi 6 router, unless it’s gold-plated!
I can understand if they wish to tack on a 2-year contract, but at least make it clear to customers in the website, including the early termination penalty!
There is one piece of good news though – even their cheapest 30 Mbps plan comes with the WiFi 6 router!
Pro Tip #1 : Call Maxis customer service and switch to the 30 Mbps plan, before asking for the WiFi 6 upgrade. This way, you don’t have to upgrade to a faster plan unnecessarily.
Pro Tip #2 : If you are currently on the 30 Mbps plan and don’t want to upgrade for the free router, call to CANCEL the service and migrate to Unifi or TIME (which always gives free upgrades!). Their Save team will call you up to try and salvage your business.
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.
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