Telecom companies target foreign residents with new products
Mobile carriers are ramping up services for foreign residents as the coronavirus outbreak has taken a toll on revenue from overseas roaming services. Major telecom companies SK Telecom, KT and LG U+ have added services to attract new customers.
According to the most recent information from the Korea Immigration Service, there are 2.2 million foreign nationals living in Korea.
SK Telecom announced a new prepaid service dubbed "Miri" on Sunday. The service targeting foreign residents allows users to add anything from 10,000 won ($8.38) to 5 million won in pre-paid credit. Miri also offers discounts based on membership and contract type, as well as subsidies for phones.
Previously, prepaid services only allowed monthly lump-sum payments, not accepting partial payments or payments of additional fees that incur from other apps or services. Miri allows for automatic payments of monthly bills as well as installments, small sums and additional service fees. If a user cancels their SK Telecom membership with funds remaining in their account, they will be refunded.
KT has increased foreign-language support, transferring employees that were formerly at roaming centers in airports to support centers for international customers after identifying the language barrier issue for foreign residents, who often encounter difficulties while installing internet and TV services.
“The results of previous marketing campaigns for foreigners have shown that they have significantly contributed to getting more registrations from foreign nationals,” said a spokesperson for KT.
Meanwhile, LG U+ has launched an “early bird” promotion, selling gift cards for roaming services that can be bought now at a discounted rate and used in the future when travel is an option again.
“There will be a promotion going on throughout August for customers with plans to travel abroad at the end of the year or next year, so they can pay for roaming services at a discount in advance,” said LG U+.
Customers can choose between 10 percent and 15 percent discount options. Those that sign up for the gift card program also have free access to travel insurance that covers up to 100 million won.
“Members can change their calling plan or get refunds if they cancel their trips abroad after buying the gift cards, without having to pay cancellation fees,” said LG U+.
BY KIM KYUNG-JIN [firstname.lastname@example.org]