Killing Melita

It’s no surprise that Melita has managed to (pardon my French) piss off many people – be it because of their horrible customer service, because of their tendency to overcharge people and send incorrect bills, or because of their often sub-par connection speeds, regardless of your Internet package.

I personally decided to finally switch away from Melita earlier this year, after getting fed up with all of the above.

But then there’s the big question – which provider should you go to next?

Unfortunately, there aren’t many alternative options available. In the whole country, there are essentially 3 Internet providers – Melita, GO and Vodafone – and we’ve already eliminated one of these, leaving us with only two.

Or Maybe One …

As much as I personally like Vodafone, their customer service and most importantly their network speeds (which – in my opinion – beat any other provider by a mile), the unfortunate reality is that unless you only use the Internet for checking emails, you won’t want to limit yourself to a measly 5GB (or 12/22GB with larger packages) per month in bandwidth.

“Vodafone is definitely a cost-effective option, but only if you’re willing to tie yourself to the monthly bandwidth limit and pay high fees”

With that said, for the less demanding of you, who don’t often download large files or get stuck on 2-hour Skype calls, Vodafone may indeed be a viable option.

Pricing

Vodafone Pricing Table
Screengrab from http://www.vodafone.com.mt/mobile-wifi/

In comparison to Melita who charge €30 per month for their cheapest package, Vodafone Internet packages start from €10 monthly. Even their most expensive package, granting you 22GB in monthly bandwidth, is cheaper than Melita’s cheapest option.

As such, Vodafone is definitely a cost-effective option, but only if you’re willing to tie yourself to the monthly bandwidth limit and pay high fees* should you go over.

* At the time of writing of this article, Vodafone’s Terms & Conditions specify the charge of €5 per GB for over-usage.

Commitment

Similarly to the other 2 operators, Vodafone requires you to sign a 2-year agreement in order to benefit from the good rates and get the Wifi Dongle for free. And needless to say, you do need the dongle!

That said, they do also offer Pay As You Go -type packages, where you pay €15 for 3GB or €25 for 10GB and bring your own device.

This is great news to those not willing to commit for two years, or not knowing whether they’ll even remain on the island for that long.

Set up

Since it’s a mobile connection, there’s no set-up time at all.

Just go to a Vodafone outlet, sort out the paperwork, and off you go with a working wireless modem. It certainly can’t get any better than that.

Connection Speed

In my experience, Vodafone has over the recent years improved significantly when it comes to the speed of their 4G network. If we also take variation (e.g. speed decline during peak hours) into account – their speeds are easily the best among the 3.

But being dependent on the mobile network, everything of course depends on your location. If you’re in a remote location then you should definitely test the speed first. You also need to take into account that your connection might get patcy during big events or other times when there’s a lot of mobile usage.

Other Considerations

One of the main added benefits of mobile Internet is, of course, the fact that it’s … well … mobile!

Personally, I have a Vodafone Wifi Dongle for situations when I’m out at cafe wanting to get work done but their WiFi signal is bad or not working, and my wife uses it whilst commuting to get some work done on the bus.

Whilst I don’t use mobile Internet as my primary connection at home for the limited bandwidth reason and can therefore always keep the dongle in my bag or in the car, the device is the same for those who DO use it as their primary connection – you can just as easily pop it off the power (it has a battery, of course) and bring it with you where-ever you’re going.

Be careful not to take it with you when travelling, though – the roaming charges that you’d get hit with are horrendous!

But to those of you who are more like me and do want to enjoy unlimited bandwidth, there’s …

UPDATE – 01/08/16 – We were contacted by Vodafone, informing us that they’ve in fact started offering a Home Internet package with near-unlimited bandwidth (350GB per month). It costs €35 per month on a contract and includes a wireless home router. As they’re soft-launching the service, you won’t find ads for it on their website, but can reach out to them directly in case of interest.

GO

GO is the operator that I personally went with after switching away from Melita.

Even though there’s not much choice for those who are fed up with Melita and can’t use Vodafone, let’s take a quick look at what they have to offer.

Pricing

GO Internet Pricing
Screengrab from https://www.go.com.mt/personal/internet-and-phone/internet/plans

In terms of pricing, GO’s prices aren’t nearly as attractive as those of Vodafone, but quite similar to Melita’s.

Even though it initially looks like you’ll get a little bit less “bang for your buck” than you would with Melita (GO’s similarly priced packages usually offer lower speed), I would much rather pay for a 2Mbps upload speed and actually get 2Mbps (GO), than pay the same amount for 5Mbps upload speed but have a tenth of it during the busy hours of the day!

“This might sound a little bit silly, but they even cleaned up after themselves once they had finished!”

You may also like the fact that GO offers a €17 “starter package” – something that Melita doesn’t – to those who really don’t need more than the 15Mbps download speed. And let’s face it – unless you absolutely must get your movies in 3 minutes, rather than 6, the 15Mbps is actually enough for most people.

Commitment

Similarly to the other 2, GO requires a 2-year contract.

What I found refreshing, though, was that they did indeed offer me a “contractless” package for around €8 per month extra.

I didn’t choose to go with it as I’m not intending to move (or switch providers) any time soon, but it’s nevertheless a good addition to have access to.

Set Up

My personal experience with GO was actually quite good, but your mileage may vary, of course.

I’m the kind of person who hates few things more than having to take several hours of my day to go to some outlet and stand in the queue, almost as if I’m begging to give them my money. Because of this, it surprised me a great deal that we managed to go through the whole setup enchilada over email!

From there on, it took GO a couple of days to send over a technician with the modem and the paperwork, and everything was set.

This might sound a little bit silly, but they even cleaned up after themselves once they had finished! This is contrary to Melita, who found it perfectly acceptable to leave all the leftover cable bits and dust lying on the floor, and also deemed it a good idea to drill a hole for their cable without even covering it up with a box.

Connection Speed

I’ve used GO for a tad over 3 months now, and the speeds are largely what I expected them to be.

Is the connection speed better than it was with Melita? Yes. Several times over and then some.

Am I actually happy? Not 100%, but then again living on a small island in the middle of the sea, with Internet connections in general being what they are, I don’t think there’s much room for complaining.

Bottom Line

Good Intenet connectivity for decent prices is likely going to remain a large issue in this country for a long time. According to a long piece done by the Times recently, Malta’s broadband is the slowest AND the most expensive in all of the EU.

Any quick changes in this situation are unlikely, mainly due to Malta’s geographical location and the small population, but at least there is SOME competition – if just between the “big two” – which will hopefully lead to a continued improvement in both service, speed and prices across the board.

Got your own experiences with Melita, GO or Vodafone? Please share them in the comments below!

P.S. I hope I won’t get sued by Melita now. This would be a shame, especially with this being one of the site’s first articles. But then again, I bet there are thousands of people happy to testify that nothing that I’ve said about Melita above is false 🙂

22 COMMENTS

    • Pretty much! The sheer number of people complaining in groups like RUBS and elsewhere would make you assume that the company would do something to sort their stuff out but it doesn’t look like they even care the slightest.

  1. Never had problems with melita. Full internet speed, regular billing, and latley I switched to Melita mobile, very cheap calls and internet, although vodafone still the best mobile service provider, i found out that melita mobile is better than go mobile. Great my melita app to check usage, pay bills and top ups. The only thing that bothers me with melita is the telemarketing, always calling for selling packages and some of the outlets sales reps are not trained and have no knowledge on their service offers.

  2. I do agree that Melita is not the perfect company but then again there’s no such thing as a perfect service provider. Melita has some of the best offers available right now in Malta, you save up and yet you benefit much more than you can with other companies. I can assure you that most of the complaints that arise are because the customers themselves might not pay their bills right away or refuse to follow the procedures that they signed for on their contracts which leads to incurring extra charges as the company needs to protect itself aswell as not all customers have good intentions. However there are cases in which there were mistakes on bills but if a complaint is passed on to customer care they will take care of it when possible but there’s no point in some clients complaining about their service and not call customer care.

    • Your reasoning is carp. IF there are so many customers that DO NOT UNDERSTAND what they are doing, how come that ALL these are customers of Melita? See where you are wrong?

  3. Comparing ISPs in Malta (Europe) to those in the US isn’t really accurate or useful in any way, shape or form. It’s like telling to someone complaining over high crime rates in Paris how in some war-torn African countries there are 10 homicides per 1,000 people – makes for a good “anti-rant” but serves little useful purpose.

    The bottom line is – if we close our eyes to problems and think of “how lucky we are as some places in the world are even worse off” then we’re essentially killing all development and maintaining the (often, shit) status quo instead of improving things.

    The fact is that amongst other EU countries, Malta’s Internet is both the slowest and the most expensive. See a recent article on the Times for more: http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20151023/local/update-2-maltas-broadband-is-slow-most-expensive.589248

    • I have both Melita and GO in two seperate houses
      There is absolutely no difference between the 15 mbs of GO and the 50mbs of Melita!
      What is sure is that with GO , often, the speed goes down and with Melita, there is a sudden, brief stoppage. These are probably used to discourage the use of media streaming boxes, like the android box

  4. Thanks Alex! Someone from Vodafone actually reached out to me and told me about the package – I’ll update the article shortly. It’s a bit of a shame that they don’t do a better job advertising it (it’s nowhere to be found on their site when looking under services), but it’s great that it exists nevertheless!

  5. I actually didn’t have any problems with Meltia since I’ve been using them (5 months)… maybe I’m lucky, or I live in a good place, I don’t know. It’s always around 50/5Mbit, what I’m paying for.

    • that speed is only local from your hone to Melita
      but, what is the speed from Melita to Milano ( Italy)???
      Our internet comes from Milano, in Italy.

    • I have both Melita and GO in two seperate houses
      There is absolutely no difference between the 15 mbs of GO and the 50mbs of Melita!
      What is sure is that with GO , often, the speed goes down and with Melita, there is a sudden, brief stoppage. These are probably used to discourage the use of media streaming boxes, like the android box

  6. In all cases BEWARE of the disconnection penalties.
    In case you have to stop the contract ex leaving Malta you have to pay penalties:
    For example Vodafone Home can have a penalty from 100 to 400 euro if you break the contract.
    GO has a fixed penalty of 75 euro
    Melita has a penalty from 10 to 240 euro

  7. as for speed and quality

    Local internet speed is a scam
    The quoted speed is only local, from your house to GO, Melita, and Vodafon.
    But, local internet is fed from Italy, and no one knows the speed there!

    They provide their own tv reception packages, which they get from the internet, but, they do not like you to get iptv, and watch tv direct from the internet. So, they throttle the internet service, so that you can browse and download normally, but, they try to make online iptv reception difficult.

    A terrestral and cable tv provider should not also be an internet service provider, because of conflict of interest. It is in their interest to make online. iptv difficult to see.

    The latest EU digital single market directives prohibits service providers from restricting , or making obstacles, like a technique called, throtting, to iptv and other online media services

  8. yep sourley that cable compannies like melita the problems are equal worst like go as fault are reported on facebook that go frequentaley disconnects or intermidate cuts( modem reboot frequentaly) and melita are the same because i am with them since 2013, 15mps, 2014, 30mbps, and 2016, 50mbps, and basically my recent all time problem is internet slow throttling not in speed i get 44-48mbps but bandwidth is significant poor becuse they sent a tech and chacked my modem and the outside connection from the tap box and he found that the rx,tx, QAM, snr, and basically not as perfect as the results are that the problem is comming because they use single mode fibre from maddliena to my locaton and connected to a node(exchange) and from there they use an rg6 choax form node to aplifier and for amp connects the same coax to the tap , so basically the is is sharing and thats why is comming poor badwidth especially uses thaffic managment policy basically restrict or limit certain type of internet traffic with is bassicaly throttling so it is illegal, so stay away from melita asap and let the fail to close their companny, shame to joe gasan and the rest of the executive stafff!!!!!

    • I am quite old and have been using TV / Internet obviously for many years. Initially Vodaphone was good but generally speaking the most expensive. I once refused to pay, they threatened legal action but I counter acted legally too and they dropped their claim. Go was not an option in the early years.
      Throughout the years I found that the most stable and the provider which I could definitely depend on close to 100% was Melita. I am an engineer and I could easily see and feel that the equipment and service was most definitely being looked as an invest and the level of expertise very goo but the ATTITUDE OF THE MANAGEMENT probably coming from the CEO top down was really bad.
      Yes attitude changes everything but since 100% continued good use was important for me, I did not allow my anger to guide me, and I kept to Melita. The continued good use of all the system I had at home continued without fail.
      The good news is that this paid off eventually. Most recently I had a complaint and much to my surprise, my complaint was greeted and I was allowed to speak to the manager (never was this allowed before) and they attennted to the change the following day. The solution did not work to my satisfaction and they came the following day immediately and eliminated all the elements of non conformance.
      I asked what has happened and they said that they have a new CEO now and his number one priority was going to be customer satisfaction. Attitude does change everything

  9. Yeah i remember calling Melita, waiting 1 hours to get in touch with them every single time.

    Or that they forgot to pick up the wifi router 3 times in the end of the contract, even it was scheduled every time. In the end i had to bring it back myself.

    But as i remember they offered the fastest net that time.

  10. Hi all today it is June 2017 and i managed to get rid of Melita with a lot of hassle…..
    And now i would like to have new internet in my new home in Xemxija.
    I need basic internet and andriod box, play some games……
    What is the situation today please…..

  11. I too have had several, not just one off, but several disgusting to say the least problems with Melita both at my home and at our location in Gozo. Only about 30 minutes ago I called Melita complaining once again that notwithstanding that we pay a fee, visitors to our farmhouse complain that they do not have an internet connection. When my wife called earlier on this evening hey promised to see to the problem this coming Monday. In the meantime………(?)
    Suffices to say that there were times when our internet connection was severed by Melita in the knowledge that our farmhouse was not being occupied, yet they still kept mailing the bills!
    What a shoddy, disgusting service Melita is.
    Melita may sue me whenever they wish for claiming that their service is shoddy. I have ample proof to rest my case including emails.

  12. Guess what? Melita’s technician attended to carry out repairs at Xewkija today, Monday 31st. July 2017 at 1.30pm, after calling at 12.00pm today informing me that technicians will be calling betweem 12.00pm and 5.00pm – a five hour appointment. This is is three days after we reported the fault. Soon after Melita’s representative called to apologise and inform us that Melita – being so kind and caring – intends forfeiting one month’s subscription. As if not paying for one month is a solution!

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