For over 20 years, our home is very loyal to PLDT and we have seen the company evolve from its logo, the telephone directories that come for free annually, to its tech upgrades when it began internet services to fiber optic technology as it is now. Amazing how this company grew and I am sure this company is worth billions. They might have gotten the right recipe for their business model.
Everyday my newsfeed will have one or two advertisements from PLDT. This is usually inviting more subscribers in to their ecosystem as they have a wide variety of services such as internet, phone, cable service bundled on their internet and all that. Exciting as the price and the “unlimited” fast and reliable service, you begin to wonder why most of their sponsored ads would have angry emojis.
I am now in the brink of disconnecting from their service. Not because I haven’t paid my bills but rather the company has not given what I paid for.
I can easily recall a few years back when I was already having stable income and wanted to upgrade our internet services. This was under the name of my father and he is not able to transact given his paralyzed medical condition. I was young then and I am usually impatient with too much paperwork so I resorted to having mobile data on my smart phone in case I needed extra speed.
Then 2020 came, my father died in June. This time, I really had to request for transfer of ownership. So I called up their hotline and followed all the instructions. They required me the death certificate, the customer information sheet for my updated information and valid ID. These would then be emailed to their applications email account. After that, no more. As in, no more. Nothing happened. No calls. No emails. No texts. I let it pass although I already did some research and yes, their customer service has been frustrating not only me but thousands of subscribers. Hurray for monopoly, I guess.
I tried again recently. This time I did it on a weekly basis this February. I tried emailing. I tried their hotline again. But nothing happened. I had to rant for many times on Twitter just to get their attention and when I got their attention, all I got was a chatbot response from Salesforce. I am quite impressed by how they have invested so much on their customer service portal and yet the actual people to do the job did not do anything to solve the problem.
After many, many, many frustrating attempts, one human finally told me that I send them the requirements again. So I resent my email on their portal. Amusing as it is, it had several layers on indention already because yes, I’ve been forwarding it for several times already. Guess what, I didn’t get anything. Wala pa ring nangyayari.
Still, I extended my patience. Then another human came in. I had to settle my balance. I regularly pay and it is on time. For sure, the 20 years of consistent and never getting disconnected service is enough proof. But no, PLDT rejected my appeal. Like, wow. I’m impressed with the level of capitalism. But since, I cannot get an internet connection right away, so be it. I paid. I emailed my requirements again. No response still! And I’m already getting used to it. I mean, sure. PLDT would want dead people as their subscribers probably.
Finally, I still had the guts to be dumbfounded by their excellent customer service. So another rant on Twitter, another comment by their caring robot. This time, the human got into her senses and told me that I have to send the files through the Twitter messaging feature. So I had to prepare a shared folder and it contained the documents they needed. And yes, my personal information went all around their network several times. Towards midnight, I finally own the account of our PLDT service.
But wait, there’s more.
I would not really call PLDT a scam just yet until I finally decided to look for new providers. Now that I am excited to upgrade our internet, I called up their hotline. I admire my patience and confidence. I got my application for migration to fiber so fast. Nice.
Day in and day out, I counted the guaranteed five calendar days of my migration from DSL to fiber. These days I had my internet connection slowed down to horrific levels. It felt like the dial up connection in the 90s was faster. It was not in Mbps and was barely hanging to kbps – 0.9 kbps, I guess. I had to call again. The agent clarified that this was the case for accounts with service orders. I even clarified if at this period, a subscriber has to suffer excruciatingly slow internet speeds. The agent gladly affirmed. Amazing. This agent then assured me that within 24 to 48 hours somebody from the technical service would contact me regarding the status as well as act on my service request.
Forty-eight hours have passed and to no avail. If I were Duterte, I would probably order a PLDT shutdown but I am poor and I am not powerful like him. So, I called up again as it really interrupted my work from home and my online class. I had this final waiting period of another 24 to 48 hours. The said period ends today, March 30.
What do I do now? My internet is slow. I regularly pay my bills. I did what I can. Why are they not acting on it? I had to suffer this bureaucratic process from a privately run monopoly. I could not go anywhere. I mean I heard other networks have available services but these are slower than ever and are getting a fair share of rants like this. But we are never heard.
The pandemic has increased our demand for fast and reliable service and yet we only pay but we do not get the quality of the services we pay for. Complain to the authorities? It adds another layer of bureaucracy. It is frustrating. It is the fourth time I mentioned that word but the level of frustration is severe.
I beg to wonder why they spend so much on advertising but they cannot keep up. It is like paying for a bucket of chicken and just getting the bucket without the chicken. When you complain, customer service staff will just hit you like a volleyball and pass you around. They are doing great injustice all for the sake of getting plenty of subscribers and charge them for something they did not get.
They probably put quotas on their agents and their staff and the same people get pounded when there are complaints. It is unfair for their employees, too.
Philippines, when will we get better telecommunication service? Not all of us are a fool.