Pay for Nothing with PLDT

I will not be talking about new services offered by PLDT or its sister company Smart, instead, I will be ranting how this company created new wrinkles to my already pimply-face. (This is one of the longest posts I have written so please bear with me.)

Actually, the accounts (yes, there are two accounts involved here) I am having problems with are not mine (thankfully, mine is okay). The first one is registered under the name of my cousin who is based in UAE together with his wife. Internet connection is very important to them because it is one of their ways to communicate with their eight-year old son who lives here in the Philippines with his grandparents, my aunt and uncle. They have been a subscriber of Smart’s 999 plan for five years already.

The second account belongs to my other cousin who works as seaman. Like the first account, internet is very important to him as well because he wants to communicate with his kids and wife.

Given that my aunt and my cousin’s wife are not really knowledgeable when it comes to ISP’s and various matters regarding to it, they would always ask me to check their internet and laptops each time they cannot connect to the internet or if there is something wrong with their gadgets.

Since they were not able to connect to the internet, they asked me to check their laptop and since I cannot fix it or connect them to internet myself, I DMed (direct message) @pldthome and @pldt_cares about my concern on July 23. Since I have not gotten any reply, I messaged them again the next day, July 24, then again on July 25. Their first reply came on the 26th. Yes, it took them three days to reply! For a company whose stock market price per share is the most expensive in the country, they can do better than that I think!

Their reply to me was nothing helpful at all since they only asked me for the account number which I have sent them along with our address on my first message.
After sending them necessary details, they replied the next day telling me that with the first account, they said that they are unable to check further since the antenna is offline. With the second account, there is technical activity on the base station where the antenna is connected. Our correspondence went on for days with me getting pissed off as the days passed by.

On the 29th, I got a message from Shiela (PLDT customer care), that the first account has outstanding balance of Php 999 and needs to be settled for the ban to be lifted. So my aunt paid the balance hoping that they can finally use the internet once paid. For the record, this has not happened before even if her bill sometimes exceed Php 2000 but we were thinking that they are getting strict when it comes to billing and collection so we obliged.

The next day (July 30), I informed them that the balance has been paid and asked on update. No response came! I also discovered that the message telling me to pay for the balance has been deleted. It’s no longer there but thankfully, I was able to screen capture it. Everyday since July 30, I send them message asking for updates but they only replied August 03. So if you need internet connection like you need air, you will definitely be dead by the time they respond or if you are trying to communicate with a loved one during her/his last minute, the company will just fail you… BIG time!

The August 03 reply wasn’t pleasant news still. They said that there is an ongoing technical enhancement in our area… for BOTH accounts! What the!! I almost want to pull my hair out of my frustration because of their reply. Imagine, they told me that one of the accounts has a balance and needs to be settled to resume internet usage then after paying they told us that there is a technical activity going! Clap clap for their alibis and strategies. They are so disgusting I had their bases exploded many times… in my mind.

On August 05 I got a message again instructing me on how to tweak the browser and other settings. While I am not an expert when it comes to all matters regarding computers, I am not naive either. It isn’t rocket science to figure the steps they asked me to do but what about those who are technology-challenged? What if it’s only my aunt and my nephew?

My point is, with the problem going on for too long; why not send their technician to check out personally? Doing so would have saved both parties lots of time. It would also save them from drawing ire from annoyed customers. Will it cost them thousands of pesos to send a man or two to personally see to it that their subscribers get the service they are paying for? Instead of spending millions on advertising, why don’t they spend it on improving their services including their customer care? To whom poor Juan dela Cruz turn to for refuge? What is the government doing? Can’t they control these greedy companies? Or these greedy companies are controlling our ever unreliable so-called leaders?

On August 13 (lunch break), I went to PLDT office to process the disconnection of one of the accounts and I was stunned with the number of people waiting to be accommodated. There are still 30 customers before me so knowing that I cannot be accommodated within an hour, I went back to the office right away.

The next day, August 14, I arrived at PLDT at 8:15am though I know office starts at 8:30am. When I arrived, there are already lots of people waiting for the office to open. Most of them have complains as well. After 8:30am, I waited for like 10 minutes for my number to be called. I told the employee the issue and my intention to having the line disconnected. I also asked her about the rebate but upon checking, the technical department has not resolved the issue/investigation yet so I cannot be given a rebate right away. If I want to get the rebate, I will have to wait for the tech’s findings but I want things to be over with so I decided to pay (for nothing) the Php 999 due. She said that I need to contact their customer service for my bill to be adjusted but I already did that eons before I went to the office to request for disconnection. I no longer expect any refund from that bullshit company. They’re selfish like that!

Now we are left with one problematic account to address. I’m sure it will take a long while before problem with this account ends because it is still under contract. *sigh*

To anyone who thinks of subscribing to Smart or PLDT's internet plans, please do yourself a favor by not pushing through with it. If you have moderate internet needs, better choose prepaid and those without lock in period. You can easily get away with this once problem occurs. However, if you are like me who needs internet like I need food (100% of my work involves the use of internet)... oh crap I have no ISP to suggest. We recently subscribed to Globe Plan 1299 and so far it's doing fine. I hope it stays this way forever to avoid headache (and loss of income).

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