A blog by Jacqueline Tabora

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I have a PLDT phone and internet installed. It took a while before I get to decide which internet provider to choose as I have to check the pros and cons of each. I ended up choosing PLDT, as they are the telecom that has the widest coverage and most stable connection (although Globe is heavily promoted in my area). I never complained once of the speed and signal since my connection was installed. Yet, just as when I needed it the most, the connection, particularly for the internet has effed up big time.

September 29

It started on September 29. Halfway through the day, my router showed a red blinking light under the LOS indicator. I did not know what LOS mean (eventually a CSR said it is "Loss of Signal), so I called the PLDT CSR to explained what happened. I was advised that they will conduct a remote testing to check on their end what has happened and to keep my router open. I thought it will just last for an hour or so (and I was also told by one of the agents), however, after an hour, I called the 171 hotline again and reported the issue.

>I called the hotline 4 times since 1pm this day just to follow up. I was told the same thing about the remote line testing.<

The connection came back for 10 minutes but lost it again afterward. CSR told me that maybe the remote testing got interrupted the moment I decided to turn off the router and restart it.

September 30 (24 hours)

I called the PLDT 171 hotline again, just to be told the same damn thing I was told yesterday. Called three times, but decided to push through only one call and talked to a PLDT agent. A service request has been logged, thus I get the automated "I see that you have a pending request" message. I resorted to ranting on Twitter and tagging @PLDT_cares.


October 01 (48 hours)

I am already frustrated, It's a Sunday and I have a lot of pending things to do that requires the internet connection. My frustration was so obvious that I vented it out to the PLDT agent I talked to this day. I was hearing the same script over and over again. The assistance that the CSR can provide me is so limited that I have no choice but to end the 13-minute call.  I know this is a bit reckless, but I also started tagging Manny Pangilinan. The tagging kinda worked for me as PLDT started to respond to my tweets.


October 02 (72 hours)

I am almost giving up, a series of follow up and still no resolution to this goddamn internet connection.


October 3 (96 hours)

I grew tired of waiting since Friday, and I need to go to work. This one day that I decided to leave the house, was the one day the technician decided to effing pay a visit to my house!! I came home at 5pm, the neighbor said the technician dropped by 4pm. I called the PLDT 171 hotline once again and urgently requested to contact the technician and have him returned to my premise. The agent told me that it would not be possible as their work shift is from 8am to 5pm only. So I need to wait again for another day.

Dude, you should have given a heads up to the house owner that you will be coming by!


October 4

I decided to stay at home as I was thinking the technician will return (assuming he'd start off the day from the one he left off yesterday). I waited the whole day for nothing!!! No calls, No texts from the technician. Ano 'to te? Magpapakiramdaman na lang tayo kung kailan magtutugma ang timing? I called the PLDT hotline and opened the call with an angry tone. I bet the CSR got stunned as he completely forgot the "chain of the script" that he should have followed.


October 5

Around 10am, I woke up and checked my router. The damn device still showed a red blinking LOS light. I did not hesitate to call the hotline and demanded another technician who will have time to do an on-premise repair if the assigned one cannot make it. It's my bill's due date, yet I have to pay for a service that gave me frustrations for almost a week! Nakakasama ng loob 'di ba?!??! Nyeta! I was told that my request has been coordinated to the technician and will be addressed at the soonest. Because of the same process that has not been helpful since Day 1, and out of desperation, I even asked if I could personally talk to the technician (which I know is impossible).

After the irate call to the PLDT hotline, the connection came back, but only for 10-15 minutes, which allowed me to do a call to my bank with regard to my online banking access. After that, the red blinking light returned. Juiceme!

Around 3 pm today, the technician texted and asked if I am at home. The technician arrived, checked my connection immediately and concluded that there is no problem with the connection itself. It turned out the router is no longer working. I told him that the router only had issues this time when I discovered that the red ants climbing to my bed were coming from the inside of the router. I turned off the router, cleaned and applied ant killer chalk around the router.

We ended up replacing it with a new one. A bigger, new version of the router. After an hour, my internet connection and phone line are restored. I get to do my work and blogging again.

Comments:

For six days I follow the tweets mentioning PLDT on Twitter. Seeing the slew of complaints and irate tweets from PLDT subscribers, I bet the PLDT Twitter admin is working overtime 24/7 to calm down the subscribers. The PLDT hotline is also on queueing mode everytime I call. If there's so much complaining, I think it is already obvious that the service is really fucked up anywhere.

PLDT, be honest with your customers. 

I talked to more than 5 CSRs in the last 6 days, and while I understand that there is a spiel or script to be followed, it irks me that your CSRs gave the assurance that the issue will be resolved in an hour, then failed and told that it might take 24 to 48 hours. It took 6 days before my internet issues got resolved. Helloooooo.

PLDT, train your staff to communicate and notify the subscriber.

The technician came to my house on the fourth day when I was not at home without notifying me. on the sixth day, he texted me asking me if I am at home. While I find the way of messaging the paying PLDT subscriber a bit tacky and unprofessional, I just let it pass. I don't want a confrontation as he might sabotage my connection instead of fixing it (joke!). But seriously, I guess it would not hurt to train them to compose a message properly if they are about to message a subscriber, or at least follow a text template so as to not appear that crude and unprofessional (I hate being responded to with a "K").

The technician apologized though, as he said he should have messaged me first and let me know he will drop by. He also explained that it might be possible to not be able to return the following day as technicians may be assigned to other places or attend to others that are lined up to service the following day.

PLDT, amp up your after sales and customer assistance service.

I mentioned to the technician that I am not happy with the kind of assistance I was provided. While I am angered by the slow action PLDT has taken towards my connection issue, I did not lash out on the technician as he explained to me how the process really works. He said, it takes three days to do the remote testing, and only on the fourth day will the issue be escalated to them to do the on-premise checking. Come on, three days of remote testing? I am not sure how the remote testing goes, but 72 hours of waiting is too much, It ruins daily business and work and unfair to a customer that pays the complete whole month rate for a Fibr plan. It does not help either that your rebates require a subject for approval clause (how many technical issues should I report before you gave me a rebate huh?).

PLDT, it is one thing to market yourself as the biggest telecom company in the Philippines, but it also matters that you can back it up with quality service. 

Being big should also mean you are a quality service provider. You are already charging us internet plan prices that are equal to other country's yet when it comes to the internet speed, we are way below the other country's average (a Thai friend of mine said their Plan 1299 is already at 100mbps, while we here in the PH are stuck at up to 3 Mbps. Mind you, "up to"). That is not effing fair. The internet speed is already low, please do not couple it with poor customer assistance when issues arise. There is a limited number of internet service provider options for us Filipinos to choose from, and I hope you do not capitalize on "you have no better choice but us" notion.

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