PLDT’s Unfair Practice of Business
PLDT (Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company) have been practicing a very rotten way of business which breaches all entries in the Bill of Consumer Rights.
Thousands of PLDT subscribers have been experiencing slow or unstable connection, advance billing and automated untimed service disconnection (it does not matter if you paid in advance or on time). The fun starts when you file complains since you will be put on the NEVER NEVER QUE.
It takes them 3 months before they try to recognize that something is wrong on my account which they have caused under the so called “unscheduled” enhancement. 3 1/2 months of closing all the tickets and refusal of real repair, even the ticket that was generated with our mediation with NTC fell as a victim and got closed.
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7394
THE CONSUMER ACT OF THE PHILIPPINES
Art. 2. Declaration of Basic Policy. – It is the policy of the State to protect the interests of the consumer, promote his general welfare and to establish standards of conduct for business and industry. Towards this end, the State shall implement measures to achieve the following objectives:
Protection against deceptive, unfair and unconscionable sales acts and practices;
- They deliberately made support hard, if you report via phone, you are going to face a bunch of zombies reading their spiel in paper. If you go to their offices, they will only tell you that the proper way to get support is to call the hotline. If the hotline refuses to acknowledge your issue, you can readily call the hotline again and if you have complains about the hotline personnel, you will be directed to calling the hotline again, The same hotline with script reading zombies wanting a nicer stats on their calls. No care, no support.
- They made sure that if you got a chance talking to a normal hotline agent, you will then need to gamble to be connected to a “real” knowledgeably backend personnel/engineer (depends on the level of escalation). They ensure that you will waste more than 4 days in the cycle then your ticket gets closed for no reason and no repairs. You want to complain the backend person or the engineer? Lo and behold, you need to call the hotline and get back to the impossible cycle.
- You are subscribed to a certain package and they will reduce your actual speed.. They will use the term “up to” claiming that while your speed is almost zero, you still are on the correct plan since you did not get over the “up to” advertised speed. If they get cornered, they will just edit the advertisement specs on their website and claims that it never happen.
The right to choose products at competitive prices with an assurance of satisfactory quality.
- They have this practice to deal with developers while buildings are still being constructed or villages are still being planned. They opt for exclusive contracts so the place will be an exclusive service area for PLDT but they won’t build the facilities. They are just ensuring that competitors wont have access to newer locations.
- They will congest their network by overselling beyond their capacity then they will gallantly offer you a chance to unsubscribe because they messed up a lot for a discounted pre-termination fee.
The right for warranty, support and repairs for services.
- They make support terribly hard and refund next to impossible. They may give refunds but they will always forget to “apply”. They will refuse repairs unless you pay them more and they will do all their best to extend the repair time to weeks and even months for a 1-2 days repair. If they get lazy, they will just claim that there was no trouble even if you slap them in the face with reality. Instead of doing actual check and repair, they will just turn a blind eye.
The right to be compensated for misrepresentation, shoddy goods or unsatisfactory services.
- Instead of addressing their faults on failures, they will force you to pay pre-termination fees that total the whole contract price even if they are the one who failed to comply to the contract. They will use all shady tactics to extort money from you and if you are the type that easily gives up, they will attempt to extort more money like “forgetting” to terminate the account after you filed and paid the penalties for closing an account. These “small” mistake will be shouldered by you.
This video is just a pigment of imagination and a sign of a fast and healthy internet connection – PLDT Engineering team
What is the never NEVER NEVER QUE?
NEVER NEVER QUE is the que line for repair and support which starts with a long waiting time before someone will pick up the phone on the hotline side. This can be manmade problem like call center agents refusing to pick the phone, a major system glitch which is the common cause and last but not the least a major problem with the whole network which they will deny that ever happen.
After phone rings and you are still lucky to stay connected, a voice prompt will ask you to key in commands to reach the correct department. At this point, you need to start to chill out, the voice prompt is a 50/50 case, either it is working correctly or it will give you headaches. The most common problem is the system’s ability to drop your call automatically without warning and the other one is failure to recognize the last number you pressed.
If you are lucky to pass this stage, it will do a “special line test” which does not work and will just give you a generic “we are undergoing system enhancements”.
If you are still lucky, you will be forwarded to a call center agent which are totally tech starved. You can compare them from zombies telling spiels that they don’t ever know what they mean.
A normal conversation usually goes into monkey talks. Due to PLDT’s preference to find the cheapest personnel, the subscribers ends up talking to script zombies 80%-90% of the time.
Agent: Sir please plug then unplug you modem then plug and replug the power adaptor
Me: I have already plugged and unplugged the modem, rebooted it, reset and I also just rebooted my computer and the problem still exist because it is a problem with your network.
Agent: Sir did you restarted your computer?
Me: Yes I have restarted my computer before I called.
Agent: Sir please restart your computer so we can move forward.
** Restarted computer **
** 15 seconds later **
Me: I have already restarted my computer.
Agent: Sir please restart your computer, it should take 5mins to 15mins.
Me: I am using an SSD, an expensive computer part that enables me to reboot my computer in 3 seconds.
Agent: If you have restarted your computer, it should open up in 5 minutes or more. Please restart your computer sir.
** 10 minutes later and after finishing a cup of coffee **
Me: I already restarted my computer and made sure it stays off for 8 minutes before I pressed the power button. Will that do?
Agent: Yes sir, if you have restarted your computer earlier, we can progress faster. Have you already plugged and unplugged your modem? You should plug it before you restarted.
Me: I have plugged and unplugged the modem while restarting, is that a big issue?
Agent: Sir, please unplug and plug your modem then restart your computer.
Me: Really? Are you out of your mind?
Agent: Sir, I am a trained professional and I take trainings in IT. The manual says the modem should be plugged before starting.
Me: I am an engineer, the one working with computers. I am also a programmer, does that count for me to say we are wasting time?
Agent: Sir there is no problem on our system, it must be on your side. There is no maintenance recorded so there must be no problem on your side.
Me: So you are trying to tell me I am imagining things, what is your email address so I can happily send you the video grabs and the screengrabs on my computer right now?
Agent: We will forward your concern, please wait 24 – 48 hours for feedback.
The feedback time will expire without any feedback or even a call (not even a short SMS), your ticket number will close by itself because the other monkey (called the backend group) will close it. They have successfully talked with your phone without involving any person on the planet and your phone told them that you are 100% satisfied with all the hard work they have done.
Sometimes you will be lucky that will actually call while you are at the office or about to sleep. Any convenient time to annoy you. They are even surprised that you have a day time job that pays.
- The best speed for any connection is Zero. Zero upload is a very stable connection and was used by most company specially the fortune 500 companies. No one ever complained about Zero download and upload other than you.
- Almost zero download is a good connection, bad connections are those who go beyond the “up to” speed. Going beyond the subscribed speed means something is broken. You should be happy getting 0.10mbps, even them used that speed at their homes and never complained.
- Use only 1 browser and 1 tab. Opening 2 tabs at once will cut the internet speed by 50%. 3 Tabs will slow down the connection by 75% and so on…
- The only reliable Speed test is a test using their internal tool. Yeah, they think that the best test you can do is to see how fast you can connect to their server in Makati. For them, subscribing to the internet package means your full willingness to stare to the PLDT website 24 hours a day.
- The last one, they will escalate and investigate your case so you should wait another 24hours to 72 hours only to find out that they close the ticket after the call completes.
In total, you already wasted at least 3 days with this loophole they call support. Since you don’t know what have happen, you will wait for at least 5 days before you do a follow up, they do tell you to wait 2 days and another 3 days max.