October 31.  Eleven days since we first informed PLDT of the problem we’re having with our internet connection.

Every morning, we would lose our dial tone for a period of about 30 minutes to an hour. Then it will be a reorder tone for about another hour.  For that same period, the internet will be intermittent.  I would be able to connect to Gmail on HTML view, compose an email, only to be told “you are no longer connected” when I’m ready to send the e-mail.  Then the intermittent connection will ”improve” to consistently crawling, where I can actually log in to Facebook, but the page will just be loading but not actually displaying.  So I could see that I have 15 messages and 52 notifications, but when I click to read, monitor would be displaying a white screen while I could see that little something beside the news feed tab going round and round, telling me that I am indeed connected, but the connection is so poor, it could not display the page.

So I would always end up leaving my desktop on, hoping that the internet would normalize, while I connect with my Globe stick on my laptop.  So basically, I’ve been consuming electricity by keeping my desktop on just so I could monitor if PLDT would somehow miraculously restore the service we’ve been diligently and religiously paying for each and every month.

In an ideal world, when you pay for services, you actually get the services you’re paying for.  When we subscribe to a service, we actually get into a contract with the provider.  We commit to pay our obligations, while they commit to provide the service.  But with PLDT, it does not seem to work that way.  When a subscriber fails to pay on time, they just go ahead and cut the service.  But when that service is problematic, you cannot simply say, I won’t pay.

Sad thing is, when a company is as big as PLDT, it cannot help but be arrogant.  What can you do?  You cannot even get another service from another company, because there is no other company.  I cannot say, I no longer want your service, because the truth is, I need the service.  I work using the internet.  So I have to stick it out, however bad the service is.

I cannot help but be whimsical, on this day that I have not been productive at work. I’m just writing down the things that I wish for PLDT, in an ideal world.

I wish they would man the fort.

Do you know how much time a subscriber spends waiting on the line to be attended to?  An average of 30 minutes!  Imagine yourself without the luxury of a cordless phone.  You stay with your ear stuck on the receiver, listening to some music interspersed with the latest promotions, topped by some instruction on how you can try to troubleshoot your connection yourself, when you could be doing something more productive with your time, like cooking lunch.  Why, oh why, can’t PLDT aim to be at least more responsive, if they cannot be proactive?  Have someone answer the phone, promptly, please!

I wish they would stop the recording already.

Just this month, we have called the fault report line several times, and we have just about memorized those recorded troubleshooting guides.  It has become such an irritant, knowing that they don’t work anyway.  Been there, done that, that’s why we’re calling.  If that’s all I’m going to get, why would I bother?

I wish they’d have an SLS.

Or at least have their people know what the acronym means!  It’s amazing how clueless their client care people were when we asked them what PLDT’s SLS is.  We asked because we didn’t want to be complaining about a bad service when in truth it is still within internal Service Level Standards. But alas, they don’t even know what it means.

Ideally, for a service company to be efficient, there should exist a standard of service.  Like when a fault report comes in, how long should it stay on queue for support to assess the problem?  And then after the assessment, how long should the problem be handled by outside plant before it gets escalated to the next team of experts?  And in total, how long should a fault ticket be handled and resolved?  Setting a standard ensures that people are actually working for a resolution.

I wish they’d stop giving customers the run-around.

It won’t hurt to admit that there is something you don’t know.  Telling me that “there is an ongoing problem in the area” is not going to work either.  I call to report that I have an almost non-existing connection from 7am to 7pm, and connection stabilizes from 7pm onwards.  Please don’t tell me that there is a problem with the line.  The problem is not with the line.  The problem is in the distribution.  Check the node.  But first, find out what a node is.

I wish they’d use some common sense.

I was truly surprised to find out that on October 24, four days after we called in the first report, the ticket was closed.  I asked why they closed the ticket, when the internet connection has not stabilized yet.  The genius reply, in vernacular:

Your report was about the loss of dial tone.  It was not about the internet connection.  You have to file another report for the intermittent internet connection.

Errrr… Did you think that when I didn’t have dial tone, I had internet connection?  And wasn’t it the internet connection that was the point of my report?  The loss of dial tone was merely mentioned to help you assess the problem!

I wish they’d call us back.

It will be much appreciated, and somehow appease an already irate customer, if someone would just bother to let us know the status of our fault ticket, say, after 24 hours.  Or at least, do not, and I mean, DO NOT, tell us to call you again to follow up on the status, because, going back to the first item in my wish list, it’s not fun to have my ear stuck on the receiver for 30 minutes, waiting for someone to attend to my call.

I wish they’d hire someone who knows better.

Based on previous conversations with the client care on the phone, it is either that PLDT is failing in providing adequate training to their technical support on the phone, or the technical department is badly in need of direction in recognizing, and ultimately, resolving connectivity problems.

I wish they’d let their bosses know.

To ensure the quality of service we provide, this call may be recorded.

Oh, sure!  And then what happens to the recording?  Why is the service not improving?  I’m amazed at the marketing promotions that I see on Facebook, offering 999 for 3mbps.  I pay 1,600 monthly, and I very rarely hit 1.5mbps.  Why, why, WHY?  There is a disconnect somewhere.

I just wish that one day, I will experience PLDT in an ideal world.

For now, I am just grateful that I have a back up broadband stick that tides me through the day, while I try to enjoy the ADSL at night.

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[photo source: wecreatehere.net]