The disgraceful state of Philippine Telecoms
If you have ever tried to compare the service from different telecommunication companies, you will know that there really are not enough good reviews and comparisons.
A few years ago, I decided to try as many as I could and write a review for each.
The end result was an absolute catastrophe. Each test resulted in a formal complaint being lodged. Each company failed on every single level to even read the formal complaint. No companies managed to address a single issue within the formal complaint sent to them.
I finally realized that the telecommunications in the Philippines simply do not care about your problems or issues. They only care about you paying them.
It seemed as if everything would be okay providing the issue you had was a normal and simple issue. Any abnormal issue would never get properly addressed.
Below are my experiences with the 3 main telecommunications companies that I tried.
PLDT was the first telecommunications company I signed up with and they seemed really good when I lived in Pasig. Then I moved to Las Pinas and everything went to hell in a hand basket!
I ordered a DSL internet connection and home phone.
Stated Speed: 5 mbps
- Moved house and was told I would be connected within 14 days. I was connected in just 2 days. I was then disconnected again. When I asked why, the agent informed me “we connected you too soon by mistake, so we disconnected you again until the connection date you were told of”.
- Engineer accidentally connected our line to our neighbors house and their line to our house. Took 3 days and a manager to get the issue addressed. The manager was furious as he kept sending engineers who would mark the job as complete and do nothing about the issue or even visit the property!
- Refunds for periods when issues happened took 6 (SIX) months to process. Many refunds never arrived. Refund form was lost countless times and the entire process had to begin again from the start. It was more effort than it was worth to obtain a refund that actually got refunded.
- Speed repeatedly dropped to under 0.04 mbps.
- Cables found to be split and cab box installed so low that drunks urinated on it (or so the engineers claimed).
After the mess with PLDT I signed up with Globe as they were the second biggest telecommunications company. The issues started before the installation was even assigned to an engineer.
I ordered a DSL internet connection and home phone.
Stated Speed: 3 mbps
- When we placed the order, we were told that we would just need to pay P200 to the engineers and would then be charged P1000 in total over the next 5 months at P200 per month. I pointed out that 5 months, plus the initial P200 was P1200 and not P1000. After 45 minutes on the phone, the agent insisted that 6 x 200 = 1000! I asked for a manager to call me back and the agent agreed a manager would call us back. No one ever called me back, even after 20 follow up calls to them.
- When the engineers arrived to install the DSL and home phone, they had with them a mobile phone (not a home phone) and a mobile internet router (not DSL). When I asked why, they explained that DSL was unavailable in my area. I had wanted DSL as mobile internet is not very reliable. After months of complaining, Globe did absolutely nothing about our issues and ignored us completely.
- Internet speed would regularly drop to zero. Each time an engineer would be dispatched who told us that the quality was poor in our area and nothing could be done about it.
- The call center insisted that DSL was available in our area and dispatched an engineer who told us that DSL was not available in our area. This happened 4 times.
- One of the worst issues was that Globe share IP addresses, so you could have thousands of customers using the same IP address. This results in IP addresses being blocked due to infections. In turn, you find that you can not access google due to the IP address you are assigned being blacklisted!
- I lodged a formal complaint via email and Globe responded to only one issue, which they never resolved. All other issues were completely ignored, even after over 100 follow up emails!
- Our account was postpaid and yet they invoiced us BEFORE the service months end. I complained and was told “You are postpaid sir, but you need to pay before”!!!
According to the Globe Core Values, they state that:
We put our customers first.
Our people make the difference.
We act with integrity.
We care like an owner.
We keep things simple.
To us, it’s be fast or be last.
In my experience, not one word of that is remotely true.
I chose sky cable next as they were the biggest cable internet provider with the highest speeds.
I ordered their internet only package (as they dont offer phones).
Stated Speed: 3 mbps
- Before ordering, I had read that Sky Cable used to use Byantel’s network. I didnt want to use that network as Byantel were bankrupt and so their network would not be very reliable. I contacted Sky Cable and asked if they used Byantel’s network, expressing my concern for using such a network. “No sir” they replied, “we do not use Byantel’s network”. After the installation, I checked my IP and found that it was assigned to Byantel!!!
- The engineer who installed the internet required a BRIBE so he could buy lunch. This was uncovered after he tried to charge us for extra cable, which I pointed out was not needed and was not even invoiced on the receipt.
- While speeds are mostly reliable, they would regularly drop to below 0.10 mbps when visiting an international website. Most websites are international such as Google, Facebook etc.
- Packetloss was horrific with the average day seeing 2% minimum packetloss. On a bad day, this could increase above 10%. Packetloss causes sites that use Ajax to completely fail as well as making VOIP, Skype, Viber etc to have horrific quality audio, if the call ever connected.
- The engineers told me to email all the evidence to their manager, but the email bounced back as the address did not exist.
- After hundreds and hundreds of emails, Facebook messages and posts, still nothing has been resolved.
- Their staff endlessly fob you off with lies and excuses, stating “we will escalate your issue”, “we will follow up with the relevant department” etc. Yet if you ask them what department they is the relevant department, they dont know.
- I finally was able to speak with a manager and asked him if he had my formal complaint in front of him. “yes sir” he replied. “And you can see my formal complaint on your screen now?” I asked. “Yes sir” he replied. I asked him to read to me the first item in the formal complaint as I was not at my computer at the time. “sorry sir” he replied as he was lying through his teeth and had not even read the formal complaint once. Caught in his own web of lies, he guaranteed he would resolve all issues by the next day and call me back. He never called back.
- Bills arrive 28 days after they have been printed and 4 days after the due date on the bill. Likewise, disconnection notices arrive after they have already disconnected you.
- Within the modem admin area, I found a log that displayed endless issues backing the issues I had reported already. I provided a copy of the modem error log and Sky Cable then deactivated the error log on my modem!!! Errors still happened, they just were not logged!
I had hoped to be able to offer advice, but with these experiences, the only advice I can provide is:
- Never believe a single word they tell you. They will only tell you what they think you want to hear, not what is true, factual or based within the realm of reality.
- Never sign any contract, ever. Most will try to tie you to a contract you never signed anyway.
- Only use prepaid services as postpaid services will lock you into a contract.
- The service is terrible, deal with it or suffer a stroke trying to have the issues addressed.