Consumer woes: Sex toys, dirty lines, and 50k worth worry-free roaming

Lately, i’ve experienced a few kinds of being a customer sucki-ness.

First there was the East West sex toy fraud, on a credit card that i have cancelled. They say i did not cancel the card a year before the fraud charge, because i did not made a call. Now, how will i prove that i made a call? And why would i even make that up. Maybe they thought, i’m a sleazy mofo who’s hiding the fact that i buy sex toys online.

Until now, some lawyer, once in a while, remembers me, and calls me at home. And threatens me with all kinds of tactics, to pay up my balance of 4k pesos, a balance that was formed due to the penalties incurred (late charge, interest), for the sex toy, i did not buy, nor received, nor taken advantage of. Only the penalties, since they had secretly reverted the sex toy charge (like it did not happen!). Also they had to leave the penalties as a balance, since they probably need to profit from this event (100% profits!). And of course, the lawyer is probably just doing his job, so once in a while, we enjoy a lively discussion of the sex toy incident.

Second, there is the SkyCable useless-ness. You see, i was so happy with their service until December of last year. Back then, i can stream 1080p YouTube videos without a problem, okay, maybe early in the morning, or well, Sunday. That’s ok for me, since these are also the time i’m mostly home.

However, lately, i’m getting boat loads of dropped packets. I did a ping for a few minutes, for a few days recently, and it clearly shows, every 10 or 12 packets, there’s a drop. I already called up the local customer support, and every time, the tech person goes into the same script of, i need to reset the line.

And at one time, he sounded like he found the problem! He asked if i was from Briza (our subdivision), and said, he has seen that there’s clearly some dirty lines in our area. What he is seeing is beyond me, maybe the lines needs some washing or something. And i asked him, when can they fix it. And then he replied, ‘Oh, uhhmm, hmmmm, errrr, i don’t know.’ He then goes on to say that he still has to send a request, follow-up, and he will never know when it will be fixed, or i can never know when it will be fixed. And this was around a month ago. Until now, i still get the dropped packets.

And now, the Globe roaming charges. I went to SG last April, and enabled the Bridge Roam Unli 5 days. I also used the Unli promos when i was there earlier in Feb. Back then, it was good, Unli went fine, and i was accessing the Internet worry free. However, for the Apr trip, i noticed the confirmation took some time to arrive. And when i got the confirmation to my activation for the Unli promo, it said this:

IMG 0004
This is a screenshot of my phone screen, with the SMS history.

I thought that’s odd, but then, it says, they notice the problem, and they have activated it manually, so i can enjoy a worry-free roaming. And so i did what i know best, i enjoyed it.

What i did not know, is, i will enjoy a worry-free roaming alright, but not enjoy a worry-free bill! When i got the bill a few days ago, it’s shows a horrifying 50k pesoses! Seriously, WTF!

So i had Leah, from our office, check it with the local Globe Business Center. And they replied that they can only waive 20%, because they’re generous and really showing some concern. WTF, 20%!?!!! And they added, i might have misused the promos menu. For someone who build software for a living (and build SMS apps!), i misuse their interface. Honestly, they better do some background check first, before they say something like that.

They said, they can’t do more than 20%, since, i have to show them more proof! WTF, where the f*ck am i going to get proof. Have you used the SMS menu? It will never give you proof, not even an e-mail receipt, or a smiley, or some pat in the back. Ahh, of course, i got the only proof i have, which is the worry-free SMS message, and they say, that’s not enough. What kind of other proof, they probably need?

If you use their dial-for-love-number, like *143#, it gives you the old school SMS menu. And it’s pretty straight-forward to use, click on Roaming promos, select a country, click on Bridge 5 days Unli, and then click on Activate. Can’t go wrong with that.

This recent experience, is really making me think about being a consumer here in the Philippines. I feel like, the bad experiences with the customers, are being left up to the customers to fix. Often i get the you’re dumb customer, you misused our product kind of treatment. And i hate that, since i’m certainly not dumb, and i prefer, someone take a look at their side, solve it, and say, we’re sorry for the frustration. And maybe, buy me a box of J.CO donuts!

Now, i hate complaining, but these recent events, is really, really, making me want to do, what i know how to do — which is do something about it, hehe. I know most big brands and companies are now advertising online and in social media (Twitter, Facebook, Google Ads). I also know, the power of working together (think Avaaz). I also know a lot are having similar problems, Globe, Smart, PLDT, SkyCable, even buying real properties, or making investments nowadays is not immune! This experience, might cost me 50k pesos, but i know some, have lost more, buying a lot that never exited! Now, thinking about that, really, really gets me up boiling!

There just might be an opportunity to start something, to make it easy to share, group, and file these complaints for a particular company, product or brand. I know, there might be a lot of trashing and noise along the way, but just like how a community, self-police the content, maybe, there’s a way to improve the quality.

Anyway, i’m writing my thoughts on this now, since i’m very frustrated, why i have to deal with the roaming charges. It’s like i use a good service, pay my dues on time, all the time (okay, maybe not when i was still young and cash-strapped), have been a Globel loyal user (since the 90s), and also signed up for multiple globe corporate accounts, and i feel like, they’re giving me a shitty service. Hey Globe, WTF!?!