Smart–NOT!

23 09 2007

I am fiercely loyal.  I guess I have talked about my loyalty to a fault a million and one times already. 

Ok.  I started with Smart.  When I got my first cellphone, I signed up under Smart.  For no apparent reason, but perhaps because I was also kinda loyal to PLDT!  Until now, I’m still a Smart subscriber.

So when I hooked up here, SmartBro was my first choice, mainly because I never had problems in application and in its installation process when I was in Cebu.  Well, it was for my nephew and I transacted over the phone and my nephew just paid up and met the tech guys.  An almost similar case transpired here when we got our connection.  I have an unmistakable commanding voice over the phone and over e-mails/etc so every now and then, I use THAT tone to get what I want.  Hehe.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a very generous tipper and I like to pay my bills on time now (well, my mom does the actual paying because I hand over the moolah to her because I’m not good with schedules), but when I don’t get what I pay for and it gets really noticeable, I rant.  

I have no mercy for people on the other end of the lines.  Why?  I have worked in the customer service department in the past and I made it a point never to be inept and unhelpful.  If I didn’t know sh*t about what the client is ranting about, I would sincerely apologize and tell the client that I’ll do my best to look into it and get back to her/him with results, and I always did! 

Imagine my wrath when I, in my every-now-and-then cool head, called *1888 to get in touch with the tech support of SmartBro, expecting, yep you guessed it, TECH SUPPORT!  You see, a few weeks ago, I got myself a Bayantel DSL connection because my SmartBro was kicking my shin with its friggin’ intermittent internet connection woes.  Bad for biz.  And so because getting a Bayantel line is the most hassle-free and least inconvenient (their sales officer came by to give me the app forms and personally followed-up the processing of my app), I signed up for their service.  I was planning to use SmartBro as my backup internet connection so that I will have zero connectivity ever.  Long story short, Bayantel replaced my SmartBro’s place in my router’s wan port because I don’t have a dual-wan router, and SmartBro’s wan cable lies lifeless somewhere near my router.  You see, I have read somewhere that I can use both internet connections without  having to buy a dual-wan router.  Not only is that kind of router expensive, it is also a tad too hard to get.  Nil in Ozamiz!  Try asking around for it and more often than not, you’ll get a blank stare.  I know.  I did!  So I called the SmartBro’s tech support hotline to ask for their two centavos’ worth on what I should do. 

Tadaaaa.  After a million and one minutes, the guy on the other end–Riel?–told me that he’ll ask around,  and put me on hold. 

After another one million and one minutes, he came back with solution.  In a voice that told me he was so pleased with himself, he told me that it could work!  I can just buy a “routable switch” where I can plug both the Bayantel and SmartBro jacks and voila, I’ll be using both connections!  I said, hold on, fella, tell me how that works, again!  And he talked about input and output, etc.  Look, I never gave any hint that I knew 1/100th or so about networking so that he won’t talk gibberish with me but he did!  And the worst part there is that, he obviously didn’t understand what he was talking about either!  To make things worse, he added, “and Ma’am, the routable switch is somewhere around 30,000 pesos or so.”  And I said, oh, I don’t think that’s so great at all.  I didn’t even want to take the dual-wan router route right away because I wanted to explore cheaper alternatives so why give me that? 

And then he came up with the lamest of all lame lines.  He said–“Maam, we don’t allow routers in SmartBro.  That’s why we don’t have support for it because we don’t allow routers. ” 

I took a deep breath and said between teeth that were forced into a smile, “Let’s say I have ONE computer.  And I have TWO internet connections now–Bayantel and SmartBro, can you give me a suggestion on how I can use the two connections at the same time?”

“Ma’am, you can unplug Bayantel then plug SmartBro, then if you want to use the other one, you unplug it and plug the other one!” 

Heaven help me!  What have I done wrong today?! 

So I said, “Darling, that means I can’t use them simultaneously!”

And he had the balls to say, “Yes, Ma’am!” As if he was so glad that I finally got him!

So I asked, “May I speak with your supervisor?”

“He’s on his lunchbreak, ma’am”

“You mean no one is taking charge of the agents on the floor right now?”

“Oh, we have an OIC, ma’am!”

“Well, then, let me talk to him!”

After two million years, I was put through the OIC.  Name’s Joseph.  He sounded like another moron but at least he had the decency to sound apologetic and helpful.  And so I patiently recapped everything that happened.  And so he told me that he personally feels one ISP should just be disconnected.  He apologized because he didn’t know how to help me.  THAT I could take. 

Look, I understand how hard working as a call center agent is.  I know working when you should be sleeping can do weird things to one’s brain cells but because you took on that job, it is your duty to make things work the way they should.  And there’s nothing I hate more than awful customer service from huge companies who can afford to train and hire efficient reps.  I’m pissed off because I know I throwing my usual unreasonable fit.  I was being reasonable.  I had a DSL connection-related question and I asked the appropriate department for help.  And what did I get?  An a** of an answer from an a**hole of an agent!  If he told me that he couldn’t help me, and apologized properly, I wouldn’t have minded.  But no!  He sounded arrogant and defensive all throughout.  And the OIC?  Well, he served his purpose.  I just vented out on him and that was it.  I knew no one in there could help me anymore so what’s the point of escalating the issue. 

I have already decided to buy a dual-wan router so I could use SmartBro as a backup connection.  But now I have decided to just cut the SmartBro connection and get a PLDT line as backup.  At least, it’ll still be PLDT. 

I can never remember a good experience with Smart’s customer care hotline.  Ever.  Be it for mobile phone services or internet connection.  I wonder if the powers that be know about it.  I don’t have plans of switching SIMs because of this but I do plan to really just let go of my SmartBro.  I can never tolerate bad customer service–especially from such a huge company.

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9 responses

25 09 2007
girlfromdipolog

Hay naku day, I also had a nightmare with PLDT. We didn’t put security code in our NDD/IDD, open ra kay para convenient lagi and we can use it anytime. Wa pod mi nagdahum nga vulnerable man diay na ila security system. Na-hack bitaw na among linya, nakurat mi nakadawat nga thousands na among bill — mga cellphone calls we couldn’t trace, secured man amo house unya mga responsable man mi tanan… unya ako pa jud ngalan ang account so duro jud ko pangaway sa PLDT, na-hysterical jud ko kay dili nila putlon ang line unless i-settle sa. Daghan daw in-ana nga cases. Hay naku, nagpalaban pa ko og reklamo sa NTC noh. Wa na jud ko pod singila. Buang, I wouldn’t pay a single centavo for services never rendered. Maski pag mag voice recognition sila diha. Daghan pong mga mangingilad, mangbiktima pa jud.

25 09 2007
iamsorceress

ka-remember ko before nga naa sad similar incident but it was with CruzTelCo, now owned by PLDT. Miabot ug P17,000++ ang cellphone calls sad. Before, giingnan kos akong landlady in Manila who worked in PLDT nga ang mga linemen kuno usahay, not all ha, but some of those nga mukatkat sa poste nga naay dalang handset nga plastic nga dagko? sometimes, they’d check kung unsay lines nga open and use any one to make calls. then naa sad ko isa ka housemate before nga telecoms admin sa isa ka major call center in cebu. iya gi-access ang line sa ilang office sa balay. at first kay ok pa, he got to call his girlfriends all across the archipelago. ug sa dihang, na-detect sa call center. gi-warn nila ang globe and so it was tracked and sya gipa-pay. but that was after thousands of calls were made to provinces and cellphones all over the place. ok lang kay call center man to, dakog budget for that, nya for us nga mga manggagawa, makadaut ug credit standing and all. di ta singlon ug pugos but the records remain man.

hay life. mayng hapon diha, day!

4 10 2007
oona

hi gedagurl!!!

sounds family kaayu imong problems with your internet providers. Wala ko kahibalo nga you can’t use routers with certain connections. A router (I was told) is a smarter switch. So it should work. Pero with pldt, smart, and kana sila tanan – who know? Aparador!

miss you! love you blog!

5 10 2007
iamsorceress

INDAY OONA!!! mishu! na, ambot ana nila oi. ako na ipaputol ako smartbro then i’ll get a pldt line. or basin globe nga wireless for backup. maski i wont need it, just to get back at smartbro, bahala nag gasto. hehehe. hay, ang akong burberry bag and macbook pro! hehehehehe.

5 10 2007
hanz

gedagurl..musta naman ka mam!

5 10 2007
iamsorceress

hansoy!!! hehehe. i’m good. thanks for dropping by. kape ta day! hehehehe. wafa na ayo ako miga oi. what’s your lingaw? hehehehe. e-mail me oi aron makatabi ta. i don’t get to stay long sa YM kay daghan ko workie! email nuon. hehe.

matsalams iha!

6 10 2007
hanz

hehehe! im good ..single and fabulous like you hahaha! lagi i miss u na oi. wala na diay ka diri cebu? duh walay lingaw oi pang gabii na sad ako duty so walay life hehehe..

i love your blog gedagurl!

lagi ba, mangape ta!

6 10 2007
iamsorceress

i left cebu oi kay yofak ako life ato diha ko. hehe. gadaut ang mga tawo tanan and nahimo kong watcher for life! hehe.

salamat for the kind words day hanzel. timplahan na lang tikag kape diri. i miss starbucks. huhuhu. ya know, the lifestyle de urbanidad!

15 12 2007
cocs

sus. ayaw jud nang PLDT or Smart or any of their subsidiaries. puros pangawat na ila and tinapulan ila customer service. i even wonder why they were voted best managed company in the country.

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