Customer Service that Sucks!

First off, I am really not a bitchy person. Actually, I consider myself a very polite person.


I rant, sometimes, but mostly I usually just change my mind. One of my motto being, perception is the result of sight + mindset, change your mind and then things will look different. But this time allow me to share my frustrating customer service experience with corporate Globe telecom (one of the largest network (mobile,broadband) provider here in the Philippines.


Last September my husband bought for me, a Samsung Galaxy S2 smart phone. Smart phones of course means you have internet access should you wish too, anywhere, anytime, that is of course tied up with how fast or how-screwed-up your network provider is! Some of my friends have smartphones too and of course they have already shared the “horrors” upon receiving their bill when they forgot to TURN OFF their data network connection the first few days, in case of postpaid, a month.  I am very much aware of these horrors. I was forewarned. I was fore-armed.


So, I tried to check if there are some promos for postpaid for mobile internet surfing. And I was happy to see that there is, for Globe, POWERSURF99. So, I subscribed. This is mainly because of this clause “Upon 100% consumption of your MB, you’ll get SMS within 24hrs.” This is pretty decent.


November 2, I received my 38th bill, I was charged a total of  1,708.18Php ~ $39 for DATA charges. I thought they’d probably NOT TURNED ON my POWERSURF99 subscription, since I have not received any text notification that I have exceeded my 50MB limit. And also, I am not a heavy mobile internet user. I only open FB, some bookmarked fave blogsites and yes I did some free apps from the market. But of course, I was not worried. I did not receive any text notification so far. So when I saw the 1,708.18Php bill, I immediately called up customer service on November 2 at 11:14am. I was given a complaint reference number of CTC11110000039. I was told to follow-up on the next days.
1st follow up on November 8, 2011 at 3:50pm. I was told by the polite customer service agent that she’ll raise it to her supervisor and that I have to follow-up again on the next few days.

2nd follow up on November 17, 2011 at 12:03pm. I was told to call back, the systems is down.


3rd follow up on November 18, 2011 at 7:00pm. I was told by the customer service agent that this case is closed already and that my billing will be adjusted on the next billing period. No other instructions were given to me. I got off the phone really happy thinking that my data charges are already adjusted meaning ZERO charges.


This morning, I received a text notice from 290 that I still have an overdue balance of 1,604.11Php. What the f*ck? I called customer service and I was then advised that I need to email for them to sent me a copy of the guidelines of the investigation result!


I already I have a feeling they will get me by some technicality of the rules of the promo. But what really pissed me off is how the customer service agents managed to tell me two different things!


After talking to the customer service agent last Friday November 18, I was under the impression that I do not have to worry of the concern anymore. I was not advised nor told or informed that I need to email their customer support. Nada. No instructions. Not one.


Of course, I don’t have to doubt her because, I “assumed” that by calling customer service, all customer complaints and concerns, they can accommodate and manage and help their perplexed customer. I “assumed” they can pull-out data of any transactions and they can file report and amend and close reports after it is resolved. Of course stupid me, I “assumed” wrong. I should have known better.


Again. I reiterate, the customer agent I talked to, did not advised me anything on Friday November 18. Just that, my concern is already dealt with and closed.


The customer agent I talked to this morning, told me I still need to email customer service. Again, I did not swear, though I was really pissed I was polite albeit I raised my voice a little, I said, I have no problems with having to email my concerns, what I really want to know is, why did the customer service agent I talked to last Friday, did not say anything (not a damn thing) about having to file a separate complaint via email? You are looking and pulling data from the same database, right?


I have nothing against the customer service agents personally but sometimes, I think they are stupid or more correctly the protocol they are following is just plain stupid. I was asking a really valid question how something like this happens and you know what he gave me? He  just re-stated what my complaint was, the reference number, the dates and time I called and followed-up, at some point I was about to interrupt him and tell him, I could actually memorize all the things you are saying with far more details, I don’t need it repeated to me.  USELESS words. WRONG answers. After another round of asking how something like this happens, and is there a way they can retrieve the conversation I had with the agent, he told me that they are not allowed, if I want, I need to go to the nearest GLOBE office/facility, I raised my hand and gave up! And instead said, what was the email address again? See, I told you I am polite.


What a way to start the day!


This experience left a deep scar in my psyche, joke! 🙂


But seriously, I am really turned off by this.


Regardless of how this complaint will go, I will wait for my lock-in period to expire and I will definitely be switching and trying another network.

Of course there really is no perfect network but at least I’ll be able to compare the service and the customer service!

 I don’t really expect a satisfying and prompt resolution, much less a happy one, but until then I’ll just update my blog and share my experience to my friends.


On December 20, 2011, this concern was resolved.  I’m one happy customer. But I’ve had enough of Powersurf. I’ll just stick to good-ole internet browsing on desktops. Thank you.

For all the stress this has caused me, I’m glad to have found Tricia over at Critters and Crayons and her valuable tips :

1. Get customer service name and the number.

2. Record date-time group of conversation.

3. Blog it.

Check her posts here I GAVE UP MY SMARTPHONE AND I OWE WHAT???!!! and here Smartphone Angst Resolved: A $1,076 Credit.

And I hope this helps “future” hapless Globe smartphone owners.



11 thoughts on “Customer Service that Sucks!

  1. First, you’re smartphone stuff sounds really complicated. I don’t think I could handle it. Second, customer service does suck. Third, I’m sorry this happened!! I hope it works out, somehow for you!

  2. Oh my, Ava ! You must be pissed off !!! You never swear in your posts and I think you did like 2 and a half times ? (Half being “What the f*ck?”)
    Mobile phones, telecommunication providers and customer service are all a bad mix for your mental well being.
    Thing is, being a customer service operator can be a really ungrateful job and there are some good ones. They just get outnumbered by the bad eggs…
    I hope you do a follow up post on how the complaint goes…:)

  3. Ava- I feel your pain! I actually gave up my smartphone. It sounds crazy but it needed to happen. I’m already connected via the computer as a blogger and I wanted to reclaim time during the day. I had a crazy billing experience I wrote about, too- when I gave up the droid. I owed over 1700 bucks (similar to you) for a goofy error when I turned in my smartphone for one of the dumbest phones on the market. My customer service experience was better, thankfully. If you’re interested, here’s the post on the bill:

    and here’s the post on all the reasons I left smart phones behind me. Not that you should. haha! Anyway- hope it’s resolved soon. I”m happy with Verizon- they fixed my smartphone issue pretty quickly. Of course, it helped that I told the customer service tech I was blogging about it and HIM. haha!

  4. @B : I was surprised also how complicated it got. I am really cautious or I thought I was but look where I am in now. Thanks for the support!

    @Grace : I actually was having second thoughts of the F word right after posting but I promised myself I’d take it down as soon as I have the issues resolved. Or, probably, NOT. Let’s see…
    But honestly, when you read it, did it come across really offensive? I know the F word is offensive I don’t really actually feel the severity since I am not a native English speaker but still, what do you think? Should I change it to WTH now?

    @Tricia : So, it was YOU! 🙂 You see, while writing this post, I had the picture of YOUR billing picture, the one with the big WHAT????!!!!! and then the encircled amount. I’d be linking to you as soon as I have this resolved. And like what Grace said, it was just rotten luck for me that I had the not-so good customer agent served me.

  5. I take it, at least your customer service rep was still in your own country rather than in Bangladesh? Otherwise, welcome to my world. I know it seems hopeless but hang in there and don’t pay an extra penny until they electronically grab it from you!

    • Yep, the customer service rep is from here. I should have listed her name. This is one lesson learned. Yes this is my plan, to let the due bill sit until this is resolved.

  6. Ava- I’m so glad it was resolved! These things can be so stressful!!!! Welcome to the data plan-less masses. We are growing. haha!

  7. Girls, thanks for all the comments!

    @Tricia : You are really smart! I was thinking, maybe you can help me think of a good Six Sigma Black Belt project? Ha! 🙂 I’ve done the training last year, I am aiming for a certification this year but I still can’t think of a project or too lazy? Both, I think. 😉

    @Megan : It is complicated. I think they purposely worded their TERMS and CONDITIONS to confuse not so discerning subscribers like me.

    @Bridget : Thanks to you I get to have one more smart friend here! 🙂

    @Nami : Hahaha! Correct!

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