As I’m writing this, it’s Day 16 since J’s PLDT Fibr internet has been down.
What is going on, PLDT?
Since then, he has been relying on mobile internet to stay online. But seriously, what is happening, PLDT?
PLDT FIBR DOWN FOR 16 DAYS AND COUNTING
J’s PLDT Fibr internet went down last Saturday (Aug. 18). The problem started with a blinking PON light. He called PLDT every day during the first week to follow up. He still calls every couple of days.
They never give a straight answer. Apparently, there is a “major outage” in some areas, Mandaluyong is included. We don’t know the other areas that have been affected by the outage.
J says that the reps that he has talked to were nice and seemed to try to do all they could, however, they only kept giving vague answers to his follow ups. They say things like “the work is still open” or “this has been endorsed to the Ops team”. Those sentences don’t really tell us anything useful.
What caused the outage? Which areas are affected? When can we expect this to be fixed? Why is it taking so long to fix it?
I know that PLDT is experiencing some problems with its service providers at the moment, but can’t they prioritize fixing this since this is apparently a major outage? When I experienced the same problem with Converge, a crew from Converge visited the next day and traced the problem to a cut line a few hundred meters down the road. And they fixed it within the day.
In spite of the few flaws that I have experienced using Converge internet, at least I have internet. To the point where I feel like buti nalang naka-Converge ako. But PLDT, you were the chosen one! You were supposed to be more reliable (but also more expensive!). I was even envious that J had PLDT Fibr (before we switched to Converge), and then now “buti nalang talaga naka Converge ako” is how I feel.
PLEASE PROVIDE UPDATES
How hard is it to fix the problem? Well, since they haven’t been forthcoming with information, we don’t really know if it’s just a simple problem like a cut line, a blown fuse, a settings problem, wrong configuration, or worse (sabotage). Absent any reliable information, our minds just start thinking up scenarios.
J’s internet has been working well in the past, and suddenly, there’s this “major outage”. Why? Did something break? Did someone mess up the system before they left the company? Have you identified what caused it? Or worse, have you not had anyone work on this yet and is that why it’s taking so long to fix?
How could they let a “major outage” go on this long?
How pissed off will we be when we find out that whatever caused this outage was just a simple problem that could have been fixed in a day, and that the only reason for all this delay was because they couldn’t find anyone to work on it? I’m sure they still have some employees left? No sense of urgency. Ang daming affected. I’ve read other people who complained about losing their internet service to this PLDT outage and eventually losing their online jobs as a consequence. People who are reliant on their internet service are losing their jobs and deadma lang. It really pisses me off when companies cause so much stress and inconvenience to people, and then to realize there was just a quick and easy fix that they just wouldn’t do. No focus on the customer.
PHONE IVR MANIPULATION?
Okay, so J has been calling PLDT a lot, right? And he noticed something.
He says when he calls 171, after choosing “Existing customer” and entering the ticket number, it said “your ticket is still open blah blah blah and currently in progress blah blah”. After that, at first there was an option to:
- Press 1 to end the call
- Press 2 if this resolves your concern
- Press 3 to talk to a representative
But when J pressed 3, it said “your input is not valid”. Hmmm… So next time, instead of pressing 3, he tried pressing 2. Try lang. And it brought him to a representative. At first, I was telling J that maybe it was an honest mistake from the call center people who set up the phone IVR (interactive voice response) system.
Then the next day he calls again, option 2 & 3 are gone. There is only “Press 1 to end this call”. But instead of pressing 1, he pressed 2, try lang. And lo and behold, he was put through to a representative again. So parang, secret menu eto to talk to a representative. Fishy, huh?
Now, we both have BPO backgrounds, so it seemed very obvious to us that this was a ploy to funnel callers OFF the system. Trying to get callers to abandon their calls without ever having reached a representative? Trying to manipulate their stats? I am guessing they don’t have enough manpower to answer all the angry customer calls, but this is just sad 🙁 Actively trying to limit the calls that reach agents in this manner just seems unethical. How many customers with legitimate problems just give up? There should always be an easy option to talk to a representative, and it should not be squirreled away in some convoluted or secret menu. FYI, customers talking to a rep always costs more than getting the customer’s problems resolved via other means. So you can bet that companies who hide their option to talk to a rep is doing it to reduce costs, too.
STILL BEING BILLED
And PLDT still billed J for the Fibr service even if they have not provided any service. I know that it is an automated process, and that you can have PLDT’s billing deduct the time when they had no service from the bill in the future. Still, it’s kind of annoying. This means that PLDT is also hemorrhaging revenue from this outage.
I can imagine that they are going through some operations upheaval from the problems they are having with their service providers. While I sympathize with their internal problems, they should really prioritize fixing the Fibr internet connection of their subscribers.
I never thought that I would ever say na buti nalang nag Converge ako instead of PLDT Fibr. Converge was just the only choice kasi siya lang available, but it wasn’t the “best” choice at the time, but now I appreciate Converge more.
Updated Sept. 10, 2018 – someone from PLDT finally arrived at J’s to fix the problem last Sept. 8. According to the technician, the switchbox in the area got damaged from a fire last month. So, apparently, they either fixed it or bought new equipment. Anyway, if that was really the reason, why all the stonewalling every time we call customer service, why not just be upfront about the reason for the outage? They also changed J’s modem to a new one. As of today, J’s internet seems to be fixed.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please feel free to leave a comment below, I love hearing from you!