When you’re a company that spends millions of pesos on advertising money, positioning yourself as a warm and caring internet service provider, I say you’d better have a customer service culture that’s truly reflective of what you promote, as well as a team that can back up your claims.
As a paying customer, I fork out a regular monthly amount to get a service I should be getting with no worries and no fuss.
Unfortunately, it seems that even satisfactory customer service is too much to ask for these days. So let me share to you my story on how terribly disappointed I am with Globe, and how my Globelines internet sucks right now.
My Problematic Globe Broadband Connection
Now here’s how this story goes: I fly in from Los Angeles earlier this month and come home to an internet-less apartment. As far as I’m concerned, my payments have been current, but my girlfriend- kickass that she is- had already taken the initiative of calling up Globelines- my current broadband internet service provider- to figure out what’s going down with my connection, and why I supposedly have problems with my Globelines landline and internet.
Looking back, I’ve had problems and connection issues with Globe before, and I’ll admit that Globe had been fairly reliable and prompt in dealing with my phone/internet issues.
These past several days, it’s been a stressful cycle of getting assurances from Globe, calling up the 919.8888 customer service hotline, waiting for some miracle to happen, filing yet another complaint at the Globelines payment center, getting yet more false assurances- this crap has been going on long enough.
What do I have to show for it so far? The contact center Globe has employed to run their customer service/tech support hotline (Alorica, I believe, is one of two) have nothing to give but generic, pre-fabricated spiels- I don’t think most of these agents even get the urgency of the situation.
Even their stories don’t match: the customer service reps in the Globelines Center in Greenbelt were already beseiged by a number of irate clients hurling invectives and cursing Globe to high heavens for various reasons. This was what I observed when I came over to file yet another complaint- my third one- last 06 July 2008.
I was curious to know why there was this sudden influx of more-than-dissatisfied customers, so in between tirades, I managed to ask a Customer Service Rep why this was all happening.
There was a shortage in service personnel, was what they said. Ever since the last typhoon that hit, Globe technical and customer services had already been spread thin.
Understandable, I suppose. But I also noticed that the customer service desks also have to call their own Customer Service hotline- 919.8888- to facilitate customer concerns. They were also waiting for several minutes, and given the same song-and-dance- a service I could subject myself to from the comfort of my own home, if I wanted it.
To the CSR’s credit, they got my number and apologized (the contact center’s personnel were on lunch break), and assured me that I would be getting a call from them for an update. Which, again to their credit, I got later that afternoon. Aura of Globelines Greenbelt informed me that I was on their priority list (like it really means anything), and that some crewperson would be checking out my connections- something the call center relayed through them, no doubt.
Completely inefficient, aren’t they? So reflective of Philippine bureaucracy. And you wonder why we can’t have anything done in this country?
Once More Into The Fray
Fast forward to one week later: It’s been 12 days that I’ve gone without internet at home- 12 fracking days! Now how the frack am I supposed to get any work done?
Another call goes to the Globelines 919.8888 hotline: navigating through the irritatingly artificial voiceprompts, I finally get through to a customer service rep after 15 minutes of being on hold.
Angel was this CSR’s name. I was given the same song-and-dance on how there was “ongoing network restoration” and crap. What a spiel-monkey.
I was already pissed off by this time, and insisted on speaking with a supervisor. No, it was not OK to wait- but I really have no choice, do I? Seems like you couldn’t do anything done around here if you don’t speak to a supervisor or a manager. Useless, inutile spiel-monkeys, all of them.
I was waiting for said supervisor while blogging this very post- and the idiot Angel didn’t even put me on hold (with the cheesy repetitive crappy music), so I could hear the call center chatter from my end. The bitch totally left me hanging, didn’t she? And you can hear her fellow CSRs’ horseplay- how typical of Philippine contact centers at their lowest.
An hour goes by. Seriously, an hour. Are Globelines supervisors and managers really in the habit of making paying customers wait for an hour? I know I was relatively calm and composed- you can just imagine how many more angry customers there are out there.
Special shout-out to Globelines CSR Angel: Look, I know how underpaid and terribly ‘overworked’ you are. But if you couldn’t do your job right- i.e. putting the phone on hold properly so your managers can clean up the messes you make- then by all means resign, and let somebody else take that monthly salary of yours and put it into better use. You give Philippine customer reps a bad name.
I give the Globelines 919.8888 number another call. This time, Jeff picks up after 5 minutes of waiting. Once again, I give my obligatory subscriber information. I ask him to find out who the supervisor/manager on board is.
He comes back after a few minutes and begins to rattle off some pre-prepared spiel on how busy they all were. I cut him off to tell him that all I want, really, is the name of the supervisor-on-board.
Jeff tells me “Marami sila (There are many)”. I asked him exactly how many supervisors there really are.
Jeff reveals the staggering number: Three.
Three supervisors. So what are their names? Surely he could easily tell me three names.
Jeff then informs me that I couldn’t get the name of all 3 supervisors. And why not, I wonder? What seems to be wrong with that? Jeff adds that the supervisor will identify himself when he takes my call. You could’ve told me that in the first place, Jeff. Tsk tsk.
Fair enough. But before I chew on a supervisor’s head, I just had to ask poor hapless Jeff a few more questions.
I asked him how many agents they have on the floor right now. 40 CSRs, is what he answered. I asked another question: how busy are they all right now? Very busy, was what he answered this time (of course they were!).
While Jeff had been relatively polite and calm, I realized this conversation was going nowhere, so I asked him to patch me through to his supervisor now. Which he did.
After three minutes, someone named Lindsey Dizon identified himself as the supervisor. He was apologetic and sounded rather sincere- he went on to give me a quick review of what had been going on, based on my connection logs and incident reports. He also proceeded to tell me what steps they’d be taking with all this information, etc.
Do I really need a supervisor to get anything done around here?
With some more questioning, he told me that my case was an isolated one, meaning most other connections originating from the same Globe cabinet have reported no trouble- just mine.
He also assures me that he’d be personally updating me with what’s going on until my issues get resolved.
We’ll see about that.
It’s been Day 14 so far. The inconvenience of going to free wi-fi places and hooking up from friend’s places can be tiresome real quickly.
Curse you, Globe. You give me another reason to hate this country, and want to move to another.
The Lesser of Two Evils.
Inept as Globe customer service is, PLDT is so much worse. My girlfriend often complains of intermittent connections, and sometimes, days without any internet signals at all. On top of a customer service system that truly sucks.
So if you’re thinking of switching to PLDT, keep in mind that you might be just digging yourself out of one hellhole into another- vexingly more hellish- hole.
It’s the story of the Philippines, really. Both broadband/DSL providers- Globe and PLDT- suck. They suck, that’s the bottom line. Unfortunately for us paying consumers- all we can do is choose the one that sucks less.
Seems that once companies like Globe and PLDT have our money, and sucked us into their flawed systems, it’s all that really matters to them. Customer service? Fuck that. Technical support? Screw you. We have your money- we’ll work on your problems when we feel like it.
Exactly the kind of culture that not only makes the rich richer, but also the kind that drives this country down.
Now that’s truly, truly sad.