The Philippines Needs More Consumer Advocates

For those of you who have been reading my blogs, you’ve probably ran across a post or two of me ranting about how corporations have been performing rather poorly- at least as far as customer satisfaction is concerned.

Specifically, I have personally been disappointed at how Globe- a major telecommunications player in the Philippines- has taken so long to get my broadband connection back. And then we also have the blog post on Cebu Pacific, which continues- continues!- to draw many irate and frustrated customers and share their bad experiences with the poorly managed budget airline.

I ask myself: how can companies like these- big, profitable and supposedly reputable companies like Globe and Cebu Pacific- think they can get away with treating their customers- people who fork over their hard-earned money over to patronize their services- like crap?

I believe that for every person that shares his or her story on how they’ve felt cheated, neglected, short-changed or abused by a company, there are probably ten, twenty, maybe even a hundred others who haven’t made themselves heard.

You think you can count on the media to let us know what’s going on? I’ve worked in media for the past fourteen years, and I’ll tell you this: these big corporations virtually have media companies by the neck. Not officially, of course, but think about it: if a TV station, radio station or newspaper does a series of reports on say- a string of bad experiences from people taking a Cebu Pacific flight, even in the interest of informing the public- how do you suppose a story like this would affect their sales figures through advertising?

At a time when media companies aren’t exactly making as much money as they want to? It’s not an issue they’d want to even play around with.

So it’s really up to us, ladies and gentlemen. There are many good companies out there who actually do mean well, and treat consumers fairly, and there are also those that have less-than-ideal business ethics that count on consumers’ indifference and frustration to keep on finagling the helpless.

Others must know our stories: which companies are worthy of our trust, and which ones are just out to make a fast buck no matter what. Let us give our business to corporations who we feel deserve our continuing patronage, and keep it away from the unscrupulous.

Help spread the word- link stories to others, share your experiences, encourage others to speak out. Yes, this country needs more consumer advocates. Because these days, word-of-mouth has so much more meaning than a 40-million TV ad campaign.

Cheers, everyone.

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