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The Untold Story of the Globelines DSL Outage

7:04 pm PHT

It’s been more than two months since our home DSL broadband connection with Globelines got disrupted for 24 days. So in the interest of consumer interest, I decided to recount my own “horror” story even though it happened a long time ago. All I can say is that it was quite a difficult three weeks and I managed to subsist on retail Wi-Fi in various hotspots and about a week of ümobile 3G. it’s really a good thing that my livelihood is not dependent on having reliable broadband connection at home, though my sister could not telecommute in her work as a result. Our troubles started on the night of June 25 and lasted until servicemen from Innove restored our DSL connection on July 19.

I know a lot of people would’ve gone ballistic at a disconnection period that long (like during the time in 2006 when an earthquake in Taiwan cut various undersea cables), but I guess it’s a testament to my family’s good nature that we were relatively patient about the whole thing although we were still collectively displeased. My Plurk friends have actually been witness to my DSL-lessness throughout those days: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

We subscribed to Globelines in April of 2007 and the service had been relatively ok enough and we didn’t really encounter the so-called post-honeymoon stage. There were times when the connection was slow or when it would go out but those instances were often resolved overnight and occurred few and far between. So I found it odd that one day after the DSL connection went dead on June 25, it was still down.

Customer Service Hell

We had recently paid a few months overdue before on June 17 so I checked through the 24-hour hotline whether our payment was reflected. Well it wasn’t, and even our June billing details were not indicated. So we called up customer service to ask for reconnection and we learned that our account was being “migrated.”

Well, that “migration” story turned out to be the bane of our customer service. Every time we called and followed up our problem, the CSRs would become confused about our predicament and after putting us on hold to do further consultation, they would eventually give the “account migration” reason. The whole thing is quite bizarre, really. Many of the CSRs are apparently not aware of any migration of our accounts and some are even surprised when we tell them about our account migration. We ended up calling both the customer service and the technical support service (which are apparently two different call centers) and they could not provide us any substantial help, only to keep logging our calls and adding a follow-up ticket requesting feedback from their back-end support team. They were all nice and polite and all but some admitted that they cannot provide any real status because the whole database is not transparent to them. In short, they could not provide immediate help at all.

Things turned from bad to worse when we received our June billing statement in the mail and found out that it was the final billing statement! I immediately called up the hotline and asked what’s up with it. The answering agent told us that our account was apparently disconnected last April. This was utterly flabbergasting since we were still getting Internet connectivity until June! As usual, the agent was not able to help very much and she proceeded to log yet another follow-up ticket into their system.

The real breakthrough came when after the umpteenth time I called their hotline, I was able to talk to a guy who didn’t sound at all like the numerous agents we’ve talked to before. Well, this guy was polite, but he didn’t stick to any script nor peppered his speech with any flowery words. He even was voicing his thoughts aloud. I actually suspect he’s a supervisor or somebody higher up because he was able to provide a helluva lot more information than all of the other agents before him combined. For one thing, he did a database search and was able to find a new account under my name. Apparently, there really was an account migration an not just a euphemism for whatever they don’t want to tell their customers. It also turns out that all of our follow-up tickets were being attached to the old account so nothing is being done about them at all.

Finally, two days after I talked to Mr. supervisor, service crewmen from Innove arrived at our home and restored our DSL connection, complete with a new phone number. After 24 freaking days.

This customer service tale is actually quite ironic because the reason why we got a Globelines account in the first place is because we’ve heard that there are more customer service horror stories with PLDT than with Globe. It actually came to a point where my dad considered upgrading our PLDT line to MyDSL (but we didn’t push through when he found out it would take 2 weeks).

Learnings

Here are a few things I learned about Globelines’ customer service:

  • There’s no coordination between the technical support representatives and the customer service representatives.

  • Their ticketing system is stupid. Follow-up tickets do not seem to be linked to each other.

  • Globe really needs to improve their proactive customer relations. Their reactive customer service might be better than others but I’m more angry by the fact that we were not told ahead of time about any changes to our account until the whole thing is dumped on us like cold water on a sleeping person.

  • The fact that we were one of the first households to avail of Globelines when they started servicing our subdivision may be ultimately be the reason why our account was migrated. It might be that in their eagerness to enter a new area, they did not lay down their infrastructure pat and so our account eventually needed to be migrated. (I don’t know of any other Globelines subscribers in our subdivision so I can’t be sure of this one.)

  • Globelines technicians actually use Speedtest.net as a diagnostic check. That’s the first site the service crewmen went to to check the DSL connection.

Epilogue

Because of this disconnection I did not blog nor Plurk much during July. It’s a good thing that I’m not Karma-conscious (unlike a lot of plurkers out there) so I didn’t mind that I lost around 10 points. And hooray for passive income because even if I’m not blogging, I’m still earning from my blogs. In fact, July had been my best month for AdSense (now since surpassed by my August earnings); my total earnings in July was more than 50% higher than my best month before that.  :-D

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Comments

Comment times are in Philippine time (+0800).

1

On 5:42 p.m., 4 Oct 2008, Al wrote:

THANK YOU for posting this Globe-related article!!

We in our household also use Globelines DSL. Yes, their service was nice. But there were really those times when there’s no internet connection, or when it is really really slow. (Parang ngayong panahon na to. Ilang buwan na na sobrang bagal at walang webpages na nagloload)

Anyway, I really really agree with what you said about their customer service. INDEED, there is a serious gap between the pawns (CSR) and the bishops, kings and queens (the higher offices). This needs to be given attention. Naiipit kasi yung mga CSRs eh. Pati ako naawa sa kanila. In the end, walang nasosolusyunan, nasstress pa sila at yung customer.

I someone from Globe will be able to read this article of yours.

Again, thank you for posting this one, at sorry sa code-swithcing  :P

2

On 10:52 a.m., 5 Oct 2008, andy wrote:

I also had that kind of a problem with one of our Globe landlines in the office a couple of months ago. It was worse because the phone was down for more than 2 months. What I learned from that experience was that: 1.) Globe Customer (dis)Service Agents are clueless about everything that goes on with their customers. It seems like they are just fed with standard answers and are directed to just read them like robots to their callers. 2.) That ticketing system is plain BS. It’s a lame excuse for their ineptness and stupidity. I don’t even believe that there is such a thing as “ticketing.” Someone from customer service must have invented that. 3.) Globe simply doesn’t care a single bit about their customers. That’s all there is to it.

3

On 1:55 a.m., 8 Oct 2008, seav wrote:

@Al, glad to hear that what I found out about their customer service is kinda true.

@Andy, well, I hope that Globe improves their service. Kawawa ang mga CSRs nila kasi wala talaga silang magawa in serious cases.

4

On 3:49 p.m., 20 Jan 2009, Kat wrote:

I got Globelines DSL roughly around the same time as you. In the past eight to nine months that I’ve had it, I probably got to use approximately six months worth of it (if I base it on the quality of the connection). There was a time that the connection was so bad, my brother insisted that Globe not charge us for the service. Nowadays, when we have trouble, he asks for a supervisor immediately.

Right now, I’m having problems browsing with it. Some sites take minutes to load (if it does at all). Others, I have to keep refreshing and refreshing until it shows up. Am wondering if I’ll be renewing my contract.

I worked as an agent for a US ISP before, and though their system had its own problems, it wasn’t as bad as this. At least the technicians and the customer service department communicate and can see the tickets of an account.

5

On 7:38 p.m., 15 Jul 2009, tonyh wrote:

I would strongly suggest everyone avoid Globelines like they would a case of the plague !! Customer service consists of bottomless promies that a situation will be rectified within the next 24 hours, one month in and I am still being assured “Yes Sir Tony I can give you my assurance this problem will be rectified within the next 24 hours , I am sorry , I fully understand your feelings but it will be completed soon”

These people are profexssional con men !! my service was installed on 16th of last month ..on the 18th it collapsed, 5 days of yes sir 24 hours and I was treated to a half speed service with no telephone !!

They lie as SOPs

They just extort more and more money from you for little to zero service

Come on lets use our heads …a white man arrives in front of your sales desk to sign up for a service ….wouldnt you assume he needed International call facilities or would you think ( as Globe did!! ) that he would only want to dial local calls???

THEIR SYSTEM STINKS THEIR SERVICE STINKS THEY REPEATEDLY LIE TO CUSTOMERS THEY OFFER NO REAL SYSTEM OF REDRESS IN CASES OF BAD SERVICE

Serious suggestion…. 1 Send your complaints to DTI …they advertise all these services but offer none…this is contrary to law and an outright lie knowingly relayed 2 Contact NTC with your compaints as they are in breach of standards set by the commission #..If all else fails tell them they have 24 hours to remove their lines and equipment before YOU start charging THEM fees ….they will remind you you are subject to a 12 month lock in period….reply to them they are in breach of contract by NOT providing the service they sold you and therefore contract is nul and void as is any lock in period

Good luck to all Globe victims !!! one day the Philippines WILL get a decent service provider Im sure …until then we suffer these idiots

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