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).


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 as a diagnostic check. That’s the first site the service crewmen went to to check the DSL connection.


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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