In 2011, after finding utter disappointment from two (2) major internet providers in the Philippines, hubby went to a Smart Wireless Center and applied for a Canopy Device. When the unit was delivered, the installers suggested that we avail of the Wimax instead since the trees around the neighborhood were blocking the signal.
So, they came back later and delivered the Wimax device. The contract was locked for two years, otherwise, we had to pay pretermination charges.
|Photo credit: adamsplanet.blogspot.com|
On the day that Pacman lost to Marquez, on Dec. 9, 2012, we discovered that we had no internet signal. This had happened many times before, sometimes lasting for a few hours, and the most was three days. We never a reversal of the charges since it was too much of a hassle to call their customer hotline at *888. After two or three days of no internet signal (it was forever a running light), we reported the matter to the hotline. The customer service officer merely said to monitor the device for a another 24 hours.
After a few days, the device was still not working (imagine leaving it plugged, with a running light, 24 hours a day, and I can't use it, but I had to plug it on. The useless consumption of electricity, right?) When we called the hotline, the officer asked us to bring it to the center for replacement because it was broken. So hubby went to the Wireless Center to report it and was told that the device will be replace, but to just wait because they had no idea when a device would be available.
So we waited...
A few weeks after, we called the hotline and asked for an update. Still the same answer- they didn't know when a new device would be available.
After many follows ups, I got a bill for the internet that we could not use. So I called the hotline and they advised me to pay the outstanding balance and have it reversed later. So I said, "you mean, in the more than one month that we have been waiting for an internet connection, I still have to pay?" "Yes", he said, "but you can have the charges reversed when service resumes." I asked, "and when may that be?" He said, "he doesn't know." So I said, "please put this in record that we will not pay because there is no internet service. Why pay for a service that you weren't able to use because of the provider's incompetence?
I followed it up to no avail.
I even sent messages to follow up my reference number to its twitter account @SMARTcares. I never received any reply. That's how much SMART CARES: it ignores you until you collapse and get tired from all the follow-ups. I've sent emails too and they did not reply.
To shorten this depressing story, sometime in March we received a notice of disconnection from Smart. Asking us to pay P12,000+++ for the two months that we had no internet plus pre-termination fee of about P10,000.00.
After that, we have been getting text messages from an ADA Law Office. This afternoon, I received another text message from an office claiming to be the ADA Law Office:
"FINAL SERIOUS DEMAND ( as if we're joking here ----- my addition, not part of the text)
This is A.D.A. Law Office. Your silence & non response to our previous demands indicates your malicious & unjustified refusal to pay a just and demandable obligation on your SMARTBRO. Thus we urge you to settle your outstanding obligation until May 05, 2013 from receipt of this message. (ano daw???)
Otherwise, our law firm will definitely proceed with the filing of appropriate legal action against you pursuant protect the interest of our client SMARTBRO. Any question (hmm) please call (02) 3818527 and look for MS. DELOS REYES. thank u"
Previous text messages contained a different contact person, but the same A.D.A. law office.
I have been checking the list of the law firms in the Philippines and I have yet to see A.D.A. Law Office. If indeed there really is such an office, then that lawyer must be really desperate to get his contingent fee the at he had closed his eyes to the real issue at-hand, and that is, his client (Smart) failed to serve its own client (us). If it's a collection agency, which I think it is, then I have been hearing bad things about them-- harassment is the most applicable word.
I even tried calling it this afternoon, introduced myself as a lawyer, and they said they'd make a return call. Up to now, there's no return call.
Another push and I'll file a complaint with the National Telecommunications Commission.
Which brings me to one point of thought- the lock-in period should not be imposed by internet providers. Because even if their service sucks, the consumer is still the one who loses more with the lock-in period. Add to that, a simple Filipino may get easily harassed by these oppressive telecom giants. The price of technology --- a way for these telecom giants, particularly SMART to milk us for every cent we are worth.
Any of you here who is being harassed by the inefficient Smart too?