I was busy blogging, uploading photos and trying to make a project proposal and project scope Friday July 9 at about seven in the evening when suddenly, my internet was gone. Just like that, internet and dial tone were gone.

The simple 171 number was not working on my cell phone and I did not know what number to call to get to the supposed 24/7 Help Desk. This has happened before once and the dial tone came back after a few hours. I thought and hoped that this time it would be back by morning. I thought wrong.

So Saturday morning found me removing my Globe prepaid sim out of my phone and into my old USB device to use Globe’s prepaid internet service on my laptop. It allowed me to access PLDT’s website and get the correct number to call using my cell phone, which happens to be 02-8888-171. I was able to talk to a customer service representative and was told my DSL account is active and that they will do a remote line test and I should expect a service update within 24-28 hours. I was asked whether someone would be home the entire day for when technicians arrived and was asked for contact numbers, which I gave, two to be sure in fact.

At the end of the day, no PLDT technicians arrived the entire day and my dial tone had not been restored. I was in SM Marikina Saturday evening, looking for new toys for Lia, a present for a friend’s daughter who was celebrating her first birthday the next day, as well as buying a Sun Cellular prepaid broadband SIM. I also stupidly had my Sun Cellular postpaid broadband account disconnected, thinking that the prepaid one I just bought would do just fine. Again, I thought wrong. While walking through aisles of toys, I was talking to a customer service representative asking whatever happened to the supposed technicians and telling them how important my internet is for me. 24 hours of no internet had me already stressed out. On that second call to PLDT, I was told I should expect a response from them within 24-48 hours. I was pissed off but there was nothing I could do.

I made my third call to PLDT on Sunday morning and was told that a remote line test was done and they found nothing wrong. “It might be a line card problem,” customer representative informed me. I asked what that meant and did not find a suitable explanation. I asked if that meant other PLDT subscribers in my area also did not have a dial tone and was informed that, “only if they’re connected to the same line card.” Uh okay whatever, I thought.

I made my exasperated fourth call on Sunday evening and got the same answer. I have to wait 24-48 hours.

Monday morning, while waiting for Lia’s pediatrician to arrive at the clinic, I made my 5th call to PLDT to tell them it’s been 48 hours since I reported the problem. I was on the verge of having my account disconnected. When I asked about that, I was told to call billing. When I called billing, I was told that since my line was just connected June 12th, disconnecting it is subject to a pre-termination fee of 3-months worth of my monthly – which is P5,985. Wow, I thought, I might as well keep this account BUT have a Globe Wi-max installed so I can always be sure I will have internet.

I seriously considered having a Globe Wi-max installed. Easy installation, I was told by an agent when we first considered Globe. We really did not want PLDT as we were told they have ridiculously lousy customer service but when we asked about a Globe line and DSL, we were told that service was not available in our area. What was available was a Globe Wi-max data only plan at P995 with speeds up to 1 mbps.

On the other hand, I could have my Sun Cellular postpaid broadband reconnected. At least I could have internet wherever I went in the metro, which became my problem actually after I had the PLDT installed. I was at the mercy of wi-fi hotspots. My problem there was, from my experience, I could not upload photos with a file size of 1MB or higher to my Flickr account. I needed to be sure which connection was better.

I called again Monday evening just to say, “Will you just send a technician to my house to look at my line?!” I was really out of patience by then since work was piling up and I have been accessing the internet on either a constantly ridiculously slow Globe prepaid connection or a burstable prepaid Sun connection. I don’t know if that term burstable is correct or I just made that up but I’m using it to describe the scenario wherein I get relatively fast internet connection then suddenly, nothing. I reconnect and get the fast internet connection again and then, I get “disconnected by the PPP server”. What the hell was that all about?! I’ve also found out that the Sun broadband prepaid SIM cannot be reloaded through the usual manner of loading through a cell card. It seems that in order for me to have it loaded, I have to look for a retailer person who will load it for me. I have never liked going to a person for reloads. I always preferred cards.

Tuesday morning, I called again and a female customer service representative informed me my “account is not in the database” and that had me incensed. What did she mean by my account is not in the database? I have been calling endlessly since Saturday morning and being told this and that this and that, and then I get a person who tells me that my account is not in the database?! I told her, “Please explain to me what you mean because I f*cking do not get it!” I told her, “Do you not keep a log of how many times I have called regarding this problem?” and she told me, “Yes we do. This is your third call.” And dang, that really had me. I have been spending a lot of money on calls from my cell phone to their 02-8888-171 number which is NOT free and I am told after 6 calls and n number of minutes that that was my third call and I am not in the database! I was so angry that I passed the phone on to my husband so they could talk instead. Then my prepaid credits ran out and I lost the stupid customer service representative.

I used my husband’s postpaid Globe account to call back and this time I talked to a male customer service representative that goes by the name of Jemar Villagracia or something and he apologizes for all the inconvenience yada-yada. I first had to ask him how many times their record says I have called about this problem and was told, nine times. (Wow, it certainly isn’t my third call but did I really make 9 calls? I wondered to myself). He told me the problem has been reported to my business office last Sunday, July 11 but their records show no updates on the problem. I asked him what he could do and he said he is making a follow-up report as of the very moment we were talking to ask if a technician has been assigned to my case by my own business office. He told me to check on my line and wait. I asked him if I could call back to follow-up on this report he is supposedly making and he said I could, and preferably before 5’o clock in the afternoon. I didn’t bother to call back.

That was just really infuriating. All these past days, all these customer service representatives have been telling me nothing but lies! Excuses to make me feel like they are actually doing something. Excuses and technical terms that make them feel like they actually know something!

Wednesday morning, July 14, I check and was not surprised to still hear nothing on my phone. Still no dial tone, still no internet. I had been up half the night anxiously vigilant about the typhoon so I slept all morning. This afternoon, right after I have given Lia her medicines (no nebulizer as there is no electricity) and have put her down for her afternoon nap, I got ready to actually go out and go to the PLDT business office a few blocks away from the village gate to personally follow-up on this excruciatingly irritating problem. I had my bag in my hand, my keys in my pocket, and I do a last minute check on my phone. And there it was, a dial tone.
I turned my modem on and saw the yellow lights blinking. I turned my router on and there it was. Yahooooo!!!! My internet is back!!! GODDAMNIT!!!!

I turn my television on and there is no cable. Dang.

I am not gonna make incessant calls to Sky Cable though. I couldn’t care less if they didn’t restore my cable back on in a month. They don’t even have Lia’s favorite channel – MTV!!! What’s up with that? They only have Myx, which is just about the most jologs music channel there ever was.

It took almost five days to get my service restored! I sure hope I get a rebate or something – but I called billing and was told it has to be requested. Ugh!!!

Rant, rant, rant. I hate you PLDT customer service representatives. I hate you PLDT. You suck.

Really, you do.