Monday Morning Vent by Roni: Are telcos in competition for who can give crappier service at a higher cost?
It was back in October when I received word of my Wimax connections’ death sentence. Overnight, my router was sent back to the time of Edsamail where the normal dial up speed was 56 kbps. I would need to get up in the middle of the night to get a decent connection. My dreams of cutting up my cable died when my livestreaming just came out with Rafael Nadal in mid-grimace, forever frozen with the racket never meeting the ball.
My Christmas bonus came and went. The New Year celebration passed. Chinese New Year passed. Hell froze over. Several screaming fits of rage directed at poor, poor call center workers passed. Technicians went to my house to take a look at the router, nod sagely and proclaim, “Ma’am, it’s for migration to LTE,” as if it were the mantra of a new religion. Hell, yeah. I’ve been a convert since January when my FB page refused to load. Where do I sign up? I had given my number, my brother’s number, my brother’s other number, the best time to call (which was anytime), and still we waited for the conversion.
I had a discussion with one of my friends over Facebook about internet connection being a basic human right. I was thinking about the people in Darfur being too occupied with war to be bothered about the absence of internet connectivity. He said it impinged on our right to congregate. Now that I think about it, our lives are conducted more and more online, and to have that cut off is like cutting off a necessary part of your life that gives you happiness.
What Philippine telecommunications companies are offering us is the lugaw business. Offer empty carbs to the proletariat because they do not have a choice. I have tasted far better nourishment abroad where I paid AUD99 all-in per month for 100 mbps connection with a cap of 200 GB. And it’s even cheaper now. The LTE migration they are offering me costs PhP1000 for 1mbps (min of 256kbps) with a 20GB cap. I run through that in four days. How magnanimous of them to provide me with crumbs! How dare I demand more?
I was loyal to said worldly provider because I was part of their group of companies for a long time. They fostered loyalty through team building, doing the right thing, the CEOs mingling with us common folk, and charitable works that they let us participate in. But now I’m questioning their business ethics. Their captive market is held prisoner by the bandwidth of services they offer. They get their tubong lugaw net profit but offer no real innovation in light of what other comparable third world countries offer. I get that you take your Corporate Social Responsibility seriously, but shouldn’t you be responsible to your customers first?
Now don’t smirk, Mr. Smarty-pants competitor, because you’re no good, either. Are you guys in competition for who could offer crappier services more expensively? Bilugin nyo ulo ng lelong nyong panot. I’m calling your bullshit. Do right by me, your customer.
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