Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Six days and counting....

PhotobucketIt's been six days, and I still don't have internet access at home, no thanks to PLDT's excruciatingly slow process of migrating my legacy DSL account to IPDSLAM (Internet Protocol Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer).

It all started in the last week of September, I forgot exactly when. I visited PLDT's office in SM Megamall and requested that my DSL account be migrated to IPDSLAM since I was only getting half the bandwidth I was supposed to be getting, based on their P999 plan. My request was promptly entered into their system, I was given a service order number for future reference, and I was reassured that the migration would be seamless, and I would notice an increase in my bandwidth allocation after several days.

After more than a month with no perceptible difference in browsing speeds I called up PLDT's customer service hotline (171). On my first call I was told their system was down so they were unable to follow up the status of my service request. After a few days I called again, and this time I was informed that my service request has already been acted on on October 15. I was a bit puzzled, since up to that time I was still getting only about 512 Kbps of bandwidth, but I gave them the benefit of the doubt and said that I would just monitor my connection if there was any improvement.

Surprise, surprise, after a week or two of observing my connection speeds I was still getting the same old slow speeds.

I made another call to PLDT's customer service, and the customer service representative seemed surprised that my connection was still sluggish, since according to their system, the problem has already been fixed. He relayed my situation to their tech support, and reassured me that they will check on the problem.

Okay, I thought. Let them do their work.

Within a few days a PLDT technician dropped by my house to check my connection. No change though, I was still stuck at around 512 Kbps or thereabouts. He tried to explain away the slow speed as a network loss, that some bandwidth would unavoidably be lost through the system, a claim that I took with a grain of salt. I told him that a 10-20% bandwidth loss would be somewhat acceptable, but there was no way that I would believe that 50% of the bandwidth I was paying for was being sucked into nothingness, much less than they couldn't actually do anything about it.

Figuring he couldn't talk his way out of this situation, he called up his office following up on the status of my prior service request. Later on he informed me that the service request I made was, to use his words, a "ghost request" since it was reflected in their system, yet no information could be retrieved regarding its status. Nonetheless, he promised to look into the situation.

A few days later, the DSL indicator light on my DSL modem turned off, and I haven't seen it light back up for the past six days.

I made some more follow-ups, and I got weird suggestions from the customer service representative that I chanced upon that the problem was on my side, and that they would sent another technician over.

What the f...?

How can it be on my side when I was getting stable (albeit slow) connections and there have been no changes whatsoever to my home setup?

I asked the guy on the phone if this was connected to my speed increase request, to which he replied that it may be related. Apparently, he wasn't sure himself. What the hell is wrong with these people?

Another call made two days later and he sort of acknowledged that the problem was on their side, and that it wasn't unheard of for IPDSLAM migration to take a week or so, something that I later on confirmed on internet forums.

Sun Broadband Wireless ModemIt's been almost a week, yet my internet connection is still dead. Well, at least I have my Sun Wireless Broadband as backup. Oddly enough, I'm consistently getting faster connection speeds using my wireless broadband modem than my DSL connection. Go figure. I'm already a bit annoyed given the long downtime, but I'm still hopeful that the inconvenience is worth it, as long as I get the additional bandwidth and therefore more bang for my buck.

That being as it may, it probably goes without saying that PLDT still has a lot more room for improving its services and turnaround time for service requests. Given the sheer number of providers in the market competing for the business of getting you online, shoddy service just doesn't cut it anymore, and won't get you far in this industry.

For now, I'm only hoping that that DSL indicator LED lights up soon.

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