EDITORIAL: Walk the Talk



Complaints against internet and cable television providers continue to grow. Unless more drastic legal steps are adopted it is feared that assurances of improved services will remain nothing but hot air.


Among those frequently griped about is the on and off availability of services, which is causing not only loss of income among business establishments, factories, media facilities, professional practitioners and of late those working from home via business process outsourcing. Without some of us noticing, this latest subsector has grown very fast and may eventually be a major source of revenue and competent manpower.


For this reason, the need for a more proactive response to the problem is urgent. That is why the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is under obligation to take an assertive action against the erring telecommunications entities.


Local government officials concerned who have projected an image of taking action on the matter have now the obligation to put their words into action. Otherwise their pronouncements are nothing but “epal.”


For one, the service providers like Converge must be subjected to disciplinary action. Its inefficiency is wide spread, as can be taken from angry pronouncements primarily by media establishments like radio and television.


On the part of the PLDT, its practice of making a fool out of its subscribers by pretending to be actively attending to the complaints of subscribers about poor service, should be put under close scrutiny.


Imagine, serving notice to subscribers almost one after another on a daily basis that their service is encountering technical difficulties and assuring that their technical team is doing something about it and that improved service will resume before 24 to 48 hours, only to be informed later on that the problem is already solved. Such conflicting notices overlap each other.


As a consequence, a subscriber becomes numb to such notices. The time interval between the notice of service interruption and resumption is almost negligible such that it leads the subscriber to lose patience and no longer extend any attention to such notices, as if they are nuisances. Obviously the notices are canned.


But the most irritating is the failure of DCTV to resume services after almost nine months already since the series of typhoons last year. Repeated verbal and written complaints did not at all merit a decent response from that service provider.


Its only remaining efficient service is sending online collection notices, apparently without even referring to the records on whether such notices are being sent to subscribers who have been deprived long time ago of the undertaking. And here is what is more reprehensible: after admitting that they could not as yet resume their services due to the series of calamities, they now admit that resuming services is practically not attainable so that cable subscribers are advised to avail of digital connections via competing establishments.


This sorry situation has been in existence for a long period of time. Certain local officials initially projected themselves of actively taking the cudgels for the disgruntled subscribers. Apparently they have already abandoned the cause they are fighting for at the time when their help is urgently needed. Now is the time for them to walk the talk.