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Apr 16

Consumer Complaint, Make it a Habit

Tech Talk
Joel T. Fagsao

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote in Tech Talk about “firing underperforming service providers.”  I mentioned about the poor service of SmartBro (slow Internet); PNB’s-Visa Credit Card among others.  PNB-Visa automatically debited (deducted) eight hundred fifty pesos from my PNB account for the “renewal” of my Visa credit card.  I raised the issue with PNB Bontoc about me paying for an annual credit card fee.  The reason I complained is the fact that I was made to pay for an annual credit card fee and still I do not have my new credit card.  I made calls direct to PNB Visa to complain about it and the customer service representative promised to look into it.  Then nothing happened until I raised the issue with PNB-Bontoc.  PNB Bontoc made efforts to contact their head office and follow up on my complaint.  Meanwhile, I suspended payments monthly payments on purchases I made with my credit cards until the problem was resolved.  This week, PNB-Visa credited (refund) to my account the annual fee collected and suspended interest charges on my unpaid balances.

Then, a visiting SMART company representative I met last week heard about my observation about our slow internet connection in Bontoc.  I said to him, if in Sagada, you have 3G services, why not Bontoc?  The SMART executive noted that his companion did experience the slow internet service.  End of the story, he gave me his card and encouraged me to send articles I wrote about SMART’s service- this he will bring to the attention of top executives in Manila.  Well let’s see what happens.

A lot of us did experience poor service in one way or another.  This week, I had dinner at Cafe Venice.  The rice was not well cooked and I called the attention of the waitress.  She apologized about it and I hope she calls the attention of the chef or the restaurant manager. That will be my last visit to the restaurant.  We also have our problems with GSIS, whether it is about a loan in your name which you never applied for in the first place and a thousand and one issues.  GSIS has sued IBM for lost revenue when its IBM software that powered its Integrated Loans, Membership, Acquired Assets and Accounts Management System (ILMAAAMS) crashed.  Let us see if services will improve as GSIS has recently hired top ICT (Information and Communications Technology) experts to work out solutions.  GSIS came out with TV ads blaming IBM (International Business Machines) for problems on the government insurer’s computerization of records.  GSIS slapped IBM with P100 million in damages, IBM countered with a P200 million damage suit. Well they can sue each other but GSIS better work find solutions fast as client complaints continue to mount.  The bottom-line is that members should not suffer the inefficiencies of the service provider.

You have all the right to complain on poor service, defective products.  You can directly call the attention of the service provider or company to inform them about your complaint.  Be specific about how you want your complaint to be resolved.  Keep your monthly bill or receipts as evidences.  If the service provider does nothing to act on your complaint, you can bring this to the attention of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).  The DTI will then call the attention of the provider to work out on a settlement- thus avoiding expensive litigation fees. The DTI can also refer your complaints to the appropriate agency.

Meanwhile, there is no use ranting and raving about poor services or products.  Formalize your complaint and have evidences ready.

P.S.  Can we file a “consumer complaint” for politicians who failed on their campaign promises?  Talk about this in your next visit to the coffee shop.