Sunday, November 22, 2009

Broadband Wars: PLDT myDSL


The Philippines isn’t even on the chart! Maybe it’s because the major telco over here is still promoting 384KBPs DSL speeds bundled with their landlines. Maybe if I was in Japan, I wouldn’t mind loosing 1 or 2 MBPs but over here every KB/s is worth fighting for.

I’m not one to rant easily but recent discoveries really have annoyed me. 3 years ago we had our first ever broadband connection - 384KBPs courtesy of SmartBro for about $20/mo. Service was consistent but there could be up to 3 computers using the net at a given time at home so we needed more bandwidth

Towards the end of 2007, we came across PLDT’s offer of ‘up to 1MBPs’ for the same amount of $20/mo. Not to be defensive, but I made every inquiry as to if we were qualified to subscribe to them and every answer was always “YES!”. We subscribed to Xperience.


Speed was consistently (ave and max) at 600 - 650KBPs. I inquired about this several times and was told that the speed we received depended upon many factors like distance from the relay station, # of subscribers in the area, etc. etc. Anyway, the service was also consistent, aside from not ever reaching 1MBPs we had no complaints.

2008. Most telcos now offered ‘up to 1MBPs’ speeds at $20/mo but hey, that’s what we had already… or so we thought.

October 2009. I came across Sun Cellular, Inc. offers of ‘up to 2MBPs’ for $16/mo. Sun Cellular is a mobile network provider and like the other 2 cellular networks, Globe and Smart, was branching into offering mobile broadband solutions.

Out of curiosity, I called up PLDT and inquired again about our speed. This time, only this time, after two years of being subscribers, the guy on the phone told me: Since your area is still under the ‘legacy’ (older cables)  infrastructure, you can only get up to 512KBPs.

WTF! for the past 2 years we were only receiving half of the service we were paying for! That started a series of complaints. I felt we were conned and swindled by PLDT by making us pay for a service they DID NOT bother to inform us that they couldn’t yet fully provide to us.

[phone call to PLDT’s hotline]
: blah blah blah... overbilled, overpriced
THEM: sir, you weren’t overpriced or overbilled. you are getting charged exactly the amount in the plan you subscribed to, its just that you’re not receiving what you are paying for. but at least you have 512KBPs
ME: (#$^*&^@*^!!!)

[at the PLDT Business Office in SM Annex]
: blah blah blah
THEM: sir, you’re lucky they approved your subscription... today, they deny the subscriptions of households who are still under the legacy cables.
ME: you are not the only company that provides broadband services. We could have gone to other companies if you had informed us that you couldn’t deliver.

After 2 years of paying for 1MBPs and receiving (without knowing) only 512 KBPs, we transferred to Sun Cellular (which is another story)

Up to now, 4 weeks after discovering about PLDT’s failure to inform us, we still haven’t received any official response to our complaints. Wonder how many other households are in the same situation as we were.

(Yes, their service was consistent, and for 512KBPs what we got was faster, BUT that is besides the point).

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