The caller from Hell, i.e. Me
A week ago I was having problems with my ISP. Because I’m a fan of dial-up connections I decided to prolong my agony – I’m a sadomasochist – by using PLDT Vibe to connect to the Internet. By the way, that’s not a typographical error – the words say “dial-up connections,” so don’t grab posthaste a pair of eyeglasses for yourself, and please refrain from advising me to switch to DSL because it would only fall on deaf ears. Anyway, I’ve had no problems with Vibe but when PLDT merged Vibe with “the powers” of the PLDT Pwede! Card (don’t forget the exclamation point), it was close to impossible to connect with the server. At first I thought I was just running out of credits, so I went to have it reloaded. With P200 fresh credits and another 50 bucks for the initial load that was left I assumed that everything will be fine. The usual error message kept on showing on the screen, at which point I was already seething with rage. I was on the verge of smashing my PC into bits when I realized the existence of our phone. I thought, if I called up the PLDT hotline for assistance, would it help? So before I could completely destroy my PC I telephoned 10-120 for support.
I have nothing against call centers but as Jessica Zafra so succinctly put it, by just accidentally giving them a buzz you suddenly understand Waiting for Godot. You know, it’s futility of human existence to the extreme level. The recorded message often goes, “All our agents are engaged at the moment.” So. That’s how problematic the system is. Years later my call was attended, and I proceeded to bug the CCA with my problem. She seemed used to being screamed upon by customers because even in my hair-raising voice she remained calmed. She told me to recheck the username and password if I’ve typed it properly, the number to dial, the modem if properly connected blah blah blah. I appreciate her effort to give me suggestions but I’ve been there a zillion times. She told me to restart the computer. I did what was told me but it still led me to nothingness.
I have talked to a total of 12 customer service representatives, and I feel like a stupid because I kept on repeating my complaints to different CSRs. Then finally I was so fed up with all these crap that when my 12th call was picked up I immediately interrogated the CSR.
Me: “What’s the problem with PLDT Pwede! that I find it hard to connect to your server?”
CSR: “Sir, ano po ba yung na-e -encounter niyong problem?”
“Marami. Gusto mong malaman? (Recites the repetitious litany of complaints made to the other 11 CSRs)
*silence* “Ah, ganun po ba. *silence* Sir, can you hold on for one or two minutes?”
“Ay, hindi na. I need to check my email, and send an important document this night, and you’re asking me to hold this call?”
“Sir, kasi po kailangan naming i-check kung anong problema. Baka po kasi sa computer niyo.”
“Walang problema sa computer ko. Sa inyo ang may problema. Yung dating Vibe naman mabilis akong nakapagko-connect tapos dito sa Pwede! card ang hirap.”
“Sir, to tell you honestly ganyan din po yung problema ko. Mahirap po talaga.”
“So hahayaan niyo na lang na ganito? You have to do something about it.”
“Sir, gagawan nalang po natin ng report yan then i-fo-forward natin sa management.”
“REPORT?! Can it help me send the email?”
“Sir, we’re sorry for the inconvenience pero…”
“Look, I would me the meanest person if I wouldn’t accept your apology, but a report wouldn’t solve my problem right now. I have to send this document, and you have to help me.”
*silence* “Sir, ganito na lang. Na-try ko na ‘to before so baka gumana sa inyo. Gawa kayo ng bagong dialer, then restart your PC.”
“All right. Pag hindi pa ‘to okay…”
“Tawag nalang po kayo ulit samin.”
Well, I was glad that his suggestion worked, but I didn’t like his last piece of advice. It took me 12 agents to have my problem solved. Actually I didn’t shout at him; I was merely projecting my voice to give the impression that they need to get the damn server working properly (and because it’s already 11 pm). Or at the very least, solve it. I guess they’ve been immune to hellbender customers like me, and I salute you people for having such enduring patience. I wish I had that kind of virtue, but I’m given to making people tense by just chatting them up.