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Puckering Time

It's now or never.

The caller from Hell, i.e. Me

I’ve been keeping this bit of angst in me for almost a week now. It’s not the usual “I hate myself, and I want to die” mode; more likely, it’s “I hate people, and I want them to die.” Call me a morbid person but there are certain things in life that I couldn’t let to pass without professing my rage.

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.
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At Wed May 16, 12:41:00 PM, Anonymous Agent Grey retorts...

Those situations piss me off too... fortunately, there's more internet cards to choose from these days    

At Wed May 16, 12:55:00 PM, Anonymous YNA retorts...

I had my fair share of talking to these people and, man, aren't they, well, that. But there have a certain degree of patience. Yun nga lang, may something sa kanila na ayoko.    

At Thu May 17, 12:49:00 PM, Blogger Mike retorts...

agent grey: i stupidly chose Pwede! because it's reloadable, just like a mobile phone account. for as low as P30. i just didn't see this coming - that i have to make other people's lives miserable first before hooking myself to the internet.

yna: i'm not generalizing but if we really think about it, there's really something going on with those CCAs that are really annoying. instead of you bothering them, you get the karma back, even before you get squeezed in for your complaints to be heard. aaargh.    

At Thu May 17, 06:23:00 PM, Blogger sirena retorts...

at least, now i know there are still ppol out there who used i.net cards. cheers!

we have the same prob with the pwede card, our kasambahay is lucky, i just gave her my card. pero tae talaga sila.    

At Fri May 18, 02:03:00 AM, Anonymous heneroso retorts...

AStig ka mike! ngayun natatakot na ako kausapin ka! wbhahahahah cool! gawain ko rin yan sa mga tech support eh bwhahaha    

At Fri May 18, 02:17:00 AM, Blogger Nash retorts...

haha mga CSR talaga, palusot at i fo forward nalng sa mgmt. kapag di masagot ang query mo da hell! haha :P    

At Fri May 18, 02:18:00 PM, Anonymous liz retorts...

ako masayang-masaya na ako sa dial-up noon. eh nangyari ang katarantaduhan na PLDT Vibe Pwede Card. ilang gabi ko ring pinagmumura ang pc ko. tumawag ako kaya lang wala ring naitulong. kaya nag-DSL na lang ako. tapos ang isyu.    

At Fri May 18, 06:59:00 PM, Blogger Mike retorts...

sirena: at isa ako sa mga kakilala mong gumagamit ng i-net cards. minamalas kami sa Pwede! card.

heneroso: hui, wag ganun. baka pag nagmeet ulit tayong lahat iwasan niyo nalang ako. basta ba hindi ikaw yung isa sa 12 CSRs na nakausap ko.

nash: alam ko namang palusot lang nila yung management shit nila. eh kung hindi lang talaga ko magmumukhang tungil habang sinisigawan sila sa phone eh baka nakabingi ako ng 12 tao.

liz: masaya pa rin naman ako sa dial-up eh. sa Pwede! card lang ako nabuburaot. hindi ko minura yung pc, yung mga CCA muntik na talaga. salamat.ü    

At Tue May 22, 03:37:00 AM, Blogger Jhed retorts...

Thank God I don't take calls. Haha! Sigawan to the max ang mangyayari kapag nagkataon. Lolz.



At Wed May 23, 02:02:00 PM, Blogger Mike retorts...

jhed: kayong mga nasa call center. pinapahirapan niyo kaming mga customer. haha. wag ka lang magkakamaling tumawag sa'min. good luck sa career mo kung nagkaganun. hehe.

ROFLMAO. Ano 'yun? CIA code? Pang-access sa Pentagon?    

At Wed May 23, 05:07:00 PM, Anonymous juice retorts...

I don't know why, but I'm scared of CCAs, I always have this scared voice when I call them. But it's usually because I'm asking for help but when I'm complaining it's a totally different story.

Talking to 12 representatives certainly does boil the blood pressure so your conversation is definitely understandable. Glad your problem was solved =)    

At Thu May 24, 11:07:00 AM, Blogger Mike retorts...

juice: way back when i was still young - i'm saying this as if i'm so old - i was also scared not just with CCAs but conversing over the phone. now that i have developed a skill in making people tense, i'm actually enjoying talking to them, and i'm not getting a whammy. haha.

12 CCAs. i should've bothered their supervisor just to cap the evening. ü    

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