Monday, April 15, 2013

Connectivity

After D bought a second hand but well maintained PC from his work colleague, I decided it would be a good idea to transfer his old PC to my former residence.  
So we had the tech guy reinstall Windows XP as its OS and brought the PC to the condo before my sister's Holy Week visit.  The thing is there is no DSL or broadband service there as my parents are not tech savvy it isn't wise to pay a monthly Internet fee, quite an unnecessary expense. 

The only solution is to use a USB Broadband stick which can be loaded with a card that guarantees 3 days of unlimited Internet service for merely 100 pesos.  Easy!  USB stick and prepaid card were at hand!  I always have an extra card in case our home connection conks out for whatever reason.

But.

The main problem with this type of connection is it is quite unstable. My main issue is that it seems to hardly connect when I use it in my 12th floor condo unit.   Although,  I was connected without interruption the entire day on Holy Friday!  When you call the hotline number, the call center agent would give you a variety of reasons:
(1) the PC should be near a window.
(2) there are enhancement/maintenance works in the area
(3) the building is old so 3G cables are not installed
(4) try using the USB stick during off peak hours like early morning
(5) try using 2G (I did) but it was really slow like dial up service

After I made several calls to the hotline number and none of them help me resolve the problem, I decided to head to their business center and file a formal complaint.  The most recent call center agent suggested I should perhaps have the USB Broadband replaced with a newer version.  

I was number 88 in the queue when I got to the business center.  The number being served was 72.  But I'm patient, so I will wait as I really wanted to get it fixed, once and for all!     When it was my turn, the tech guy inserted the USB stick into his laptop, lo and behold, it works!  Of course, it would!  
Not to be taken seriously when your 'problem' works is something I totally hate.  I calmly explained (although deep inside I was really quite fed up and frustrated) the main issue I had with their product.  That I already called their hotline number several times and spoken to many of their agents who couldn't help me at all.  When I mentioned that perhaps a replacement was due, he merely shrugged and told me point blank, "why replace something that obviously isn't broken?"

To make the long story short, I simply gave up.  I did fill out a form lodging my complaint, they said they would call me with a feedback.  To this day, I haven't received any calls.  I was able to connect using 2G but it was really really really slow.  After a few hair  pulling minutes, I switched off the PC out of sheer frustration and watched TV. 
At least I am consoled by the fact that I was able to use the PC to watch some movies I downloaded.  I was even able to set up the PC so that my father could watch a few movies he missed at the cinemas.  My father, a fellow movie buff  was quite happy about it.   And if my father is happy, it puts a smile on my face, anytime!
So now that I am back in our apartment, the PC is covered and not in use. I taught my father how to switch it on and off but when I showed him how to use the mouse and click on the icons, he got confused and refused to learn more, saying that it was too complicated, pala. I understand it can be quite perplexing for a 76 year old to comprehend so I relented.  

By the way, the USB Broadband stick works perfectly well here.  So I suppose it is our condo building after all that isn't equipped with whatever cables or paraphernalia needed for a broadband connection.   Although like I mentioned above, I was able to connect during Good Friday without any disruption.  So it is possible, right?  I still believe the network company should be able to provide concrete steps to resolve the problem and not blame it on the building.
Either I put up with it or I should just switch to another brand which entails additional expenses, not to mention further bad service.  Even though I like to think I am quite a patient person, bad service is truly the bane of my existence because I won't take it lying down. 
Ask D, he knows I turn into a different person (an ugly version with a bad attitude) when I deal with customer service personnel who in fairness try their earnest best to help but end up not solving anything, only adding to my distress! 

2 comments:

Photo Cache said...

i use this kind of "stick" when we were in bangladesh to get internet signal or something and it worked fine, I was really surprised.

DaPHne LAura said...

That's good for you. I might try a different brand next time I'm at the condo. It's so frustrating to deal with customer service staff.