PLDT's cavalier attitude

Tue, 11/20/2007 - 00:00
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reprinted from Business World December 20 2005

My last column “Woeful State of Telecommunications” in which I chided Destiny, Inc., the Internet server, the National Telecommunications Commission, and the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, drew quick response. The day after the column appeared, NTC arranged a meeting between Destiny and me. At the meeting, the Destiny Customer Care Manager committed to personally take care of my Internet problem. There has not been any serious interruption of service since then.

The PLDT Assistant Vice-President for Retail Marketing Services and the managing director of PLDT’s public relations firm also met with me, both promising to make amends for my name’s disappearance from the Metro Manila phone book. Two copies of the Metro Suburban directory were delivered to my place the following day and I was assured that my name would be listed in next year’s Yellow Pages, at no cost to me.

While I found the PLDT representatives earnest in their intention to relieve When I didn’t find my name in the following year’s directory, I filed a written complaint with the PLDT Customer Service Office. I didn’t hear from it at all me of my aggravation, I did not find the offer an acceptable rectification of the wrong that PLDT had committed against me, as well as against thousands of subscribers. The offer would not compensate for my name’s deletion in the Metro Manila directory.

The 2005-2006 Household & Business Yellow Pages has sections for Bus and Butterflies, but not for Business Consultants. When one looks for Business Consultants in the Fast Find Index of the Yellow Pages, he will read “See CI.” But he will not find CI anywhere in that phone book. That is why listing my name in the Yellow Pages would not make up for its absence in the Metro Manila directory.

When I learned in Year 2000 that PLDT had removed my name from the Metro Manila listing, I called the company to complain. I was assured that the “inadvertence” would be corrected in the following year’s listing. When I didn’t find my name in the following year’s directory, I filed a written complaint with the PLDT Customer Service Office. I didn’t hear from it at all.

Subsequent to the filing of that letter, I discovered that relatives and friends residing in Alabang were not listed either in the 2000-2001 and 2001-2002 phone books. I wrote Manuel Pangilinan in May 2002 telling him that a grievous wrong had been done Alabang residents as people who wanted to engage their professional services like mine or who wanted to do business with them were not able to contact them because their names were not listed in the phone book. Antonio Samson (yeah, the same guy who writes the column next to this), then PLDT senior vice president, replied in his behalf.

It was only then that I found out that there were two directories, one for Metro Manila and the other for Metro Suburban. Old friend Tony wrote that due to the large subscriber base, PLDT puts out two directories as a single directory would result in an unwieldy and overly bulky book. Tony added that the two directories were given free of charge anyway. The problem was PLDT did not inform its subscribers that the former single directory had been broken up into two, and that Muntinlupa, Pasig, Marikina, and Taguig subscribers were listed in the Metro Suburban directory. Also, copies of this new directory were not given to subscribers.

This has been one of the issues I have raised against PLDT several times in this space, the last time prompting the PLDT AVP for Retail Marketing Services to meet with me. In his attempt to extenuate the PLDT’s failing in this regard, he emailed me to say that the telephone directories are published by Directories Philippine Corporation, a company entirely different and independent of PLDT, as if to say I was barking at the wrong tree.

I shot back the message that a complete set of the directories comes with the PLDT subscription and that I hold PLDT accountable for the lack of advise on the publication of a Metro Suburban directory, the classification of Muntinlupa as suburban, and the non-distribution of the said directory, regardless of whether PLDT itself produces the books or has them done by another company.

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