Thursday, September 18, 2008

I can't help but to blog about how worst Digitel is

Last January 2008, I submitted an application for a DSL connection and got it approved for the "999 Plan." The Plan is with the ISP DIGITEL which includes a 512kbps contract locked in for 30 months with Php 999.00 monthly recurring charge. The reason for the connection is because my sister left her daughter here in Taytay with us while she works halfway accross the globe in Italy. She wanna be able to see her daughter every once in awhile via cam to cam chat using Yahoo Messenger.

There was an option for the Plan 777 (Php 777.00/month with upto 384 kbps) which should be enough for the purpose we want but I chose the plan 999 because I also plan to do P2P downloading via bittorrent and thought that the faster the connection, the better and the quicker. The service was good, I get good speed better than my last ISP (Smartbro), Youtube doesnt lag, websites are fast, I can download upto 1.7 Gb of torrent data overnight and enjoy upto 10 downloaded movies during my restdays and was very happy with it. I was overwhelmed with the service and even recommended it to my friend and neighbor who then decided to get the same internet service from same ISP Digitel. She chose the plan 777 since she only wants to do YM and social networking.

2 months after the initial service, I noticed that I'm not receiving bills (statements). I thought that it was normal but people from Digitel customer service started calling my home number and reminding me to pay over 2,XXX. I told them, I havent made any payments yet because I don't even know how much to pay since I'm not getting any paper statements. The agent then asked me for my address and I told them the same address I've written on the application. She said she's gonna update the local office in Taytay. Two weeks later, I got 2 individual envelopes for February and March unpaid bills and made my first ever payment. I still experience the same issue until now, In fact I havent received my August and September statements and the last statement for June and July was left at my door and it rained that time and the envelopes got wet ( i was still able to decode the paper and figure out how much to pay). By the way, I always pay online now from using my ATM card.

Enough of the Introduction. I already gave you an idea now how great and lousy this ISP is here is the REAL deal.

1 month ago (August 20, 2008), I tried to log onto (this blog) and noticed that the website for is not loading. I tried surfing other websites and noticed how sluggish the websites are. I even lost patience in youtube since its not even loading frames. I though it was a temporary problem and let that go for the mean time and did my blog in the office and it went fine. The next day, I tried logging on my Yahoo Messenger in the same home PC but it gives me an error message that "There was a problem signing into Yahoo! Messenger. Please try again a little bit later." I really don't think that I have a problem with my Yahoo account since I can still access the Yahoo web interface using Firefox and do email and chat there. Then again I ignored it thinking it was a temporary problem. As a technician, I did troubleshoot that issue by doing some steps based on how I would troubleshoot a Mac (I'm a mac technician) such as:

1. Resetting the Modem multiple times ( I always turn off my modem together with my PC )
2. Clearing all junks and temporary files and cache by running a software that would do this (Advanced Windows Care) and even "Clear all Private data" in Firefox
3. I also tried removing all startup programs by running "msconfig" and do diagnostic startup in Windows Vista. That left my PC vulnerable to virus since it will also stop my Antivirus from opening on startup.
4. The modem can also be connected via USB port and connecting it via USB didnt make any difference.

The problem went on for 2 days. The torrent client I'm using can't even download more than 100MB of data overnight. I stopped downloading since I'm just wasting energy on downloading data less than 100Mb per night. The issue went on intermittently for Yahoo Messenger. iTunes was also experiencing issue with connecting to Apple Software Update server when i tried to update my iPod nano to version 1.1.3. It reports back a network connection issue but I was able to update my iPod in the past without any problems. Thinking that the issue was with Digitel, I then called Digitel customer service via 17-10 on the bundled landline and my journey has now begun.

And so I called 17-10 to report the issue last August 22nd, an agent answered and said they couldn't help me and that I have to call tech support by dialling 249-3282 from my landline. And so I did call. Another agent answered and I explained my situation and asked me if I restarted my modem and I replied "I always do restart my modem" They had me run speedtest based on their own speedtest website
To give you an overview of what that website looks like, heres a shot

The button seen in the picture if clicked will test your speed of connection. Whenever I run the test, this is always the same variable range of speed that I get (see below)

I told the agent that the speed is just 20-25% of the speed that I am paying for. She then replied that I can't really get the exact 512kbps of speed. Agent said that 512kbps is the maximum theoretical speed of my connection but the actual connection that I should have shouldnt drop 80% of that speed (409.6kbps). Her explanation reminded me of Judy Anne Santos' Meralco commercial of buying an ice and some melted while on her way home which makes sense. So ok, but why am I getting this kind of speed. She then said that they will forward this issue with their technical team and gave me a case number 4369927 and we ended that call.

The next morn, A guy from Digitel called me back and said that they will reset "port" on their end and that I should standby and run the test again later during the day and check if issue was resolved. That night, I run the test again and still get the same speed. I reported and called back the next morning with the case number and the guy who took the call said. " According to the records po, you called about
a slow internet connection speed, nagtry naba kayo mag reset ng modem (check). " They always ask me what website I am using to check my speed and I always say that its their official website for speedtest. They have doubts about how other speedtest site will test their intenet speed such as latency. The agent then gave me another case number 4379313 and said theyre gonna follow up on this. That was the last case number generated for me as of this writing.

I then made several calls every other 2 or 3 days and dealt with the same questions from each agent during the last week of August.
>> Did you reset your modem?
>> What speedtest website are you using and whats the speed result from 1st to 4th lapse?
I really started getting very irritated with the agents since all of them are saying the same thing that they will make a follow up but nobody is really calling me on the landline now. My parents are always at home and that nobody from Digitel called since then.

September 4th, 2008. I called Tech Support again and this time, I proactively written down and remember the name of the Agent who assisted me. her name is Erika. Then again, as part of their call flow, she asked me all the question above and that she will make a technical report and asked about anything else I can help her with. She sounded like she wants to end the call immediately based on her tone when she asked me "would there be anything else for today?" so I became really irate. I then asked for a specific turn around time for this since the issue has been happening for 2 weeks and its really ruining my life. I feel like an idiot everytime I call them and they're like a bunch of robots to tell me the same thing over and over again. They always make follow ups but all I really need is an action and correct this. I hangup on Erika and dialled 1710 for customer service and to my surprise, she was the same agent who answered the call. Erika again, Huh! a multi-split agent! I then asked her how much I owe then and to finalize it and that I will not have plans on paying for any early termination fee. She then asked me why I am cancelling the account, I then told her how impaired my internet connection is and she asked me for my case number like I never gave it to her a moment back. As a part of their callflow, she will make a technical report and submit it (again?). I then explained that I will still give them a chance to fix my issue for 1 more week and ask for a rebate. She said I cant get a rebate because I still have internet. That made me alot angrier and I decided to hangup on that useless call.

I then made calls every other 2 days just for the heck of calling them and letting them know that there is a customer waiting, making an effort to get attention and get the issue fix. It was a week of another bill since its September but I have no plans of making any payments until this issue is cleared up and that a rebate is applied for the inconvinience and time plus effort I spent dealing with them every other day.

September 17th. I am still experiencing same unresolved issue. I was thinking about completely forgetting about Digitel, pullout every wires they attached to my wall and burn the modem and telephone they gave me. I also noticed that I am getting no sleep and feel really stress thinking about this situation for the past week. I am really getting annoyed everytime I think about the situation and getting ignored by this company. This is the vey first time I felt this way to anyone or anybody. I feel like I am really stupid believing that my issue will be resolve.
I made another call to tech support. The agent who assisted me sounded nice and apologetic and his name is Vincent. He was more knowledgeable I guess because he has more workaround that we tried. He suggested about putting preferred DNS (Domain name Server). I then told him I'm on Vista and he has to walk me through how to do it. He put me on hold and came back telling me he doesnt know how to do it in Vista. I told him that if this issue continues until september 22nd which is the monthsary for the first call I made, I will just terminate the service without paying any termination fee and get something else. We ended the call and I google about changing the DNS and figure it out, I called back and got the DNS which is - 54. I'm still using that DNS but it didnt make any difference.

Today is September 18th 2008 Friday. I'll be updating as soon as this issue progresses.

I'm sure its not my PC causing the issue because I can tether using my Nokia phone and get 280kbps from Globe. I'm sure its not my PC because I brought this computer to my neighbor's modem (digitel) and it can get 340kbps of speed. I also can use wifi and get full speed. By the way my PC is a portable notebook. HP/Compaq V5000 is the brand.

I would love to read any comments from readers.

1 comment:

piebuko said...

OMG! It's true. I can even relate with the billing crap! Now, you just gave me an idea. I'm going to blog about that too! They really suck! The worst thing about it is that you have to pay two-month worth of bills if you want to severe your connection with them. Crap!