Monday, December 19, 2011

Sendo-nate! Let's Donate Cash to the Victims of Sendong.

First of all, I'm thankful that my friends and office mates got out of CDO before the typhoon wrecked the province. However, there are a lot people who were not so fortunate. It's time to help.

Red Cross is asking for cash donations. The easiest way to donate cash is through texting RED [space] <amount> to 4143 for Smart subscribers (valid amounts: 10, 25, 50, 100), and to 2289 for Globe subscribers (valid amounts: 5, 25, 50, 100, 300, 500 and 1000).

The second easiest is through the internet. You may go to Red Cross Donate. Several options are listed there. My choice would be Paypal, although they add a little fee for the transaction. But what's a little fee if you can help, right? :)

For those who don't have load or credit cards, you may opt to donate via bank deposit. Here are several bank accounts to deposit to:


1. BDO Peso Account
Account name: ABS-CBN Foundation Inc.-Sagip Kapamilya
Account Number: 39301-14199
Swift Code: BNORPHMM

2. BDO Dollar Account
Account name: ABS-CBN Foundation Inc.-Sagip Kapamilya
Account Number: 39300-81622
Swift Code: BNORPHMM

3. PNB Peso Account
Account name: ABS-CBN Foundation Inc.-Sagip Kapamilya
Account Number: 419-539-5000-13
Swift Code: PNBMPHMM

4. BPI Peso Account
Account name: ABS-CBN Foundation Inc.-Sagip Kapamilya
Account Number: 3051-1127-75
Branch: West Triangle, Quezon City
Swift Code: BOPIPHMM

5. BPI Dollar Account
Account name: ABS-CBN Foundation Inc.-Sagip Kapamilya
Account Number: 3054-0270-35
Branch: West Triangle, Quezon City
Swift Code: BOPIPHMM


Peso Savings
Account Name: GMA Kapuso Foundation, Inc.
Account Number: 3-098-51034-7

Dollar Savings
Account Name:GMA Kapuso Foundation, Inc.
Account Number:2-098-00244-2

Peso Savings
Account Name: GMA Kapuso Foundation, Inc.
Account Number:115-184777-2 or 160-111277-7

Dollar Savings
Account Name: GMA Kapuso Foundation, Inc.
Account Number: 01-115-301177-9 or 01-160-300427-6


Gawad Kalinga Philippine Peso Current Account
# 3101 0977 56 BPI EDSA Greenhills

Gawad Kalinga US$ Savings Account
# 3104 0162 34 BPI EDSA Greenhills

Swift code: BOPIPHMM

These groups are also accepting donations in kind, but I suggest people donate in cash since it would be easier for them to handle. Plus it's also for the uniformity of stuff they will buy and give to the typhoon victims.

SmartBro WiMax X: Smart's Response on SIM Card Only Plan Migration

Apparently my suggestion for WiMax to SIM Card Only plan migration was not approved, and I'm back to square one - waiting for the approval of the pre-termination fee to be waived.

I'm not so sure if they are really processing it, and I am losing patience. It's been two, almost three weeks since my request. I've been really, really patient with them and professional. Tell me, does it really take THAT long to process such a request? I know for a fact that SmartBro WiMax in Luzon has been their problem for awhile now, due to their faulty modem. I have my sources. Even one former celebrity (hence, VIP) has been submitting a similar complaint with mine.

I already told them that this December will be the last month I pay for that internet connection until my request gets approved, and I'll pay it in full (monthly fee of P799), even though I have not used it for two to three weeks already.

I CC'd NTC with my latest reply to Smart; hopefully they read the email trail and see how unfair and slow Smart's service is. I'm really disappointed.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

SmartBro WiMax IX: NTC's Response

Here's NTC's reply to my email:

Good am,

Thank you for your email. With regards to your concerns, rest assured that we will act on your complaint accordingly and inform the parties concerned for the immediate resolution of the said matter.

For your guidance and information.

God Bless and have a nice day.

Kind Regards,

Victor A. Gusto

Permanent Support Staff



Smart has also replied regarding te plan migration. To my dismay, Angie offered SmartBro variants that are even more expensive than my current subscription:

Dear Ms. Rafols,

Thank you for writing us back.

[area hidden for confidentiality - author] has SMART Bro Fixed
Wireless Canopy and SMART HSPA coverage. However, successful
installation of the Canopy antenna will depend on the Line of Sight
(LOS) from the actual installation address to the nearest serving site.

Please write us again if you need further assistance, Ms. Rafols.


Angie /edb
Customer Care

I responded by suggesting the SIM Only variant of SmartBro, and that I will not consider plan migration if I pay for anything other than the P999 first month fee for the SIM card. I'm still waiting for the waiver of pre-termination fee.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

SmartBro WiMax VIII: Smart Wrote Back Part II

Guess what, Smart replied again! I think they read my blog. Anyway, they're offering plan migration, wherein I get another SmartBro variant, although this is also subject to approval. I'm still waiting for the details. I would consider it if I don't have to pay for anything for the process.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

SmartBro WiMax VIII: Smart Wrote Back

After a few days' wait, Smart responded to my email. A customer care attendant named Angie replied:

Dear Ms. Rafols,

Thank you for writing us.

Request for disconnection of your Smart Bro subscription is done
over-the-counter through any Smart Wireless Center branch. Here are the
requirements for Voluntary Permanent Disconnection (VPD):

- Completion of the contract or settlement of the applicable
Pre-Termination Fee (PTF) if still within contract computed as: Monthly
Service Fee x number of remaining months under lock-in period

- Settlement of outstanding balance
- Completely filled-out and signed form for the said request
- Valid ID of the registered subscriber

You may also send a representative to transact on your behalf with the
following documents:

- Letter of Authorization (signed by the subscriber)
- Photocopy of the subscriber's valid ID
- Representative's original valid ID

Meantime, we have forwarded request to our support group for waiving of
Pre-Termination Fee. Please note, that this is still subject for
approval. We will advise you of any updates once we received feedback
from our support group.

Should you require assistance on other matters, Ms. Rafols. Please
write us again.


Customer Care

I told her that I was looking forward for the pre-termination fee to be waived and said (again) that the internet's too slow even during the dawn.

Please help me pray that I get this internet subscription disconnected before the year ends without having to pay anything other than my outstanding balance.

Friday, December 9, 2011

SmartBro WiMax VII: Request to Terminate

Fed up by the super slow connection even late at night, I decided to send an email to both Smart and the NTC. No response yet though. I still have no idea what to do if I get ignored. :(

Thursday, December 8, 2011

SmartBro WiMax VII: Fast Connection in the Morning

I'm already at the office but I felt the need to share my observations earlier with the new modem.

1 AM.
Torrent download was fast - it reached 60kBps, but surfing was slow. I could open a website, but I'd have to wait for a few minutes. I tried Speedtest but I lost my patience and just went to sleep.

Torrent download reached a speed of at least 100kBps. I tried surfing and it was fast. I tried Speedtest, upload was at least 1MBps, download at least 0.4MBps.

I wonder what's slowing down the connection at night. Will test again later when I get home from work.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

SmartBro WiMax Part VII: New Modem

I have a new modem. Or so I think it is. I'm testing it right now. No, I'm not using it to post this entry. I'm still using my phone's 3G connection.

The modem seems to be fine, aside from it takes awhile to find a decent signal. Forget about the internet speed. At this time, it's really




slow. I-can' And it restarts ever so often.

This thing has 1-year warranty. Although I'm giving it a month or two to die. I was hoping that there wasn't any extra unit in the Smart Wireless Center so that I had grounds to terminate, but it seems like they have an endless supply of modems. Or maybe they're just recycling the old ones.

Anyway, this is another chance for Smart. I hope they come through this time.

SmartBro WiMax VI: Modem Problems Again Part III

So I'm bringing the modem back to Smart today. Let's see if they give me another replacement this day.

If they do, I'll give them another chance; if I can't get a modem today, I'll ask for the email of the person/s I could write to for the termination of my subscription.

Monday, December 5, 2011

SmartBro WiMax VI: Modem Problems Again (Part II)

I haven't brought my modem yet to the Smart Wireless Center. I've been stressing about it lately and finally decided that I've had enough. This WiMax connection has been one of my stressors since the day I applied for it, sad to say. I don't have the time to bring their defective modem back and have it replaced only for the replacement modem to break down after a couple of weeks. I don't have the patience to do that anymore.

I wrote a letter to Smart Communications requesting termination of their service without having to pay for the pre-termination fee (PSF) and other such payments related to disconnection. I sent it through their WebConnect service 24 hours ago, and they haven't responded yet. But then it says that "valid" requests will be responded to within 24-48 hours of submission. I wonder how they classify a valid request. Anyway, if they don't respond within the hours they said, I will send them an email again or maybe go straight to the NTC.

I am actually very, very tempted to just ignore it, get another broadband subscription from one of their competitors. After all, all they could do if I don't pay up is to sell my account to one of the collection agencies, and then these collection agencies would send demand letters, have a "lawyer" call me and threaten to sue me. They can sue me all they want, I know that I won't be jailed for it. Section 20 of the Philippine Constitution states that: No person shall be imprisoned for debt or non- payment of a poll tax.

Real lawyers don't threaten people or coerce them to pay up or they will sue. That only happens on TV. I know that for a fact because I come from a family of lawyers too, and they don't act that way. 

Au contraire, if the consumer is actually forced to pay up or threatened, these "lawyers" can be the ones to be sued as stated in the Revised Penal Code Article 287.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

SmartBro WiMax Review VI: Modem Problems Again

So I think my Motorola CPEi 23825 is broken. As you might remember, this is the second modem I got from Smart in a very short span of 3 months. They replaced my old modem of the same model because the tech supp couldn't figure out what was wrong with it.The new one right here has a different problem though: it couldn't get past the initialization stage, where the 3rd LED just keeps blinking. Different from the problem I had with the old one.Anyway, I'm about to write a letter addressed to Smart concerning all my past problems and that which is bothering me now, hoping that it would be enough to have them waive the pre-termination fee. I'm also prepared to bargain with them to just transfer my contract to another service as long as they agree to waive the pre-termination fee of my wimax subscription.I'm tempted to just ignore this and not pay for the remaining months but I don't want any legal stuff under my name so I'll just bring the modem in this weekend and be patient enough. *sigh*