Saturday, April 18, 2015

Fighting Back

I contemplated in having to do these. I have always felt that resorting to shaming another in social media is just low. But with this situation I think social media can be a lot of help not just to gain some advantage but also to illustrate how ordinary consumers can just be pushed over by big companies. In this case, it's Smart Communications.

For several weeks now I have been hounded with text messages like this:

I initially ignored this, I have previously made some transaction with SMART with my overpayment but was told to present the receipts which was already lost. Their records show that I indeed overpayed P1400 pesos, even the website where accounts can be checked showed the overpayment, yet they insist that I present the receipt. I resigned myself to just let the matter go to spare me the hassle of following up the transaction just to be refunded with that amount.

Just this morning, I again received another of those text messages, this time my patience was just exhausted. I went to the computer and wrote this email

More than anything, I feel bad that these companies can harass their clients with legal action just because they can hire law firms to do the dirty job for them. And yet, because the consumers are ransomed with the need to communicate with one another, they can choose to ignore our constant clamor to assist us when we have problems with their services. Many consumers, like me, do not have the capacity to bring them to court or have the means to file a complaint with the National Telecommunications Commission. We make do with our shitty experience with their services and just accept our helplessness when they do not resolve our issues or much more, ignore us. We make do because its a choice between their service or being unable to communicate with the whole world. And as if it is not yet enough, they dare threaten us with legal action when they feel they have been robbed with a few pesos from their already large pockets.

I am a government employee and have the means to pay the 900 pesos that they claim I owe them. But they are a big company and they have all the means to pay me back the money that they owe me. The big difference is that they can hire a law firm to harass me to force me to pay them and I can not. That disparity illustrates the kind of consumer environment ordinary Filipinos experience.I hope that something could be done about this, consumers in this country do not have to be ransomed by these companies

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