PRIVATE ENTERPRISE MONOPOLY, INEFFICIENCY, FORCE, ABUSE, AND LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY TO A HELPLESS CUSTOMER

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PRIVATE ENTERPRISE MONOPOLY, INEFFICIENCY, FORCE, ABUSE, AND LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY TO A HELPLESS CUSTOMER

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boholano-thumbEvery day we read in the newspapers, watch on television, and also hear on radio various reports of inefficiency, irregularity, corruption, abuse, and harassment in politics and the government service.

But rarely do we read, watch, or hear comparable reports involving private enterprise or business organizations.

Why the difference in the media’s treatment of government service and private enterprise or business?

Could it be because we feel that in general politicians and government employees are more guilty of irregularity, corruption, inefficiency, abuse, and harassment?

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Or because private enterprise and businesses are less guilty of mismanagement, corruption, and  abuse.

Or it may be because the media are not as interested, concerned, and eager to report on the shortcomings of private enterprise. I understand this to be the case. One reason might be that private enterprises pay for advertisement in the media that is a substantial source of the income and profit of private enterprise.

Anyway, I have experienced the poor service, mismanagement, and even abuse and unaccountability of business organizations. I have felt abused and helpless. So I seek the help of the media.

My experience with Smart Broadband. I once was a customer of Smart Broadband for Internet connection in my home in Beverly Hills Subdivision in Antipolo City.

In her letter, Notice of Disconnection, dated January 12, 2015, Ms. Rosenie R. Flores (OIC-Recovery Management Division, Smart Broadband Inc.  told me that I owed Smart P3,251.67  [Account No. 0132684243].

What disconnection? I had not been served by Smart Broadband since about April 20I4. This means I was actually disconnected from any service.

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I told Ms. Flores to ask the Smart Broadband Office in the Sta. Lucia Mall along Marcos Highway, Cainta, corner Imelda Avenue, for my repeated complaints about my lack of Smart Broadband service in my residence at No. 6 Dahlia Drive, Beverly Hills Subdivision, Antipolo City. I was always accompanied by my driver then, Ruel Baldonaza.

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Despite their assurances of attention to my complaints, I never got back any Smart Broadband service.  I lost a lot of time complaining without recourse.

So I just had to depend on my internet connection in my office in Kalayaan College during my  working days from Monday to Friday. Then I would buy a monthly connection or SMART Broadband Stick that I could use at home in the evening and on weekends. Each connection cost me about P1,300.00.

Finally, I subscribed to PLDT/DSL which was dependable, but only for a short time.

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I reported to Mr. Orlando B. Vea all of this lack of service by SMART/BRO to my residence and the repeated collections and threats of disconnection I have been receiving. It’s been so frustrating.

In her letter to me dated January 12, 2015 Ms. Flores told me that the following charges were added to the bill of P3,251.67: Interest P218.51; Collection fee P971.65. The new total amount to be collected from me was then P4,441.83.

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My pleas for reconsideration of the collection charges were completely ignored.

On October 12, 2015 Luis C.A. Sillano, Legal Counsel of SMART/BRO sent me a communication marked SERIOUSLY OVERDUE. It said that “in our desire to spare you the embarrassment and inconvenience as well as the cost in litigation, we make this FINAL DEMAND for you to pay and settle the said amount of P4,441.83 direct to any PLDT BUSINESS CENTER OR ACCREDITEED PAYMENT CENTER.

Atty. Sillano threatened me that he would file a Summary Proceeding in court involving a  claim of up to One Hundred Thousand (Pesos). Furthermore, they would hold me liable for damages and attorney’s fee.

Feeling helpless and frustrated in my relations with Smart Broadband, now known as Home Bro., I capitulated by paying the amount on November 12, 2015. This powerful, monopolistic private enterprise is unaccountable to a poor customer.

I would like some media to take note of my predicament.  So I resort to the Bohol Chronicle through this column.

My email is pepevabueva@gmail.com  (By Jose “Pepe” Abueva)

One Comment

  1. jbz jbz November 22, 2015

    I haven’t received any letters from collecting agencies only text messages. They told me that they will file a case against me. I browsed the web and found similar cases to mine. They also told me that I have a balance of 4221pesos from 2999. The thing is lots of people chose to ignore this. Then I found this article. I saw another one as well threatening with litigation claims up to 100,000. I not sure if they’re allowed to do that. Since basically that’s a small claims. I think that’s just an empty threat.

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