Since it was sayonara to PLDT DSL, the search began for another internet service provider.  Since we were long time mobile subscribers of Globe telecommunications, it became our first choice for an internet service provider.  Given that WIMAX (which stands for “Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) seems to be a step up from WI-FI which provides wireless internet within a limited area.

Again, it has to be said that I am not a “techie” and not to familiar with technological speak… so when I rang up Globe to inquire regarding the new WIMAX internet service, their sales representative informed me that it was a wireless internet service and I was psyched and immediately signed up for it.

Being a long time post-paid Globe subscriber, I thought that it would be relatively straightforward to avail of the WIMAX access.  It took more than the 10 days which they indicated as the maximum period which they specified for them to do a background check – at the end of which they did not call me up, I had to call them to follow-up only to find out that now they had to check whether WIMAX was available in our area, so this ate up a few more days – totaling two weeks.

Upon finding out that the service was available in our area, we had to go to the Globe center to apply for it.  We had to wait a few more days for the designated technicians to install this so-called WIMAX unit – only to find out that Globe Wimax was not necessarily wireless after all despite the claims of the customer service representatives that Wimax immediately meant wireless… so the unit they brought over was for a wired Globe Wimax account which would be inconvenient.

If the connection speed was satisfactory though – this wired connection would have been easily solved with a router, however, the speed was even slower than a dial-up connection, so that option was out.

However, at this point, I was still rather desperate for an internet connection that I wanted to find a solution somehow.  I rang up Globe Customer Service again to let them know that I was thinking of changing my subscription to a lower bandwidth since the more pricey 1MBPS subscription speed was not being met.  I also brought up that Wimax was not wireless and that these technicians said that they were not in charge of installing the wireless WIMAX.

At this point, the Globe customer service representative informed me that changing my subscription at this point (the installation phase) was not going to be straightforward since they would have to charge a fee since there was a lock-in period.  They also insisted that WIMAX was definitely wireless – evidently, there was clearly some sort of communication barrier between their sales department (who would clearly say almost anything to rope in new clients) and their technical department (who clearly said that WIMAX could either be wireless or wired and it had to be specified at the get go which one was preferred).

With the selling point of the Globe WIMAX being that it was wireless and 4G (whatever this meant – as far as I’m concerned it could be all the G’s it wanted as long as the speed was up to par – which it wasn’t), I had stressed several times that it would be wireless – but the people punching in the order probably assumed that WIMAX (with the name being similar to Wi-Fi) was automatically wireless, did not bother to punch it in causing thing whole merry-go-round misunderstandings, inefficiency, and wasted time and effort.

So in the end, I was presented with the option of canceling the account and installation – and being able to refund the P500 installation fee which I had paid upon placing the order.  It has to be said that the refund of the P500 was not quite straightforward as well – and wasted even more time due to further inefficiencies.  However, I was just so relieved that I was not stuck with such a service and was keen to move on to find a better solution.

To be fair, it has to be pointed out that upon further research, that during the early days of Globe WIMAX the connection speed was quite satisfactory, but perhaps as the number of subscribers increased, it could not keep up.

At the end of it all the consensus is that the traditional DSL or Cable internet would be faster and more reliable than wireless connections – though this was not my experience with PLDT DSL which had erratic connection towards the end.   We can only hope that the technology would develop to match our increasing needs for flexibility and wireless access.

It can only be hoped that Globe would endeavor to educate and improve their staff efficiencies in order to respect the time and efforts of their customers.  While it is common knowledge that businesses exist to earn money, it can only be hoped that money is not the sole reason for their presence, and that they would consider one of their aims to add meaning to the lives of their clients through providing satisfactory service – and if this lofty goal is not reasonable, that at least they would not display confused misrepresentation and bungling inefficiency which waste people’s time and effort.

(c) Niconica 2010

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