Saturday, March 25, 2006

Bayads & Telecos

Yesterday we did the monthly ritual of paying the bills, the telephone, electricity, cable and the water (which comes in monthly). This is a relatively painless process (apart from forking over the cash) as the majority can be paid at the one stop shop, the Bayad Centre.

Throughout the barangays, there are these small dedicated bill paying centers which accept payments for the range of companies that exist on monthly payments in arrears. After a trip to the bank to get the cash, cross the road and you can hand it over at the Bayad Center. In this essentially cash society they are the most convenient way to make these ongoing regular payments. There are alternatives such as the internet and direct deposit through various banks and mail but 5 minutes in a Bayad Center and it’s all done.

Except for our teleco, Globe Communications, they don’t use Bayad Centers, their main competitor PLDT does but for some reason best known to them they don’t. Cash payments can be made at their payments centers or via the bank. The bank is the way to go. Last time we tried to make a payment at their payment centre, we walked out in disgust. They were taking 7 to10 minutes to process each payment, there were 30 people in front of us and they closed in 2 hours. Do the math. For a company obsessed with speed, you should see their broadband advertising which screams from the walls of their payment center, perhaps someone should tell their accounts department.

Their competitor PLDT is just as weird. When we decided to upgrade our account with them from an existing prepaid landline to a monthly account to facilitate our internet connection, we discovered that our address was on their black list. It seems a previous resident had skipped owing them 6000 pesos. Pay the 6000 and the upgrade would go ahead, non payment and we could rot in hell for all they cared. Explanations that it was a previous resident who owed them not us (I wasn’t even in the country at that time) fell on deaf ears. The address was black listed, end of story.

Consequently, Globe got our business and apart from their oh so slow payment centers they have provided an excellent service with technical back up second to none. They conducted a house call to swap a modem that had gone to silicon heaven within 3 hours of being advised of the fault.

1 comment:

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