15 January 2007

Prepaid load shaving at Globe: Reloaded

LAST SATURDAY (Jan 13) however came a worse nightmare: When I checked its balance, the credit remaining in that particular prepaid account has gone down to a few centavos over P6 and more than 180 free messages. Seventeen days earlier (Dec 18), it still had more than P600 plus more than 200 free messages; the text message from Globe is still in the cellphone's Inbox.

Now, my eldest son Ezekiel had been using that prepaid account since I arrived from Vancouver last November 30. He calls me and his mom sparingly, and only when there is need to; I usually do the calling, as my consumable postpaid account allows me to. He definitely is not the
telebabad type. He might have downloaded a tune or two, plus a game to boot, but there is simply no way that these would add up to P600.

So, what do we have here? (1) A case of clear load shaving, insofar as this prepaid experience with Globe is concerned. (2) Which points to a problem in its system, which can be (a) a technical glitch, i.e. the actual Globe service delivery does not match what Citibank offers; or (b) worse, that sleaze is at play, the system is compromised and some people are actually skimming off loads from unsuspecting customers.

Now, imagine if my experience were not an exception but the rule -- one that extends to a small subset of Citibank credit cardholders who had the misfortune of reloading our phones using a faulty service; or worse, a bigger group of prepaid subscribers who had the misfortune of buying the compromised prepaid SIM cards sold nationwide, in case scenario 2(b) proves to be at play.

Either way, what we have here is lousy service that corporate giants have been foisting on its hapless customers. This will go on unchecked unless we complain and seek redress.