The guy at the end of my street opened an internet café, his first month was very slow, but then he had no internet connection. Somewhat like building a swimming pool, but having no water.
But he knew something that I knew; two years ago Fiber Optic Cable was laid on the Nation Highway between Olongapo City and Dinalupihan Bataan. We assumed it was there just to feed insects living underground. He then went on a Quest to try and find the owners of this hidden treasure. Seven months he searched and then a friend at City Hall gave him the information gleaned from the work permits registered there.
Sometimes word of mouth advertising is not the best way to go.
But now he has internet and is doing quite well, 20 computers and a line of people waiting to get to one most of the day. The employment rates are not up yet here on the mountain in Barangay Roosevelt.
So I sat down and logged into my E-Mail, and was shocked to find that you are not supposed to wait a minute or two for an E-Mail to open. Oh, my isn’t 2017 a wonder to us all. But 19 other people were online with me and damn, it was fast.
A Light Bulb moment occurred with me; why pray tell? Can’t Paul avail of this wondrous technology? Off to Dinalupihan to sign up. A sign in the window referred me to the Olongapo office. Drove back to the new Internet Café and asked “WTF” Oh Kuya Paul, I forgot I got the name in Dinalupihan at City Hall, but you apply in Olongapo City. That was as clear as mud, but it did cover the ground.
I pull up to the Fiber Optic Office in Olongapo, Mayang was driving, the sign blocking the parking space read “Parking reserved for Fiber Optics only.” I exited the car and threw the sign off to the side and we parked.
Inside we found a sparsely furnished building with a man with a smartphone stuck in his ear acting quite important. But I spied a counter with three human beings sitting behind it and all were on a cell phone. But there was a sign that said “Please Take-A-Number, but no dispenser to hold any numbers for you to take.
You would be wrong if you assumed that would deter me from my goal of receiving service. A pad of paper was behind the counter and a can full of pens and other writing implements, I picked up a sharpie and wrote a big NUMBER ONE on the paper and handed it to the cute girl on the phone. Her hand was moving slowly to her head for a Pinoy Power Scratch when I intervened and showed her the sign that said; “Please Take-A-Number” The machine was missing so I used my own number. Besides I didn’t want her to muss her hair.
Again you would be mistaken if you thought that what I did was odd, she accepted it like it happened all the time and gave me her undivided attention albeit she did keep glancing towards her smartphone.
I explained that I drove a long distance at great expense in fuel and wear and tear on my auto, to avail of her companies Rocket (Not to be confused with little Rocketman from North Korea) Fast Fiber Optic Internet service and the cost be damned!!!
Sir if you reside in Bataan, you must avail of the Dinalupihan office. Miss they put a sign in the window and all ran away. Now I heard the three most dreaded words in the Philippines; “Sir, Please Wait!” Chills travel up my spine whenever I hear that.
Do you remember Mr. Important man with the Smartphone planted within his ear? Well, he is the “Regional Manager” So once more, I go over my request, to once more be told; Sir, you must avail of the Dinalupihan office. Son, that ship has sailed. Your office there is closed, and if you call your employees’ phone it will ring at his house. You should stand in front of his office and call them. Surprise, surprise!
The reason PLDT is not doing well is their poor customer service. In 1996 I requested a landline on my street in Olongapo City and was informed that I would have to pay for the wire and the installation so monthly I could sit in their office for a few hours for the privilege of paying my phone bill. I bought my wife and daughters new Nokia cell phones and that was the last time I dealt with PLDT.
Fiber Optics has the same plan, I give them between 35 and 40 thousand peso and they will run a line to my house. Will I be reimbursed by ever new scriber who you add to my line? Oh no sir, Then I’ll wait until the Nipa Hut up the street pays for the line and then I’ll sign up. Chuck is a guy, I sailed with, and my name is Paul.
When I got home, I opened an Ice Cold beverage, and tears came to my eyes I was laughing so hard. What a dull life I would have if forced to ever move back to the Divided States of America, but then I remember that the Senate set up the cell phone rules for the USA, remember when one state could not connect to any other state. And each state had two cell phone companies that couldn’t talk to each other? And you folks expect health care to work? You couldn’t dynamite me off of these Islands!