Let me repeat that: I went to Jakarta and all I got was an outrageous cellphone bill from Globe Telecommunications Inc.
Of course, I’m exaggerating.
After all, I went around Indonesia’s capital and helped myself to books in Kinokuniya, a 1:43 replica of a 1960s Mercedes Benz, and a Lamy pen.
I enjoyed my brief stay in Jakarta, my second visit in more than a decade.
The enjoyment was short-lived.
A day after coming home to the warm and fuzzy confines of the NAIA terminal 1, it appears that I have also brought a present to Globe–my cellphone service provider–without knowing about it beforehand.
In a text message, Globe said that it may disallow me from sending text messages and placing calls if I fail to settle a previous bill (which I already paid for a day before I posted this entry) AND half of what appear to be global roaming fees worth—maestro, music please—P9,000++.
Yes, friends, felons, and fellow travelers, Globe told me that it will cut off my service if I fail to pay P4,500 within two days.
Which is fine, really, except for two reasons.
First, after receiving the text message, I called them up immediately and the guy I talked to wasn’t able to itemize my bill; which is to say that Globe was billing me fees for something it doesn’t know it was charging me in the first place.
Last, but certainly not the least, I had gone to a Globe branch a day before I left, asking its representative to enroll me in a special program that would allow me to get cheaper global roaming rates. Before I left the branch, I was given the assurance that I was well on my way to enjoying mobile services in Singapore and Jakarta.
Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.
Which now explains why I posted several tweets about the matter, prompting some five or so Twitter users to retweet them and/or inquire about my experience.
Now I just want to ask: What exactly is going on, Globe? Is this the way you treat a customer for 13 years?
I went to Jakarta and all I got was an outrageous phone bill
Storified by Robert JA Basilio Jr· Mon, Mar 04 2013 04:05:21
(Disclaimer: I don’t cover the telecommunications beat but I’m employed by a company affiliated with Smart Communications Inc., a Globe rival. I also own shares in Ayala Corp., a company affiliated with Globe Telecommunications Inc.)
From The Plot Thickens Dept. Phoebe Trinidad whom I follow on Twitter had this to say after I posted a tweet containing a link to this blog entry.
@scribblerjack my friend also went to SG for a week and used Twitter; bill was almost 40k+. Unbelievable.
— Phoebe Trinidad (@akosipv) March 5, 2013