Hontiveros to pen letter to Converge, DICT amid complaints against internet service

October 5, 2020 - 7:08 PM
Risa Hontiveros
Sen. Risa Hontiveros in front of a laptop in this photo uploaded on her Facebook page on Sept. 11, 2020. (Photo from Senator Risa Hontiveros via Facebook)

An internet service provider is once again on hot seat after Sen. Risa Hontiveros shared that she will write a letter to the company and to the Department of Information and Communications Technology as the reliance on the internet intensifies.

This was the senator’s response to a tweet of singer and mommy blogger Saab Magalona who tagged Converge ICT and accused it of being a “scam” after her mother, Pia Magalona, has settled a downpayment but failed to get service due to her being “outside of their coverage.”

On October 1, the Magalona matriarch sought for a refund from the internet service provider after it promoted its fiber service in a tweet.

“MY REFUND PLSSSSSS,” Pia wrote in a quote tweet.

Saab retweeted her mother’s post and tagged the telecommunications company, where she bared that their issue has been going on for nine months already.

“Converge is a scam. My mom gave a downpayment of 4K in Jan as they required before they could check her location. When they deemed it was outside of their coverage, they completely ghosted her. It‘s been 9 months of us trying to resolve this privately. Shame on you @Converge_CSU!” the Cheats vocalist wrote.

The company responded to her post twice.

In its first message last October 4, Converge said that its team has already sent Saab a private message about the “refund tracking number.”

Another reply from its social media team informed Saab to send them a private message so that she could be assisted with her issue.

“Hello please reply to my DM. URGENT!!!” Saab responded.

Hontiveros was one of those who were able to read Saab’s tweet.

In her response to Saab’s tweet, the senator said that she has been “seeing many complaints” against Converge and urged the company, as well as other internet service providers, “to honor their commitment to their customers and their hard-earned money.”

“Will be writing a letter to Converge & DICT for a dialogue (with) consumers. ISPs (internet service providers) must be truthful about their services and deliver what they promised or refund asap,” Hontiveros added.

“Everyone needs the internet especially during this pandemic for vital information, for classes, for checking up on loved ones. ‘Wag natin sila i-budul-budol,” she wrote, referring to the customers.

Ever since the government implemented community quarantine measures in a bid to mitigate the transmission of the coronavirus disease, Filipinos have been relying on technology to accomplish their work and studies.

Non-essential workers and those who don’t need to report on-site are those who heavily rely on internet connection from their residences to fulfill their duties, along with young people who needed to attend their online classes for distance learning.

This has prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to call out telecommunication companies in his last public address in September, where he urged them to improve their services as businesses and education go virtual amid the ongoing pandemic.

READ: Threat to seize Philippines’ largest telcos: What’s at stake? Can gov’t do it?

Converge on Monday said that it has begun “a fresh round of workforce augmentation with the deployment of more fiber optic installers.”

It said that it has “doubled its fiber optic installer crew compared to its pre-pandemic headcount” and aims to triple the number by the end of the year.

“The expansion is now at its halfway point. Initially, we encountered some delays due to the Luzon-wide quarantines, which limited the movement of personnel,” shared Converge ICT Founder and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Anthony Uy in a release.

The company said that it has renewed and established four contracts with partner outsourcing firms to meet the surge in demand, which has resulted in the hiring and training of 48-hour technical and non-technical support agents.

“We thank our customers for their patience and understanding. While there have been some roadblocks in the last months, our turnaround times have improved considerably,” Uy said.

Last month, Kapamilya actress Liza Soberano complained about the company’s internet speed which prompted one of its supposed employees to make a rape remark about her.

The actress filed a criminal complaint against the individual but she shared that she was willing to drop it if the latter would make a sincere apology.

Converge, meanwhile, had assured the public that it would hold the individual accountable and “carry out disciplinary measures accordingly.”

“We do not tolerate such actions toward any customer and emphasize that their personal opinions do not reflect the company’s perspective, values, and culture,” it said before.