It is Sunday morning and the place is a bit cold. It was raining last night. It was last night also that I got disappointed with the service I got from Bayantel. I'll tell you why.
I brought my laptop home because I was planning to connect to the internet thru dial-up. I don't have a DSL at home so dial-up is the alternative. It will appear to be cheaper when compared to the per minute rate of Bayantel. (Note: My cellphone (SMART) internet rate is even cheaper compared to Bayantel's).
I tried to used the program ZTEConnector which is automatically installed after you install the driver from Bayantel. I supplied the username and the password and tried to connect. The message was, "the remote computer did not respond". I pick up the telephone receiver and dialed the number directly from my telephone. To my surprise, the remote modem responded. I tried connecting again. This time, I used my laptop. Still, I can't connect.
I decided to call 171, the helpdesk of Bayantel wireless. I was able to talk to a lady who's name is Marie. I asked her why I can't connect. She told me that I have to have my internet service activated before I can make any internet connection. I told her, I will only be connecting to a local number and not with Bayantel internet. I explained what I wanted to do. I only want to dial to a local number using my laptop. She got the same answer, I've got to have my internet activated. So I ask her, "does this mean the internet connection is exclusive to Bayantel only?". She answered "YES".
I still don't want to believe it because when I purchased this unit, I was told that this unit can act as a USB modem as being reflected in their manual. So, if this is a USB modem, I should be able to use this to connect to a remote computer which uses a local number only. I was told to dial 181, their technical call center. But.. you won't believe this. THEY'VE GOT THE SAME ANSWER! BAYANTEL'S SUPPOSED TO BE USB MODEM IS EXCLUSIVE TO THEM! How unfair! I asked, does DTI know this? Did you get the same complain from other people? Or, am I just the only one complaining on this?
Here's another suprising thing. 181 forwarded me back to 171. A lady told me that they can't activate my internet because I still have a bill to pay that's 1,700+ just for this month. I said, "WHAT"? How come? And I was told I've called cellphone numbers from my Bayantel unit. I said, "WHAT" (again)? I realized my helpers could have used my unit to call their text mates! (But this is a different story. So homeowners, guard your phones!).
Anyway, I was exhausted having talked to Bayantel help line. After all, they were not able to solve my problem. I was just so desperate I told them I am going to report this to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). But will DTI act on this? Will our right to be able to choose providers be safeguarded? Or, am I talking the right thing here?
Should I just report this to the councilors of Davao? I was thinking I'm going to report this to Councilor Peter Laviña who is known to be a fighter for people's rights. Or, am I just out of sync here?
Please let me know your opinion beecause if this is not worth discussing for, I will have my mouth shut.