wawamTECH: globe handyphone service failing for months now, collapses metro manila wide on the weekend
if you are a globe handyphone subscriber, you have been experiencing this – you are unable to make or receive calls and text on certain days, with the signal meter on your cellphone fluctuating from zero to two bars. this has been happening for months now.
you have learned to live with it, on occasions cursing globe as you get texts on your cellphone from 30 minutes to 3 hours late. calls made are not any better – you get a “the party you are calling cannot be reached” error message or others calling you hearing the same message. if you are able to connect to a party, the line is choppy with sounds garbled and disconnections happen often.
if you have been a globe handyphone subscriber for sometime, you know that calling their hotline to complain is not worth the trouble to do. it will not result to anything. the wait is very long when you call and if you are able to talk to a customer service agent, all you get is a promise to fix it but nothing much happens.
the next best thing is you send a tweet to @enjoyglobe and/or @talk2globe. after some minutes, one of those accounts will reply and ask you to DM (direct message) your cellphone number, your cellphone brand and your locati0n to them. you tweet back – “i can’t send you a DM because you are not following me”. (lol).
any person who has a twitter account know that you can only send a DM to people who follow you. but that appear to be unknown to the globe customer service person handling the globe twitter account.
you also know it will not amount to anything so you do not reply. after some minutes, the globe twitter account replies to you that it is true there are network problems in your area and that they are doing something to resolve the problem. that is of course a lie as the problem really does not get resolved for a few days.
you are of course relieved when it gets resolved and you are able to receive and send texts and calls again. but that does not last for a long time as the problem re-occurs again.
after happening at least twice, you get tired tweeting about it and you just console yourself in reading on twitter that many other globe subscribers are complaining about the same thing you are complaining about. you are not alone, the globe service failure happens all over metro manila, repeated many times in all areas and to many globe subscribers. you wonder, is there a rotating schedule on this one?
what is happening to globe?
globe is indeed having service problems and what is causing this service outages is a very noble reason – globe is upgrading their system.
now, that does not make sense to most of us. if they are upgrading their system, why has the service deteriorated? an upgrade means service will be better but in the case of globe, service has become not only bad but really very, very bad in this upgrade effort of theirs.
we know globe is upgrading its service. post paid subscribers have received at least 2 letters from globe together with our bills saying they are upgrading their network. from what i remember, the first letter from globe came from a vice president or division head then the most recent basically the same letter but this time signed by mr. ernest cu, CEO of globe.
both letters said globe is presently doing a massive upgrade of their systems and spending multi million pesos (meant to be impressive) to do so and that it will be completed within the next 6 months or so. aside from those two letters, globe also released a series of small newspaper print ads saying the same thing.
the truth is, and it is something that globe has not said is that the service failures is being caused by their upgrade efforts.
globe has actually contracted chinese telecom company Huawei to do the upgrade. Huawei was supposed to install new hardware into thousands of globe cell sites around the country. this new hardware is meant to make the globe system faster, handle more load for them and enhance data handling.
Huawei, a chinese company apparently won in a bidding for this upgrade versus other suppliers like those based in japan and europe. not only did Huawei submit the lowest bid price, it also promised everything to globe, including the moon and the stars. whatever globe asked, Huawei granted.
globe fell in love with the cheap bid and the amazing moon and the stars promises and awarded the project to Huawei. well, globe soon found out that a cheap bid means you get even cheaper hardware and service. Huawei apparently over promised in their bid and globe for some reason believed them hook, line and sinker.
Huawei simply did not move fast enough to install the hardware in the globe cell cites. they did not want to hire the required number of engineers to install them quickly and properly. (of course, as their margins will be depleted.) not only that, the hardware were also not performing well as promised and in many cases were incompatible with the existing globe hardware already in place in their cell sites.
this whole scenario is causing the whole globe system major hiccups, thus the frequent, wide and rotating outages of the globe service. problems keep popping up everywhere and anywhere. based on the frequent outages, it looks like very little has been resolved, many months after they started.
the whole situation is so bad that globe has threatened if not has already taken legal action against Huawei. Huawei is chinese and apparently communicating with them has been very difficult for globe and that is not just because of the language barrier. it is also cultural and business ethics that is separating and in fact clashing between globe and Huawei.
that is what has been happening in the past months. but what happened over the weekend?
apparently the globe system collapsed metro manila wide over the weekend – people from all over metro manila complained signals fluctuated from zero to 1 bar, often no service. calls could not be made or received. texts were received many hours late or not at all received.
we experienced that ourselves over the weekend. family members and friends were in different parts of metro manila and we could not call each other and texts were not received or grossly delayed. at varying times of the day, these friends and family members were in makati, taguig, pasig, quezon city, mandaluyong and manila and had the same complaint. twitter showed the same thing.
we had tweeted to @talk2globe last september 1 and the above was their reply confirming there were network problems in san juan. note at the bottom, @TheMallOfAsia account also tweeted problems with globe.
today, monday many more netizens in twitter complained about what happened to the globe service over the weekend. as a concession to the complaints, globe released a memo on their website admitting of the problem on the globe service over the weekend and offered a rebate to subscribers in that area. (click here : http://blog.globe.com.ph/2012/09/temporary-disruption-in-south-manila-last-september-1/)
there are a few things about this announcement:
- globe admitted that there was a network service outage over the weekend
- although globe was not completely honest here as the areas were not just limited to those few areas (southern manila) but practically the whole of metro manila. they did confirm via their tweet that to me that the san juan service was out too. plus the experiences of friends and family who were in the areas i had mentioned, including The Mall Of Asia in Pasay City based on their own tweet.
- the offer of a rebate was a nice gesture but we wonder how that will be done and if this was an honest effort to make amends. that rebate announcement is very difficult to implement plus grossly unfair to all other subscribers not living in those areas but experienced the same outage.
- what will globe do? give rebates to subscribers only to those whose billing address are in those areas?
- what about subscribers who do not have their billing address in those areas but were contacting those living there and were unable to? they were also inconvenienced but no rebate?
- what about those with billing addresses outside of those areas but were in those places and experienced the outages?
the promise of the rebate to make amends, being short in reality and impossible to implement fairly will not do anything to soothe the already battered globe subscribers. on top of that, it is really short of specifics.
if i were globe, to make this right i would offer rebates to all globe subscribers not just to a specific area. fact is there is no way to determine whether subscribers living in a specific area are the only ones affected. relatives of those living in southern manila but are in other parts of metro manila and even the rest of the country have been inconvenienced too. for sure those living in souther manila have relatives and friends living say in davao or baguio for example who were unable to contact them because of the service outage.
if i were globe, i would give 2 free text days or each subscriber receive 200 free texts as a rebate or a gesture of goodwill on their network problems during the weekend. point is it needs to be network wide, all subscribers and it needs to be meaningful.
what caused the weekend metro manila wide outage? apparently a major hardware literally collapsed during the weekend. this hardware was like a central system that processes all the texts and calls made to and from all of metro manila. it was something like the central hub for metro manila calls and texts.
we do not know why it collapsed. worst, we do not know why globe had no back up system or some redundancy system for failures like these. the globe system seems to be so fragile, ill conceived and poorly designed. it is shocking considering this is ayala owned to whom funds is not a problem and it is a major telecom company in the country.
will what happened during the weekend repeat itself? well, yes. there seem to be no guarantee that it will not. besides what happened in the weekend was on top of that has been happening in the past months on the Huawei upgrade failures. this was just an add on. that means globe subscribers will continue to suffer.