Smart Bro and the not-so-technical activity

I have been a Smart Bro subscriber for about 10 months now. However, I’m not one of the "noisy" subscribers. I’m actually quite contented with it, thank you very much — enough to even recruit a couple of other subscribers. It’s a lot more stable than my previous account with PLDT MyDSL, and it is a relief not to be put on hold for an hour before finally getting to talk with a live human being.

I do have complaints, however. No, it’s not bandwidth stability (although the bandwidth does leave much to be desired). It’s not even the fact that they:

  • blocked popular P2P ports
  • made a mess out of Skype file transfers
  • won’t allow me to use my own SMTP
  • or that they accidentally disconnected my account for 4 days

My complaints are on how customer service is being handled.

That damn "technical activity"

Every time the internet connection is down (and they actually know it), the customer support representative will rattle off these famous words:

"Ma’am, may technical activity po sa site nyo."

They will not give any further details. Nor will they, at the very least, give an estimated time of completion. They actually believe that "technical activity" is an oh-so-soothing excuse, to be taken with wide-eyed delight & acceptance.

I know some people in Smart, and they’re composed of a very intelligent lot, so I’ll keep the advice short:

Customers do need to know why & when; otherwise, it builds resentment & frustration. These are basics of stakeholder communications. The customer service department, among anyone else, should be aware of this.

"Technical activity? Akala ko kasi merong song-and-dance activity kaya di ako maka-connect. Salamat, ha?"


Troubleshooting process

Much worse, however, is The Unknown Problem: When the rep will insist that there is nothing wrong with them, & all the problems in the planet has something to do with your computer.

Try going around this — try to convince your rep otherwise, and claim with conviction & vehemence:

  • that you actually know how to release & renew your IP address,
  • have tried connecting using 2 other laptops with no success,
  • have a degree in Computer Science,
  • a 7-year experience in the IT industry,
  • and that you are Bill Gates in disguise.

Nothing — I repeat, nothing — will sway them.

You see, before they will further investigate what is wrong on their end, you have to go thru their "troubleshooting process."

Try going around this one more time. Rattle of the steps you probably already know by heart, and assure them you have already gone thru those steps on your own.

‘Di valid yun, dude. Apparently, it has to be done while the rep is on the phone. Para believable. Gets mo?

"Short lang po," they assured you.

But oh no, gracious no. It will not take a few moments of your time. The average troubleshooting process actually takes 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on how slow your rep spells "ipconfig," "ping," "release," and the rest of the commands in DOS history.

The trouble shooting process is their customized specialized high-tech mind-boggling brain-racking procedure, where the rep will make you do the following repeatedly:

  • reboot your computer,
  • release & renew your IP address,
  • set your network properties,
  • delete all your cookies,
  • clear your browser’s history,
  • refresh your desktop,
  • and set your browser’s default homepage to

I kid you not.

And finally, a miracle happens: A moment of silence, a stutter, maybe even some scratching of the head. The rep admits defeat.

They will then inform you that they will "elevate" your concern to the "higher technical group," who is supposed to call you back within 24 hours.

On the rare occasion that you are called back, hold your horses, go back to your seat, take a deep breath, and grab a San Mig Light: Because you will be asked to go thru this troubleshooting process. Again.


About the author

This author was very happy that she could use Smart Bro during the Milenyo storm . But it was too good to last. About an hour after the storm left the Metro Manila, when the rest of the ISPs on the finally went online, Smart Bro decided to go down.

The author has already undergone 2 troubleshooting processes ever since, and yet her internet connection is still down.

She still loves her Smart Bro account. But can they please make it frickin’ work already?

68 thoughts on “Smart Bro and the not-so-technical activity”

  1. [b]@eric:[/b]
    Port 25 is blocked. If you’re email provider has SSL, I suggest you use that.

    Or better yet, use your Gmail as your default email address. The ports they require are not blocked by Smart Bro.

  2. mga pips bat ung sakin may outgoing yung OUTlook ko Pero ang problema e wala naman akong incoming indi ako maka recieved ng mga mail- thru outlook with SMART-BROKE—>> Amp

  3. Shared IP kasi ang network ng smartbro, subukan nyong mag-download from rapidshare dyan niyo makikita na hindi lang kayo ang nagda-download. it make sense kasi nga meron clang bandwidth manager na nag-aallocate ng bandwith. kapag na belong ka sa area ng mga user na hindi mahilig mag-download cgurado mabilis ang smartbro mo.

  4. for smtp:

    use the SSL port 465
    Others used 587 If the server uses this port. Depende talaga sa webmail provider mo.


  5. PUTANG INA ANG SMART BRO! saying ang 999 ang binabayad ko! Palaging nawawala ang connection ko, pag tumawag ako sa *1888 mga init ulo at mga walang alam ang agent dun! Sabi nila within 48 hours mag technician na mag contact sa akin. Bakit hanggang ngaun wala pa rin dumadating! Switch na tayo sa globelines! PUTANG SMRT BRO TO!!!!

  6. i’ve experienced it now. ngayon lang me nagkaroon ng net connection for almost a week. bagal ng action nila most esp. pag tumawag ka sa hotline nila wlang nangya2ri.

  7. I suggest na kung taga city naman, wagna kayong magtyagang magpakonekta dito pakabit na lang kayo sa malalapit na DSL ninyo or kung anung anik-anik… pero salamat pa din at may mga tagabundok na nakakapag-internet na. I just thought it meant for users without available communication lines.

  8. walang hiyang smart bro na yan sa umpisa umaabot ako ng 300 kbps. pero nung tumagal bumaba na nag 70kbps walang hiya talaga.. tapos biglang nawawala cnnection ng internet.. walang hiya TANG INA smart broken talaga.. hangang ngaun bumaba na speed ko 30kpbs

  9. tama lahat ang nakasaad sa site nato.. mga tanga yung mga nasa technical support nila..lalo na yung mga nakakasagot sa *1888 mga gago…sayang lang pinasasahod sa kanila…kahit nga yung mga nasa (NOC)network Operation Center..kulang nalang ako nalang ako nalang ang pumalot sa kanila.. :( :(mas mabuti pa nga nong nasa meridian pa yang broadband ng smart nga un.. naku!!kailangan talaga ang nandon yung mga proptional lang…hindi yung tatanggap ka ba naman nurse lalagay mo sa it department.. kong hindi ba naman katangahan…hindi naman lahat nangandon mga tangan meron din namng ok…

  10. maganda naman sana yung connection ng smartbro kaya lang hindi nila inanayos…kasi isa ako sa mga gumagawa nyan..badtrip nga ehh.. kaya layas na ako,, sayang nga ehh enjoy na sana ehh. kaya lang pasaway yung mga nasa smart.. lalo na yung nga nasa pldt.. mga hari.. kala mo mga magagaling talaga ang alam lang naman mag ping.. hahahaha… mga bobo..

  11. wag na kayong magsalita ng kung ano-ano sa smartbro, kasi kung hindi naman kayo _______! bat pa kasi kayo nagpakabit. alam ko na kelangan nyo rin sila. ako enjoy kasi hindi lang 384kbps umaabot sa 400+ ang speed. baka kayo ang may problema. wag maiinitin ang ulo lalo lang kayong mawawalan ng signal… hehehehehehe gud day ;) :D 8) :-*

  12. sabay sabay download na.Sabay sabay OFFLINE GAMING,OFFLINE GAMING!ito dapat ang suitable na lyrics para smartbro theme song.

  13. cguro nga tama ka.. punyeta mga isp d2 sa PH sa ngaun!
    cant even get a decent bttorrent speed!!
    by the way,pnag iisipan ko kung dpat ba tlgang tumawag na ako sa smartbro-ken ksi sobrang bagal na. i cant bare with it at all..
    sana nagbasa muna ako ng feedback tungkol sa putang inang smart bro na yan. peste! hindi sana ako nand2 sa mga kwawang biktimang nagpo-post ngaun d2.
    bwisit ksing smart bro na yan, sana malugi na yang PUTANG INANG YAN!!!
    by the way again, i dont like your writing style, stop trying to be funny and just be direct and tell it plain and simple. quit calling me dud. ok. brb sometimes to check on your progress. bbye! ;D >:(

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