AE Staff Note: Charlie Chan is a long time Expat and friend of the site. He asked if he could write a column but said that it will not always be flattering to life in Angeles. We of course said yes…
So, here ya go. A different viewpoint on life in Angeles.
So I am having a problem. After living here for 7 years I am stuck and completely frustrated. The sort of frustration that just makes me want to rip what little hair I have left out of my head out, strip down to my boxers, and run screaming down Fields Avenue at the top of my lungs, “FUCK COMCLARK!”
Yes, it’s the Internet. I didn’t quite realize how bad it was until I got back from a business trip in Hong Kong and was online there for many hours. The speed and dependability there made Angeles City look like they were still working on inventing the wheel.
The reason for this increased frustration is that I make what little living I can on the markets and can not afford to be offline for extended amounts of time. I have tried modem dial-up backup but that just wasn’t sufficient at all. Besides I want what I damn well pay for!
So on yet another outage once I got back I went down to the office in Savers Mall and tried to have a word with the bastards that have the balls to call themselves Internet providers.
As I walked in I could see the look of in trepidation as the service center girl recognized my face. Yes, this was not my first foray into this dark office of hell. Before the Hong Kong trip I had marched in there with purpose and given a piece of my mind. The poor girl sat there dutifully and at the end of my pontificating she calmly got up and walked into the back and got her manager to speak with me.
What surprises me about this country is the total surprise and shock she displayed when I blew up at her with her suggestion of, “I’m sorry sir, can you repeat your complaint to my manager?”
“What the fuck? I just spent 10 minutes here telling you the problem to which you sat there and nodded your head up and down like you understood, and now you want me to repeat myself to this chump?”
I then noticed up on the back wall a huge poster that was advertising a new service from ComClark: Unlimited Internet for a Low Low Price! This promo started suspiciously about the same time I started having major outages.
Hmmm, fancy that…
So instead of going through my monologue of disgust again with this pimple faced Filipino boy now staring at me I simply told him, “You’ve out sold your bandwidth, haven’t you?”
The blank look on his face told me all I needed to know.
So I laid it out on the line. “Either fix the problem or I will go over to digitel for my service!”
Yeah, that will scare him. Get rid of the yelling foreigner and send him over to the competition and all he has to do is be incompetent as usual and do nothing. One hell of an incentive to fix my service, isn’t it?
Well, you know how we all say stupid things when we’re mad.
But as an exercise I did just that. I walked right across the street to Digitel and talked to them about getting my service up and running.
“Sir, do you plan on using this Internet connection for business?”
“Oh hell no. I just really enjoy chatting with friends back home. You know, grandma and grandpa. They just love video chat… That’s why I need the large bandwidth.”
So they tell me over there they are going to do a survey of my neighborhood and tell me if a hook up is even available. I tell them I’m over in Clarkview and I know of many people with Digitel so there should be no problem. I just want a quote on price.
“Sir the survey is free and we will contact you later this afternoon or tomorrow at the latest.”
So here I am sitting in my apartment trying to work.
Surprise, surprise… Internet speed sucks.
It is exactly one week after my trip to talk to the master Internet providers of ComClark and Digitel.
Neither company has contacted me and nothing has changed…
Looks like another trip out to Savers Mall is in order tomorrow.
Until next time,