The netizen revealed the mystery behind the controversial “value-added services,” which even the Globe customer service representatives themselves are unable to penetrate. She also suggested that Globe Telecom should investigate the controversial service and needs to immediately restructure their policies with regards to their services from “third parties.”
There have been numerous complaint by netizens and Globe customers for the past few years but the recent issue involving the alleged third party service from Globe is by far the most controversial.
Here’s the Complete Statement of the Globe Customer:
A Woeful Tale Of Globe Telecom’s Hidden Charges Scam
If it seems like you’re being charged more than what you use, you probably are. Double-check your usage first to make sure you’re not actually just using up a lot of calls/text/data, but if the numbers don’t add up, let me assure you that you are not imagining things… and Globe (or any other local telco for that matter) is not the honest, professional, upstanding company which you and I believe it to be. I was shocked to discover I was being charged P5 multiple times every day for months, all for nothing! Globe passes this off as charges from “third parties”, but they are complicit because they receive a cut of every transaction and naturally they do not require these alleged “third parties” to be transparent about these charges. Full story below:
So the past several months I was wondering why it seemed like I was always running out of prepaid load, even though my usage remained the same. I used to spend about P300 a month for load, and when this doubled I thought that maybe I was using more than usual? My naive, trusting self truly believed that Globe wouldn’t charge me for more than what I used and agreed to.
I finally got suspicious when P300 load got consumed in less than a week. I’m writing this on a Tuesday. I just loaded P3
I just loaded P300 last Thursday, and I only had P19 left today. I couldn’t believe it!
I checked my call, text, and internet usage to make sure I hadn’t actually consumed that P300:
– I checked to make sure that my GoSurf internet promo was still active and still had bandwidth remaining (it’s a 30-day promo, it expires next week, and it still has a lot of bandwidth left).
– I checked my outgoing calls since last Thursday: none.
– I checked my outgoing texts since last Thursday: total of 12, but 8 of those should have been covered by my text promo (which only cost P20). The remaining 4 were all to a Globe number, so should only be charged P1 each.
Therefore the total chargeable amount should have only been P24, to cover the text promo and the texts. (The internet promo was something I already subscribed to prior to loading that P300, so there shouldn’t have been any internet charged during this period.)
So I personally went to a Globe store to check. The first answer I received really made me lose my temper: I was told that I was being charged for advertisement texts which I was receiving. Amazing! Not only do I receive SPAM on a service I pay for, but I also get the pleasure of paying to receive the SPAM. It was obviously above the customer service representative’s pay grade to handle my temper tantrum, so I was ushered into the private Platinum service room in order to spare other customers the trouble of hearing about Globe’s unfair charges.
The next person who spoke to me explained that the initial answer given to me was mistaken. Fine. I’m not sure I believe that, but ok. Then I was told that it might be internet charges, because apparently even if you check your internet promo balance, it might be inaccurate. So apparently even if you’re vigilant about monitoring your internet promo balance, you could still go over your limits because Globe is too busy to bother to tell you how much data you’re actually using. But somehow they’re never too busy to continue charging you.
When I demanded to see a breakdown of the charges to my prepaid load, I was initially told that it would take them 3-5 working days to retrieve this data. Are you kidding me? So their system can immediately charge my account for calls/texts/data, but cannot display the transaction details until after 3-5 working days? It’s not as if they’re manually recording these transactions on pen and paper. There’s absolutely no reason in this digital age why my transaction records can’t be viewed immediately.
Anyway, I continued to rant about my missing P300 load, and showed them my phone’s message and call history, as well as my records for my load purchases, and how I keep track of my text and internet promos. After proving that I really only had a handful of outgoing texts and zero outgoing calls, and I didn’t have “wifi assist” or any other data-heavy thing on, lo and behold, they were miraculously able to pull up my transaction records on the spot instead of in 3-5 working days.
The photo attached shows the list they gave me of mysterious P5 transactions which they say are listed as “value-added services”. This just lists the past few days, but it’s been going on for months, unfortunately I never tracked it before! I have no idea what these P5 transactions are– they have no correlation with my incoming/outgoing texts/calls/internet.
I was unable to get much more information about these “value-added services”. They are shrouded in deep mystery, which even the Globe customer service representatives themselves are unable to penetrate. From whence do the charges arise? And to where does my money go? “Third parties”, they said, in hushed tones. Who are these “third parties”? And what “value” are their “services” providing me? Alas, nobody knows.
They do know one thing: It’s important to shift the blame onto the customer. Apparently, if this happens to you, it’s because you just clicked on a link somewhere, and then you got automatically subscribed to something that charges your account repeatedly, all without informing you or asking for your permission. Super convenient!
Not sure why Globe allows “third parties” to do this… except maybe because they get a cut out of every transaction so they aren’t incentivized to require “third parties” to be up front and transparent about these transactions.
To Globe’s credit they did give me a P300 load card today (and that hardly covers the estimated thousands I’ve lost to their scam the past months), but I wish they would just be honest and fair with their charges.
(UPDATE: It’s now Wednesday. I’m writing here stranded on the highway due to car trouble. I desperately needed to use my phone to call so I tried to use the P300 load card they gave me and GUESS WHAT? IT DOESN’T WORK. And I just checked, P15 of my load disappeared again last night. UGH
Update again, Wednesday afternoon: Globe store called me and apologized for giving me the wrong prepaid card. Honest mistake so that’s ok. They are now giving me P1,500 load credit. I do appreciate the kindness and initiative of this particular Globe employee who took the time to follow up with me. But I do not consider this issue to be “resolved” until Globe actually implements policy changes to prevent this “value-added services” scam from ever happening again.)
It took me so long to complain about this because I was so trusting, believing that I wouldn’t be charged unfairly. And also because it’s such a huge hassle to complain because it takes hours to reach their customer service, and who’s got time for that?
Globe needs to immediately restructure their policies with regards to “value-added services” and “third parties”. I know that many of you out there are affected by this issue too, and it’s not new, so a solution is long overdue. How hard can it be for an extremely rich and profitable business to implement the following restrictions?
– Third parties must ask for permission before having customers subscribe.
– Third parties must clearly inform customers how much they will be paying, and also notify them each time they are charged.
– Customers (including prepaid) should have an easy way to view and monitor all transaction records, and each record should be clearly and specifically labeled as to what it is from, exactly.
– There should be an algorithm which detects if a customer is paying recurring charges to a third party that they are not interacting with, and then that customer should be notified to verify if those charges are authorized (similar to how credit card companies check with you if they notice unusual charges). This shouldn’t be too hard to do because there’s already a clear pattern in my and other customers’ stories— it’s always those sketchy P5 transactions.
Feel free to share. Thanks to everyone sharing and commenting, and thank you also to those who are sharing their own experiences of the mysterious disappearing load phenomenon. Let’s continue requesting Globe to change their policies.
Update again, still Wednesday afternoon: Globe has reached out to me saying they appreciate my feedback and will consider my suggestions so as to prevent this kind of thing from happening again. They also asked nicely if I can take down my post. I appreciate that they reached out to me and asked nicely, and I told them that I don’t want to take down the post until Globe takes concrete steps to address this issue for all affected customers, but I’m happy to edit and update this post if they will be sending me updates with their progress on their policy changes.
P.S. People are calling on NTC to address this. Yes, please, NTC, any govt regulatory bodies, please help us. By the way do you guys remember that back in 2014, NTC already called telcos to a public hearing to explain slow and expensive internet in the Philippines? They claimed that they could only provide 80% service uptime (LOL coz it’s not even 80% in reality only 50-60%). When asked why they couldn’t provide a better minimum % service guarantee, they answered that “there are too many variables”. Amazing evasion tactics! I’ve attached a screenshot of some tweets from that time to show you that NTC’s probably been trying to get the telcos to behave for years, and the telcos are just super pasaway!