Red tape, according to Web WordNet 2.0 is a “bureaucratic procedure: needlessly time-consuming procedure”. Many an office procedure is bogged down by it, under the guise of ‘documentation’.

To add to my seemingly unending frustration with PLDT, here is yet another instance of red tape. They refuse to have me as a postpaid landline subscriber because the house I am about to occupy, my father’s house, is NOT in my name. This despite my having provided them with a copy of the real estate tax receipts in my father’s name, my birth certificate which of course contains my father’s name and which also states that I was BORN in that same house which I would now like to have a PLDT landline. No, this documentation is not enough for the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company.

They will honor a Contract of Lease, as they first told me, to prove that I am a new occupant of the house, and unrelated to the previous tenant. So they want a piece of paper that says I am renting our own house from my father. Sure, I can cook one up no problem, but why should I? It’s my father’s house that he’s put my husband and myself in charge of. What can be simpler?

The sad thing here is I have no other alternatives. Globelines does not cover our area, and neither do Bayantel nor Digitel. I am reduced to making do with PLDT’s prepaid Telesulit, which rules out even dial-up internet access via prepaid cards, as the expense will be double.

(edit, Wed 06 April 2005) Here’s the succession of emails between myself and PLDT Customer Care (which I am really tempted to call Customer I-don’t-Care):

29 March 2005 / I have been trying to apply through your online facility but the .asp page keeps generating errors and my application has not gone through. I hope that applying through email will work just as well.

Personal Information

*Name:
Last Name – Gaerlan
First Name – Maria Marina Victoria
Middle Name – Kapauan (and so on)

to which they replied, roughly 24 hours later (not bad):

30 March 2005 / Dear Ms MARIA MARINA VICTORIA KAPAUAN GAERLAN,

Good day! We checked our records and found out that the telephone number 2-8513965 under the name of ELLEN E VALENA at 9472 ALEJANDRO ST, BALTAO SUBDIVISION, BGY VITALEZ PARANAQUE CITY was permanently disconnected due to non- payment of its outstanding account.

Should you be a new tenant of the above address, we are prepared to reconsider but will need a copy of the Notarized Contract of Lease or Deed of Sale. Please forward the documents to our Fax # 864-3461 attention: Customers@pldt or send us a scanned copy thru e-mail. Upon receipt of the same, it will still be subject for evaluation and approval.

For your reference, your account number is 171736307.

Sincerely,

Customers@pldt.com.ph

P.S. For further clarification, please feel free to call our Customer Service at 171.

*sigh* Listak na Ellen Valena ito, pati pala PLDT nabiktima. (Para malaman nyo kung sino at ano si Ellen Valena, click nyo ‘to.)

31 March 2005 / Dear Customer Care,

Thank you very much for your reply.

Ellen Valena is indeed the previous tenant of 9472 Alejandro. She and her cohorts have abandoned my father’s house last 29 March 2005. If you have the time, please consult my blog entry about the matter at this URI: http://bambit.kusangpalo.com/?p=84

The house is owned by my father, Oscar F. Kapauan, who is now a resident of Cebu City. He has put my husband and myself in charge of the house and it will be our residence henceforth.

For purposes of facilitation, would you prefer a copy of the deed of ownership in my father’s name, plus my own papers of identification, such as my birth and marriage certificates?

Please let me know so that I can acquire the necessary papers you require.

Thank you very much.

Maria Victoria Kapauan-Gaerlan

So I consult with my dad, who is now retired and settled in Cebu, and he promptly sends me what we feel is the next best thing: a receipt from the esteemed City of Parañaque, attesting that he has paid the real estate tax for 2005 for the house on Alejandro Street. The Deed of Ownership is sitting quietly in a safety deposit box where we feel it should not be disturbed unless absolutely necessary.

tax receipt

So I email this to PLDT on 31 March, along with a scanned image of my birth certificate with the following details: that the address 9472 Alejandro and 15 Alejandro (in my birth certificate) is one and the same house, the renumbering occurring after Parañaque became a city.

I was born in this house!

My father's house

I received this reply from PLDT:

5 April 2005/ Dear Ms Maria Victoria Kapauan-Gaerlan,

Good day! We regret to inform you that the Deed of Ownership must be under the name of the applicant so to process your application for a telephone line.

Should you have further inquries, please feel free to email us back or please call our Customer Service at 171.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Customers@pldt.com.ph

Let me get this straight. PLDT allowed Ellen Valena to have a postpaid landline in her own name because she was a TENANT, who had managed to present a notarized contract of lease. PLDT will NOT allow me, the daughter of the OWNER of the house to have one, because of my inability to provide them with the same document. A tenant can easily abandon the premises such as Ellen Valena did with my father’s house, leaving all utility companies with whopping unpaid bills, disappear without a trace with the same utility companies not knowing where to get their money. They certainly will not get it from my father, as Ellen Valena owes him at least three months in back rent. But a mere tenant will have a bigger chance of getting a PLDT postpaid line than the daughter of the owner.

But since I, the daughter of the owner of the house, cannot provide them with a Contract of Lease, PLDT will not allow me access to their postpaid service. They will not give it to someone who has provided proof of relationship to the owner, who in turn has provided proof of ownership of the house that stands on the address in question. I would have been better off, they seem to say, if I had manufactured a Contract of Lease, have an unsuspecting notary sign it, and present it to PLDT, as per their requirement.

I don’t see the logic in that. Anyone who does is welcome to point it out to me.

Red Tape (a treatise on how not to apply for a PLDT landline)

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17 thoughts on “Red Tape (a treatise on how not to apply for a PLDT landline)

  1. this is very funny! (sorry, i know your feeling is exactly opposite) but … i can’t help myself from laughing ‘coz its so ridiculous! grabe. you need to prove that you are unrelated to your father! your own father … your own house. hehe. sobra! i’ll boycott PLDT coz of that. 😡

  2. Is this for realz? This is so fu*@&*$^!^ ridiculous! How can they not understand a simple logic, how can they treat their customers like this? hmmm … with your permission, may I show your blog to some folks that probably can make some waves or maybe they help you make some noise for PLDT to realize how fucking ridiculous (sp?) this is.

  3. Mench & Jeaniepot-pot, yes all too funny and all too real, this is. Actually, gusto nila nasa pangalan ko yung house if I want the phone bill in my name. In this country where you need proof of billing to acquire services, this puts me in no position to have any other utility registered in my name. Tingnan ko mamya sa Meralco, baka mas reasonable ang mga tao dun …

  4. Bambit, grabe talaga yang valena na yan… 😡

    Anyway, Bambit, since I guess everybody needs a phone, why don’t you just apply for a line under your Dad’s name than yours? It would certainly be less complicated since the house is under his name. Just file the application under his name and get your Dad to sign it. Ganon na lang kaya?

  5. Sure, sepikmom, I can ask my Dad to email PLDT from his account in Cebu, go to his bank, take out the Deed of Ownership from the safety deposit box, have it scanned for emailing to PLDT and then send the original copy by courier for me to show PLDT when I go to their office as my dad’s representative. After that, I’ll need to send back the papers via courier to my Dad. Then when all that is done, maybe I’ll have a landline to show for it.

    My point is, Ellen Valena didn’t have to go through this hassle to get a phone in her name. Why should I???

  6. I’m really beginning to think I should have just manufactured a bogus Contract of Lease, paid a notary to sign and stamp it, and then give that to PLDT in the first place. Then I wouldn’t be in this mess to begin with. But then I’d also be dishonest.

    What I hate about all this is while I want to go about this the straight way, people like Ellen Valena get to do whatever they please and get away with whatever they please because of stupid procedures such as what is in place at PLDT.

  7. From: Customers@pldt.com.ph
    To: Bambit Kapauan-Gaerlan
    Date: Apr 6, 2005 2:09 PM
    Subject: RE: Application for Landline

    Dear Ms. Victoria Kapauan-Gaerlan,

    We regret that we can no longer retrieve the details of your previous e-mail due to our system upgrade. May we therefore request you to provide us the e-mail trail so we can verify and address your concern accordingly.

    Thank you.

    Sincerely,
    Customers@pldt.com.ph

    Did anyone pinch them? Hmmm, from “sorry we can’t give you a landline because you don’t own your father’s house” to “can we have a look-see again?” It looks like there’s hope for these people yet …

  8. joskoday! pati ako natatawa narin 😆 sige lang, sepikmom, abangan nalang natin ang susunod na kabanata. Buti nalang hindi ako buntis… which reminds me, sepikmom, inggit na inggit ako sayo ngayon!
    :mrgreen:

  9. I am constantly on the prowl… I will be checking your site and see how PLDT reacts after you have posted your complaint to your blog. Sana pareho sa Red Ribbon ang mangyari…

  10. grabe, te bomb.

    some very funny people aren’t in comedy. or may not even know that they are. or maybe they’re not being funny. maybe they’re just missing dial tone where they should have it. inside up.

    mga bobing!

  11. sa totoo lang bambit, ang tatatanga yata ng mga kausap mo dyan sa pldt! kumukulo ang dugo ko pag nakakencounter ako ng mga ganyan.

  12. Gel, baka nga ano, pero sige, abangan natin ano next move nila. 😐

    mari, ewan ko ba, it’s either there’s not enough of them handling customer support, or there’s too many of them, dahil mukhang hindi lang isang team ang may hawak ng application ko. feeling ko there’s one team na nakatingin lang sa libro nila and what’s on it so wala silang pakialam sa mga pinepresent ko, and there’s another team who caught it and said, teka muna pano natin iha-handle to?

    sige lang, the day is young, let’s see what happens within the next 24-48 hours … mabait naman tayo diba
    :mrgreen:

  13. ralph, nami-miss ko na sobra yung sic-o’clock news, yun patawa talaga, grabe comedy mas may tama pa kaysa monty python ng mga brits. baka nag-aambisyon ang mga ito …

  14. 24 hours have come and gone, and still no word from PLDT since that last request they made for me to send them the email trail. I sent them the email trail all right, with all the attachments and then some more. I think with the volume of requests they receive it’s fair to give them another 24-48 hours.

    Would you believe there is no way for me to call PLDT customer assistance except to dial 171, which will get me PLDT-Maratel Iligan. There is no way for me, being here in Iligan, to get in touch with PLDT Central in Manila except via email, which is why this thing is dragging its fat ass.

    And to think I’ve been taking full advantage of their P10 per tawag promo. I can call any PLDT subscriber anywhere in the Philippines for the flat rate of P10 per call, but I CAN NOT CALL PLDT Manila Customer Service itself! Now if that isn’t pathetic, I don’t know what is …

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