Something nerve-wracking, exciting and potentially controversial happened to me today. A crew from The Probe (we are more familiar with them as The Probe Team) came by my residence this lunch time and interviewed me on camera about the love-and-hate relationship with I have my internet service provider Globelines Broadband.
Blog friends, colleagues in my freelance stints and the loyal readers of this blog know all too well the story of this relationship with Globelines or Innove. In fact, this blog ranks pretty well in the SERPs for the keywords; “globelines, broadband, router, internet speed, Taiwan quake and repair.”
Why so? At first, I was a happy Globelines broadband subscriber, that upgrade last 2006 from 384kbps to 512kbps for free even made me happier. When the Taiwan earthquake struck our side of Asia last January, it revealed how crappy their services could be. It was so crappy, my experience led me to believe that Globelines never fully recovered from the quake or it has shaken off ilusions that they were better than the other providers. It climaxed last April when in the middle of an important blogging series and my first-time freelance job, I lost my internet connection and it took 5 whole days before they were able to restore my connection. Along with it, tons of human aggravation, an abrupt end to the blogging series and losing that job. I just hated them back then.
The ordeal was far from over because just after 25 days or so, the connection became intermittent once more. Again it took 5 days to fix this by giving me a new modem/router. Since then, many subscribers with the same or even worse experience found those entries of mine chronicling my unsatisfactory and costly subscription with Globelines broadband and voiced out their experiences, gripes and disgust of the service as well. Since then, the quality of my internet connection has also gone from crappy to crappier. Though I’m not experiencing complete loss of connections lasting for days. I had have to restart my modem/router every 3 hours or so because the connection would just stop, or there are times in the day that their speed is slow, very slow. Signs that even in high-speed internet services, there are peak and off-peak hours, despite the “unlimited broadband” connection I and many others have signed up and continues to pay for.
Moment of spotlight
Spoilers of the interview right? Well that’s just half of the story, or rather what I told The Probe led by Segment Producer Art Fuentes, Ms Hera Sanchez, the one who actually interviewed me, and their hard working camera crew.
Second thoughts ran through my mind about pushing through with the interview which was initiated last Monday, I think, when I first recieved an email from Sir Art via this blog’s contact form. I sought the advice of my mother, my blogging mentors J Angelo and Sexy Mom on how to go on with the interview. My mom said that Globelines, the big corporation that it is, might go after me once I appear on camera and starts to bad-mouth them and their crappy internet services. SexyMom and J Angelo had almost similar concerns but they made clear that I must be fair, act and say something only on the basis of the facts and first-hand experience I had, no more, no less.
However, my mind was made up and I’ve decided on pushing through with the interview with the intent and hope that through this exposure (read:
shameless self-promotion), I might be able to put the message across to the internet service providers, not just Globelines, that it’s not enough they provide promos and fast connections. They should back it up with quality customer services and support, because people are actually paying money for this kind of service.
The second concern I had was, where the heck would I let them interview me? I had bigger worries when Sir Art told me that he wanted to film me with my computer, re-enacting some daily blogging routines and stuff. My computer was in my bedroom, and the idea of having an investigative media crew inside my room was like being in MTV’s “Room Raiders” or being a contestant in Big Brother. And I’m telling you, my room is much like your average college guy’s room. Laundry, books, bags, papers, socks and who knows what all over the place, I prefer to call it “organized chaos.” On top of that, my room is not that spacious to comfortably accomodate 5 people and some filming equipment.
More organized chaos
Nonetheles, I had no other choice but to wake up early and do a major room clean-up. Had breakfast, took a bath and waited for their arrival. Soon enough, at around lunch time, they finally came and after short introductions, we proceeded upstairs to have everything setup for the interview. It was quite a challenge as the second floor of our hosue was not that spacious so we moved a couple of drawers here and there until Sir Art was happy with the lighting, the camera angle and audio setup.
The interview proper went on smoothly, at the most. Ms Hera gave me a few tips on how to act or behave during the interview as to help me calm down and help me answer the questions clearly and as correct as I can. You wouldn’t want to be misquoted or to look like an idiot on national TV. The interview was done in Filipino though there were some English words and terms that got inserted in my replies. I won’t mention the questions or topics we talked about, just watch the episode this coming Wednesday on ABS-CBN.
During the shooting of some additional ‘scenes’ like me using the internet, blogging and doing my daily routine with the computer, I got to talk about blogging and how it has transformed my life as an individual, a student and as an advocate. I also stressed how crucial the internet is to bloggers, a few basics about troubleshooting your broadband connection and I tried to show them and on cam, how to measure the actual speed of your internet connection via online tools like Speedtest.net (Hat tip to Sir J Angelo!)
Embarrassingly, when I tried to do a test of the speed of my Globelines broadband, it failed because for some strange reason, I was not able to ping the test servers in California. So there, right in front of the Probe, Globelines screwed up! 🙄
After we wrapped up my interview. We went out to visit my kababayan or townmate the internet cafe owner who subscribed to Globelines broadband for her business when she first opened it. It was, as the Probe found out, a mistake for her. The details of her harrowing experience, of course would be shown in the episode when it airs this coming Wednesday, August 22.
In case you do miss the episode, be sure to check their website because they’ll post it there too. Besides, the site it self is a treasure trove of good quality video-documentaries and short indie films.
I never realized that through blogging, I’d have this kind of experience, like being interviewed on camera by some A-list media group. I imagined it to be like giving a talk about blogging or being featured by some of the mainstream media outfits for being one of the most successful bloggers around. 😉
Oh well, at least I’ve done something with blogging that will concretely serve the interests of the online Pilipino community, better services from our ISPs.
To Sir Art, Ms Hera and the crew, thank you very very much for this opportunity. Oh and thanks for the free lunch as well.
The free lunch they gave was not a bribe or any reward for doing the interview with them or for me to link to their site. They were just that nice and generous.
Sir Art Fuentes of The Probe just informed me tru YM that the coverage about broadband concerns has been bumped-off to next week, August 29, 2007 to give way to their Ninoy Aquino Day special episode. Do watch it still, and keep in mind “is the Filipino still dying for?”