Filipinos welcome Australia’s Telstra like Jesus’s second coming!

I switched my entire household’s telecommunication needs to Telstra back in 2007. Today we enjoy about 300 GB of home internet data piped in by cable (not DSL) that is channeled to all our computing and home entertainment devices using a WiFI router provided as part of the package. We also have several mobile devices on the Telstra mobile data network each one of which is allowed at least two gigabytes of data traffic volume per month. As the incumbent telco in Australia, Telstra is on top of both its service and the infrastructure on which these services are delivered, which is why it rocks.


There really is nothing like the service and reliability of the incumbent service. As such, the entry of Telstra into the Philippines is really not the biblical event many Filipinos look forward to. Rather than rescue hapless Filipinos from the pathetic Internet and telecoms services they get from their existing oligarch-controlled service providers, Telstra will simply become just another one of them. Until it builds its own infrastructure network (which could take decades), it will be delivering its services using the same installed network of cables, transmission towers, and copper wires that Globe, SMART and all those other crooked telco companies use.

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Unlike the place it enjoys in Australia as the incumbent telco provider, Telstra will be just another infrastructure renter in the Philippines competing with the others for precious bandwidth and joining them in negotiating mainly with the incumbent Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) for favourable wholesale rates. Indeed, if Telstra enters the Philippine wholesale market for data and voice bandwidth, it will place additional demand on existing finite infrastructure capacity that may have the effect of putting further upward pressure on wholesale prices (which get passed on to end-consumers of course).

But Telstra can differentiate itself on one main thing that it is already good at in Australia — customer service.

In Australia, Telstra has vastly improved its relationship with its customers over the last eight years I’ve been with them. With every fault or issue you report to Telstra, you get a reference number and a means to contact the same analyst you spoke to in subsequent follow-through calls. Most imoprtant of all, after the conclusion of every service case, you also get an automatic text message following up on any feedback you might have on the service you were provided and the quality of the way you were attended to (you can respond to the text message by SMS as well).

In this way, customers are assured a robust feedback loop between themselves and Telstra’s customer service organisation — which is a far cry from the sorry criminal culture of plausible deniability applied by Globe and SMART when dealing with their customers.

Why does Telstra, despite enjoying a virtual monopoly over telco services in Australia, even bother to be nice to its customers? Because it is the right thing to do. It is that simple. That is the culture in Australia where people actually respect one another.

If you get no respect from Globe and SMART, it is because no such respect likely exists within their respective corporate cultures to begin with — at least nothing like what is ingrained in Australian society and, as such, manifest in the corporate culture of a telco titan like Telstra.

So Filipinos should welcome Telstra with open arms for the right reasons — that is, if they actually make it to the Philippines (a different story more to do with politics). But let’s not count chickens before they hatch. The underlying issue in the telco space in the Philippines is, as always, infrastructure — not enough of it and not enough quality management around it.

29 Replies to “Filipinos welcome Australia’s Telstra like Jesus’s second coming!”

  1. This will only come true if the “oligarchs” in the Philippines will allow it to happen. I doubt that it will – knowing the influence it has on our so-called statesmen whose supposed to “care” for the interest and welfare of its country men but unfortunately in reality we have a lot of flaws in our laws that will prevent it from happening whether we like or not. I hate to admit it but the root cause of all the problems we have in this country are mostly political in nature.

    1. And if I may add, I worked for an Australian Telco company for almost 8 years. As observed, consumers in Australia are powerful as compared to the consumers here in the Philippines. A company that is violating consumer rights in the Australia can easily be reported to their Consumer Affairs Offices (ACMA, ACL, ACCC)and rest assured that no matter how huge the company is – it will take action to any complaint/s(mostly companies will pay a huge fine depending on the complaint + within 24 hours contact and solution to the consumer who complained). That is why in Australia, companies take pride in providing the best Customer Service to its clients.

      1. As compared to the Philippines where you have no consumer protection. Zero! Corporations can rape the consumers till they bleed out and then kick the corpse.

        It is truly scandalous what companies in the Philippines get away with. But why?
        Because Filipinos don’t complain. They might talk to each other and bitch about lousy service on facebook instead of taking the fight to the actual culprit.

        I can tell you that when the internet providers started the Fair Usage Policy I did not take it sitting down. It took me 3 weeks, after which I was called by some big-wig who did not even want to give me his name or tell me in which office he resides, but he told me that I was now exempted.

        Since that time I download as much as I want without my internet speed slowing down.

        So people who tell me that complaining does not work are WRONG!

        1. @Jim

          Could you please share your argument with the TELCO here, as it would help everybody when they complain about internet speed and the fair usage policy?

          Thanks in advance.

        2. Would you plead my case to Globe too? You have my permission. No! I’m not taking this sitting down, but Globe has beaten me down to 640k, that is 0.11mbps as I read the speed indicator (if all this is technical correct).

          I’ve stated a blog psi4a at Facebook in a attempt to improve the empowerment of 44 million Globe customers and who knows how many millions PLDT, SMART, and the others have. Well it is time we have a truly ‘Consumer Commission Board’, not staffed by those with conflict of interest. Are you interested… I’m not taking it sitting down, but Globe has beaten down my oline expericence. Please help and lets develop something at psi4a Facebook and Help!!

  2. buti na lang telstra. not optus. kasi lokohan na lang yun kung ganun. optus = globe = singtel.

    but i doubt it. aint gonna happen. massive funding and years to lay down your own transmission line. the existing trans-line is owned by playing referee, gate-keeper ala kamatayan, PLDT. and if congress allows another player. malaking IF. “malabo pa sa sabaw ng pusit” we can dream though.

  3. How ironic. I closed all my business accounts (multiple line services, internet, mobiles)with Telstra years ago when I called its help desk for business and got a service rep in the Philippines. Sad to say but she had no idea how to solve the issue and the Telstra shop where I fronted in person insisted I had to contact that call centre. Personally I always found them to be light on customer service by Australian standards and big on price gouging.

  4. Customer service is a novelty here in our country, just observe govt. employees, though i encounter some really nice ones, most of them, you have the urge to punch in the face. People are asking things because they dont know, here comes a suppose to be customer desk people who seems irritated because they have to answer and sometimes ridicule you because you dont know this or that…. That is why as much as possible i dont want to transact with govt unless needed.

    And the jeepney drivers, do i need to say more, some are not even grateful we are helping one another back in the passengers area to give him the fare and sometimes answers back in a really rude way. Though still not generalizing because i also encounter some really nice and respectful jeepney drivers. But for sure your blood pressure will spike when encountering rude ones, if anyone here is a daily commuter and riding the antipolo-cubao route, they are the worst.

  5. AWESOME!…it is only in competition that services of these internet providers will improve. Prices of the services will go down, if competition is there.

    There is a Satellite Internet provider, in the U.S. Internet Services is thru Satellite Disc. It can service anywhere. It needs no wires or cables. Your computer will be connected thru the satellite in outer space.

    1. You forget that they are all the same and that they talk behind closed doors.

      To expect that competition will improve service or bring the prices down is just naïve. We are not in Europe. This is the Philippines. Everything is fixed here, they win, you lose.

      1. And customer services will be from the Philippines. Just like Uber, who recently moved their customer services to the Philipines, and has become pathetic to solve simple issues in the last few weeks. Representatives will practice denial and will act as if you should be grateful to be allowed to be a client; you will start feeling that you are dealing with a court case against you instead.

  6. i think they’ll use satellite and mobile service only. but think about it, if 1M of smart / globe subscribers would shift to Telstra, then it would overload the service as well, capping will happen. but let’s see, i’ll stay with globe for now and see what happens with this provider. i may be wrong.

  7. Hahaha! I’ll be watching Telstra being ruined by the overtly corrupt practices of the Philippine business scene.

    1. That’s what I was thinking. They will be taken to the cleaners and then told to f-off, like (almost) every other company that’s tried to set up shop here.

      As for infrastructure, they won’t be able to lay a single inch of fibre without documents submitted in triplicate, lost, found, sent via the Antarctic, paid for, bribed through, etc etc. And then they STILL won’t be allowed to lay a single inch of fibre, because someone’s important brother-in-law will decide it’ll make the country look bad if Australians achieve something that Pinoys couldn’t be bothered to do.

  8. There are still many unknowns in the HyperSpace (CyberSpace). However, Scientists had found, that they can communicate with the Planet Mars Rover…several million miles away.

  9. I agree, too much hype.

    Expectations are set too high which is a setup for disappointment.

    Sure its because the filipinos are fed up with local telcos but thats not a reason to be unrealistic.

  10. An organization that truly values its human capital as an asset makes an excessive investment on the employees’ welfare than an extravagant expenditure on publicity warfare.

  11. they’ll probably just be gobbled up by the rotten system…it has always been “if you can’t lick ’em, join ’em” thing in the Republic of Yellow Ribbon…

  12. PLDTs service sucks. When I have a problem with my connection calling their 171 takes almost an eternity before anyone from service answers. And not only that even their frontline staff at their Bangkal, Davao City office dont’t give a damn. All they do is pretend to listen because I kept on reporting the same problem. They promised the moon and the stars when I applied for a dsl connection just like what they promised when I applied for a broadband then. I have a problem with my tvoution that I reported in that bangkal office and up to now more than a couple of weeks after still have not heard from them while I continue paying for that useless gadget. Same is true with lost dsl connection which sometimes last for days. Why do I have to report it? Don’t they have the capability of knowing that their subscribers have lost their connectivity and just adjust the billing automatically? Or do they do it on purpose so as to discourage us subscribers so we pay everything including those times lost due to lost connection? If SMC-Telstra ever comes I will dump PLDT immediately with the hope that SMC still does what it do best and that is customer service.

    1. 1. Scrap/revised the controversial Anti-cybercrime Law in our country.
      2. Eliminate 60/40 percent economic quota in our country so that multinational telco companies will invest here heavily, create more jobs in our country & having a fair competition.
      3. Political WILL and not ILL!!!
      4. Pass the FOI Bill and Internet Freedom Bill in our country!

    2. Ok… what’s the plan and what do we do. I have some ideas to share. That makes two of us, maybe three with the other commentor. Globe has 44/million customers, we need to hear from all of the discontented in an organize fashion…. Is WiFi satellite the answer? Is there a regional or global company who will give service at a reasonable price… Let’s work on this…

  13. At first I thought your first paragraph was sarcastic and you were just insulting Telstra. When I moved to Australia 3 years ago, I had this “que horror” moment with Telstra as I cannot believe that there data and bandwidth are actually capped, and there was no fibre technology available. What more, we have to forked out at $80 per month for what I could just describe as “crappy” service. It took them 3 freaking weeks to setup the internet. If you only have praises for Telstra, then surely you have never been to South Korea or Japan. By golly, now our apartment has NBN but the technology they are using is at least a decade behind Japan.

  14. Telstra knows what they are doing. It will be the Philippine companies and corrupt officials who will fall to TELSTRA ….not the other way around. You are in for a total change.

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