Cignal’s Replacement Channels

I’ve been a Cignal subscriber for 4 years now, we could not afford to have a smart TV because internet connectivity is a problem in our area. Effective October 1st, Cignal announced that the Walt Disney company will stop airing its channels. As a result, the following channels will no longer be shown in Cignal: Disney Junior, Disney Channel, FOX Movies, FOX Action Movies, FOX Life, FOX, FOX Sports, and FOX Sports 2.

I emailed their customer service to ask about the replacement channels and here they are: Lotus Macau, Tagalized Movie Channel, TAP TV, UAAP Varsity Channel, Dreamworks (Tagalized), Dreamworks (English), TAP Action, TAP Movies, Premier Sports, and Moonbug Kids.

I am not familiar with these channels so I took some time to research them.
Lotus Macau is a Mandarin and Cantonese-speaking channel so personally, this is out of my channel list unless I push through with learning Mandarin.
TAP TV’s current lists of the program are The Today Show, The Kelly Clarkson Show, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, The Voice UK, The Voice Kids UK, and Top Chef to name a few.
Dreamworks(Tagalized and English) offers animated kids’ series like Kung Fu Panda, Trolls, Boss Baby, and Dragons Race to the Edge.

TAP Action-Flix and TAP Movies will show Asian and Hollywood movies while Premier Sports is dedicated to sporting events.

Moonbug Kids is a kids’ entertainment channel.

I am not sure if the new channels are as good as the Walt Disney Channels so it is still premature of me to judge and decide what to do next. Assuming that they are not good, I think that the consumers would be shortchanged because the replacement channels did not meet our expectations. If the other good channels will follow Walt Disney’s business strategy, then there may come a time when the replacement channels will dominate the cable TV.

They say that TV would die soon and the rise of the internet as the medium of video entertainment is unstoppable. In a country where most of the areas have problematic internet connection and connectivity, we’re still far from facing this problem. On the other hand, the rise of digital entertainment can also mean that more jobs will be obsolete in the coming years.


The Unfriend Button

There are three reasons why I clicked the unfriend button last night:

  1. Unfamiliar names/usernames- Okay, I was lenient in accepting some friend request. In fact, there’s a 60% chance that if somebody sends me a friend request, I will accept that even if we’re not acquainted in real life. I give the person the benefit of the doubt and the chance to be friends. I have this assumption that if somebody frequently changes his username, then he must be trying to conceal his identity for malicious reasons.
  2. If my FB friend and I have not been in touch either online or offline for a minimum of six months. I would assume that his account is already inactive so I will give my page the favor of cleaning up some “unwanted” spaces. If we are no longer in touch offline for six months or more, I would assume that he has other interests in life and for me, that’s no big deal; I would let him go.
  3. If my friend has a second account that I accepted but failed to inform me about it, then I would unfriend because that could be a bogus account or an impostor. Trust me, there are a lot of bogus accounts on the net.


Smart Postpaid: Charged for Internet Usage That I Never Used

Why will I pay for something that I never used?

Why will I pay for something that I never used?

I am fuming mad at my February billing statement for my Smart Postpaid. Here is the whole story:

January 31- I used my mobile internet to send an email between 6:00 to 6:30 PM and between 8:30 to 9:00 PM.The internet connection at our area was poor so I needed to resend the email at 8:30 PM.

February 2- It’s always been my habit to check my running balance. My cut-off is every 26th of the month. Since I used the mobile internet twice on January 31st, I was expecting to have a running balance of PhP 20 but to my surprise, my running balance was alreadt PhP345! I called up the customer service and demanded an explanation why my running balance went up to that figure when I only used the mobile internet for a total of 1 hour. The customer service advised me to wait for the February billing statement to settle the dispute. So I would have to wait for another three weeks to find out what really happened.

February 3- I checked the running balance and it amounted to PhP 388! I called up the customer service again to report what was happening to my phone. She asked me if there’s any possibility that the data roaming service was not turned off. I told her that I knew my phone’s features and of course, I wouldn’t call if it was my fault to have left it turned on. Again, she advised me to wait for my billing statement.

February 4 to February 27- I religiously checked my running balance for any charges. I found out that my running balance for the February cut-off was not automatically set back to zero so I called up the customer service representative again to report it.

March 2- The running balance for the month of March was unbelievably high at PhP 800 when it was just the 3rd day after my cut-off. I called up the customer service again to ask why the running balance has not yet set back to zero. She advised me to have a balance inquiry every now and then to see if the system has corrected the error. It was finally corrected on March 3.

March 4- I received the copy of my February billing statement (see picture above) and I was surprised to be charged for 38 internet usages that I NEVER USED! That was from 9:00 PM of January 31st up to 5PM of February 1st. I called up the customer service to demand for an explanation. He advised me to wait within 15 working days for their technical team to investigate my case.


First off, I have internet at the office. Smart bro, Smart mobile internet and Globe Tattoo internet connection do not have a strong signal in my area so I prefer to use internet at the office whenever I need to send emails.

Second, I am NOT a Facebook addict and the last time that I opened my FB was last December 2012. C’mon, enough of the FB emo’s but that’s another topic.=p

Third, I KNOW how to use my phone. Before I purchased it, I asked my agent how to turn off the packet data to avoid unnecessary internet charges.

Fourth, I reported the incident on February 2nd. The balance inquiry on February 1st DID not reflect the supposed internet usage on January 31 and February 1.

Fifth, I wouldn’t BOTHER to call up SMART’s customer service representative to report something like this. I just hate the LOOOONG phone commercial before I finally get to talk with their customer service rep.

Sixth, three hundred plus pesos maybe a SMALL amount but if I will tolerate this, there is a possibility that this incident will recur in the future. Ano kayo, sinuswerte????? The reason why I got a plan 349 from Smart is because I want to practice frugality for 2012 onwards, ano!

Anyways, the last customer service representative that I talked to this morning was the most accomodating and the most sympathetic. She advised to me wait withing 15 working days for their technical team to investigate. I HOPE that their investigation would turn out to my favor. After all, what’s my fault if their system is erroneous or not working? That’s the reason why telecoms have Technical Team, ano! So that they will upgrade what needs to be upgrade and correct system errors that need to be corrected.

My officemate advised me to elevate my concern to the NTC (National Telecommunications Commission). Wag muna kako because it’s too early to judge Smart. Who knows, their Technical Team would find out that what I’m reporting for one month now is true—that Smart have system error!

To my fellow subscribers, don’t just pay once the bill has been delivered to you. Scrutinize the billing statement and yes, report any inconsistencies to the customer service representative. It’s your right as a consumer to be heard. =)

Hotmail’s Technical Difficulties

What the hell is wrong with Hotmail? For two months now, I can’t create new mails because of “technical difficulties.” I thought it was just the office server or connection but when I switched my connection to Globe Tattoo, the same message appeared when I tried to compose an email.

So far, my Gmail and Yahoo Mail are reliable although I don’t like the “conversation-type” of formatting that Gmail offers.

Free Internet Access

I live in a place where a landline is scarce (though the PLDT agent gave me some hope that maybe my application for a landline and an internet connection would be approved until February) so I use either Smart Bro or Globe Tattoo to connect to the net. Smart Bro used to be okay until 2009; I am not sure if it was the signal or the increasing number of Smart users that were blocking my connection off so in 2010, I switched to Globe Tattoo. So far so good; I hope Globe Tattoo won’t suck in the future.

My Globe Tattoo is prepaid and maybe I’ll switch to postpaid in case I become more net addicted. Lol! Yesterday afternoon, I tried their SUPERSURF50 which entitled me to 1-day unlimited surfing. I don’t download anything on the web so my unlimited surfing is maximized.

I read somewhere that it’s possible to hack Globe Tattoo to get a free internet access. Oh yes, consumers always like a good bargain, freebies and so on but hacking is another thing. Hacking for a free internet access is just like buying pirated DVD’s because you’re robbing off Globe of revenue from a prepaid load. If there would be 1,000 users who would hack Globe Tattoo, that would be 1,000 x the number of surfing hours x PhP 20 per hour that would be lessened from Globe’s prepaid income. And since we love to share what’s free, more and more users will use the (hack) code for a free internet access.

Domino effects of hacking Globe Tattoo (or Smart Bro/Sun Cellular)
1. Less taxes to be remitted to the government–>less income for the government—>less budget for telecommunications improvement project—> we’re behind again when it comes to new technologies.

2. Less income for Globe’s prepaid account—>less income for small e-loading stations—> kawawa naman maliliit na naglo-load lang!

3. Less income for Globe’s prepaid account–>less income for those selling prepaid cards–> less seller to sell prepaid cards—> Globe will downsize it’s prepaid card team—> Filipino din ang mawawalan ng trabaho. I don’t care if they’re just 50 or less people, my point is, a possible downsizing could happen.

4. Internet users will be more addicted to surfing. Not that it is bad if it will be used for a good cause like earning money online or researching but if it’s just to kill time, wag na lang!—->Because of the increased number of users, internet traffic will happen and people who are fairly buying a prepaid card or e-load will just be affected.

“There is no such thing as a free lunch!” Tayo lang ba ang may mentality ng libre-libre na yan?