Globelines landline phone problem: Calls I didn’t make

James Ryan Jonas

I’ve heard several stories in the past about people claiming that their landline company charged them for phone calls they did not make. I didn’t think it would happen to me, but in my first-ever Globelines billing statement, it did. Here is my story.

Globelines (now renamed “Globe Broadband”) is the exclusive internet service provider (ISP) — fortunately or unfortunately — of the Makati condo building where I am currently staying. Immediately after moving in around the middle of last month, I applied for Globelines’ P995 Landline + Broadband Bundle Package and eventually got the internet connection a week later.

Globelines’ annoyingly intermittent connection has been written in several blogs, including, for months now. First let me say that PLDT’s DSL connection (the one I’m using in the province) is not that great either. Both have internet connection that gets suddenly cut off at times, but Globelines is worse because the internet “dis-connection” happens to me almost every day.

Calling Customer Support only connects me to a staff who constantly reminds me that Globelines is currently undergoing “network restoration.” What that means, I don’t know. But that’s what they’ve kept telling me since I started contacting their Customer Support. They did offer me one tip, though. In cases of sudden disconnection, turn the modem off, restart the PC, then turn the modem on again. This apparently fetches a new IP address which brings back the internet connection. Cool. Works for me.

But that’s not the main story. Globelines last week sent me my first monthly billing. It contained the usual charges, no surprise there, but what piqued my interest were charges for 11 calls made to seven different cellphone numbers in a span of 30 minutes during one Sunday in July.

Let me repeat that. My bill included 11 completed calls — ranging from one to 10 minutes each — to seven cellphone numbers unknown to me, all done within 30 minutes. That meant one call every 2.7 minutes. Now, why would I do that? Why would I “play” with the phone just to call people with cellphone numbers that are unfamiliar to me?

Before someone starts saying it was me or someone else in the house who unwittingly made the calls, let me say that there are only two persons staying in the house and both of us were in the province the day the calls were made. In fact, we left the house a day prior to that and only came back three days later. I have my IP logs in the PMT Forum to prove it. All I can say is, it is impossible for us to make any of those 11 calls.

Earlier this week, I decided to visit the Globelines center at Park Square 2 in Glorietta to report the incident and was instructed to submit a formal letter of complaint. I drafted and submitted one yesterday. They told me they will initiate an investigation and I will just be contacted once they have finished it. When exactly? They don’t know, but it will be “after some weeks.”

I was also reminded that, regardless of the results of the investigation, the entire billed amount need to be paid prior to the due date; otherwise, the service may be terminated. Nice.

I’ll post an update about this should there be one, but for the meantime, I encourage you to carefully scan your billing statements to see if you were charged for calls you did not make.

Got a similar story? Post a comment below or drop by the Have you been charged by your phone company for calls you didn’t make? thread in the PinoyMoneyTalk Forum.

James Ryan Jonas teaches business management, investments, and entrepreneurship at the University of the Philippines (UP). He is also the Executive Director of UP Provident Fund Inc., managing and investing P3.2 Billion ($56.4 Million) worth of retirement funds on behalf of thousands of UP employees.