14 Aug2009


“Liar, liar, pants on fire” is a childhood taunt I used to hear while playing with friends or relatives at their homes or at the village park. I never realized (until I googled it a few minutes ago) that the phrase traces its roots back to this interesting poem entitled “The Liar” by William Blake, which of course is far more descriptive and eloquent.

Here is yet another infuriating example of a simple local service situation gone inexplicably wrong. And I can’t help but wonder if I am just getting older and more ornery or I am in fact witnessing what is tantamount to a national breakdown of values — with more and more folks from top to bottom lying their way (or trying to) out of everyday situations, refusing to be accountable and oblivious of the consequences of their actions? I know I shouldn’t generalize, and I am sure there are lots and lots of very honest upright folks out there, but I just seem to be running into more service situations where I am lied to, and when discovered, they don’t even seem think they’ve done anything wrong, or that a real apology or explanation is even necessary. And I am not picking on front-line service personnel; these days, I almost always try to go up to higher levels, often to company owners to get a proper explanation. Personally, I think the problem definitely starts at the top. Business owners, the buck stops with you, and if you condone these types of situations and behaviors, then it is indeed your fault. Why can’t businesses just apply this simple rule. “Do not lie to your customers.” Yes, it can be as simple as that.


In my most recent experience, I dropped off my “expanded” or “exploded” laptop battery At the Power Mac Center in Greenbelt on July 27th and was told it would be forwarded to a central repair center. I called the central repair center 3 days later, and Ms. “Fabulous” (not her real name) assured me they would escalate the matter to Singapore, and it would take a couple of days to get an answer. I called back 3 days later and she said they HAD escalated the matter and had received no response yet (first lie it turns out), she promised to call me back as soon as she heard (no call for 9 days, so poor service handling there, and lie #2 as well), then when I finally called her again 9 days later, or yesterday August 13, she said “they had just received an email the day BEFORE and the battery replacement was denied by Apple” (lie #3, as they had NOT YET EVEN SENT AN EMAIL to Singapore, some 15 days AFTER I dropped off the battery!!!). While they kept me on hold on the phone for 30 minutes, they ONLY THEN fired off a chat message to Singapore and they received their answer in minutes. Yes, it literally took them a few minutes to get an answer. But they sat on the battery for 15 days without doing anything! Then Ms. Fabulous continued with their lie that they got the notice the day before and while I didn’t know it at the time, I said okay and thought the issue was concluded and I would just live with it… But then I asked for a copy of the email response from Ms. Fabulous and she countered with “my boss says it is against company policy to release that”. I insisted on documentary proof of the serivce steps taken, and Ms. Fabulous got very defensive. And later still, after I insisted, she said her boss was in a meeting and maybe “gagawan nalang ng paraan” or he is trying to do something so you get a replacement battery even though Apple company policy states you are not entitled to one. I told her I didn’t want any special treatment, I just wanted proof of the email to Singapore and the slow answer 9 days later, and she said they would send a copy of the email. They did send a fax, but it was neither an email nor a summary of the service steps taken with dates, staff, etc.

I spent 45 minutes with Ms. Fabulous on the phone yesterday morning. Then I picked up the phone and called Apple (the manufacturer) in Singapore (but the call center was actually located in Manila!) and spoke with two service agents who at the end of some 60-70 minutes of discussing/holding still couldn’t help me out. I told them I just wanted to clear up when the email request was sent to them and when they responded; I requested copies of communications on my particular case number. To make a long story short, they called back a few hours later confirming what I already knew. Ms. Fabulous had told me a bold faced lie, several lies in fact. The Apple product specialists who handled battery inquiries had ONLY heard from Power Mac Center THAT morning, a full 15+ days after I dropped off the battery. And the Apple folks expressed frustration with Power Mac’s answers and readily admitted that Ms. Fabulous and others at Power Mac had apparently lied to me on several occasions and instances. Apple was stumbling all over themselves to offer me a replacement battery for free, but I declined, and Power Mac also tried to offer a free battery (after I told them they had been caught red handed lying) and I declined that as well. LYING in this manner to customers is just wrong. Anyone who thinks this is “normal” behavior is simply wrong. If Ms. Fabulous worked for me, she would be in deep caca. Power Mac staff had no pressing reason to lie to me. None. And when Apple customer service representatives asked me how they could make this right, I asked them to simply ask the Power Mac manager and Ms. Fabulous to write me a letter that explained why they had to lie about the status of my battery repair and include a sincere apology in the letter. I never received one. But they sure were quick to offer PHP15,000 worth of batteries! But couldn’t simply acknowledge their mistake in writing and apologize? Money/goods DOES NOT restore integrity and honesty. Shame on you, Fabulous, and shame on your boss that wasn’t able to guide you to complete this service situation in a reasonable manner. Don’t count on me buying any Apple products from your retail stores, and consider this fair warning to others who may use Power Mac Center for their Apple product servicing requirements.

I had originally written a very detailed timeline of calls and actual quotes of the conversations but I decided to delete it. The details were overwhelming. But trust me, you would be infuriated if like me, this truthful answer:

“Sorry Sir, for some reason, we have not yet escalated the matter to Apple, but I will do it now and call you within one hour with the response…”

would have been much, much better than this lie:

“Sir, we escalated the matter to Singapore last week and we only received an answer yesterday and Apple denied the request to replace your battery.” (All untrue or simply fabricated to cover up their lack of action to date).”


The next time, just tell the truth. Don’t leave a customer hanging for 15 days while you simply do nothing. And don’t deny a replacement for what was obviously a defective battery to begin with (just look at the photos for God’s sake!), but when you are taken to task for lying about the status of my replacement battery, suddenly, mysteriously, override what minutes earlier was “strict company policy on the replacement of exploded batteries,” and now bend over backwards trying to get me to accept freebies to make up for lies and the shoddy service provided. And don’t waste two hours of my time while you try to correct what is a rapidly deteriorating progression of lies. Just stick to the truth.

All photos taken by The Teen. :)

NOTE: Follow-up post with resolution here. For those who are interested.



  1. Desiree says:

    WoW. I doubt that would ever happen here in the US. My husband dropped his PowerBook and seriously cracked the LCD, brought in to one of the Mac stores and since the warranty didn’t cover the replacement we payed $400. It did however get replaced in less than 5 days.

    Aug 14, 2009 | 12:58 am


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  3. Franky says:

    Must have thought that it would be typical customer behaviour and dare I say, Filipino customer behaviour. I haven’t been overseas for long but there is a marked difference between customer service here (in Canada) and there (in the Philippines).

    You must remember the comedic literary gem that is the “pingpong paddle thing?”

    Aug 14, 2009 | 1:15 am

  4. Marichu says:

    Argh! This reminds me of an incident with K**** Airlines in Makati back in 2004 or 2005. I needed to change my departure date for an earlier flight and as I was in Ilocos Sur at the time, I called the Makati branch. They kept telling me to keep calling back because the connecting flight to my final destination had no open seats. My intended flight date was drawing nearer so I took matters into my own hands. I searched the internet and found open seats galore for that day. I traveled to Makati, stopped off at an internet cafe a mere 10 minutes before going into the branch office. I explained I needed a flight on such and such date and with a cursory look at the computer screen, was told there were no open seats. So I handed them the papers I printed out, and voila, I had tickets right then and there.

    Aug 14, 2009 | 2:21 am

  5. kate says:

    wow, this is really something! actually, i’ve heard of so many bad reviews regarding customer service over at power mac center… but i didn’t expect something like this. anyway, i hope things get sorted out. also, i think it is really amazing that you decided to get to the bottom of things and not take the easy way out by just ignoring it and accepting the freebies. keep us posted, MM :)

    Aug 14, 2009 | 2:40 am

  6. Grace says:

    Hi Mr. Marketman.. I have been folowing your blog for the longest time but this is the first that I posted a comment.. Did you know that Powermac could get stripped off their “Premium Reseller” status because of this? Customer service is really important to apply and they had maintained that all through out all their re sellers. Powermac shouldn’t have lied. Any customer shouldn’t have waited a long time for these kind of services.

    Aug 14, 2009 | 2:45 am

  7. Camille says:

    I think its just always been a typical Filipino ego thing… no offence.May konting position lang eh taas na ng lipad. Ive been overseas for 10yrs now and if you meet some Filipino here(NZ) in a company with a position,most of the time I find it very hard to deal with them or even talk to them.I mean they if they think about it, they should be working for you since youre the customer – theyre suppose to try to please you – atleast try to accomodate your needs (do their job basically).But instead they love to let you run around the circles.And they seem to enjoy it.
    Sad to say but its easier to make complaints to a different nationality people than some filipinos(of course not all). Im quite embarassed for them sometimes – Im a filipina too.

    Aug 14, 2009 | 3:00 am

  8. THELMA says:

    if ms. fabulous works for me and was caught lying to the
    customer, she would be fired right there. i have zero
    tolerance for someone who ignores their work at the
    mercy of the customer….

    Aug 14, 2009 | 3:05 am

  9. rudy says:

    it might be a generalisation, but i can’t help noticing that every subsequent trip to the Philippines, service in shops and eateries gradually gets worse. First trip 3 years ago – all smiles and out-of-their-way helpful. Second trip last October and April this year (pretty much same outlets I visited) – grouchy, uninterested staff in more than one place, even pricier places. I only recall getting lucky in Jollibee, where the staff once even helped to carry my tray because i had a huge backpack on. Wonder if its because of the reducing disposable income for most of these workers? After all, Manila IS expensive, even more than many cities in Malaysia!

    Aug 14, 2009 | 3:37 am

  10. Vanessa says:

    Marketman, I had the exact same problem with an Apple service center in Manila. It took me three weeks to receive a replacement for a defective power cord. They said they were waiting for Singapore to approve it. I don’t believe the actual defective item was sent to Singapore. All they needed to do was fire off one simple email.

    However, in Singapore, I managed to get a complete overhaul of my laptop – thanks to my wonderful, cannot-recommend-it-enough AppleCare warranty – within just five days. (They even gave me a new keyboard, just like that.) I went home with a huge smile on my face!

    Aug 14, 2009 | 4:35 am

  11. quiapo says:

    Good on you MM for following the incident through to make them accountable for bad behaviour. The whole scenario is so illogical I canot understand their response – it is easier to send an email, than to lie! It seems they have inconvenienced themselves to engage in immoral behaaviour, it doesn’t make sense.
    What is society coming to? Are we losing our core values? I see a callousness paralleled by the Le Cirque dinner.

    Aug 14, 2009 | 4:36 am

  12. Rona Y says:

    Would I be wrong to assume you were now a PC? :-)

    Aug 14, 2009 | 5:17 am

  13. z says:

    a similar incident happened to me when i asked for a defective phone to be replaced by Motorola (branch located in Robinson’s Galeria). bought the phone the day earlier, it was dead in less than 24hours, and because of store policies they couldn’t replace it outright.

    the customer service representative lied to our faces numerous times. we had to go back to Galeria on several occasions through out the week. i had to write letters/call the country managers of Motorola, and what does the franchise owners do? the “manager” emailed me and begged me to forgive the liar and not to get the woman fired because “may dalawang anak po siya”. WHAT KIND OF SERVICE IS THAT!? and as an end to the whole brouhaha, we had the new phone delivered by the customer representative who lied to us and stupid woman had the audacity to offer us a GOLDILOCKS CAKE. grabe!

    Aug 14, 2009 | 6:07 am

  14. ted says:

    @Rona Y, I think MM can still use the Mac, he just can’t be away from an AC power source.

    Aug 14, 2009 | 6:20 am

  15. denise says:

    having worked for a BPO…its so frustrating and disparaging to call local call centres or service centres for help, its like they were never trained to be customer-oriented…i would actually immediately ask for a supervisor..like for Globe or Meralco…thankfully we have an aunt who works for PLDT to never experience their more horrific call center “service”

    Aug 14, 2009 | 6:48 am

  16. Susan says:

    This is exactly how we felt when our Globe broadband at home was down. We kept calling Globe’s call center who gave us Job Order # after Job Order #. All we were requesting them to do is have a technician come to our house to check on the modem. To make a long story short and after almost 3 weeks of being disconnected with the world, it took only one technician to come over, check our modem, replace it and got us back online! I can relate to your frustration when being told “your case is being escalated blah blah blah”. This is what we got from Globe’s call center countless times when we followed up our case!

    Hope you get your Mac battery replaced soon.

    Aug 14, 2009 | 7:07 am

  17. Marketman says:

    Hi Everyone, I bought a new battery even before I had final resolution. I figured it was best to assume the WORST outcome and that’s exactly what happened. As for Power Mac, I am writing a scathing letter to them and to the Apple heirarchy in Asia and in their headquarters in California. Why? For the simple reason that I still love Mac the product, and until this incident, I always believed in their service, but the local provider stumbled big time on this simple issue.

    As for all of you who need simple Mac repairs, it takes MINUTES to get an answer according to Apple customer representatives. They send off case issues on CHAT and can get instantaneous responses from the product specialists. In this case, a common battery problem, there was absolutely no reason for a two week delay.

    I will say that I talked directly to four people on this issue, “Thon” at the Power Mac store in Makati, who was very helpful and explained everything I needed to know. Ms. Fabulous who was the key contact to the repair center, though I will say she was ALWAYS referring to others, so she was not alone in responding to this issue, and two folks at APPLE’s call center named “Dan” and “Angelo” who tried their best to make good on an impossible service situation. In the end, the customer serivce guy fully agreed with my take on matters and basically said “We too are frustrated with the answers that we are getting from Power Mac!”

    Around 1983 or so, I was at college and they had an “experimental lab” of new fangled computers, things called “Macintoshes” and it turns out it was a privelege to be using these computers that looked a bit like a small elongated upright television from a relatively new computer company called “Apple”. From then on, I always had a Mac. I was hooked. At one point in my career, I was hired to open and run a consulting office in a Southeast Asian city, and insisted it must use Macs so in one fell swoop I think I charged some 15 or so Macs on my personal credit card to get things started (I was later reimbursed). I loved our Macs. It was only at my last full-time employer, where I wsa forced to switch to a PC and remained on one for several year, until I again switched back to a Mac desktop some 4 years ago and a laptop 2 years ago…

    Aug 14, 2009 | 7:28 am

  18. Quillene says:

    Similar incident experienced here, MM. It seems based on the other comments on the blog today, there seems to be a “customer service indiference virus” circulating in the air.

    A few months ago, we sent an electric fan to the retailer’s service station at a certain mall to have the oscillator fixed. We were left hanging with waiting for the retailer to call us on the update of the service of the fan for about 2 weeks I think but was not even given the courtesy of being updated by the staff or manager of the retail outlet. Suffice it to say that when we got tired and irritated of waiting, we went back to the mall and found that the fan we left there was still there exactly as we left it.

    My mom was furious and as usual, the staff offered substandard solutions to appease our anger in the name of “good customer service” but since the fan was relatively new we insisted on a replacement with a new unit under conditions of the warranty. It was more irritating because they dilly-dallied and could not immediately make a decision on the matter and only consented to our demands “just to put an end to the situation”.

    Whatever happened really to decency, sincerity and true customer service? Are not managers trained to make management decisions really? All the finger pointing and delaying tactics in situations like this does not speak well of the companies that seem to be trained only in offering profuse apologies or the standard line that “it is not company policy” and refuse to really address customer service issues.

    Haaay…. mahal kong Pilipinas… talaga naman.

    Aug 14, 2009 | 7:38 am

  19. moni says:

    MM, my experience with HSBC in trying to get a replacement supplementary credit card for my son should go into your “Consumer Reports” file. My son misplaced his credit card and requested replacement in October 2008. Until today, 10 months later, we have not received his card. The rigodon of lies, ineptness and inefficiency is endless and I will go to the HSBC head office in Enterprise Bldg. in Makati on August 18 to talk to the head, for whatever it is worth. Each time I call, which is a long distance call for me, I get all kinds of replies from the HSBC call center agents who are based in Alabang. The reasons for non-delivery were always that their courier had delivered it and the card was received by the receptionist of my son’s residence. But the receptionists’s names given did not exist in Ayala Land’s roster of receptionists. Why would it take 10 months? My transaction cost to get a replacement supplementary card from HSBC is high considering that each call is a long distance call for me.

    Last week, when I asked for the contact details of the credit card department, I was given a wrong number. Since I’m relentless, I’m not giving up despite the call center agent’s promise to have my son’s card expedited. I just bought an air ticket for Manila just to see the head of the credit card department. I can’t get an appointment through the call center.

    When that seemed sorted out, I asked them what financial docs are needed to upgrade my credit card. Perhaps to mollify me, they said I didn’t need to show any financial documents as my credit limit was within the range for that card. I insisted that I can give them a copy of my recent notice of salary increase. No docs needed period. The agent noted that my new card will take 7 days of processing. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it won’t take 10 months to receive it, as in the case of my son’s replacement card.

    Aug 14, 2009 | 7:45 am

  20. peachybrets says:

    Marketman, it’s after sales service in general that i complain about here. It hasn’t happened to me yet at Power Mac (maybe now I won’t experience it because of your blog about them) but it has happened to me with 2 other official local Mac distributors that’s actually why I switched to Power Mac, and countless other service centers of brand appliances.

    Really, for any customer service center, the best way is to just be transparent and direct with their customers. But what usually happens is that they would rather point fingers at others for the delay, etc, like what happened to you. In this digital day and age, they should realize that it’s very easy to research and verify anything and everything at the click of a finger. Ika nga, pati karma digital na. And your blog entry on Power Mac (and also Marco Polo HK) is proof of it all!

    Aug 14, 2009 | 8:09 am

  21. paolo says:

    great shot of the smashed “Apple” MarketMan!

    Aug 14, 2009 | 8:22 am

  22. michelle o says:

    Talk about lousy customer service.

    Aug 14, 2009 | 8:39 am

  23. chinachix says:


    Aug 14, 2009 | 8:42 am

  24. Commoner says:

    Apple portable devices with their exploding batteries and the way that Apple customer service reacts to them has earned quite a bit of notoriety recently. There are even cases where people have suffered serious burn injuries when the devices blow up in people’s pockets and sets their clothes on fire.

    The two news articles below are typcial examples :



    Aug 14, 2009 | 8:54 am

  25. Commoner says:

    Here’s a more detailed version of the first article as well. In case you guys are interested.


    Aug 14, 2009 | 8:57 am

  26. dragon says:

    It’s unfortunate for you to have experienced this and I commend you for having that patience (somewhat ;-)). I wouldn’t have waited that long–I would have gone to speak to the higher up (if I didn’t know G) or done what you did: get a new battery. I no longer have the patience nor tolerate inefficiency and stupidity and yes, something to do with getting older (we’re the same age, remember).

    I had an unfortunate episode with PowerMac the first time but was lucky enough to have stumbled upon G whom I only speak to…very reliable, efficient and knowledgeable.

    I’ve encountered a few unfortunate episodes here in Melbourne as well.

    1. my ISP service. Believe it or not, it’s a telecom monopoly here (Telstra) and they pretty much own the physical network structure. Where I live is a new development/subdivision about 45 minutes north of Melbourne. While I have a phone line, I can’t be provided with a regular DSL/Broadband service, which I need to set the wifi up in the house for 3 users, because there are no ports available at the exchange. One year I’ve been waiting. Whereas I can readily avail of it in Manila, Kolkota or Bangkok. So I have wireless broadband. One day, I couldn’t connect; called help service (Manila based). Case was elevated to technical, then to higher level. I was told (after paying and availing of their service for a year) that they DO NOT provide service and there are no signals in the area of my residence. I asked them then to explain how they can be taking my money if they couldn’t provide service in the first place (because there is signal stupid!). I’m still waiting for a reply; in the meantime, I just trouble shot the problem.

    2. HP Printer. I got a $1200 printer from New Caledonia, French territory. Moved to Australia, cartridges are not compatible. They replaced it with OZ version (a used new printer–didn’t really care as all I needed was a functioning printer, not necessarily new one). Within 3 months, they’ve sent 3 other replacements that broke down after a day of delivery. I spoke to call center (Manila based) and suggested, to save you money on shipping, etc. send me a voucher for the same/equivalent printer and I will buy a brand new one from the shop. They said it will take 3 weeks for the request to be processed. 6 weeks later, I got so pissed off, I wrote a “historical” letter lamenting customer service and emailed it to all top management here in Australia, cc’d the CEO in the US. Within the hour, everyone was calling me to rectify the problem. They replaced my printer with a really brand new one this time.

    Revenge can be sweet…

    Aug 14, 2009 | 9:05 am

  27. Richard says:

    Dear MM, i know one of the owners of Power Mac personally and had inform him of this incident (in case this was “cover up” and the top management never knew/heard about it) he promise to look into it.. regards..

    Aug 14, 2009 | 9:38 am

  28. moni says:

    MM, my son is a Mac user too and he says that there is a dedicated thread in the Philippine Macintosh Users Group (Philmug) about the bad service of PowerMac

    The Philmug people have been going to Digital Walker coz those in the PowerMac, especially those in Greenbelt, are always clueless. See:

    Aug 14, 2009 | 9:53 am

  29. joyce says:

    sounds like my bad experience with PLDT dsl, when they only decided to repair our line after 2 weeks worth of regular calls to both their customer service center and service repair department.

    Aug 14, 2009 | 9:54 am

  30. Nats Lee says:

    Hi MM!

    Guess what, you’re not alone! I often find myself in similar situations too! From disinterested saleslady, impolite front desk officers to overlazy and slow customer service representatives!

    I have an iMAC which took more than two weeks for my Apple supplier to replace the LCD, I called their 1-800 number almost everyday to follow up the approval of the replacement and my calls were also transferred gazillion times from India, to Singapore to the States! But, in the end, my patience, persistence and insistence paid off! They replaced the out of warranty LCD for free! =)

    I do understand where you are coming from! =)

    Aug 14, 2009 | 9:55 am

  31. Riza Arellano says:

    The Apex of Moronia!! One would think it would be common sense for businesses not to lie to customers. What’s next explicity telling employees not to spit on the customers too–I probably shouldn’t mock that rule because some ignoramus at Joe Schmo and Company might try that next.
    I don’t think poor customer service is indicative to just the Philippines but here in the U.S. too, but at least employees in the U.S. aren’t so transparent. I think schools in the Philippines should start teaching children compulsory business classes, instead of useless classes like NSTP.

    Aug 14, 2009 | 9:56 am

  32. Adam says:

    Reading this makes me grit my teeth and say ‘I know, I know’. Honestly I think the problem always comes down from above – customer facing staff often appear to be told to prevaricate, fib or even lie (as your story) when faced with potentially difficult or embarrasing situations. This seems to be because Managers have a buffer zone created by their (lesser paid) staff and therefore do not have to meet the disgruntled customer unless literally forced to do so.

    In my very recent experience the worst offenders are Cebu Pacific. Oh, and PLDT but don’t start me off on that….!

    Aug 14, 2009 | 9:56 am

  33. cumin says:

    I can feel for you, MM. Sure, there are some exceptions, but for many companies it seems honesty and customer service are dead. Or even just plain listening skills. Which horror story should I share? There are too many of them! Here are two:

    a. Sun Broadband. Promised to activate within 24 hours, just watch out for the blue light and you’re on, they said. 22 hours later, blue light ok but still not activated so I went back to the shop. The blue light has nothing to do with it, a new staff said. And you have to wait two more hours, he added. Ah, AFTER 24 hours pala. All staff had promised me a speed of 2mbps but after I was able to log on, why was it taking me forever to read my mail? During peak hours of 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. it’s slow, maybe only 800kbps, the staff admitted, try after 9 p.m. na lang, maybe by then the speed will be 2mbps.

    b. Months ago, I called Bayantel to have my phone disconnected. After being put on hold for several minutes, I was relieved to finally speak to a customer service staff and quickly said, I’ve going overseas for several months so I want the phone disconnected. Ay bakit naman, ma’am, the guy wailed in pang-Hollywood voice. Were you listening, I’ve just told you I’m going away, I said. Hurt, he hang up on me. As in! Eh di I called again, was connected to another staff who said that as the phone is in my landlord’s name, he’d have to fill up a request form and submit a letter of request. But if he’s already completing a form, why does he need to submit a letter of request, I asked. That’s the policy, he said. I tried to argue that it was unnecessary and a waste of time, ok, by then I had raised by voice and the staff did it again: he hang up on me!

    Ewan na lang!

    Aug 14, 2009 | 10:00 am

  34. Cheryl says:

    My family and I moved to the Philippines about 2 years ago, one of the most frustrating things here is as, Richard says “filipino customer behaviour”! You walk in any store and they flock to you for a sale; you ask for an item in “black” they say we have it and they come out holding it in “white”! The worse is when you raise you make a complaint to a sales person and they just smile and thank-you, then you take the complaint to the manager and they just smile and thank-you….OMG it is so frustrating! As a customer all we want is acknowledgement and responsibility for the error!

    Aug 14, 2009 | 10:00 am

  35. millet says:

    that was one fabulous liar! it is a serious offense and i believe it needs to be escalated all the way up the apple hierarchy. outright, barefaced lying, plain and simple.

    Aug 14, 2009 | 10:10 am

  36. zena says:

    Ms.Fabulous should be fired. If people truly want to keep their jobs, children notwithstanding, they should fulfill it to the best of their abilities. The thing with filipinos is lusot kung makakalusot then pag nahuli, pa-dyahe effect. Parang jeepney driver, singit ng singit, bira ng bira; baka naka dali, paumanhin daw at walang pangbayad kasi jeepney driver lang.

    Z, I would’ve smashed the Goldilocks cake onto her face after she lied. I don’t always take the high road.

    Aug 14, 2009 | 10:13 am

  37. esquire says:

    Had the same awful experience with PowerMac Greenbelt. I brought my 18-month old Macbook because of the dreaded “X” in the battery icon which says battery is dead. They said I wasn’t qualified for the battery replacement program so I bought a new battery (and even threw in a wireless mighty mouse). No written report on their recommendation to get new battery.

    After putting it in, the battery still wasn’t charging. I foresaw that they would deny they asked me to get a new battery since I had no written report. So I had it checked again (with old battery installed) so that they would tell me to replace the battery. True enough, that’s what they recommended. I whipped out the new battery and asked them to try it — still no charge. After that they said that the logic board needs to be replaced and that nothing was wrong with battery! I demanded a refund of the cost of the battery and they couldn’t refuse.

    Since my Macbook was out of warranty (new to Mac–didn’t know about extended warranty!) they could’t replace my logicboard. I was able to use for a few more weeks with the adaptor but eventually became just an expensive paperweight. Weird thing is, after about 5 months of non-use, I decided to try to turn it on and it worked — battery was charging and all. Only thing that didn’t work was ethernet cable port. Could it be that PowerMac made a wrong diagnosis?! But where else can I take it?

    Aug 14, 2009 | 10:17 am

  38. bluegirl says:

    From my experience, workers/employees/people who lie tend to lie to everyone…. the customer, their supervisors, to top management. Even when caught red-handed, they would only deny, lie, or accuse someone else — and that is even with proof. So I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple upper management is unaware of this incident.

    The only way to stop the lying is to not to hire and to fire liars.

    As an employer, I find it so frustrating how lying is becoming much more commonplace with each passing decade. On the other hand, maybe I’ve just become better at spotting it.

    I recall one employee who we caught lying for no rational reason.

    Here’s what happened: His work contract had ended and he did not want to renew. The parting was amicable and his record was clean. Yet, when he left we found out he gave varying reasons for leaving….

    To company mgt : he was going home to take care of his only daughter.

    To his supervisor : he was going to find work in Dubai and be with his wife.

    To a friend : he was going to Macau.

    Strange thing is, he volunteered the information. It was not asked.

    I think it’s a reflection of how fast core values are eroding. Values like honesty, integrity, delicadeza, palabra de honor, gratitude, teamwork are increasingly harder to find.

    Aug 14, 2009 | 10:23 am

  39. Cris Jose says:

    .. and there goes the “STAMP OF DISAPPROVAL”… lol… hope these people get their just desserts….

    Aug 14, 2009 | 10:27 am

  40. Joey Pacheco says:

    A lot employees and (unfortunately) employers seem to be unaware of the 5 Cs of Service:
    1. Concern
    2. Competence
    3. Commitment
    4. Continuous Improvement
    5. CANDOR

    I teach customer service and often get frustrated when provided mediocre service. I would sometimes just sigh and take it and tell myself that the service provider is giving me a free lesson on patience. Oftentimes, I tell them off and give THEM a FREE lecture on SERVICE.

    Aug 14, 2009 | 10:44 am

  41. Arie says:

    That’s the main complaint of customers that deal with companies that have their call centers in India and the Philippines. The quality of service has really gone down. Most airlines have brought back call center operations to the U.S. Somewhere down the line they have forgotten who the customer is and the sense of urgency to get the problem resolved.

    Aug 14, 2009 | 10:55 am

  42. Joni says:

    Wow, that sucks…

    Management should be more hands on with their stores’ activities because of complaints like this. I heard there was a reseller in the Phils who got stripped off of their “Premium Reseller” privileges because of a customer complaint (was it Ynzal?). Sucks to be them.

    My macbook’s top case had cracks on it (a known problem of white macbooks), and I had it replaced last Feb. here in Singapore.

    I called Apple’s call center first, and I narrated my macbook’s problems. The guy on the line was patient enough to listen. He told me my warranty status, and what my next steps should be. I asked him how long it will take to replace the top case. He told me around 2 weeks, give or take. I asked him why. He said that, aside from the queue, the service center in SG is also waiting for supplies of the top case. I said OK.

    The next day, I went to one of the biggest premium resellers in Orchard and had my macbook looked at. The Pinay manning the counter was also very helpful. I asked her how long it will take to get the top case fixed. She said around two weeks. I asked her why, she said that they’re going to be sending it to the service center, and from there, there will still be a short queue and they’re also waiting for supplies for my macbook’s top case. I said OK, but I didn’t leave my macbook because I remember I still had to back up the files.

    The day after that, I went to an authorised service provider in Funan. Had my macbook looked at. Asked the lady the same questions, got the same answers. The lady just noted down the macbook’s condition, and gave me a receipt. I asked her for a photocopy of the paper where she wrote down the macbook’s condition. And she gladly obliged. And then I said goodbye to my macbook. (The lady was giggling at me when I did this)

    After less than two weeks, I got a call from the service provider that my macbook is ready for pick-up.

    When I got my macbook back, it was as if I got a new macbook. They cleaned it. Replaced the top case. Fixed that tiny bit of misalignment that i caused (but forgot to point out, it was my sister who noticed that the misalignment disappeared).

    And guess what, I didn’t pay a single cent.

    This is what service should be. :)

    Really sorry for the crappy service you got MM.

    PS: I don’t think bad service has anything to do with anyone’s nationality nor does it have anything to do with their geographic location. Anybody who does not take pride in their work often ends up giving the worst kind of service.

    Aug 14, 2009 | 11:12 am

  43. Juan Miguel Rodriguez says:

    I had the same issue with Intel (the brand that manufactures the famed intel processors and motherboards)

    Since I’m under NDA (non-disclosure agreement) from the BBB (better business bureau based in the US) and intel, let me just give you a rundown of what happened

    It all started when my motherboard (the big thing inside your computer that controls everything) started acting funny.

    After calling Intel Customer Support, the technical engineers advised me to send the motherboard to their depot facility in Penang, Malaysia for further diagnosis and replacement

    A prepaid Fedex International Airwaybill was sent to me 2 days after, and I sent the motherboard back to Penang.

    While the motherboard was in Penang, I called Intel customer support, and was handled promptly telling me that the motherboard arrived safe and is already with them and it will take another day or two to send the motherboard back. They said they will call when the replacement motherboard is on its way back to Manila

    a few days later, I did not get any phone calls but I got an email telling me that my warranty is void because there’s physical damage on the motherboard, and is sending back the motherboard in such condition.

    anyway, to cut it short (and to comply with the NDA) this is what happened next

    UPDATE – A Twist in my favor

    I got a breakthrough from an unlikely ally in the US – the BBB (Better Business Bureau)

    1. I filed a formal complaint against Intel (Intel Customer Support) through the BBB via its online website (www.bbb.org)

    2. BBB reviewed my formal complaint (also sent the pictures of my board [before and after the incident] and correspondence [to and fro Intel ICS]) and forwarded the complaint to Intel Customer Support Department in Sta. Clara, CA.

    3. In the formal complaint, I demanded to get a replacement board (a similar DP35DP motherboard) AND to implicate those agents in Intel ICS Manila for NOT documenting the initial call of one of their agents when she told me that the board has arrived safely without incidents and is NOT in anyway damaged.

    4. Just after 5 days I GOT A FEEDBACK from the head of Intel Customer Support by the name of Lynette Caubin. She told me she would look deeper into the incident

    5. I got another email from Lynette Caubin – this time, she has a proposal and an attached NDA (non-disclosure agreement)

    6. All I need to do is fax and mail the signed NDA and they will take back the damaged intel motherboard, and they will replace it with a working and fully functional DP35DP motherboard.

    7. I’ve faxed and mailed the required documents to the US

    8. I got a call from a team lead from Intel CS Manila (Ironic she is the same person that I’ve spoken to before regarding this matter and was adamnant in replacing the board and even insinuated I was the one who damaged it) telling me that to keep the business with me they’re sending me a replacement board and that should be the end of the issue for everyone.

    9. I got the email from Intel Penang that they’ve sent me the prepaid Airway Bill yesterday via FedEx

    10. The Prepaid Airway Bill arrived in Manila today (april 17), and ill be sending the damage and defective motherboard again to Penang MY, and hopefully, I’ll get an unmolested and very much functional replacement DP35DP motherboard.

    11. The replacement motherboard arrived today (April 24) from Penang, MY. via Fedex.

    Again, thanks to BBB.

    so guys .. if you NEED to send anything for warranty purposes, TAKE PICTURES of your beloved gadget or electronic / computer component before sending it away for repair / replacement so you have an assurance you were not ‘conned’ somewhere between the supply chain and be a victim.

    Aug 14, 2009 | 1:14 pm

  44. myra_p says:

    Too bad there isn’t a legit Genuis Bar here in the Phils. I absolutely love the service when I’m in the US, and those super-geeks have always given me the best advice.

    I’ve had a shuffle and iPod immediately replaced once defects were detected. Once, a minor diagnosis on my laptop. No over-selling, no complicated stories, and best of all, no pile of forms with 5 layers of carbon paper.

    Aug 14, 2009 | 1:17 pm

  45. Jenny says:

    wow MM! what an experience!! I think there is another authorized service center in the Phils – in Ocean Park. My husband’s Imac’s DVD drive got broken. He went to PowerMac in MoA and asked how long the repair would take. He was informed that the repairs, etc. will take 3 weeks since PowerMac will still order the parts from Singapore. And he had to leave his imac with PowerMac. My husband is a photographer and the IMAC is his workhorse. So there was no way that he could leave it that long. He was able to go to this other service center in Ocean Park complex. The guys there looked at his IMAC, took out the broken DVD drive, taped up the open space and told him that he could bring home his IMAC. They will just call him when the replacement drive is at the service center and he will just bring back his IMAC there. And this is all under AppleCare. My husband was really happy. I don’t think the service center in Manila Ocean Park is affiliated with PowerMac. — then again, I could be wrong.

    Aug 14, 2009 | 1:30 pm

  46. Kevin V says:

    I have long wanted to complain about the Philippines rep of Apple and send a letter to Apple HQ asking them to review their services and agreements. Since the opening of the Online Apple Store I feel the service is even degrading more. The employees are at worse arrogant or at best ignorant (I’m sorry for the words, but I am always so frustrated with them.)
    The managers always hide behind processes and internal rules.
    And YES they have that tendency to BY PRINCIPLE LIE!!!
    Lets unite and get a REAL APPLE STORE at Greenbelt 5!

    Aug 14, 2009 | 1:38 pm

  47. Ted says:

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    Aug 14, 2009 | 2:06 pm

  48. marcial bonifacio says:

    thank you Mr. Marketman for showing those people that MONEY isnt everything. there still a man who believes in MORAL VALUES, HONESTY, in particular, hopefully, its a learning experience for all concerned. MABUHAY KA, MR. MARKETMAN.

    Aug 14, 2009 | 2:06 pm

  49. ycae says:

    I’m not surprised. Consumerism is literally unheard of here.

    Basically, all customers are at the mercy of the sellers, including all sorts of substandard, agreement violating & snobbish treatments.

    We condone it, like it or not. There is no law or body governing this. Or perhaps lack of it.

    Aug 14, 2009 | 2:14 pm

  50. Batangueno says:

    Bakit po ‘Ms. Fabulous’ ang tawag n’yo sa kanya matapos kayong lapastanganin?

    Sana naman ay hindi kayo mag-switch sa PC/Windows. Ako man ay matagal naring gumagamit niyang Mansanas na computer – simula pa noong 1988.

    Aug 14, 2009 | 3:30 pm

  51. royalflare says:

    Wow, and I always have high regard for Apple. It’s sad that they get disgraced with resellers whose employees don’t value the name the company has tirelessly built. If I was Ms. Fabulous manager, I’d be inclined to fire her if she can’t produce a reasonable argument to me why she lied. Good for you MM for writing this article and warning the mass majority of Apple lovers who buys from Power Mac.

    Aug 14, 2009 | 3:37 pm

  52. sanojmd says:

    i don’t get it MM. why do they have to lie? why is it so difficult for them to escalate this problem since apple management are very much aware of this battery problem? i admire your patience that you went all the way contacting the higher up about this.. a lot of filipinos would just complain about customer service problem but won’t do anything about it. kudos to you that you also didn’t accept their offer.. thanks MM.. keep us updated.. cheers!

    Aug 14, 2009 | 4:01 pm

  53. SirEdge says:

    Hey MM, I’m unlurking here.

    I’ve had many bad experiences with PowerMac, but since they’re the only ones near work, I deal with them instead.

    My MacBook Pro’s out of warranty, so when the screen died last November, I panicked. PowerMac Center said that it may be a logic board problem and that there was a recall at some point, but they weren’t sure if my Mac was part of that program.

    The same thing happened. No calls from them, not following up and not living up to their initial timetables.

    The result was that my Mac wasn’t part of the recall. Bummer. Only to recheck it, and say that they could replace the logic board for free.

    On the day I was supposed to get back my laptop, they said that there was something wrong. My hard disk died, and that I needed to buy a new one. Naturally, their hard drives cost twice or thrice the amount.

    I argued that I didn’t have to buy a new one since they broke it. They said data could be lost during repair. To which I replied that I understand if software or data is destroyed, but not hardware. So they replaced my hard disk. I wanted to keep my old one. They said its pointless since they did everything to get it back. I did not relent, and they let me keep my old drive.

    All should be well, until my trackpad stopped working. Turns out my battery was bloated, and needed to be replaced.

    Again, out of warranty, I pointed out that I had no problems with battery or battery life prior to the repairs. They advised me to call up Apple to ask for an exemption from the warranty rule. I did, and got my new battery.

    The cherry on top is that a few months later, I finally got around to trying to revive my files from my dead drive. I bought a P200 hard drive enclosure from CD-R King. I put it together.

    And it worked. It just worked. It wasn’t dead at all.

    So yeah, PowerMac Center people might be liars, but I got about $800 worth of repairs out of it for free. Without AppleCare.

    I guess when dealing with these kinds of people, just make sure you really know what you want out of the situation.

    Aug 14, 2009 | 4:03 pm

  54. Marketman says:

    Ms. “Fabulous” is appropriate if you knew her real name…

    Aug 14, 2009 | 4:31 pm

  55. Stan says:


    For what it’s worth, I suggest you write Apple formally and tell them about this incident. I think it it Apple Singapore that handles the Philippine market. I do know that Apple imposes sanctions on dealers/resellers like these.

    Aug 14, 2009 | 5:12 pm

  56. currystrumpet says:

    wow. the same thing happened to me here in singapore with the apple store/official service provider that used to be located in cathay cineleisure on orchard road. it was with a replacement for a damaged casing that was still under warranty. it was over a year ago, so i forget most of the details, but basically the staff lied to me as well about the response of apple care to my request for replacement. this flunky also fudged the timeline, same as in your case.

    the worst thing was that they were also caught lying to the people this matter was escalated to… apple care higher-ups based in australia. we had an very tense and irate three way call between the staff member, myself and customer service in aus where the flunky in question was found out to have lied. the aussie apple care lady could hardly believe it.

    anyway what goes around comes around, and that store is shutting down. or has already shut down.

    i really don’t understand why they have to lie.

    Aug 14, 2009 | 5:59 pm

  57. Joy Dominguez says:

    i am with you!

    Aug 14, 2009 | 6:19 pm

  58. annb says:

    hi, could you please focus on food and travel and leave the ranting at home? too many rants on this site already.. this site was made for the pleasures of food and travel, yes?

    anyway, there are other blogs, sites, newspapers, phone lines, friends and relatives to share your or our complaints/rants with. i don’t think marketmanila.com is an appropriate venue.

    Aug 14, 2009 | 6:25 pm

  59. Adam says:

    Hello annb and welcome! You may have missed the point somewhere……

    Aug 14, 2009 | 6:54 pm

  60. jay p says:

    ugh i know how you feel MarketMan reminds me of the m0r0ns at ford global city.

    i got so fed up with their idiocy that i told them i wanted to get my company car form another branch and not from them. i put it in writing which put them in deep sh*t as well.

    after chasing after them for so long they were chasing after me, offering me discounts, discounts discounts… WTF don’t throw money at me. its not about the money. its about you guys dropping the ball. stop bribing me to make it all better. it just pisses me off even more!

    /end rant

    ok back to food please :) anyone know what a good brand of thai fish sauce is and where I can get it locally? hehehee. yum :)

    Aug 14, 2009 | 7:00 pm

  61. kitongzki says:

    Haha, same thing happened to me with Smart Bro. They had to deactivate my internet connection even if I already paid my bill. Apparently, the main reason is that I wasn’t able to pay in full, I have a balance of a staggering 50 PHILIPPINE PESO. Alright, seems like my fault, but the thing is, I have not been receiving my bill for a couple months and I don’t really now how much I owe them.

    So here’s what I did. I called Smart Bro’s customer service and I inquired why I don’t have connection. The person who took the call informed me about the 50 peso balance. I told her that I already paid 2k for it and that they can simply carry over the remaining balance to the next bill, the agent said that it is not possible. I had to pay for it first before they can reactivate my connection. I told the agent to give me at least an hour of window, let me connect to the internet so I can pay for it right away even while I have her on the line. She placed me on hold since she needs to seek permission from somebody regarding my request. When she got back, she still said it is not possible. I asked for a supervisor or anybody who can temporarily activate my connection so I can pay online. She said that there’s no supervisor who can take my call but I doubt that she even looked for one. But she then told me that she forwarded a ticket to their “support group” so that they can reactivate my connection for 24 hours so I can pay for it. She told me that it would only take around a few minutes to an hour for the connection to be back up.

    I waited until 2am. When I woke up later that day, I still don’t have internet connection. I called their customer service again and I was told that it would take 24 hours for the connection to be back up. I told the person who took my call that the person I talked to last night told me it would only take a few minutes to an hour. Again, I asked for a supervisor. Got the same thing, no supervisor who can take my call. I told her that I will stay on the line until a supervisor can take my call. She placed me on hold and when she got back, she told me that there is a problem with their phone lines and that she can’t transfer me directly so I told her to have her supervisor get in touch with me on my mobile phone while I have her on my landline. After a few minutes, the supervisor called me up.

    I had to calm myself down and told the supervisor what exactly went down while I was talking to their agents. She told me she’ll have my connection back in an hour. I told her to give me a callback every thirty minutes to give me an update as to what’s happening. She agreed that they just carry-over my balance to my next bill. I also raised my concern about the bill not being delivered. I also filed a complaint about the first agent who talked to me and promised me that my connection will be back in an hour. I specifically asked that the first agent who talked to me be reprimanded big time for all the lies she told me.

    The supervisor did give me callback and informed me that my connection should be back up, when I checked on it, it’s indeed back up. That’s the time I told her that I am also working in call center and I know exactly what’s going down.

    Oh, did I mention that those people from Smart Bro doesn’t even give out their names. I also pointed that out because it should be part of their opening spiel. Anyway, I got my connection back. I asked the supervisor to send me an update email as t what they did with the agent I talked to but I never received one. I just hope I don’t have to deal with them again. lol…

    Aug 14, 2009 | 8:16 pm

  62. onewithyou says:

    oh my God! this is horrible! please forward this to steve jobs. and fire that girl!!! what a b*tch!! to tell you the truth, even though im kinda related to the powermac owner in the philippines.. i dont know him but yep we are related but i dont use my connections. i know that powermac here isnt the most efficient. and i have this sales person who handled my STUDENT-discounted macbook. my gosh when i said id think about it he didnt contact me anymore! lol but when i called after 2 weeks to order one. grabe! super mukhang pera lol he contacted me a minute after i texted him! woooow! he called me everyday! then after i had confirmed my order.. guess what!!!! no phone calls anymore! “where the hell are our ordersssss (imac and a macbook)??” so i decided to use my powers and call gb3 branch and i said.. that i was related to the owner. lol after that they processed everything so quickly! just like that!
    …after 3 months my macbook had these black spots i dont know if they are called “burns” or something but its because of overheating and everything and the sides of my macbook were “umaakyat” dont know why. then i complained to him i said replace my unit. he said he would contact me asap. oh God.. he didn’t!!! i was sooooooooooooooooo pissed!!!! i didnt use my “powers” anymore! im not that kind of person! and so it still has those spots right now! OMG I HATE THEM!!!

    Aug 14, 2009 | 8:43 pm

  63. Mimi says:

    almost 20 pages of powermac center complaints…


    fact is.. of all the the autherized repair centers, powermac is the the worst.

    Aug 14, 2009 | 9:26 pm

  64. silly lolo says:

    You hit it right on the head, MM…you are getting old and ornery! But that’s cool because then you can give them hell! Give them all kinds of hell. Make sure you become their worst nightmare! That’s what I do and it feels sooo good!

    Aug 14, 2009 | 9:35 pm

  65. Squared says:

    I worked for a Tech Support in the past, and here is what I can tell you about why they lie.
    Let’s say on the author’s case, they told the truth on not having escalated the problem to Apple. A calm person would usually understand that there was some fault or negligence that has happened and will just make sure that the matter is escalated. Unfortunately, not all customer are calm. Upon hearing the bad news, the usual customer would rant and ask for the President of the company (and other impossible demands). The agent who told the truth would then have no choice but to forward the call to his supervisor. And while the supervisor might be able to calm the customer, that agent would be placed for coaching as he was not able to “handle” the call properly.
    I assure you, most tech supports feel bad when they lie to you on the status of your request.
    Oh and to people who says that Filipinos are bad with customer service and Canadian service centers are great, well, that is a case-to-case basis. The service center of the laptop company that I serve with would do everything they can to squeeze money from the customer. And that service center is in Canada. Believe me, I’ve called several service center in Canada to coordinate the customer’s problem and they’re just bad. They don’t even know how to handle a lot of warranty service procedure.

    Aug 14, 2009 | 10:38 pm

  66. Marketman says:

    annb, there are nearly 2,300 posts in the archives of marketmanila.com, spread out over nearly five years. Less than 5% are non-food related, and perhaps less than 3% are service rant related. If you read my “About” page, written 5 years ago, it outlined that I would include service issues and have always had a category for rants. And because of my work background, service issues are close to my heart. So frankly, you can take your two centavos worth of unsolicited advice and find another food blog to visit as this is a free site and you may read or choose NOT to read what is on it. If you don’t like the content, go elsewhere. Reading this blog doesn’t cost you a single frigging centavo, nor are you subjected to advertisements of any sort. And any information you glean from this, whether produce or ingredient related, a recipe or anything else, came to you with nary more than a few clicks of your own lazy finger(s). Frankly, you have some bloody nerve telling me what to write on my own blog.

    Think of it another way, with 2,000 plus posts on food with just a couple of hours spent on each, writing, testing, researching, correcting, answering comments, emails etc, that is at a minimum 4-5,000 man hours I have voluntarily put into this blog for no personal gain whatsoever, and that is the equivalent of 2-2.5 total man years in invested time so far which has probably been visited by tens of thousands of readers logging in to some 15+million page views. They may not all appreciate it, but they don’t often tell me what NOT to write about. So yes, I feel strongly about my own blog, and my right to write whatever I feel like writing about.

    I notice that the first time you made a comment on this blog was in February of 2009 (though you could have lurked before that), so what I suggest is that if you are bored and looking for food posts, simply go back into the archives and read the 1,500 other food related posts that you probably haven’t thought to read instead of presuming to tell me what to write about for your highness. You not only get the fishpan award of this week, but the unusual distinction of getting virtually boiled in my humongous copper fish poacher that needs 2-3 stovetop burners to get it hot enough to cook a human with a brain as small as a sardine!

    Aug 14, 2009 | 10:59 pm

  67. 4btiddy says:

    uh-oh, I sense a post coming dedicated to annb. she does deserve a fishpan award, lol. the nerve of her telling Marketman what he can and cannot write on his own blog!

    Aug 14, 2009 | 11:16 pm

  68. Marketman says:

    4btiddy, no need for a separate post. I practically wrote one in the previous comment. :)

    Aug 14, 2009 | 11:18 pm

  69. maddie says:

    I’ve stopped going to PowerMac ever since they’ve expanded. Service got really bad and all their good people in their early years have left. I am very happy with the service of iStudio (Larry Ang) and their sister company Senco.

    Aug 15, 2009 | 12:14 am

  70. larees says:

    I had the same experience with my ipod touch two years ago. It took them about 60 days to replace the defective unit simply because the person who handled my issue was on vacation. By the time she got back, my request was already buried under tons of other requests. I had to go to Power Mac in Greenbelt 3 and demanded to talk to the store supervisor/manager *bordered on throwing a fit since they all didn’t know the status of my request and was literally lying through their teeth about what steps they have done to facilitate my request* Horrible service and horrible business ethics if you ask me.

    Aug 15, 2009 | 1:12 am

  71. kurzhaar says:

    I agree with Marketman, rants on service are certainly appropriate, since that extends to the experience of dining out. My friends/family and myself have had our share of the inability to get a straight yes/no or “sorry we screwed up” answer…this happens in the US as well. Some small part of that is *possibly* cultural when this occurs through so-called customer support that has been outsourced to other countries, but I think a larger part of that is generational. Just the other day I was dining with friends and my main dish was a quiche presented positively swimming in the dressing of the microgreen salad accompanying it! I pointed it out to the 20-something waitress who said, “Oh, that’s just the juice from the tomato”. Well, duh, it wasn’t. That was certainly not the way to retain business–I can forgive an honestly made and acknowledged mistake, but not a brush off or lie.

    Aug 15, 2009 | 1:36 am

  72. Lou says:

    Good on ya MM! I really appreciate the way you expose shoddy service wherever you find them.

    Aug 15, 2009 | 2:04 am

  73. James says:

    @annb: you have some gall telling him how to run his site. Are you his sponsor?

    @MM: Good post! People need to learn to change the channel or just not read this particular post. It’s so easy to do.

    Regarding those who say that shoddy service like this has nothing to do with nationality, I beg to differ. I have never received such treatment as I have received in the Philippines.

    Yes, in the US sometimes things are bad. But, no salesgirl every asked me “Can you afford that?” The arrogance here is astounding. Even coming from girls who make less in a month than I keep in walking money in my pocket.

    Many employees here will simply lie to get out of handling a problem. And then, when confronted, will simply lie to get out of being caught. Or, pull a “pity me because I am ….” routine.

    It is sad to me because there are some here in the Philippines that give excellent service. There are many examples here of people who can teach others around the world the proper way to treat a customer (no, I don’t mean subservient, I mean enthusiastic, knowledgable, honest, efficient, etc.).

    Aug 15, 2009 | 3:31 am

  74. kurzhaar says:

    I think that some of what I called the inability to get a straight yes/no or “sorry we screwed up” answer IS cultural, and is from my personal experience not uncommon among Asians. I’ve gone through courses at work designed to promote cross-cultural/international “understanding”, and it has been pointed out to me many times that a paramount value to some is NOT LOSING FACE. That may be the underpinning to the occasions when I’ve seen people unable to tell you that they didn’t understand your question (but wouldn’t ask you to explain/repeat), or unable to tell you that they simply messed up.
    Being a fairly direct person myself, that attitude is profoundly irritating to me. But that’s my perspective, I’m sure the people concerned probably thought I was obnoxiously direct. :)

    Aug 15, 2009 | 4:52 am

  75. moni says:

    MM, your posts on customer service ineptness are empowering for many of us who may not have the courage to speak up. Yesterday, I was in Gaisano supermarket in Ormoc and the cashier placed the bottle of bleach in the same bag as chicken thighs. I told her, “Day, di jud ka kapasar kay ngano man nga imong isagul ang kemikal sa pagkaon?”

    Aug 15, 2009 | 5:34 am

  76. myra_p says:

    I’m more appalled at annb comment than the post content, lol. Fishpan award indeed! Some nerve.

    Aug 15, 2009 | 5:53 am

  77. Lee says:

    hey annb just replace power with big in the title and you get your food post.

    Aug 15, 2009 | 6:00 am

  78. millet says:

    from apple to sardine…ha! only in marketmanila! moni, maybe the saleslady thought you needed wanted white/whiter meat? lee, you are hilarious….big mac, indeed!

    Aug 15, 2009 | 6:35 am

  79. Lee says:

    hi moni and millet… bleach and chicken together? millet is absolutely right.. whiter white meat! :)

    Aug 15, 2009 | 6:59 am

  80. sanojmd says:

    oooh oh, i saw it coming annb, a fishpan award for u.. but MM gave you more than that..moni, combining food items with other non-food items not only happens in the phils. it also happens here abroad. i dont know if they are minimizing the use of plastic bags or they are just don’t care if there customers would poison to death..

    Aug 15, 2009 | 7:32 am

  81. MrsKookie says:

    Actually I appreciate posts like this. Being in the service industry, and my husby is also into some service-related business (also involving computer hardware), this serves owners/management a lesson or two on what one’s employees may do on the job or how one can improve one’s service to customers. I do not find this inappropriate since it is a personal blog after all. Only difference is that there are probably thousands reading and commenting on this blog, compared to maybe mine where only my sisters read it :)

    Good luck MM on your new battery and I hope it works so you wouldn’t have to take it to a service center again.

    Aug 15, 2009 | 8:25 am

  82. THELMA says:

    annb…with a sardine brain!

    Aug 15, 2009 | 8:51 am

  83. Tricia says:

    Go MM!!!

    I have this feeling dati na nila ginagawa yan. Nakakita lang ng katapat :D

    Aug 15, 2009 | 9:32 am

  84. moni says:

    A blogger is responsible only to himself and no other. So any talk on a blog being accountable to its readers or readers dictating what a blogger should write about is inappropriate. I should know. I am a communication scientist.

    Aug 15, 2009 | 10:01 am

  85. Anton says:

    This incident reminds me of an incident that happened to my wedding ninong with a so called no. 1 hotel in Makati nowadays, the one along Makati Ave. I will not mention the incident so as not to make it obvious. All the family wanted was a sincere apology from the hotel regarding the incident (which was life threatening!) and the hotel adamantly refused until my wife called a person she knows who is related to the President of the company that runs the hotel chain. THEN and only then did they actually apologize, particularly the President for that sorry incident. The arrogant german general manager was still not too happy because he was caught mishandling a customer complaint that could have been resolved with a simple apology.

    Aug 15, 2009 | 10:08 am

  86. Anton says:

    Here in HK, the Apple service center is quite efficient. My Mac unibody had a dead pixel in it and since I was still within warranty, asked them to look at it. They promised to have it fixed in a week and actually called me up 3 days later for pick up.

    Then again, Hong KOng people are quite efficient. As for being liars, I can’t attest to that.

    Aug 15, 2009 | 10:13 am

  87. Edwin D. says:

    Typical Filipino BS. Lies and more lies begat problems. If that happened over here in the States, a letter of apology from customer rep to store manager and regional manager would be in the mail/email plus a gift certificate compensated for the hassle of the mishap. That happen to me here at a store called Albertson’s whee I complain to the produce assistant and their produce was not up to par and this happened several times and complained to them. In a letter, I sated taht I will no longer shop at their store. A letter of apology from the produce guy/store manager/regional manager arrived and stated that they wanted my business back and was compensated $25 gift certificate for me to come back to shop their store. The crazy thing is after a month or so the produce guy was gone including a new store manager. I believe that each store have a limited amount of complaints before they shuffle their personnels around. Though I would feel bad if they did get terminated.

    Aug 15, 2009 | 11:13 am

  88. mommy says:

    agree with readers that customer service in retail, food etc is getting worse over the last 3 years. Call center service of Manila Water, PLDT, Meralco are also terrible. I wish owners of various companies read yoyr post and shape up

    Aug 15, 2009 | 12:10 pm

  89. Janelle says:

    How was this resolved? I recently had an issue with my MacBook Pro unibody that was a lemon and everyone here was giving me the run around so I got in touch with their customer service and they helped me right away. Even with small issues before like a dead battery on my MacBook that was dead, Power Mac couldn’t give me a good reason for why they hadn’t filed the order to Singapore.

    Aug 15, 2009 | 12:47 pm

  90. Jade says:

    customer service in the Philippines SUCKS.

    Aug 15, 2009 | 1:45 pm

  91. Edwin D. says:

    Always write a letter and keep a copy for yourself. If the letter writing campaign fails, I say write the top dog-CEO and explain in detail what happened and I guarantee you that your voice will be heard. Now be business like and cordial in your letters as the only way to resolve your problem is just explain the facts and let the facts speak for you.

    Aug 15, 2009 | 2:14 pm

  92. Marcus says:

    If you visit the Philippine Macintosh User Group Forums (Philmug.ph) you will be able to spot several threads and one HUGE multipage thread thread with people complaining about the Philippine PowerMac Center’s poor service. Despite of this things like this still happen. Shame on you PowerMac. Shame on you.

    Aug 15, 2009 | 2:32 pm

  93. marissewalangkaparis says:

    Ohhhh..I know what you mean…my Smart Broadband service has been a headache…lately they have also not been sending their bill….one day..they will lose a lot of customers…such a headache to me…don’t use Smart Broadband…even their customer service call center is a “run-around” playground. Grrrrr…Am changing soon…

    Aug 15, 2009 | 2:36 pm

  94. fried-neurons says:

    Marketman, pay no heed to people like amb. He has absolutely no authority to decide what is and isn’t appropriate for your blog. Key word being “your”. :)

    Aug 15, 2009 | 3:31 pm

  95. Doddie from Korea says:

    Good thing I didn’t mention “another rant?”. I would have gotten the fishpan award. Then again, it is not my blog and it’s MM. He can post anything he wants, including a rant about picky posters like annb and me.

    Aug 15, 2009 | 4:07 pm

  96. Nicole says:

    I too had a similar bad experience with PowerMac… I really dont understand why they are still an apple reseller and Ynzal is not…

    MM, I really hope you give them a piece of your mind and make Apple realize that they should remove Powermac’s reseller status.

    Aug 15, 2009 | 5:05 pm

  97. Sharon says:

    Hi Marketman,

    I have the same case of swollen battery with my macbook pro that was purchased 1.5 year ago. I called apple and they said it is not part of the battery recall. I just told them i am not asking for a new one, just a replacement since it is obviously a common problem with mac batteries as i found out lately that there has been similar battery problems of the laptops. check this out “apple tried to silence owner of exploding ipod with gagging order”

    they gave me a case ID but still no response and they promised to call me..i was hoping a company like apple should be more costumer friendly. :(

    Aug 15, 2009 | 5:23 pm

  98. betty q. says:

    I have watched hubby all these years handle complaints. Indeed, you are right, MM! Going right up to the top bypassing Ms. Fabulous often gets the results. Complaints that reaches my hubby’s ears often gets resolved in a matter of minutes.

    Moni…Hubby and I went grocery shopping at the very same company that he works for. Cashier of course had no idea who he was. She put together in the same bag things that shouldn’t be together. I looked at hubby for I already knew what he was thinking. I just asked the girl if she could put the chemicals like the detergent and the bleach we bought…all in one bag….easier for me to put away once I get home. Knowing hubby, he was just waiting for an opportunity to raise this issue at their next meeting of those regional guys! I asked him to sleep on it for awhile since that girl could get fired. She is also new on the job (had a tag on her name plate that she is still undergoing training). It probably was her first job and her first day at work. So, I was happy he gave that girl some slack. It would have been a different story though if she was a cashier since time immmemorial.

    Aug 15, 2009 | 5:28 pm

  99. Gener says:

    Many has similar complaints about APPLE IMACs,, they were known to be superior but there are too many flaps connected on it! I have thesame experience but since i heared about this headaches, i simply dropped it and change to another cheaper brands which in return,,,it doesnt give that much of headache and accessories and services can be obtained at maximum 72 hours…It s really unnerving and you may shiver in anger likely if its on a very wrong timing!..You will lost your temper immediately if problem occured to the bottom line which the solution you may think is SMASHING IT, and thats where the costs will tremble…

    Aug 15, 2009 | 6:43 pm

  100. ghia says:

    Marketman, i’m glad that there are assertive consumers like you who don’t just take terrible service like that sitting down. The problem is with the mentality of employees like ms fabulous, they often end up thinking the customer is just being difficult. they never think it’s their fault! please go ahead and tell the mac higher ups, this is a grave desecration of the apple brand many of us love so much.

    consumers should articulate their complaints rather than just shrugging it off or whining about it to their friends without taking any concrete steps. this is the only way we can elevate the quality of service in our country.

    ms fabulous messed with the wrong person.

    Aug 16, 2009 | 12:34 am

  101. jolly says:

    im just wondering if this is true.. or the writer just made it up… demolition job?

    “”I spent 45 minutes with Ms. Fabulous on the phone yesterday morning. Then I picked up the phone and called Apple (the manufacturer) in Singapore (but the call center was actually located in Manila!) and spoke with two service agents who at the end of some 60-70 minutes of discussing/holding still couldn’t help me out.””

    whats to discuss with an expanded battery? either replace IF WARRANTIED or CANT CLAIM WARRANTY.. What help do you need? 70mins?

    apple SG asking you how to make it right?

    they offered P15,000 worth of battery? ows?

    i smell fish

    great job

    Aug 16, 2009 | 12:44 am

  102. Kanela says:

    I like the rants. Part of the reason we don’t get good service here is that we don’t demand it.

    Aug 16, 2009 | 1:05 am

  103. Salaryman Ryan says:

    @Sharon and all those having their Macs repaired:

    May I suggest an alternative Apple repair center from PowerMac? Digital Walker/Hub’s repair center iRescue in VirraMall Greenhill offers much better and much faster service then PowerMac. I had my Macbook Pro repaired there not for battery problems but one of my Macbook’s internal fan went bad and had to be replaced. They ordered a new fan and the turn around was one week. I also had my Apple Cinema Display’s LCD replaced there and the turn around was also one week.

    The best thing of all is that they take great care ini handling the Macs they repair so you do not worry about getting your Mac scuffed when leaving it in repair, unlike in other Philippine Apple repair centers. BTW, although I have no first hand experience, if you check out Philmug,ph you will be able to read of all the horror stories of how PowerMac mishandled member’s Macs during repair.

    Aug 16, 2009 | 5:42 am

  104. Marketman says:

    jolly, it’s not made up. 45 minutes with “Fabulous” was mostly spent on hold, as they tried to figure out what to do when I insisted on getting copies of communications to and from Power Mac to Apple in Singapore. At one point, they told me to hold as the managers were still in a meeting regarding this issue. Then without my knowing it, they actually chatted with the product specialists while I was on hold so that they could show that Mac had indeed rejected the request, but the request was only made and rejected WHILE I was on hold that morning.

    As for Apple, the length of time I was on the phone with them must be on record in their system. First call was to Dan, who was not a customer service guy but must have been some other designation. He tried very hard to figure out what was wrong. He put me on hold several times as he tried to figure out how to get me the data I needed. He seemed to be disturbed that he had no clear data in front of him regarding the case number I quoted. eventually, he passed me onto Angelo, who likewise had to understand the whole situation and who called Power Mac to clarify. At one point, he explained he couldn’t send me copies of the communications, because they were often in chat form, not emails as I had been misled to believe. Then later still, he stared at his screen and wondered why the records on my case number seemed numbingly empty. Basically, the delays were all related to providing me with proof or debunking proof that Apple had been informed by Power Mac of the problem some 9 days before and Aple answered the day before as Fabulous had told me. They agreed to clarify the issues and call me back.

    Four hours or so later, Angelo called me back. And basically expressed frustration with Power Mac answers he had received. He acknowledged that the system indicated that Apple product specialists had only been contacted that morning, and had answered in minutes. So there was no indication that this was “sitting” with apple for 9 days. Basically, I asked him to confirm if I was told a bunch of lies, and he said, based on their records, it seemed yes. And if, like any good call center, they record calls and times, I am sure you could get proof that I spent nearly 2 hours on the phone with these three people.

    Thank you to the reader who forwarded this post to the owners of Power Mac. I am scheduled to discuss this matter further with senior managers on Tuesday and will see what they have to say then.

    Aug 16, 2009 | 7:41 am

  105. zaN says:

    @Jolly – why in Hell would MM lie? What can he actually gain in making up stories?

    @Jolly – now if I say you are so DUMB, it is for REAL and not just an accusation.


    Aug 16, 2009 | 2:16 pm

  106. britelite says:

    I can’t wait till Tuesday–hope you will enlighten us on what they explained re this matter.

    Aug 16, 2009 | 4:48 pm

  107. sallyb says:

    obviously, your new to this blog and just came across it because of this particular post. i don’t know MM personally, but I believe he has nothing to gain by concocting a ‘demolition job’ against Power Mac. besides, if you read the related PhilMug posts (links posted in some of the comments), then you’d have known that the service at said retail store needs a lot of improvement (to say the least!).

    He’s actually doing Apple (and Power Mac!) a service by voicing his complaints! If he did not pursue his complaint, then this supposedly premium Apple retailer in the Philippines will continue to retain employees who are detrimental to their business and Apple’s reputation! There is a marketing rule that 80% of one’s business usually comes from only 20% of one’s customers, who also tend to be repeat buyers and strong influencers in the purchase decision-making of others. If you’ve read previous posts (rants and everything else), you’ll see that MM is one of those valuable 20% set.

    Hey, I’m not an Apple user but because of this post, I’d most probably advise friends and family looking to purchase an Apple product not to go to Power Mac.

    Aug 16, 2009 | 6:53 pm

  108. jolly says:

    Salaryman Ryan… good time for advertising.

    ZaN… i dont think im dumb, you wouldnt wonder? a battery replacement will take days? talking on phone with somebody for more than 10mins? for a battery, its either replace, if warranty or cant replace because of warranty lapse. right there and then, on the spot, they can call apple hotline 1800 1441 0234, give serial number.. or anybody just call before going to a service center.

    MM, im just wondering, when was the expiration of your warranty? and im confused how can a battery worth 7k being offered at 15k?

    Aug 16, 2009 | 6:59 pm

  109. jolly says:

    im just wondering what makes zaN not DUMB…

    Aug 16, 2009 | 7:02 pm

  110. jolly says:

    btw, im not connected nor affiliated with PMC. i just find it harsh for a disgusted customer blogging their experience w/ a certain company and for somebody taking chance of advertising another company in the same blog.

    Aug 16, 2009 | 7:32 pm

  111. smiles4angels says:

    @ jolly:

    1. MM says and I quote “PHP15,000 worth of batteries”, and it isn’t the same as a 7thou battery re-priced as 15thou.

    2. I guess you haven’t tried complaining through call centers… where they leave you listening to classical music or their advertisements for a long long while. There would be some that would be efficient, but there would be some that won’t be, specially if your predicament is unique or if you get a new call center agent or someone who just doens’t care helping at all.

    Aug 16, 2009 | 8:18 pm

  112. Marketman says:

    jolly, the computer was out of warranty. But the issue was whether the battery was defective and eligible for replacement despite being out of warranty. You can check the internet for several similar cases of Apple product batteries blowing up or expanding. The other issue was the length of time it took Apple to respond to the complaint. According to Power Mac, they had waited some 8-9 days for a response, when in fact they got a response in minutes. As for the batteries offered after the fact, I was offered a free battery by Power Mac AND by Apple Singapore so 2 batteries at PHP7,500 retail each is a total of PHP15,000 in batteries.

    But not to worry, this isn’t a fabricated post. I am in contact with a senior member of Power Mac Management who I will be speaking to on Tuesday.

    I think disgruntled customers with factual and real experiences with a company SHOULD complain and post their experiences, only then will companies treat all customers as best as they can, seeing as how there is an avenue for which to air one’s grievances. But I must stress that the grievances must be responsibly aired, with facts, and by people with credibility. If I were not credible, and did not bring up useful issues, would I have gotten a nearly immediate response from Power Mac’s senior management when they heard about this case?

    And if you go back over 5 years and among 2,300 posts, to other service issues with Ayala Land, would the President of ALI have called me if I didn’t have a point? For Cebu Pacific, would the President have emailed me directly and discussed the matter comprehensively if he thought I was a lunatic? Would a very large global bank have given me a large cash refund on an issue where I voiced a very loud concern? When I raised concerns about plagiarism and photo napping at the Philippine Daily Inquirer, would the reader’s advocate who is of impeccable reputation contact me directly and insist that their writer publish a written apology? Would the owner of Sitio Remedios take serious corrective actions with respect to issues I raised after a stay at his hotel if he didn’t think I made some good points? And would Mad Crowd Media and its multinational client postpone an event when I asked why they were offering to pay bloggers to write about it? Would the Marco Polo Hotel head of operations have met with me face to face and offered an apology and free rooms after I was bitten by bed bugs? And I could go on some more. It is about credibility. And when you have built up that credibility, and you know how to frame a complaint, you will most likely HELP the company in question rather than hurt them. In all the cases cited above there was constructive discussion and usually an acceptable solution or improvements made. None of my rants have ended poorly, in my opinion. Instead, think of the thousands of readers who may have benefit by the efforts put into bringing these issues to public scrutiny. It is when a company ignores such complaints that they start to effectively dig their own graves…

    Aug 16, 2009 | 9:10 pm

  113. kim says:

    Early last year I brought my powerbook in to PowerMac Greenbelt to have my keyboard fixed. My cousin’s boyfriend accidentally spilled water on the keyboard and as a result, the A button stopped working. Anyway, when I brought it in, I was told by the repair guys that they could easily fix the problem – all they had to do was replace the entire keyboard. However, they had to order a new keyboard from Singapore (or some other Asian country, I can’t quite recall) and that it would take approximately 4-14 days. I called repeatedly to follow-up the status of the keyboard arrival but to no avail. After around a month, I was extremely angry and demanded to speak to their superior/manager over the phone. Whoever they passed the phone to then told me that their shipment of Apple goods (including my new keyboard parts) was delayed because the government customs had confiscated their entire shipment. As a result, no keyboard. I went there the next day, canceled the repair and keyboard order, and asked a relative to buy me a portable MAC keyboard from an actual Apple store outside the Philippines.

    Anyway, the point is that the service here is CRAP.

    Aug 16, 2009 | 11:51 pm

  114. zaN says:

    @ Jolly – I would not mind at all if MM send you my e-mail addy. I would then tell you why I am not what I called you.

    but first, I would like to inform you that I own a MBP and I used to put together PCs and HELP customers on both their hardware and software problems with a SMILE.

    Sorry, if I have offended you.

    Aug 17, 2009 | 4:43 am

  115. erleen says:

    I used to work in support(phone, email &chat) even if it the communication is in chat, they should have the records of CHAT LOGS of the exchange between the persons involved.

    Aug 17, 2009 | 10:09 am

  116. dragon says:

    You’re welcome MM–I forwarded this blog to G & copied her on our communications…

    Aug 17, 2009 | 1:31 pm

  117. Sharon says:

    thank you salaryman ryan. I did not bring it to powermac since my friend had horror experience with them. I brought it to my friend who is an apple reseller/dealer. His battery (the laptop was also out of warrant , it was almost 2 years old) . He called them and they did not replace the expanding battery. He called them for me, they also told him that it is not part of the “recalled” battery. Same thing applecare told me. They were more accomodating after i mentioned that i have read it in the news and i was not the only one. If i were in the US, they probably would have replaced it and just wondering is it because i am an asian that is why they did not even want to do anything about it?

    Aug 17, 2009 | 2:21 pm

  118. Marketman says:

    erleen, that is what I thought. In fact, once a customer “number” was assigned, for a computer company especially, I would have thought that every major and minor move would have been logged into the system…

    Aug 17, 2009 | 2:50 pm

  119. James says:

    I, for one, really enjoy MM’s rants. It’s really refreshing to see someone in this country standing up for customers. Far too many people just take the abuse heaped upon them by stores with miserable service.

    Stop making excuses for these people. A lie is a lie. It doesn’t matter WHY it is told.

    Aug 17, 2009 | 8:45 pm

  120. Josh says:

    Whoaaaa! That was very very frustrating. But I hope we can hear the side of the people who’s on the HOT SEAT. There are times kasi na its not the fault of the customer rep but the contact person or other third parties. If there is an APPLE STORE here in the philippines then hindi na tayo mahihirapan na to wait for the replacement of a certain part or the whole unit. When I ask for the replacement for my topcase I just waited for 1 and a half week. Basta ang sabi nila minimum of 1 week and maximum of 2 to 3 weeks. They told me it depends on the shipment from singapore. I feel for you. If I’m in your place magagalit talaga ako. I hope they could do something about it.

    Aug 18, 2009 | 3:56 pm

  121. Joseph T. Reyes says:

    Allow me to share my own experience with Power Mac Center.

    I have personally witnessed the rise of Power Mac Center from a three-man, shoebox space at SM Megamall in the nineties to the 4 or 5 large retail storefronts they have today employing perhaps close to if not more than a hundred workers. PMC in fact I believe has the distinction of being the oldest Apple reseller that not only has survived the many challenges of existing in a PC-dominated country but has in fact done very well for themselves. They have outlived at least 4 big Apple distributors (DPSI, BusinessWorld Online, ATI, and Accent Micro/Lamco) aside from countless other resellers who have come and gone.

    But having worked in the IT industry since the 80s , I have had the privilege of knowing the owners who are two of the most kind-hearted, hardworking people I have ever met. They are the type who will always take the blame for anything that could go wrong but would never go out of their way to trumpet their accomplishments. One of them, not long after receiving an award for winning a Honda Civic in a sales contest of the giant Apple distributor she worked worked with then, made the surprising decision to go on her own to form Power Mac Center. A bold decision considering that back then, there was no Apple channel structure whatsoever . Her former employers at DPSI scoffed at her decision and did not give her and her two partners a ghost of a chance to succeed. But they had a vision and thanks largely to their passion for excellence, history proved them right. DPSI has long been out of business while PMC is going very strong.

    Granting without conceding that all that MM has claimed is true, it still seems unfair to malign PMCs good name that they have built over the years and to call them liars in such a public forum without giving them a chance to explain themselves in the same venue. MM himself admits that it is only today Tuesday that he is scheduled to meet with a higher authority and yet he decides to violently fire his guns even without exhausting all means to reach upper management as he mentions as his usual practice from the onset of his tirade.

    Someone earlier mentions a demolition job. I think it is all about getting hits.
    “…my greatest fear is that I will only have three hits a day – my wife, my daughter and myself. “ — Market Man

    Well, I guess you now have no fear. And I thought this site was about good food. How sad.


    Aug 18, 2009 | 11:26 pm

  122. Marketman says:

    Joseph, thanks for your comment. And I have no doubt that the owners, as you describe them are nice folks, but in this particular serivce instance, there was a serious problem, and in my meeting (telephone discussion) with the technical services director, he fully confirmed what I had experienced and wrote about here. I will post his written response and a summary of our phone conversation. It is you, a newcomer to the site, who will seem a bit quick on the draw regarding the incident. Facts almost always triumph over emotion.

    Aug 19, 2009 | 6:40 am

  123. Joseph T. Reyes says:

    Thanks as well for taking my word about how nice the owners are. You seem to be more trustingafter all than how you sounded in your initial salvo against PMC . Knowing how popular you have now clearly become, that really goes a long way in correcting the impression you have created about them.

    I just got a thank you call from one of the owners. She in fact confirmed what I initially suspected. Your Ms Fabulous is actually their telephone operator. This fact directly contradicts your statement “And I am not picking on front-line service personnel; these days, I almost always try to go up to higher levels, often to company owners to get a proper explanation. “

    It is also a fact that you have talked by phone (and not “meet” as you claim) with her service manager just yesterday a full 5 days after you disparaged the whole organization.

    And true to how I know the owner, she will accept full responsibility for her staff’s wrongdoing and will apologize in writing to you as you demand. The operator’s job was just to transfer calls and not entertain customer concerns of which she just had no training for. It’s a timeless principle but I know the owners subscribe to the adage “ the customer is always right”…even if he is wrong if I may add. This operator has now been demoted.

    Oh, and me quick to the draw? Nah. Show me where I already assumed you were lying in my first comment and I will apologize profusely. But I did in fact grant that what you had said is all true. I did add that I would not concede it right away since the burden of proof of wrongdoing always falls on the accuser. I think it is called benefit of doubt. Other than the rants and raves you had written so eloquently, I for one had not seen any incontrovertible proof of wrongdoing at least when I wrote that comment late last night.

    My concern was the action you had taken after was just not fair.

    Aug 19, 2009 | 9:53 am

  124. Marketman says:

    Joseph, a post up on this in a day or two. If she was an operator who was not supposed to answer customer inquiries, why did she answer the questions posed and not pass me to a technician or customer service representative? And even if she was just an operator, why did she have to lie or relay the lie that the matter had been escalated to Singapore when it had not been at all? And if she did no wrong, why has she been relieved of the task of answering the phones, according to the email they have sent me? The issues were basic. And they are confirmed by their own manager after his “internal invvestigation.” There was no need to fib. Period.

    Aug 19, 2009 | 9:58 pm

  125. Joseph T. Reyes says:

    No issue there. Her operator certainly did you wrong and you do deserve the apology coming to you. Sadly, however, you have missed my point entirely.

    My issue is how you, a seemingly intelligent, educated, middle-aged man, picked on a lowly front-service girl and then crucified the whole organization publicly without as much as an attempt to get a proper explanation from upper management before doing so. Some people may perceive that as a set-up especially that on the onset you had proclaimed your practice is to go straight to upper management. But I would like to think it was just a simple case of you getting overly emotional over someone who had wronged you. I can think of so many other ways to have handled that if I were you. But most people I would like to think would not have immediately chosen what some refer to as the court of last resort — media. Unless of course they wanted the exposure and limelight (or website hits?)….

    Further, it is disturbing for you to categorically state that you met with the service manager yesterday. Your exact words last night were “in my MEETING (caps mine) with the technical services director,..” I do not think a phone conversation is by any stretch equivalent to a meeting. Do be careful if it was a grammatical error for it could otherwise point to a credibility issue. The same credibility you trumpet in your earlier post about how the President of Ayala Land himself called you, how the President of Cebu Pacific emailed you, how you obtained a cash refund from a large global bank, how you secured apologies from Sitio Remedios, Marco Polo Hotel, etc, etc.. whew, you seem to have so much bad luck when it comes to people servicing you. Some may think you actually do this for a living. I certainly hope not.

    Until your next post, good night MM.

    Aug 19, 2009 | 11:58 pm

  126. Marketman says:

    Joseph, you are correct that I had an error in my comment a few back, not “meeting”, but discussion on a phone conversation, as is indicated in the subsequent sentence of the same comment, and in the follow-up post, up soon. Also, the Technical services director indicates the “operator” as you describe her is a member of his “CS Staff” or customer service staff. And the TSD says she has been relieved of the task of fielding customer calls and inquiries… And maybe the owner or the operator failed to mention to you, that as soon as I asked for the proof of escalation, I also asked to speak to her manager or supervisor, to which she reutrned and said it was against company policy to share the proof of escalation, and she could not pass me to the manager. So I indeed try to talk to her manager and when I was unable to, called Apple instead, who told me that they DID get to speak with the managers at Power Mac. But that is second hand, I agree.

    This bog is purely advertisement free, and it has no commercials whatsoever. It also is non-profit, and in fact, has provided over a PHP1 million to charitable efforts such as feeding programs for undernourished children. So frankly, any speculation you may have as to its motives falls flat on the vast majority of regular readers who have followed it for quite some time.

    Aug 20, 2009 | 7:36 am

  127. Joseph T. Reyes says:

    Well thank you for admitting your mistake and clarifying that the phone conversation in the subsequent sentence was in fact the same event and not a separate occasion. I noticed that you even took the trouble of going back to your earlier post and correcting yourself for everyone to see. That was really big of you and I am glad to know you are also human… just like the poor phone operator who must surely be suffering right now for such a career-ending move. I hope you find it in your heart to forgive her someday.

    And congratulations for apparently finding such a creative way to provide so much money for charitable causes without the usual need of having to earn advertising revenue to support it.

    But I think we all know why most Philippine politicians are hell-bent on winning elections even if the potential salary is miniscule, why some newspapers that are losing so much money continue to be printed, or why I even bother to renew my driver’s license or passport all the time even it does not directly earn me any money. It is all about power. The power to run a country, the power to influence opinion, or just simply the power to drive or travel.

    In your case, (and I hope I am dead wrong), perhaps it is the power to see restaurant officers shudder at the thought that you are coming to dine, the power to have Presidents of large corporations apparently bow to you, or maybe even the power to see a hapless young girl commit mistake after mistake to remind you how great you truly are.

    But these are just my opinions derived from conclusions from facts that I have read. I truly do not know you personally though I do hope you agree that this is a free country and I do have a right to voice my own opinion just as well as you do.

    Alas, this is your blog and perhaps I should not take away the thunder from you so this will be my last word on this. It was such a real pleasure to correspond with you Market Man. Thank you.

    Aug 20, 2009 | 10:22 am

  128. Marketman says:

    Joseph, for the most part, I remain anonymous and faceless, and hence, there is less chance of restaurants, etc. knowing who I am when I dine at their establishments. And my policy of refusing freebies of any sort is well known and pretty consistently enforced.

    Aug 20, 2009 | 10:36 am

  129. hungrycurious says:

    i think some of the commenters here mistake raising a valid complaint and demanding a resolution with being vindictive. there’s a big difference, people!

    mm is in fact level headed with his complaints and demands. believe me, i worked in a collections dept of a credit card company and i’m used to receiving varied complaints. while there are complaints that are valid, there are some clients/debtors who find any reason to complain even when given good service just to get back at a collector for calling him in the office, even if the collector was nice and respectful. nagpa-power trip lang kumbaga.

    mm’s complaints aren’t like that. in fact i would gladly handle a complaint like this since he has the proper documentation which can be easily checked against our records.

    Aug 20, 2009 | 2:59 pm

  130. Katie says:


    You seem to be over zealous with your attacks on other people. I’m convinced that you are a employee or affiliated with PowerMac. Please tone it down.

    Aug 20, 2009 | 6:40 pm

  131. Salaryman Ryan says:


    I’m not advertising for Digital Hub/Walker I’m simply a very satisfied customer recommending their services. I’m a regular member of Philmug.ph and have been posting there for 2 years already. If you check the thread called “Bad bad experience with PowerMac” you will see that I have spoke favorably for PowerMac several times citing several good experiences of friends who had satisfactory service from them. (Too bad there are just too many complaints that drowned it out) Also, I have the receipts for the successful repairs I got from Digital Hub if you want to see them just tell me, I’ll scan and upload them online.

    You seem so upset with your posts, your tone seem to be almost lashing out towards the other comments, why the anger?

    Aug 20, 2009 | 9:30 pm

  132. chemeleon26 says:

    @Joseph Reyes

    Its nice that you gave a different point of view on this whole matter. While you’ve pointed out that the blogger might have other motives with this post, I do believe that if he hadn’t gone through these lengths, his complaint will just be ignored. I don’t think its a demolition job. I’ve personally experienced bad service from PMC. I just decided to go to another service center and did not post a blog about it. Maybe I should’ve but I’m not too organized in keeping correspondences. Some people just don’t do anything about it but swear never go back to that place again.

    I do feel bad to what you said about the telephone operator being sanctioned. Although if she did nothing wrong, why is she the one being crucified? I thought you said the PMC owners are good people. Go figure.

    Kudos to PMC for having a stauch supporter in you but there could be more of you if PMC fixes these organizational problem.

    Aug 21, 2009 | 9:03 am

  133. sheila says:

    I just got a macbook from Canada and had my dad bring it home, when it neither read or nor eject the first CD i popped into the drive, i decided to take it to the Power Mac Center in Mall of Asia. Immediately they told me that if they couldn’t get the CD out without opening the laptop, they would have to charge me P1,500 for service. First of all, my unit was still under warranty – and second, ano ba naman yung tanggalin nila yung CD sa computer ko? i bet it took them less than 10 minutes to do it! thought apple was known to be the “no questions asked as long as under warranty” company? I asked why they were charging me when warranty allows me to get free service and they gave me some lame excuse such as my CD was probably the reason the drive got busted (the CD was new, by the way). Since my head was starting to hurt from their lousy reasons for charging (the optical blah blah might have been damaged by your CD because blah blah, so apple is not reliable for it, blah blah blah… basta ako pa ang sinisisi) I didn’t want to get stressed so i just paid the fee. :( my husband got furious when he found out about this. never EVER going back to Power Mac again.

    Aug 21, 2009 | 10:24 am

  134. Sung Kim says:

    That was a very interesting read. Especially the reaction of the user comments that followed. Although I’m not a Filipino, I’m a long time resident (20 years) here in the Philippines and a business owner (which explains why I am here). I’m also a big Mac enthusiast. So I’m familiar with Power Mac and remember them back then in their small store in SM Mega Mall besides the cinema area.

    As a fellow business owner who has already built a large company with over 500 employees from scratch, I understand the difficulty in handling people especially when the business is growing and expanding. Power Mac just finished its expansion phase which means this is the most sensitive time in terms of handling customer relations because they are hiring a lot of new employees. Its is indeed very difficult task to juggle all.

    Believe me, I had my share of unruly and foolish employees which threatened our business relations with our clients in more then one occasion because of the most silly and worthless reasons. I’m sure you know that, like me, the owners of Power Mac would never want to displease their customers and cripple their business. But despite of its difficulty, failure to train these employees or teach them how to treat their customers is not an excuse and a failure in the part of Power Mac’s management.

    So I understand your anger Market Man. The action of that Ms. Fabulous was indeed wrong and I’m sure the owners are upset with this employee as well. I hope you get your formal apology. And I hope that Power Mac may learn to settle this issue with dignity and continue to prosper.

    So good luck to both of you.

    Aug 21, 2009 | 2:03 pm

  135. call centre man says:

    This is not at all surprising. Im an expat working in a call centre in Metro Manila.

    Unfortunately, i see this king of behaviour (LIES) very common. I have people at work lie to me for almost everything. It’s more rampant whit the support groups (HR, Finance, IT, Payroll, etc).

    I would ask for some thing andhtey would look straing at my face and LIE. They would say yes and not mean an ounce of it.

    And when i follow-up on things they come with these fairy tale stories of why it’s still pending. After about 4 or 5 follow-up attempts is when they actuall start working.

    It seems like they would rather lie and play hookey than take ownership and do the work they’re paid for. And to cover all of it, they get their colleagues to cover up and lie for them as well. this is just spreading the bad behaviour.

    I would hate to call this the local culture. But they more time I spend in the Philippines and the more i come across these Lies, for no apparent reason, teh more i might lean towards saying that “This i part of the Filipino Culture, don’t believe anything that a Filipino says”

    I’m not there yet but other are pushing me to that end…….Disappointing for a country that has so much potential.

    Aug 21, 2009 | 2:43 pm

  136. Sung Kim says:

    Call centre man,

    I’ve lived in this country and done business here for over 20 years. I would not say this is local culture. I say Lying is more of a habit of the newer generation (not all but mostly). All the older Filipinos I know were hardworking, honest and I trust them in many of the sensitive parts of my business. Our newer younger employees (22 and above) seem to do everything you just said in your comment. I believe it is because the baby boomer generation of Filipino parents tend to spoil their children more and teach them to be more materialistic. Of course this is also a problem in many families in Korea but not as widespread as it is here. (the children there have a different kind of problem)

    Aug 22, 2009 | 11:20 pm

  137. Asi says:

    Gosh! There’s no strong customer protection in this country. I wonder when we can have that?

    Aug 24, 2009 | 10:33 pm

  138. amen says:

    uh… that guy joseph has a point you know… :)

    i appreciate the fact that you stick up for the average consumer. give credit where it’s due. but having read your blog a couple of times, i do notice an insane propensity for chest-beating on your part. but i suppose lurkers like us can oblige you a bit of latitude if it gets the job done and something good comes out of the exercise. heck, i’ll just do what i always do — shrug and chalk it up to testosterone. :)


    Aug 25, 2009 | 3:49 pm

  139. akosistella says:

    Thank you for sharing this MM. Serves as a warning to all Mac users like us.

    Aug 31, 2009 | 1:33 pm

  140. RobKSA says:

    I want to post the same comment I put in your latest “apple” sage, again I hope you don’t mind MM. so here goes:

    I think it is a symptom of poor service in the Philippines. I just got back from vacation in PI and found out that there is no internet connection (dial-up through Globe Tel.). I called customer service and spoke to about 4 different technical reps who gave me varying solutions, the last one being to replace the modem of our computer which I gladly did but problem not solved. In the meantime, we get about 2-3 calls each day from Globe rep offering DSL connections. Because of frustration of our “dial-up” went to SM Megamall counter of Globe (per advice of tech rep offering DSL) but found out two things. One, that dial-up was long been cut by Globe and two, there is no DSL connection available. I complained and rant at the counter why they have not advised customers about the cutting of dial-up service and why their tech reps keep on giving advises to customers when dial-up is no longer available. And why their DSL reps keep on calling offering DSL when there are no available connections in Mandaluyong? The reply to both basically is “Hindi siguro nila alam Sir.” Technical reps and DSL reps does not know what’s going on in their company, pathetic to say the least. So now you know, can you tell your management to inform customers and inform your reps about the dial-up and DSL issues? To which the counter guy responded “Sir kayo na lang po and sumulat sa management naming, kasi alam naman nila and problema eh”. After I came home from Megamall and also before I left Manila, their tech reps are still giving sorry-ass answers to the dial-up misery, they still don’t have any idea that Globe dial-up is gone. The DSL rep called to which I gave a sarcastic answer.

    Sep 12, 2009 | 6:23 pm

  141. frances says:

    hey there,

    i had my macbook repaired last september 4, 2009 at power mac center MOA. it took 10 days, before it was returned to me. their customer service was quite good. any queries i had was answered promptly. I think it was because of you that apple service here in the philippines improved. thanks a lot. BUT i found out from power mac MOA that you don’t have to pay 500 pesos for processing fee. last year, i had my ipod replaced because it was under warranty but ISTORE (gold apple service provider) in CEBU asked me to pay 500 pesos for processing fee. they should not have done this. well, i learned my lesson.

    Sep 19, 2009 | 7:03 am

  142. hirayatmanawari says:

    hi, a longtime lurker and first-commenter here. :)

    just wanted to say that i admire the calm and measured way you’ve responded to the more critical comments on this post. of course there are as many opinions as there are egos (not brains, not persons), but i daresay you’ve been nothing but dignified–laying the burden squarely on the shoulders of those who would take your money for it, to ruin a perfectly good metaphor.

    they’re running a business. it is part of an employee’s duty (for which they are PAID, and presumably not inadequately so) to make that business look good, within reason. you were within reason. they made the business look bad. you simply stated that fact (give or take one or two purely semantic slips). God knows such facts need to be stated much, much more often in this country, and as effectively as you have.

    completely gratuitous remark, but is it just me or are too many people in this society apparently allergic to any negative/non-positive statement? magreklamo ka, you’re power-tripping. magkwento ka ng totoong masamang nangyari, you’re launching a “demolition job.” all of it perfectly factual and within reason. go figure.

    i’m part of the “younger generation” of Filipinos and i, for one, am sick and tired of observing precisely this kind of utter lack of integrity among my peers. (but if i point it out, they’ll eat me alive. what to do, what to do.) so, thank you, mister market man. someone has to say it; it might as well be you.

    Nov 1, 2009 | 1:30 am

  143. yahoo says:

    I had the same experience last weekend at Mac Center Cyberzone Megamall… I was waiting for one customer to finish so the worker can attend to what I’m asking. Medyo naiinterrupt lang ako lagi kasi I was starting to talk, and hindi pa pala tapos yung customer. Then it was my turn, sumingit pa yung saleslady na kumausap sa worker, sa inis ko sabi ko, “SIGE IKAW NA MUNA”… then pinasa na lang ako ng worker dun sa saleslady and went off.

    Unprofessionally trained typical Filipino worker, although hindi lahat. Unlike workers from Kenny Rogers, may nagssupervise sa kanila na foreigner.

    Nov 12, 2009 | 7:52 pm

  144. sam says:

    I had the same experience at the Apple centre in Greenbelt. After 2 weeks I received a lie saying that my battery wasn’t covered by Apple Care. I flew to London a few days later and got it replaced for free no hassle and no waiting. This just happened within the last few weeks. We should try and get a proper Apple store over here (in the philippines) not just a shoddy distributor

    Nov 29, 2009 | 3:13 pm

  145. Parveen P. Khan says:

    OH MY FREAKING GOD! I DROPPED MY MAC MINI AT POWER MAC CENTER. GREENBELT 3 It is going to be 2 months now and they still couldn’t repair it! i hate them grrrr. if I will not be informed about the status of my computer then help me GOD i will forward my problem to APPLE US. what do you think? bec i really need it with all the assignments . huhuhuhu

    Nov 29, 2009 | 7:19 pm

  146. jaym says:

    hey i’m sorry about your terrible experience with power mac,, and to think it’s in Greenbelt, Makati City, which is the primary business district in Manila.. ok,, this may sound irrelevant but in an act of desperation , can anyone provide any resolution how i can restore my ipod touch.it’s a second gen 16 GB, only the itunes icon and a usb cable with an arrow above it is seen on the screen. who can fix this when we cant even trust the power mac repair staff here in makati.

    Mar 18, 2010 | 9:22 pm

  147. Apple Blog says:

    wow, this is really something! actually, i’ve heard of so many bad reviews regarding customer service over at power mac center..i think it is really amazing that you decided to get to the bottom of things and not take the easy way out by just ignoring it and accepting the freebies.

    Jul 25, 2010 | 9:24 am

  148. Kel says:

    I am having the same experience.
    Oh yes! I am still at it!

    Aug 9, 2010 | 12:58 pm

  149. Abbie says:

    I brought my laptop there to have my monitor fixed. They gave me a quotation of around Php 21,000. Then, the engineer texted me and offered me a repair without labor fee for around Php 10,000. I replied saying that I will think about it. After a few days, I texted the engineer my go signal for the repair at Power Mac and I will just pay the Php 21,000 fee. I called the San Juan office around after a month and it turned out that they didn’t know that I gave them a go signal and that I found out at that moment that I was supposed to give a downpayment. They were so surprised about it and told them that they will report the issue and investigate the person who texted me. They said that engineers are not supposed to personally text the customers. The manager even called me to apologize and asked me if I am willing to join the investigation and find out the name of the suspect.

    They think they wouldn’t even have given me any discount at all until I asked. They gave me a small discount despite the issues.

    I just claimed my laptop today only to find out that its battery life was decreased to 30 minutes from around 4 hours. I don’t know if the engineer switched my battery or they damaged it during the repair.

    I don’t even know if all the parts of my macbook are still original. I have no idea if they replaced the others or not. I am really disappointed with Power Mac. I still don’t know how I am going to talk to them about the battery.

    Do you have any suggestions where I can have my gadgets repaired next time?

    Jul 11, 2011 | 11:26 pm


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