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Oopps, Smart Did It Again!

Guess what? I was deducted 10 pesos today! Not that big, but if a million subscribers get deducted 10 pesos for no apparent reason, that’s 10 million pesos already. Right?

So what happened? I checked my balance before surfing the net on my cellphone. No deduction. It’s the same 236. Take note that I’m only on my third day on my 7-day Smart Unlisurf plan. Checked my email at gmail.macuha.com and at mail.yahoo.com. Visited GMANews.tv. Visited Reddit.com. Visited Digg.com. Opened my Youtube application and watched some videos. Then I disconnected. Checked my balance again. And there it is! They deducted 10 pesos. My balance is now 226.

So, I called their hotline again to investigate. And according to the call center agent I talked to, the 10 pesos deduction is for a push email service when I visited http://email.nokia.com! I’ve never been to that site! Push email is not even setup on my cellphone! I only check my mails thru webmails. So, I requested for a reversal of load. The agent made a report and told me to wait for 48 to 72 hours before they can give back my load. I also followed up my 20 pesos and told me to just wait for another 24 hours for the reversal.

The point here is not about giving back my load. 30 pesos is just 30 pesos. I can earn that easily online. The point here is why they are deducting money from us without our consent in the first place. I think, NTC should investigate Smart and make a complete audit of their system. Why does their system act like that? Deducting money from subscribers without their consent? And why their Unlisurf is not Unlimited after all as advertised?

Their system’s logic seems like this:

Check if customer has existing load.
Deduct 10 or 20 pesos for no apparent reason.
If customer complains, tell him some reasons that sounds valid, file a reversal and give the money back.
Else.. kaching, kaching!

Smart, your system has a bug, obviously. Your system is deducting money from us without our consent: automatically subscribing us to some services we don’t even know existed! Fix it! I might be able to get my 30 pesos back, but if your system doesn’t get fixed, you might be getting millions of pesos from the pockets of unsuspecting subscribers.

I’ll just let this 300 pesos Unlisurf expire and I’ll switch to Globe. Seriously!

Are you a Smart subscriber who have the same experience? Share it below!

Update (July 10, 2010, 12:30AM): Smartcares DM’d me on Twitter telling me that they are already fixing this issue and will send me updates. Meanwhile, they deducted another 10 pesos from me this afternoon around 4pm for the same reason as above! That I subscribed to Nokia’s push email service which I did not do. Tsk tsk. I already called their hotline and requested for another reversal of load. So far, they already deducted 40 pesos from me because of their system’s bug. No load has been sent back to me yet. I already stopped using Smart Unlisurf and I am now using Globe Supersurf as of the moment to avoid getting more deduction from Smart.

Marhgil Macuha

Marhgil Macuha is a Computer Engineering graduate of Batangas State University. He is currently a Senior Solutions Developer at a Canadian IT company.

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