I received a notice of service suspension from PacNet recently citing that I failed to make payment for services rendered. This is totally ridiculous because I made advanced payment in June 2007 to beat the 7% GST that would be chargeable for payments made after that date, and for that matter, I made a year’s advanced payment. How am I sure that I didn’t make a mistake? Well, I got one of their "portable MP3 speakers" for making a year’s advanced payment.

The thing is, I called them up this morning and asked them about the outstanding about of S$29.87. They said that I only made a payment of S$25.00 in June and none of the S$100++ payment that I made was reflected in their system. So the message that was sent to me was that – unless I can prove that I made payment to them, I can go suck thumb.

There are a few things that I was careless about. Firstly, I didn’t check the following month’s bill to make sure that the payment was reflected. This was because I had made advanced payments to PacNet in previous years (I had been with PacNet since it was "TechNet times"). Secondly, I should have kept the receipt. So now, I can only sit back and suck thumb.

Literally.

I am just amazed that for a company that big (at least somewhat big in the context of Singapore SMEs), something like this can go wrong, and they are asking their customers to bear the brunt of their mistake. Attempts to speak to their manager was futile and the customer service officer was totally not helpful except that "she’d get back to me again". I am so pissed off about the entire incident but I know that there is nothing else I can do. The valuable "@pacific.net.sg" email address was all I needed as it had been with me for the longest time. Even though I have my "free mail" accounts, a "non free mail" account might some times be still useful because registration at some sites do not accept "free mail" accounts.

So now, it seems like my previous payment had been "forfeited" in lieu of my "sucker" loyalty to PacNet and I have no choice but to fork out more money to prevent legal actions being taken against me. Is there anything else I can do?



Reader's Comments

  1. FoxTwo | February 25th, 2008 at 11:01 am

    Easiest problem first – use your @simplyjean.com email account. If it didn’t come with your domain name purchase, head on to Google Apps and get it done.

    Second problem – well yeah, nothing much you can do except to see if the transaction is in the history records of your bank and present that as proof.

  2. Simply Jean | February 25th, 2008 at 11:14 am

    @FoxTwo: Yeah… I’d use simplyjean.com… but I always thought a specially paid account would be more reliable. so much for reliability. They can’t even handle their own systems well. As for second problem: *suckle suckle*

  3. motd | February 25th, 2008 at 11:17 am

    Can’t you track back the payment records from your side? Don’t think you would use cash to pay for a years payment.

    Actually all this payment problems happen from time to time for all companies. Human error are usually the problem. Don’t let them threaten you with lawsuit.

  4. DK | February 25th, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    How did you pay your bills? By credit card? Cheque? AXS?

    Chances are, you can get your payment history from them. Or try search any bills you have with Pacnet. You didn’t pay a single cent since July 07 right? So that must means that you have paid a year worth of subscription. Show them the MP3 player that they given to you.

    Don’t suck your thumb. Not worth giving in to their errors.

  5. tstar | February 25th, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    $100++ leh!
    ^@$#^$#

  6. kriscell | February 25th, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    It seem that pacnet is getting from bad to worst. Me too fighting with them over my payment issue and for my case they can’t even do simple maths and end up overcharging me!!!

  7. malique | February 25th, 2008 at 8:30 pm

    this is ridiculous. go through your payment histories (in any) or go make some noise to upper management. Seriously, they gotta be kidding!

  8. JayWalk | February 25th, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    Like the folks before said, there has gotta be a paper trail somewhere unless of course you zhun zhun paid them in cash.

    Anyway, as for dealing with any service staff, I have the habit of taking a note of the staff’s name. Ask him/her for his/her name. If he/she refused, ask to speak to the supervisor and nail this bugger to the wall.

    All service staff are obligated to identify themselves so that they would be more responsible in taking ownership of your case.

    Another good thing is that when you stick with the same service staff, you don’t have to repeat your entire grandmother story with each new staff.

    One last thing. When the issue has been resolved to your satisfaction, do remember to thank the particular staff. A phone call, a card or even a letter of appreciation to his/her HR department would make a good day for everybody. 🙂

    p.s. To kriscell, there is no such thing as a good ISP to begin anywhere in the world. So from bad to worse to worst? Same difference. We are at their mercy. Really.

  9. Dhope | February 26th, 2008 at 2:33 am

    Ask for your bills dated from 3 months before the start of your advanced payment until current date.

    Explain as “for personal use”. Chances are, different staff are handling issues everyday.

    Then once you get the records, throw the paperwork to them. If you did pay in advance, then there should be some form of proof, like extra payment in 1 month, or zero payment in another, etc…

    Good luck ahead. Im sure something will turn up!!

  10. Time to swtich? | February 26th, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    my dad recently made the decision to switch to singnet as our ISP for his business use because pacnet, despite having been ard for so long, is simply not as competitive and charging exorbitant prices for what would seem as primitive services when compared to what singnet is offering.
    just to illustrate, for $99 a mth, singnet offers 1.5kbps, website hosting, email hosting while pacnet charges a whooping 320 per mth for just the internet service and 1 @pacific.net.sg email.
    perhaps u’d like to consider a switch too

  11. Robert Tan | February 27th, 2008 at 10:58 am

    Just email or write to their CEO (of Pacnet) and, describe the problem, tell him what a useless company he has and you are going to highlight this matter with the Singapore IDA. When you write don’t forget to cc to IDA. This will really shake the system.

    When you get no joy at the customer service level, then go to the top. I do that often and I have always got what I want. Once I wrote to my MP about my town council and the dismal state of cleaniness around my block. Wala !! Boy is it clean now.

    regards

  12. DK » Is it safe to make advance payment to Pacnet? | February 28th, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    […] keep bumping into unlucky stuff lately. And the latest thing to add to her “Tai Shui” list is the Pacnet issue. She paid one year worth of subscriptions last year before the GST increment. And now Pacnet is […]

  13. Wholahay | February 29th, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Perhaps you could go to CASE as well? Make a fuss. Make BIG BIG fuss. It may take up time and energy, but I think it’s worth the effort. Dun let PacNet take yr hard-earned money!

  14. cheekenwing | March 1st, 2008 at 1:28 am

    I’ve had some problems with Pac Net billing before. In general, just don’t pay when you have a payment dispute. It is more expensive for them to send lawyers after you than to properly attend to your request, especially since the amounts are very small. If the threat of the lawsuit looms, just let them know politely that you will take it to the press because you think that there is a strong case against them. Usually it’s not worth the bad publicity.

  15. Technetizen | March 2nd, 2008 at 8:55 pm

    I am from the technet.sg daze too. I think it is time to let go and forget about the pacific.net.sg email address. Mommy! Its (finally) over!

  16. DT | March 3rd, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    Get the world involved.
    http://consumerist.com/

  17. GT | August 4th, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    I know that feeling – I used to have two colo’s with PacNet, and I cancelled them as at December 2008 – I’ve still not been able to retrieve my equipment. Numerous calls and colo access forms, which mysteriously go missing. The latest news is because my account is now deleted I can no longer retrieve my equipment! Perhaps I should invoice them for the equipment.

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