Last March 20, 2013 I signed up for Sun Cellular’s Plan 1699 that included unlimited Sun Text and Calls, Unlimited Internet and Unlimited landline calls. I believed it was a perfect plan for me since I will be going into several endeavors that required me to be constantly connected, offline and online.

But in my short time with Sun Cellular, I have called and engaged with their Customer Service more than a dozen of times. In doing so, I learned some hard lessons. I’m listing them below for your guidance and reference.

1. You need patience — a lot of it.

In the days since I have signed up with Sun Cellular’s Plan 1699 (20 March 2013), I haven’t had the complete service package that they offered and marketed. Included in the Plan 1699 was the unlimited landline calls and you get a landline number, too. I wanted to consolidate my  mobile and landline calls into one device, and this plan was perfect, or so I thought.

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In fairness to Sun Cellular, after just 2 hours of signing up with them, my line was activated and I could send and receive mobile phone calls and SMS, and later in the day, I also got unlimited Internet. But until now they haven’t activate the landline feature. To make it worse, they disabled my account completely since 28 March 2013.

Throughout this ordeal, I have kept my patience and went through the process of calling the customer service trunkline number, 200. Almost everyday I called them (except Good Friday), because they would say to monitor the service in the next 24 hours. I get the same canned response and after 10 24-hour cycles I’m still waiting.

2. There are still great customer service representatives.

I always believe that credit should be given when credit is due. Of all the customer service representatives (CSRs) I have talked with from Sun Cellular, only one really gave a detailed and informed response and who went ahead and created a rebate request for the days that I didn’t get the services I paid for. The level of professionalism and thoughtfulness that Cielo Dumlao, the CSR I am commending, is exemplary. So, Sun Cellular management, give Cielo Dumlao a commendation and probably a raise and a promotion for her work, she deserves it.

3. Sun Cellular Social Media Customer Services Is Not Mature Yet

When I couldn’t get anything useful from the Customer Service hotline of Sun Cellular, I went online and looked for their Twitter and Facebook accounts. I saw that they had a Twitter Account (@suncelltweets) that handle customer related inquiries and complaints. So I sent them a tweet and they promptly replied. But after several tweets and responses from them, I got a feeling that they are nothing but the frontdesk. In the last 10 days, they have not responded with anything substantial, only apologies and promises that they will look into it.

And I know what I’m talking about: I managed a social media customer service team for an American VOIP company before. My team was composed of highly technical and experienced CSRs that can really solve problems. When they promised a client that they will look into it, they did, and regularly updated the clients of the status of the cases. I saw none of them in the CSRs (well, except Cielo Dumlao) of Sun Cellular.

4. Sun Cellular’s Customer Service System is fragmented.

The customer service system of Sun Cellular is so fragmented that CSRs couldn’t do case pull ups and verification fast. The CSRs that I’ve talked to openly admitted that they don’t know what happens after they forward it to the backend operations group. Only once did a CSR dug deep enough to really give me the technical details of my case (see item number 2 above).

Information that CSRs should know like case status and details were often not available or were very vague. For example, CSRs would always say that my case was “being processed.” Being processed can mean a lot of things, what I’d want to know is what step in the process my case was in, who was doing what and when do I expect to get results. Sun Cellular’s CSRs can’t provide you that information.

I’ve always believed that Sun Cellular is doing the Filipinos a great service by offering great phones and affordable communication products. But, they should not let their Customer Service fall behind their service improvements. In the end, great customer service can mean disaster or success for the company’s brand and image.

What about you, do you have your own Sun Cellular experience, bad or great?