The Not-So-Early Smart Retention Handset Scam on Retention Hotline *887

I’ve been a long time subscriber of Smart Communications Inc.’s post-paid plan. A little over a month before I can claim my retention handset,  I received a text message from Smart starting that I can claim for early retention.  Since the Samsung Galaxy S5 was available on my plan,  I opted to take it. I was instructed by SMS to call *887 for their phone sales channel / retention hotline. I thought I was getting a good deal since I was getting the Smart retention handset earlier. I thought wrong.

When I called *887 for the first time, I was answered by a very welcoming voice of a female customer service representative. I was told that the process would take around 2 weeks. I still proceeded with the application, two weeks is still earlier than a month right? Besides, they assured me that they would SMS me when the handset and my new SIM was ready for delivery.

After 2 weeks there was still no update from them. I called their *887 hotline again. I was advised that my application was approved and that my order was already forwarded to their warehouse  for allocation of a handset and then scheduled for delivery. I was a bit annoyed. I told them to just cancel my application and I would just wait for my retention date, two weeks from that time. They asked if I could wait another week for my order to be delivered. I again agreed because I believed they can fulfill their promise.

A week passed and no Smart retention handset and new SIM. I called them again and followed up. They said that the handset was due for delivery, and again requested that I wait another week. They promised that they will give me a tracking number for the delivery and an SMS update when the handset is about to be delivered. Feeling frustrated and helpless I again agreed.

Exactly one month from my application, and three days before my retention date, the handset is delivered. Since I was not informed that they were about to deliver it, I was not at home. During my application, I elected my mom as second recipient. The delivery guy demanded an authorization letter even when my mom was presenting her valid IDs. When she couldn’t produce the letter,  the delivery guy just told her that he would return the next day and quickly left.

When I learned about what happened, I was fuming mad.


  • First, the mere fact that I elected my mother as second recipient means that I already gave her authority to receive the handset in my behalf.  The first representative I talked to didn’t mention the need for an authorization letter for the second recipient. She said that the authorization letter was needed only when both me and my mom was not avaliable to receive the item.
  • Second, they did not SMS me or call me when they were about to delivery the handset. I couldn’t stay at home the whole week just to wait for them to deliver the item. Also,  how hard was it for them to just verify with me by telephone?  They have my phone number on record anyway.
  • Third, when I called their customer service hotline again to complain about the misdelivery, the representative was insisting that it was my fault for not preparing the authorization letter. When I explained that I was advised that it want necessary,  she insisted that it was their policy. If that’s the case, their policy is flawed.

Adding insult to injury, when I asked them to activate the new SIM card, they told me that it would be activated within 24 hours. After 36 hours and 5 calls to their Retention hotline *887, the SIM card is still not active.

It seems there are two systems that are working here: the Smart Sales Channel / Retention Hotline *887 and the regular customer service *888. The sales channel works so slow and inefficient that if ever you get trapped in their system, Smart’s regular customer service cannot do anything. Even if you go to their Smart wireless centers, they would just tell you to call *887.

I hope my experience is an isolated one and that this is not the normal process of claiming your Smart retention handset through their Retention hotline *887.

My suggestion, if you want to get your Smart Retention handset, just wait for your retention date and go to a Smart Wireless Center of your preference. Stay away from Smart Sales Channel / Retention Channel *887.

4 Things I Learned from Sun Cellular Customer Service

4 Things I Learned from Sun Cellular Customer Service

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.