From a stan moment to a controversy.
Liza Soberano represented the majority of Filipinos when she took to Twitter on September 6 to voice out her frustrations over her internet service provider. “Converge really needs to start fixing their internet speed. I am an unhappy customer,” the actress tweeted.
Converge really needs to start fixing their internet speed. I am an unhappy customer.
— Liza Soberano (@lizasoberano) September 6, 2020
In a follow-up tweet, Soberano took the liberty to tag the ISP in question– a fearless move that would have made all the Karens in the world proud. Then she ended her thread with another explosive missile that says, “Can’t even answer the phone whenever we call. How unprofessional.”
It had started out as a stan moment, like watching Daenerys Stormborn command her dragon to burn down her enemies. If only we had as much clout as Liza Soberano, we might have said and done worse things. I, for one, am notorious among my social media peers for frequently coming up with posts expressing my grievances towards my ISP in a variety of ways– from jokingly recruiting talents to join me in a Mission Impossible-like undertaking to destroy the telecom company, to spamming their official social media page with memes, to simply cursing at them in all caps when I’m too frustrated to get creative.
Most of us– if not all– have said a thing or two against our respective ISP. After all, as of July 2020, the Philippines sits at 113th out of 138 countries in terms of mobile internet speed, and our fixed broadband internet is ranked 109th out of 174. This is according to Speedtest Global Index, which also rates the internet speed in the country as below the global average. Needless to say, internet connectivity issues have always plagued the country.
However, our struggle with internet speed and connection seems to have been magnified by the presence of the global pandemic. Almost everything we can’t do due to the threats of the virus, we now do them in cyberspace– from socializing, working, schooling, to selling and buying goods. An average Filipino basically relies now on the power of the internet to get through the day.
Liza Soberano’s online moment with Converge has done us the huge favor of scoring one against our common kontrabida. It’s like the opposite of endorsement (Do we already have a word for that, as in the act of canceling a brand or a product using your public influence?), and as expected, Twitter users backed her up, relaying their own frustrations and experiences involving unsatisfactory services from their ISP.
No more unhappy Liza; more unhappy netizens.
A day after Liza Soberano posted the tweet, Converge’s rival telecom company PLDT entered the scene like a savior and saved the day! On September 8, Soberano took to Twitter again, this time to announce that she finally got her internet fixed. “Okay so @pldt came to my house yesterday and hooked me up with the best internet I have ever experienced in my whole 5 years of living in this house. 300 MBPS. What a lifesaver. Lag? I don’t know her,” she wrote.
Okay so @pldt came to my house yesterday and hooked me up with the best internet I have ever experienced in my whole 5 years of living in this house. 300 MBPS. What a lifesaver. Lag? I don’t know her.
— Liza Soberano (@lizasoberano) September 8, 2020
This time, though, her tweet did not sit well with many people on Twitter, who pointed out that this was favoritism on PLDT’s side. A lot of Twitter users who commented on Liza’s post were baffled by how quickly the company responded to Liza, whereas they’ve waited for weeks to have their concerns addressed.
“Pag sikat, mabilis at action agad si @pldt pero pag normal na tao, robot ang kakausap at di ka pa rereplyan agad. Hanggang sa makalimutan na nila yung concern mo. Sus!” Said a frustrated customer.
Another unhappy Twitter user wrote, “A little consideration to those who don’t have good internet connections with pldt. This post just states na pag artista ka o public figure ganda ng serbisyo!”
The sad reality is, we can keep on lashing out on these telecommunication companies for their internet services that are not worth what we pay for, but the fact remains that they don’t really care that much about us. We’ve carried these frustrations for too long, but our complaints merely fall on deaf ears.
Although Liza Soberano has made it clear that her tweet was not intended to brag about her situation but rather to express her relief over finally getting her internet fixed, we can’t hold it against those people who felt offended by PLDT’s to the rescue act. For one, it gives the impression that it takes a famous celebrity to get them to act accordingly. Second, it is insulting to the part of a regular Filipino citizen who pays for their internet just as much as any big names out there, as it’s pretty evident that they’ve done it for publicity.
The moral of the story is, you don’t earn people’s approval by suddenly playing the hero card when thousands are aware of the fact that you’re not a hero, to begin with. You earn by it by treating your customers fairly.
What do you think about this Liza Soberano internet fiasco?
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