PLDT and its wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc (Smart) are assuring its customers of continued service amid fresh COVID-19 restrictions in the country, especially in the National Capital Region, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon, and other affected provinces.
The country’s largest integrated telco has reiterated that both its network operations and customer support facilities are in normal service with adequate staffing and resources, and will continue to serve Filipinos and help fixed and wireless customers stay connected.
“What we have is a real partnership with our customers. We offer various platforms that allow Filipinos to keep in pace with the times and accelerate their own digital transformation – e-learning, telecommuting, e-commerce and e-health – changes that affect individuals, families, businesses and government simultaneously,” said Alfredo S. Panlilio, Smart President and CEO and PLDT Chief Revenue Officer. “We will continue to uphold customer-centricity and bring them the services that connect them to what matters most to them, even amid this great uncertainty,” Panlilio added.
Digital payments and electronic billing
Given new mobility restrictions in the Greater Manila Area, PLDT and Smart continue to encourage their customers to use their expanded digital payment channels and online billing services for transactions.
“The health and safety of our customers is our priority. By using online payment channels, our customers do not have to physically go to our stores to pay their bills. It saves them time, money, and at the same time, protects them from possible exposure to COVID-19,” said Jane J. Basas, SVP and Head of Consumer Wireless Business at Smart.
The telco has seen over 2.91 million customers shift to paperless billing as of February 2021. Although these channels have been in place even before the pandemic happened, Panlilio added that PLDT and Smart are continuously helping subscribers to transition to digital transactions, especially at a time where people are encouraged to stay at home.
Smart Postpaid subscribers can also pay their bills via the unique Smart Pay Express Link in their monthly billing SMS, or by logging on to www.my.smart.com.ph using their My Smart account. They can also download the GigaLife app which could help them better manage their postpaid subscription.
Meanwhile, PLDT customers can go to https://pldthome.com/paymentcenters for available online payment options.
Subscribers can also enroll their postpaid account in their credit card’s auto-debit feature or use the bills payment services of their respective banks. They may also drop by the nearest accredited partner establishments like 7-Eleven, The SM Store, Robinsons, Bayad Center, Cebuana Lhuillier, ECPay, and others.
They can also pay for their phone and internet bills, or buy load via PayMaya or through LazMall and Shopee, and receive rewards and other incentives through the “Stay Safe, Pay Online” campaign.
Enhanced safety protocols
Frontliners who do installs and repairs are provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) and are regularly tested for customers’ safety in their homes. Alternatively, subscribers can also head to PLDT Home’s website for information on how to troubleshoot their own connection at home.
For those who need to visit the brick-and-mortar stores, PLDT and Smart are continuously ramping up its safety protocols to ensure that customers are provided with a safe and healthy space for transactions.
In the last quarter of 2020, the telco introduced a bookings appointment tool to help customers better manage their schedules. With this tool, people are assured of an appointment whether in-store or via a virtual meeting. This means less queuing time for customers.
Stores also undergo regular sanitation, while field personnel are equipped with protective gear and are also subjected to periodic testing to ensure the safety of all.
Demo units in the store are also covered with clear acrylic boxes to help prevent contact. Customers will be able to scan a QR code to virtually unbox a device that they want to purchase. The stores are also equipped with self-help kiosks to walk them through various solutions to help them address their concern. The stores also have protection barriers to protect both store personnel and customers, as well as visible social distancing guidelines, in compliance with the IATF and local government rules. Stores inside malls will also be shortened to give employees time to reach their homes before the curfew.
“We also ensure that we are capable to address customer service inquiries online or via hotlines through our designated team who are ready and on standby, even after store hours,” said Alex O. Caeg, SVP and Head of Consumer Sales Group at PLDT and Smart.
For barangays or towns that are in granular lockdown, Smart has also provided community loading stations in assigned areas to ensure that retailers and subscribers have access to Smart and TNT load, especially during these trying times where communication and access to the internet services are vital.
Meanwhile, customers who prefer to purchase PLDT and Smart products online can visit PLDT and Smart’s official websites or partner e-commerce platforms, as well as authorized social media marketplaces manned by official distributors and retailers.
“At the end of the day, it’s about fulfilling our commitment to Filipinos that PLDT and Smart are here to serve you amid this crisis,” Caeg added.