Negative Review Complaint about Smart Communications Incorporated (mobile phone operator)


My complaint letter to Smart:

I have been using your prepaid service for almost three years. I have one sim card for calling/texting (0929 500 6447) and another one for internet. Because I live on a remote island and do not want to pay for an expensive boat trip every time I want to topup my load credit, when occasionally in some larger town, such as Coron, I top up my load credit by several thousand pesos.

I had more than 3,000p in load credit on the sim I use for calling, and I use that to transfer occasional credit to my internet sim, usually 200p at a time, because that seems to be the daily limit.

Last time I was in Coron I received an automated text message on my calling number instructing me that I need to top it up with additional load, otherwise it will expire. This is the first time in about two years that I received such a message. Since I was in Coron I topped it up 20p and everything seemed fine, but I received another message that the duration of validity will be 30 days and that the card will expire at that time. I figured I would receive another warning message about this so I did not worry about it.

Approximately one month later it was time to transfer credit to my internet sim again, but it kept failing. I checked the balance and it stated ZERO!!!! I thought perhaps this was because the card expired, even though I did not receive any warning message this time, and that it should be resolved once topped up again. I had to hire a boat to go to the nearest town, topped it up 100p, but when I checked the balance it showed only 100p!!! What happened to my 3000p?

Speed of Smart Communications internet
Chugging along at a blistering, lazy pace.

So I dialed Smart Help at *888 and spent half an hour explaining the situation, over and over again. Not only did it take the customarily long time to weave my way through your convoluted automated menu before I reached a real human being, but the conversation was drawn out and slow as I had to explain myself over and over again. He put me on hold several time, telling me not to hang up and that he will get back to me in a few minutes, but like happened the last time I had to phone Smart Help, after an excruciating half an hour of painful nonprogress, they silently hung up on me.

Why would you take all my load credit when you expire my sim card? Why would you even expire it when I have so much credit on it and use it regularly? Why was I not warned again when the second expiry date of only 30 days was approaching? Why was the second expiry date so short when I had already been using the card for some two years without needing to top it up a little every month? As a programmer it seems blatantly obvious to me that this is all intentional. For some reason I cannot even call your helpline using my smartphone, although I am able to call other numbers. I had to borrow someone else’s phone to call you and I will not spend all day to wriggle my way to another operator who will only hang up on me in half an hour. The first operator fully understood the problem and had the opportunity to call me right back, but did not.

All it would take is a lawsuit to open up your code and show that this is planned on purpose to cheat people, and then a class action suit to force you to return all that you have stolen over the years. But since there wont be records of who is who for all the prepaid accounts, I’m sure the courts will find some useful charity for you to give the funds to instead.

I will no longer use that sim card because for a longer time already I was not able to telephone from it, nor use it for internet while traveling, although texting was fine for some reason. If you do not respond appropriately to this email I will post this message throughout the net, for it makes me sick that big corporations like yourself use such cheap and petty means to cheat your customers out of their money.

[after a week and posting this complaint to their facebook page, contact form and several email addresses, it is not surprising that they have not responded at all]

Slide over, I got places to see, people to meet!

Case 2 – Smart Communications complaint

I promised to take my newly married wife around the world as a sort of honeymoon. Deciding on South America, I was not sure how the internet will be, and when crossing borders. And because I need internet for my income, I decided I would try a backup in the form of Smart roaming, which seemed the best deal of the bunch. I signed a contract, paid 3,000p in advance, and off we went.

We quickly found out that internet was ample on that continent and that there was no need for the roaming.

Every month I received emails of my balance, deducting 300p for a service I was not using at all, until one month the balance was reduced to just above zero. In which case I responded to that email informing them that I no longer need their services, explaining the reason.

Yet I kept receiving the same emails, month after month, the balance now increasingly in the negative. Perhaps I received an email informing me that, if I wanted to terminate the contract, I must show up at their office, or other impossible condition. Again I explained my situation.

Yet I kept receiving these monthly updates. Eventually we returned back to the Philippines, and about a year later I received notification that I must pay some crazy outstanding balance, or else. Again I explained my situation, but eventually the account was handed over to some collection agent, who would send me threatening emails. This is a really fine company indeed.


A little research on the net finds them about in third place, and my experience is that Globe is better as well, but not by much. I’ve heard several reports that these are two big families who act as an oligopoly (cooperating to basically act as a monopoly). Vietnam has apparently kick ass internet, so why cannot this country? I understand that the islands are spread out, in any case, I would encourage this country to improve on this if it wants a successful place in this digital age.

Case 3

Now we live in a jungle, get full signal on Smart and only one, weak signal with Globe. Forced to use Smart, we find the internet speed sporadic and often frustrating. It seems across the country, most of the time it is either a Globe or Smart signal, so they really do seem to behave as an oligopoly. Waiting patiently for Musk’s Skylink superphone.


Lou PrataliLou Pratali
11:04 25 Jul 23
This is a must to do!!Super ultimate tour is the best with Kayangan and barracuda lake, twin lagoons (my favorite), coral garden (blue fabulous coral) were the best. It’s really worth it to pay for private tour (3500 to 4000 PHP). You will also have to pay for entrance fees (150 to 200PHP by location) and eventually shopping at the market - must do (count 300 for 2 for fish, pork, fruits and vegetables, water).
16:11 07 Feb 23
I was looking for a personalized excursion to the beautiful Gulf of Bacuit.Seeing the comments, I contacted Mel.Very responsive, very efficient and perfect organization.The flight attendants were very friendly and very helpful.And I'm not even talking about the meal on board...a marvel.In all fairness, this excursion will remain an excellent memory and I cannot recommend Mel and his team highly enough.A big thank-you.
Alyse TarbottonAlyse Tarbotton
23:48 30 Aug 22
This tour went well above all our expectations! I couldn't recommend this enough! The boat crew, captain and tour guide were nothing but amazing, everyone was so kind, helpful and friendly. The crew knew the best spots to visit that weren't overcrowded with tourists, 3 times we were lucky enough to have whole islands to ourselves! It was my partner's birthday while away and everything went above and beyond, bonfire, cake, birthday card, singing and celebrating with us.If you love camping this is definitely a tout you should do, it has been the highlight of our trip!!
Danish KayaniDanish Kayani
10:24 31 Oct 19
Coron is the best place i have ever seen.. picturesque. Beautiful. Peaceful
We booked a 4 days/3 nights private boat trip from Coron to Sibaltan. The organization went very well from the beginning, the owner answered to all my questions, and we were able to choose which islands to visit and where to sleep. The first night we slept in a bungalow in Banana Island, the second we camped in Araw beach and the last we slept in a seafront bungalow builded on a tree in Pical on Iloc Island.The islands in that area are the most beautiful islands I have ever seen, with clear water, lots of coral reef and fishes to see, white sand and almost deserted. The crew was very friendly and polite and they organize every single meal and for camping they give you a tent which was just perfect! This was our highlight in our 2 weeks in the Philippines and I wish I had booked a longer trip. A private trip gives you the freedom to decide where and when to go.

We are a family operation managing private custom boat tours in the beautiful Palawan area, and are happy to help travelers with their plans through the country, having traveled a lot of it ourselves and planning to visit it all.


  • Steven Demarage

    AWESOME, smart really sucks. Especially in rural areas and also on the level of customer service, Smart services are unstable and unreliable. As always on pinoy level, the customer service is worth nothing and the only exquisit service Smart has, is disinformation or complete wrong info. Also stealing balances is one of their priorities, especially from the poorest persons who have no defense or any digital knowledge at all. The app is confusing and a lack of structure seems to be a core business.

  • gracia reyes

    same thing happen to me with my postpaid plan, since i transfer here in palawan i never use that number and they said there’s no data in my place, i settle this to them requesting to terminate my contract and paid all the unpaid bill. then while waiting for termination, they said i gain P66 i said i dont have access in data yet i still have records that i use it ang got 66 from you, how about the payments that i made without using your service since i transfer in malampaya? and now i have demand letter from their lawyer and keep harrassing me to pay 5,000 ++ because of that 66 pesos unpaid bill. i also told them to see them in court and talk to my lawyer. sending them all my email and text and msg in their page just to reach them asking for help when i need their services. they never stop harrasing me thats why i block them all in my email to have peace of mind.

  • Gus

    I’m from America and got this junk piece of shit.Traveled to all locations in PI. This crap service only give .5 to 0.8 Mbps when it does offer service which is 15% of the time. They claim 5g but somehow China managed to fuck them on speeds. Only wifi internet in hotels is clocked at 155mbps. Business like this on USA would be filing chapter 7 BK for protection. My girl uses Globe and gets better service at cheaper prices. Smart Fck you for scamming hard working Filipinos from their cash.My Tmobile roaming gives me faster service. Class action should be brought against these turds


    I hope someday SMART TELCO will be set on fire, much better if there is no internet signal than very slow speed waiting for download of 10Mb files for almost 10min, WHAT THE F*CK SMART.

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