Is the Government Complaint Hotline 8888 really working?
The National Citizen's Complaints Hotline, also known as Hotline 8888 was launched last August 1, 2016. One will be able to access them via email or call using their home and mobile phones. It is free of charge for PLDT and Smart/ Sun subscribers while there is a Php 5 charge for Globe subscribers. Since I am a Globe subscriber and do not want to incur additional charges, I opted to contact them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are wondering if our complaints against the government have finally stopped from falling on deaf ears, let me share with you a personal experience with the Citizen's Complaints Hotline.
This is not the first time I had encountered problems with Philpost or the Philippine Postal Service. In 2015, a friend from the US sent me an audio CD. I paid Php 100 for "taxes" but was surprised that my parcel was actually empty. My friend told me that she is 100% sure that she was able to send them but it has simply gone into thin air just like magic. I tried to raise my concern but they said they could not answer me.
Early last year, I signed up but with Procter and Gamble's Everyday Me program - a sampling site for the latest P&G products. I was lucky to get some samples but most of the time the samples that they send do not reach me, I contacted customer support and was told that it was shipped via our local post office and we can simply get in touch with them to follow-up. I called my local post office and said they would check. Tried this multiple times but I just got tired and never got them. I simply gave up.
Then, last July 22. AIP sent me GCs as a reward for participating in their surveys and to my dismay. It was not delivered to me again. It was sent last July 22 and should be delivered in 1-2 weeks. After the second week of waiting, I called our local post office and asked for the status. I provided them my reference number (since this is a registered mail) but they said they have no record of it. I was advised to call again when the delivery man is in the office to check the status only to be told that they do not have a record of it. I was advised to call back again after a few days to check if this mail has been forwarded to them. After multiple calls (more than 20), I was informed that nothing was forwarded to them and I need to check with the sender or the post office where the mail was sent.
Since my mail was from Cebu and it would be really hard to follow-up with them, I decided to ask help from Hotline 8888.
Here is the timeline of what happened:
10.03.16 - I sent an email to Contact Center ng Bayan asking for their help.
10.04.16 - They acknowledged my email and gave me a reference number.
11.10.16 - I received an email from the Cebu Central Post Office asking for more details about my complaint.
I had a series of email exchanges with Cebu PO. I was informed that my concern will be forwarded to a different post office in Cebu where my mail was processed. Honestly, by this time, I have lost interest in my missing parcel. It was not really that valuable that I can just let it go. Though inside of me, I feel that it is our right to have decent postal service in the country. With the rising age of e-commerce, it is about time that we have a reliable and trusted postal service from the government.
12.29.16 - I was surprised to get an email with a very long attachment. As you can see, it has been 3 months since I sent my initial complaint. I thought they have forgotten about my complaint or my concern was never forwarded to the other post office.
But I was wrong. During these times that I did not hear from them, I am so happy to say that my/ our government is working. Here are the other things that happened:
11.14.16 - This is the last day of my email exchange with the Cebu Central Post Office and Mr. Potian immediately sent a letter to Mandaue Central Post Office regarding my concern and sent them all the information that I have provided to them.
11.17.16 - Mandaue PO sent an email that this has been forwarded to Bacolod PO and they provided waybill number and other proof that it was indeed forwarded to my local post office.
11.29.16 - Civil Service Commission wrote to the Acting Postal Area Director regarding my complaint to follow-up and to ask them to act on this matter and requesting for feedback in 5 days after receipt.
12.01.16 - A report to the Department Manager for Central and Eastern Visayas regarding my complaint including the results of their investigation was submitted.
12.28.16 - A certification was issued about the status of my lost mail which I can use once I go to Bacolod PO. I need this because for the longest time they have been telling me that no mail reached them.
12.29.16 - I receive all these updates about my complaint.
- case closed -
It may take a lot of time to get a resolution but I am glad someone is acting on these complaints no matter how small or big it is. After a few days, I was notified by the sender that they got a returned mail and that they would resend my missing mail.
Coincidence? I do not think so. I think they have to do something about my missing mail because finally, the government has stopped being blind and deaf on all of these inefficiencies and complaints from ordinary citizens. These irregularities are no longer tolerated and it is about time that we are all treated as first-class Filipinos.
So, if you think you have issues or suggestions, don't hesitate to contact hotline 8888. They are very helpful and they are really working.
Do you have similar stories? Please feel free to share below. :)