Sunday, May 25, 2008

Part Two: Complaints about Cebu Pacific

Cebu Pathetic
By Melanie T. Lim

CEBU Pacific has now been dubbed “Cebu Pathetic” and by another, “Sorry Pacific.” These monikers are not mine but of those whom Cebu Pacific has so aggrieved. The horror stories are real. (Check out this link: Or you can email me and I will send you the link above. Some say, “You get what you pay for,” when you fly Cebu Pacific. Let me ask you, when you buy an airline ticket, what are you paying for? Are you paying to NOT get to your destination? Are you paying to get to your destination three hours late? No matter what price you pay for an airline ticket, you expect to GET TO YOUR DESTINATION on TIME because THAT is WHAT you are PAYING FOR. The decision to go on a price war with the industry leader is a corporate decision. Consumers should not have to bear the brunt of this business strategy. Consumers should not have to be misled into thinking they are getting “value for money” by paying X amount of pesos for Y level of service. We don’t pick up our phones because we are understaffed. We don’t hire managers because we need to cut costs. We don’t entertain complaints in person or over email. When you visit our offices, you will languish for hours. Don’t come screaming at us when your flight is five hours delayed or when you get to the airport and find that your flight is canceled and therefore must pay rebooking charges to get on another flight or when you get your refund in eight months. Remember, we are a budget airline. When you pay low-end prices, you don’t expect high-end service. Still, no matter how low a price anyone pays for an airline ticket, no one ever signs up for CRAP. Everyone expects DECENT service at any price level. You don’t expect lies, sorry excuses or public humiliation. You don’t expect to bear the blame of others because a company has no conscience. A no-frills airline is not expected to provide “perks” to its passengers. But getting passengers and their luggage to their destination ON TIME is NOT a “perk.” It is a contractual as well as moral obligation. In the event, therefore, that an airline is unable to fulfill this basic obligation for whatever reason, it should rightfully compensate the aggrieved passengers or at the VERY LEAST, apologize to them. An airline that decides to drop its prices as a business strategy does not have carte blanche to treat its customers shabbily. Or it should advertise: LOW PRICES. NO CUSTOMER SERVICE. PLANES FLY WHEN FULL. This way, the public can make informed decisions about whether or not they should take the risks of flying with a budget airline. Cebu Pacific has extended a luncheon invitation to Sun.Star columnists. In light of what’s going on, I find the invitation highly inappropriate. Cebu Pacific knows what I want—and it won't cost them a single cent. Cebu Pacific has been informed that I will not be wined, dined and gagged. (

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Complaints About Cebu Pacfic

Cebu Pacific
By Melanie T. Lim

IF the problems of Cebu Pacific continue, it is not only because their airline service is unreliable, their customer relations is equally untenable. It is ridiculous for Cebu Pacific Corporate Communications Manager RG Orense to dismiss the complaints of the public. “We can’t respond to complaints based on speculations because people have the tendency to generalize. Complaints must be specific and the person complaining must be identified.” (The Freeman, 05/13/08). What is Orense trying to say? That the public is making up all these stories about getting bumped off because they have nothing better to do? Would Cebu Pacific prefer that these aggrieved parties organize themselves and document their complaints so they can file a class suit against Cebu Pacific? Would these make it real for Orense? Orense further says that the company is open to dealing with customer complaints but suggests that instead of going to the media, passengers should instead fill out a customer service form which they can do online through their website. (Sun.Star Cebu, 05/13/08). I don’t know if I should laugh or cry over this suggestion. Fill out a customer service form? Might Cebu Pacific act on this in this lifetime? Their customer service hotlines don’t even pick up. And in person, we can’t even get the help we need with an “actual” Cebu Pacific employee facing us. About a month ago, I bought tickets online. Because of a booking mistake, I had to get in touch with Customer Service. It took me days to get through and still, no resolution. Alarmed, I visited the Cebu Pacific office to talk to an “actual” employee. I was shocked at the sight that greeted me. People were packed like refugees all the way to the door. It took me ten days to straighten things out. Then, three days ago, I got a call from my bank. I was told that my credit card had been exposed to security risk and that it had to be cancelled immediately. I was informed that my last transaction was online with Cebu Pacific. Perhaps, there are more risks to flying this airline than we think. In a letter to me, VP for Marketing & Product Candice Iyog says, “On the concerns you have raised, we can only respond to those with specific details.” It is this condescending attitude, seemingly company-wide, that continues to raise the ire of an aggrieved public. Instead of seeking to appease aggrieved passengers, Cebu Pacific responds with astonishing arrogance saying unless complaints are specific, they are speculative. Unless you identify yourself, you are a liar. The message is crystal clear. Cebu Pacific DOES NOT CARE about its customers. Or why else would passengers have to prove themselves simply to be heard? Any other corporate entity would jump at the chance to know what they’re doing wrong so they can do right. Well, apparently not Cebu Pacific. Until Cebu Pacific ACCEPTS, APOLOGIZES and ADDRESSES the concerns raised by the riding public, the complaints no doubt will continue to rise. Where corporate responsibility ends, consumer advocacy must begin. This is why media has to step in. (

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Current Situation in Burma

The Current Situation in Burma

The UN reports the death toll to be around 100,000 with 220,000 missing. 1.5 million are at severe risk if aid does not get in immediately. Instead of allowing aid in and providing the best response to the crisis, the regime is still blocking international aid efforts and even preventing local NGOs access to the worst affected areas. The U.N. said the World Food Program was getting in only 20 percent of the food needed because of logistical problems and regime restrictions. General Thein Sein, the junta's Prime Minister, said on Monday that no foreigners were allowed to go to the delta region, the worst-hit areas. International aid agencies operating in Burma warn that only 10% of the aid needed to cope with the millions struggling to survive had arrived in the country. The military is now even forcing people into camps, similar to prisons. No one is allowed to leave, not even to search for missing family members. They must wear their ID number at all times.

Click phoos here:

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Jobs and Justice, Food and Freedom

Majority of the Filipinos are still trapped in the rigors of daily survival and are unable to think beyond the next meal.
The social faultiline between the rich and the poor is steadily widening.

Today (May 1st), thousands of Filipino workers observed International Labor Day by holding march rallies and protest actions to demand for higher pay and better working conditions
Unity Declaration of the Filipino Working People on the issues of Rice and Food Crisis , Scarcity of Jobs, and Injustices. :