BEWARE: PLDT Home Ultera Plan 999 is a BAD choice

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UPDATE: An update of this post is available in this link: BEWARE: PLDT Home Ultera Plan 999 is a BAD choice (Update)

This is just my personal opinion and review for the PLDT Home Ultera Plan 999. I believe it is not with the plan value, I believe it is the whole Ultera thing that did not serve me and my internet requirements right. I believe I need to post my experience here so that other people will be aware of and that they can decide better.

NOTE: If you are reading this because you are trying to decide if you go for PLDT Home Ultera Plan, please read on. My experience can help you decide if it is a go or not. If you already have PLDT Home Ultera Plan and you have lots of complaints so you stumbled upon this post, then we are in the same boat.

First, I have been a loyal client of Smart Bro Canopy, plan 999. I had it for more than 5 years and I have had few complaints in terms of speed and connectivity. For the entire service duration, there were only a handful of days that I complained for "no connection".

Until a month ago, my internet connection speed went too slow -- unacceptably slow! Few days later Smart Bro tech went over (site visit) to fix the antenna problem. After another week, my internet connection dropped intermittently -- it cut me consistently in few minutes interval. I reported the problem, the same tech did a site visit and this time, he manually reset the antenna by doing a "short" in the internal jumper in the circuitry. And the tech said that Canopy will be phased out and no further support will be given to Canopy customers. If the problem will arise, he said, he will just manually reset the antenna again. No antenna replacement option is available since Canopy will be phased out. Then he mentioned I needed to upgrade to Ultera.

That was the wrong decision I made.

He said, Ultera is faster since it is using LTE. To cut this short, here are bad side of using Ultera.

General Problem

A. There's the CAP

Ultera Plan 999 usage is limited to 1Gig PER DAY, which means 30GIG a month. The old Canopy I believe also had 30GIG cap a month. The problem with Ultera is that the cap is on a DAILY basis. If you are away from the house and did not use your internet, the 1GIG data allocation is lost unused. It is not carried over for the next days. Also, for home use, though you might tag it as a "personal" use, 1GIG data can be used up immediately! Why? Because 1GIG covers all the download and upload of data! Ridiculous, huh?

Yes, given that Ultera is faster than Canopy since it can work at 4MBPS, in just few hours of high-speed browsing, your 1GIG allocation will be used up! What I am saying is, they increased the SPEED and then control your usage in such a way that you will need more daily data allocation. Then they will tell you to upgrade to a higher plan to have higher CAP value. Dirty trick!

B. There's the CAP, how to monitor?

No monitoring. Period.

When you happily use your Ultera internet with a better speed, there is no way of telling how much data you have already used up so that you will become more intelligent in allocating your internet usage. The only time that you know that you already reached your 1GIG allocation for the day is when your internet connection drops crawling like the old ISP Bonanza dial-up connection! You start the day with a speed of up to 5MBPS and after lunch break, your internet speed is crawling with 12KBPS speed. How do you like that?

C. Weather Based Signal

That is the truth that we cannot deny. LTE is a signal-based service so expect a consistently inconsistent signal especially on rainy days. If in the area you are living has some other radio interference, then your internet connectivity can be erratic any time without notice.

D. Poor Customer Support

Can you tell me a common ISP in the Philippines with commendable customer support? I hope you can nominate your own ISP.

With PLDT Home Ultera, they won't keep you waiting long on their hotline, but support is very poor. I meant "technical support". They are BEST in account related support and other basic stuffs but with technical support, I rate 3 out of 10.

Their support system or ticketing system is also a BIG MESS. There was one time that I needed to request a site visit or a callback from their field technician, but the request CANNOT be created because there was still an OPEN REQUEST that was made 2 years ago!!! It took me about 3 months to constantly call them for the OPEN REQUEST to be finally CLOSED.

How do you like that kind of ISP? Think again.

And the last WORST encounter I have had with their technical support was when I asked to talk to some support from the NETWORK division since my problem was with their network -- IP address issues specifically. I made 3 calls for the booking -- with their exceptionally terrible service, NO ONE called me to address my concerns. On my fourth call for booking for a call from their network engineer, the agent simply told me that, it is already my own problem since my internet is already working and my IP address issues are no longer covered! And right after that, in that same week, I pre-terminated my PLDT Home Ultera Plan 999 after less than 3 months of use.

That was my best decision then.

Main Problem: Unresolved

With the general problems I described above, I can deal and live with them.

  1. Since there was a 1Gig daily CAP, and no monitoring system from PLDT to monitor my usage, I installed a free internet usage monitor so that I only use my internet for the right and good stuffs.
  2. I minimize Facebook and video streaming during the day if I intend to use the internet for real work during the night.
  3. I pause and relax when connection intermittently drops, I have no control over it anyway.
  4. Etc, a lot of etc.

However, the only thing that forced me to pre-terminate Ultera is its NETWORK problem.

  1. The IP address is dynamic, so it keeps changing each time I turn on the router. However, most of the IPs assigned to me for the span of less than 3 months have BAD REPUTATION. That caused me a lot of trouble browsing since other sites banned me without fault. Other sites require me to enter CAPTCHA codes to test if I am human or a spamming robot.
  2. I have duplicate and conflicting external IP addresses. That was the main reason why I asked for a network person to call me to discuss about it which unfortunately, PLDT did not employ ANY network support engineers so no one called.
  3. Because of the existing duplicate external IPs, I am not able to use my FileZilla FTP client to update my websites!!! FTP software cannot connect to my hosting server because of IP conflict. I already contacted my hosting provider and the problem is NOT from their end, it is from the poor PLDT Ultera network infrastructure so the only way to solve it is to PRE-TERMINATE PLDT Home Ultera Plan 999.

I would like to add, I need not pay the pre-termination fee because the problem is FROM their inability to fix network related issues. So the last Smart agent I spoke with was wrong -- the IP issues that I brought up with them was still covered by their support which they do not know how to fix!

In conclusion, if you are a light internet user -- and want to pay 999 a month for "light" internet use, then go for Ultera. Otherwise, NEVER MAKE IT an option. I personally do not recommend PLDT Home Ultera to family and friends!

No to PLDT Home Ultera