Monday, May 16, 2011

SmartBRO's Bullshit Slow Torrent Downloads

Okay, just when I thought I was ready to believe that Smart wasn't the greedy inefficient broadband provider like their competitor, I ran across this subtle and undisclosed fair use practice that is best expressed through their actions rather than in writing. Hint: They claim their network is under maintenance, which conveniently always happens when you call up. Here's the truth....

Update (2/14/2012): Some areas are just plain plagued with slower Internet. This advice applies to people who had no prior history of Internet lag and suddenly get ripped off by Smart. Also, although it is rare, some areas do get congested over time. Try the below experiment first if it doesn't fix your problem.

After downloading more than enough movies to last me 2 months of weekend marathons, I was suddenly met two weeks ago with a trickling download speed akin to a 28.8kbps dial up connection.

Google searches yielded people experiencing the same problem. The symptom is this: After a while, you can surf and download typical web sites but you cannot stream or use torrents at that same observable speed. In short, they have filtered specific high-speed traffic from your number.

If you called their customer service hotline you would be met with the scripted answer of a "network maintenance" that is now "fixed", which, of course, is untrue. I, for one, know that neither Globe nor Smart services will go down. EVER. I was tipped by a former Smart employee who works in the server room that if you can't put their system back up in 5mins you might as well tender your resignation - hopefully, five minutes should be enough for you to find a new job. Five minutes is also barely enough time for anyone to notice something is wrong. However, one week of slow Internet IS noticeable.

I had feared the worst but for the sake of experimentation, I used my extra Smart Buddy SIM. Before I knew it, the speeds were back up at breakneck speeds that my N8 had to lock up more than a dozen times in a day because it couldn't handle the speed. Truth be told that Smart blacklists SIM cards that are heavy users.

So what is my consensus? If you're not tied to their ridiculously poor postpaid plan and being victimized by a lock-in period, I suggest you treat your broadband SIMs as disposable items. When the torrent speeds drop, it's time to change SIMs. Don't bother waiting for a month for their so-called traffic reset - they're not giving back that speed to you. PERIOD. At 40 pesos per SIM, it's hardly a loss. Simple as that. Maybe when these fuckwads run out of numbers on their network will they wise up and give us the service we paid for and not the money they want to steal from us.

So SMART, Globe, Sun and Sky, next time when you brag about fast broadband speeds on your TV ads make sure it IS fast in EVERY aspect - CONSISTENTLY. Don't let us use it then eventually slow it down to make room for more oblivious users (tikim-tikim). Focus on customer retention because it's the EXISTING customers who propagate your reputation to POTENTIAL customers. Fair use policies are for pussy providers who mislead customers about their excellent service when their real intention was to rake in more users.

Oh, by the way, before you forward this to your IT team, I AM SMARTer than the mindless hired monkeys you have in your server room and no amount of Oracle, Sun, artificial penis enhancements (jargon of the overpaid worker) and NO-ONE-GIVES-A-SHIT certifications will change that. EVER.

Your IT team are the wrong people to forward this post to in the first place. Forward this to your business analysis team. What you need to fix are your business ethics not your network. There's obviously nothing wrong with your network. It's just the way you do business and I can see through that now.

Update (2/29/2012): I'm down to my 5th SIM card. One word of warning though, there are some SIM cards that are innately slower when you get them out of the box so better buy them in bulk.

Edit: Dear reader, it won't kill you to click on the Google ads on my site. Hell, I'm not even asking you for a donation but help a guy out for providing you free information every once in a while. ;)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

OMG! I though it was just me experiencing this! I think just this month my torrent speeds went from an average 100 kB/s to 20 kB/s!

Then I thought it was just uTorrent screwing up since it's not properly configured but then I tried the sim on my N8 as well and the average speed is the same!

I also noticed recently that downloading from the net is a pain. For instance, I've tried downloading a few mp3s at and my download stops halfway and then ends - same goes for youtube videos. I have to use a download accelerator to get it working and it's only there that I get my regular downloading speed of around 200 kB/s.

What the hell is happening?!

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