Filipino Customer Service: The Perpetuating Cycle Of The Three F’s

Filipino customer service always reminds me of this movie quote: “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate”

It’s a famous line from a famous actor in a famous movie. Struther Martin said it in “Cool Hand Luke”. Have a look:


It’s funny because I’m always reminded of that famous movie line, and I even say it out loud whenever I’m dealing with any customer service issue in Philippines with any company or business. And it’s not limited to any company either. It’s pretty much any communication I have with just about any Filipino.

Customer service people here in Philippines are pretty much useless idiots. Their entire vocabulary consists of a few main keywords which I call “The Three F’s”:

“forward” (I will forward this to the appropriate dept….”)

“feedback” (“I will call you tomorrow when I get feedback from….”)

“follow up” (“I will call you tomorrow to follow up on the issue”)

First contact Filipino customer service agents (I prefer to call them customer service idiots) are not given any authorization or permission to make any decision whatsoever in the resolution of any problem. They are just there to hear your complaint, and the first course of action is to attempt to blame the problem on you. If they cannot convince you that the problem is your fault, then you get “The Three F’s”.

Where I grew up, customer service agents are there to do everything possible to resolve your problem. That’s what they are there for. They have the authority to make a decision to issue a refund, or send out a technician, or whatever would best resolve the problem. Often times, the problem is resolved with one single phone call, or resolution is in motion, and no further action is needed from you.

But not here in Philippines. Customer service and problem solving are merely an illusion. What is the point of having a customer service number to call if the customer service agents are not allowed to do a fucking thing for you except feed you bullshit and empty promises and inaction? What is the point of “forwarding this to the appropriate dept”??? Why not bypass the useless customer service idiot and let me actually talk to someone who can actually do something to solve my problem???

But what you get from the useless idiot is empty promise to “forward”, then “follow up”. But you never get a follow up until YOU call THEM back. Then when you call them back, you get a completely different useless idiot who knows nothing about your complaint. So now you have to repeat the same process over and over and eventually, most people just fucking give up. But not me. I have learned to bypass the useless idiots by demanding to speak with someone who can make a fucking decision.

Even with the most simple issue or problem, something that can be resolved immediately with a simple decision and a simple action, you get the idiotic “Three F’s” bullshit. It’s pathetic. I have observed over the years here in Philippines that Filipinos have no sense of obligation to their customers. They just create the illusion of a good product or service, which usually fails one way or another. Then when you complain, you’re heard but ignored.

Essentially, the purpose and goal of customer service agents here in Philippines is to make promises that are never kept, console you, and try to end the call as soon as possible, then forget about you and take no further action so that they can answer the next call and do the same to them.

What you get is consolation but no resolution. You get an idiot to talk to, then from that point on, it’s nothing but forwards, feedback on follow ups, and more follow ups on the previous follow up, then more feedback on the previous 9 follow ups then they forward it to another department to be ignored  and then you have to get more feedback and about 10 more follow ups on that feedback, but NO RESOLUTION OF THE PROBLEM.

Your complaint simply becomes an endlessly perpetuating cycle of the “three F’s”.

I honestly believe Filipinos have very little ability to communicate, even in their own language. It seems nothing is regarded as important enough to remember, and Filipinos can’t seem to remember anything that was said to them beyond a few hours time. So many times, pretty consistently, in my business an employee will ask a question, I will give him the answer, and often will ask the very same question the very next day. I will give the same answer I gave yesterday, and they will ask the question again the next day.

Why bother to ask questions if you’re not going to retain the answer? I get so tired of answering the SAME FUCKING QUESTIONS from the SAME FUCKING PEOPLE over and over again.

What’s wrong with you people?????

Published in Filipino Customer Service, Filipino Stupidity


  1. James Roa

    The system is called SNAFU – System Normal All F@#k Up. At times one can’t blame the support personnel cause the “big guns” that organize and run their respective departments/organizations are the real culprits or in this case the DUFU’s(Dumb F@#K’s)

    It’s a mindset handed down through the generations. If you were to take the time and effort to explain and show the proper way – YO!!! you’ll get the look of disgust and contempt.

    There are however a minority handful of extremely dedicated Filipinos in their respective fields who will go that extra mile to attend and resolve an issue for the customer.

    These handful have the “GOLDEN KEY” of self respect, self pride and possess the virtue of humility to learn, listen and perform a task to the best of their ability. Sadly a good number of these priceless Filipinos will eventually find their way overseas, never see these shores again.

    The root of this evil of this brain drain, talent drain etc etc phenomenon are the POWERS THAT BE in the country. In real essence these “CZARS” are contended to have the system i.e.SNAFU as it is and not improve thereby providing mediocre employment opportunities, pathetic wages and benefits, sorrowful services and thus maintaining their suffocating hold on the country.


  2. filofail

    I do agree. But what also is concerning is that the general population just bend over and take it in the ass from “the powers that be”. They don’t stand up for themselves. They just bend over and take it, and even say “thank you sir, may I have another?”

    Yes, there are a handful of filipinos who do not fit into this mold. Sadly, they are so few that it is just better to use their smarts and get the fuck out of here and never look back.

    The only reason the corruption flourishes here is because it is so trivialized, and nearly everyone is corrupt in their own little ways as well. They are habitual liers, they think absolutely nothing of blurting out a blatant lie to cover their ass, and no matter how many people know it’s a lie, they will just bend over and take that too.

    The corruption flourishes because nobody does anything about it but talk about how corrupt their government is, and that’s why I don’t have a job. Well they don’t want a job. They just want to beg.

    I know so many young people who tell me their mom sells fish, or bakes delicacies to sell, or does whatever it takes to make an income while their dad drowns his sorrows away drinking beer with the money mom makes bitching about the corrupt government is the reason he doesn’t have a job. You don’t see dad doing whatever it takes to make an income. Why should he? His wife provides the money, and whatever is left after paying for his beer, the family eats.

    They want the corrupt government to blame as an excuse for their own failures. It’s a perpetual cycle. If you do nothing about corruption, it will flourish. And that is why if flourishes here. They like someone to blame for their own failures. They are so NOT inclined to take responsibility for themselves, but to cast blame for whatever they do.

    It’s truly sad.