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When a communication business fails to communicate

Yes&Know By Aline Yamashita

Many of us are at different stages of recovery from Typhoon Mawar. Many of us though are in the same category of wondering when Docomo will return. The irony of no-communication with their customers, other than there is severe damage and it’s being worked on, is not lost on us.

We used another telecommunications company to email several service requests that were never answered. We called and called only to be disconnected at the 45-minute waiting point time.

There was one actual conversation around 3:30 one morning. The tech told me what I knew: the system was down.

So, I went to Docomo’s Tamuning headquarters to get updated information. I waited for 45 minutes. Not too bad. But what followed wasn’t all that good.

In complete transparency, I was told, they were in the dark about recovery efforts. The repair crews do not update or provide real-time information. I was informed what my neighborhood knew- the system was damaged from the storm. I asked if there was a recovery plan. Could he share when Tamuning would be addressed? Nope.

He confirmed a service request was on file for us. When, I asked. Don’t know, he replied.


Isn’t Docomo a communication business, I asked. No response. He just looked at me and then looked back at his screen that had no information.

I suggested he tell his management that their game plan is unfair to the service agents. No response.

Then I asked if it was better if we switched telecommunications businesses. His response, “We do not discourage that.”

Wow! Alrighty then. No updated information and minimal value as a customer.

I left trying to remember why we went to Docomo in the first place. Frankly, their marketing strategies were appealing. Little did we know that their infrastructure was lacking support.

Our neighborhood chat is vibrant. I shared the interaction. Some Docomo customers already switched. Some of us notched up our hope when we saw trucks in our streets. That was three days ago.

A neighbor shared that the crews were addressing broken lines, which does not equate to a return of service.

One neighbor asked what we’re waiting for.

I’m not sure. But I know we’re starting to look elsewhere.


Thankfully, we also have GTA, which is dedicated to Eric’s computer. I thank God every day for the stellar GTA service. If Eric didn’t have internet access, which is a lifeline for our severely OCD, autistic, bipolar son, life would truly be disastrous. We are able to connect via Wi-Fi off his system.

But my desktop is not functioning. My files are there. I cannot watch national news or programs the way I like to.

And we pay a pretty penny for service.

I guess I go back to the question: what are we waiting for? A return of reliable connectivity. Keep thinking it will return. But if the business cannot be concerned enough to at least provide us information, that wait is probably in vain.

Most unfortunate. This just isn’t the way Guam does business. Guam business has the people at heart. Our concerns are their concerns.

And maybe, that’s why some don’t switch. We want to believe in our businesses. We want them to succeed. We don’t want to give up on them. Guam people always want to hang in there and help. But gosh, they have to care about our business.

Perhaps a very good thing is that we have options.

As always, we’ll figure it out. Some of us don’t care for the hassle of changing provider, but dealing with the hassle outweighs not knowing when our service will be restored.

Someone else will welcome our money with open arms. We’ll welcome connectivity with a smile.

Aline Yamashita is a mom, a teacher and former senator. She served in the 31st and 32nd Guam Legislatures. Send feedback to

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