A couple of months back, I endured a bit of a hassle which
led me to a pleasantly surprising discovery. I had just come fresh from a
late night movie when I stepped into my car and was met with a dead
current when I turned my car’s ignition key. It was close to midnight
and I was tired, penniless and pretty much alone in the 4th level of the
SM Megamall parking lot.
My first instinct was to call my brother, who was at that time already
in bed, trying to get his kids to sleep. As I was talking to him on the
phone, I realized that there could be a silver lining – a more practical
solution to my dilemma – than running the risk of upsetting two little
boys who take forever to lull to sleep. I told my brother to just stand
by. This little experiment was worth a shot.
And so I dialed 370-MOTO (370-6686). Two rings and a half later, a voice
answered. “Motolite Express Delivery! How may I help you?” asked the
voice on the other end of the line. I explained my dilemma, gave the
details of my whereabouts and my car and was told to wait for no longer
than 30 minutes. Twenty minutes later, at ten to midnight, a guy in a
red motorcycle arrived, parked right in front of my car and courteously
asked, “Sir, kayo po ba si Mr. Magsajo?” Damn straight I’m Mr. Magsajo!
Was I impressed!
I popped open my car’s hood and explained to the guy what it felt like
when I turned the ignition on. The guy pulled out a tester, clamped it
on my car’s battery and confirmed that indeed it was running low on
charge. “Sir, gusto niyo po ba i-jumpstart yung kotse o palitan na yung
baterya?” he politely asked. I explained that I would rather replace the
battery than have the car jump started only to expect a similar problem
the next day. Then I also explained that I was running low on cash and
could only pay via credit card. “No problem, sir,” the guy smiled, as he
pulled out a swiping machine from his motorcycle’s baggage compartment.
This guy was freaking efficient! At this point I was thinking I might
have been trapped in the Twilight Zone…
To make a long story short, this guy came to my rescue on a weekday,
close to midnight, armed and ready…all because he works for a company
that has the guts and the decency to actually deliver on its promises.
You want efficiency? You call 370-MOTO when you need your car battery
replaced – anywhere in Metro Manila, at any time of day.
Inefficiency, on the other hand, that’s much more abundant. Like any
other jaded Filipino motorist, I have my horror stories to share. This
whole gas leak brouhaha along the South Super Highway has many of us up
in arms, for example. Not because we live in the area, mind you – but
because the engineering boo-boo has brought about a level of
inefficiency that’s difficult to fathom. Because the leak has affected
the oil companies’ delivery systems, trying to find high-grade fuel in
Metro Manila is almost like trying to find a needle in a haystack. You’d
have more luck trying to grab a beer from a sari-sari store on the day
before barangay elections.
And I spare no one in this little observation because I was so desperate
to find high-grade fuel last week that I tried going to pretty much
every gasoline station in the Pasig area. You might argue that I’m being
extra picky given the conditions, but I do have my reasons. I am very
particular with the fuel that I put in my vehicles because I have my
cars checked for sediments regularly. I once came this close to
overhauling one of them because of silt found in one of my cars’ fuel
line – a nasty side effect of dirty fuel. So I will pay the extra
premium if only for the guarantee of better combusting fuel.
So again I go back to my argument. Given that there is a demand for fuel
practically everywhere, you’d think that the oil companies – who ask us
practically an arm and a leg for good fuel – would be more adept at
distributing their products. Yes, even in the face of a crisis like the
one caused by faulty pipelines in the heart of Metro Manila. I’m not
taking anyone to court here. Nor am I crucifying the oil companies who
supply what my cars require. Why would I bite the hands that feed my
cars? All I’m doing is arguing for a better and more efficient means of
facing – and handling – this crisis. Come on, guys. We will buy your
products. We have no choice! But give us some quality service naman.
Let’s face it. If a fully Filipino-owned company like Motolite can
deliver on a promise of quality service, I’m pretty sure so can
multi-million peso internationally backed companies like you. It’s a
matter of giving your end consumer the respect and level of service each
of you promise to begin with. Let’s get our act together, y’all. In
truth, the last thing anyone blessed with a voice in media wants to do
is rant. Please. Please give me reason to shut up.
Now, as for those erring bus companies who have absolutely no respect
for their end consumers, count yourselves lucky. James Deakin, Manny de
los Reyes, Andy Leuterio and Ray Butch Gamboa have, over the past few
weeks, said quite a mouthful about your lust for profit and lack of
sense of public service. I’ll hold my tongue. For now. Otherwise, I’d
have entitled this column “Efficiency, Inefficiency and Insensitivity”.
And my dear, sweet MMDA, for what it’s worth – despite our many
differences in principles and opinions – I say bravo. Stand your ground.
I’ve got your back on this one. ’Nuff said.
Efficiency vs. Inefficiency BACKSEAT DRIVER By Dong Magsajo
(The Philippine Star) Updated November 24, 2010 12:00 AM