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I’ve opined in past posts about Cignal being the best satellite service in the Philippines. Sadly, I can no longer in good faith make this claim to my readers. “Philippines: Cignal’s Dreadful New Channels” will attempt to explain why my zeal for Cignal has cooled considerably.

Philippines: Cignal’s Dreadful New Channels

It all started when Cignal decided to drop one of my favorite channels, 2nd Avenue, on June 5. Fortunately, before the station was terminated from the Cignal line-up I was able to watch the series finale of one my favorite shows, “The Middle.”

However, imagine my dismay when I discovered 2nd Avenue, Channel 28, was replaced by a piece of absolute rubbish, RJ TV.

Now I recall seeing RJ TV on a one-hour show on Sunday mornings on the erstwhile 2nd Avenue; it was called “RJ Sunday Jam”. RJ TV is a broadcast company owned by long-time Filipino guitarist/musician Ramon “RJ” Jacinto. 

Personally, I never watched the “jam” but did enjoy viewing the “eye candy” on RJ’s commercials for his roofing company, Jacinto Color Steel, Inc., seen below.

Photo Credit: YouTube screen grab

Nevertheless, the “programming” I’ve seen on RJ TV now is completely unwatchable and encourages me to rip my eyeballs out of their sockets. I’ve flipped on the new channel 28 RJ thrice. Twice, I was subjected to a Pinoy wrestling program that looked as if it was filmed in the 1950’s.

I also caught the end of some senseless, low-budget “talk” show which further dulled my senses, if that’s possible. Faster than a babysitter’s boyfriend when her parent’s car pulls up in the driveway, I switched to a different channel.

 eGG Network, More Useless Crap

Graphic Credit: astro.com

To further erode my love for Cignal satellite, in addition to RJ TV, Cignal has added another worthless channel, the eGG Network. eGG is South East Asia’s first 24/7 eSports & Gaming Entertainment Network and features competition between online gamers.

Amazingly boring, and even worse than watching FIFA World Cup “football” (soccer) matches, something which I thought was impossible.

The Chat with Cignal

Being an American, it behooved me to complain. I went to my Cignal Portal Account and enabled the live chat feature. Here’s a portion of how the chat went (I was able to download the chat dialog later.) I have deleted the customer service representative’s real name and have replaced it with “GypGyp.”

GypGyp: “Good day! I am “GypGyp”from CignalTV. How may I help you regarding your Programming concern?”

ME: “Why is Second Ave channel 28 being replaced by RJ TV which is completely unwatchable?”

ME: “The quality of the programming on RJTV is an insult to longtime subscribers.” [Editor’s Note: I’ve been a postpaid subscriber for over three years.]

GypGyp: “I see. Let me assist you with that.”

ME: “Ok.”

GypGyp: “For your concern, my apologies on the inconvenience.”

GypGyp: “We’re sorry for the inconvenience. These changes are part of the agreed contracts between Cignal and the content provider thus changes on the channel line-up may occur without prior notice. Please bear with us as we continue to deliver the best viewing experience and more awesome contents in the future.”

ME: “If you continue with RJTV I will cancel my subscription”

GypGyp: “I will take note of that.”

ME: “You are simply giving me a scripted answer”

GypGyp: “My apologies, but my I ask if the channel 2nd avenue is one of your favorite channels for you to decided disconnect the account when RJ TV continues?”

ME: “I will contact Cignal if I decide to disconnect, I am NOT giving you authority to disconnect my account.”

GypGyp: “I see. But for verification 2nd avenue is not one of your favorite channels on your line up?”

ME “Please, did you not understand, 2nd Ave WAS one of my favorite channels, why replace it with RJTV which is showing poor quality pinoy wrestling matches?”

GypGyp: “Okay, I will take note of that.”

GypGyp: “Other than this is there anything else I can assist you with?”

ME: “No, however, I leave as a very unhappy customer for the moment, goodbye.”

The Crusty Old Expat Answers the Cignal Survey

Not known for my diplomacy, I could have answered the Cignal Service Rep, with less sarcastic replies at times, but keep in mind I am a “Crusty Old Expat.” Furthermore, I detest scripted answers from any company’s customer service employees no matter what country they’re from.

Nevertheless, I no longer use any profanity in my dealings with customer service reps anymore but doubt I will ever lose my sarcastic American tone.

I gave a follow-up survey from Cignal the worst possibly rating I could on every question they asked.

RJ TV Still on the Cignal Line-up

RJ TV still remains on the Cignal channel line-up as a “Test Broadcast.” I know of other expats who have subscribed to Cignal feel the same as I do regarding the recent programming changes.

While Cignal does, of course, have the right to change their programming at any time, I, too, have the right to express my displeasure with changes I don’t agree with.

I’ll be searching for another alternatives for my television viewing. While we do have a “SMART TV” which I can connect to our Internet, I don’t care to use up all my data to watch programs from Al Gore’s World Wide Web.

Hopefully, RJ TV will soon be scrubbed from the Cignal line-up. Also, someone needs to crack that new eGG Network, toss it in the frying pan and then scramble it.

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