Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano said the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) must compel telcos to abide by its order to immediately refund subscribers for overcharging text messages.
“Telcos must moderate their greed and profiteering and refund consumers as soon as possible,” Mariano said.
According to NTC, telcos have been overcharging P.20 per text message or SMS sent.
“Instead of heeding the order, telcos are refusing to refund consumers and vehemently contesting the NTC order as if they are above the law.” Telcos would have to refund their subscribers P1.42 billion in overcharging and a combined P4 million per day for fine,” Mariano said.
Smart said it will file a motion for reconsideration while Globe said it will question the order and will take legal actions.
The telcos violated an NTC order issued on December 2011, directing the telcos to reduce the interconnection charge and make SMS affordable to the general public. But the the telcos did not lower SMS rates from P1 to P.80 for its subscribers. Executives of telcos are now giving alibis, saying they did not violate anything and the NTC order on lowering of SMS rates was not clear.
“The government and the NTC must show strong political will in compelling these giant telcos to refund more than P1.42 billion in overcharges.”
Mariano also urged strong consumer lobbying to force Globe, Smart and affiliate Sun Cellular to refund consumers. “Consumers and subscribers have all the just reasons to demand a refund. These telcos are raking in millions of profits daily through the patronage of millions of subscribers and mobile phone users.”
The solon urged consumers and subscribers to launch actions and petitions to oblige telcos to give the refund. ###