It’s been more than a month since I joined the public hearing/consultation conducted by the House Committee on Information and Communications Technology that looked into quality of broadband Internet services offered by local telecoms. It was held last February 19 at the Meridien International School in Taguig City.
One of the issues brought up by my fellow consumers were the unfair policies and practices by telcos with regards to their mobile Internet services. I believe the highlight case of the hearing was Rep. Ana York P. Bondoc, MD’s tussle with Globe Telecom when she was overbilled for an insane amount for using mobile Internet services she wasn’t aware that she was using.
This issue was dealt with in the NTC Memorandum Order No. 01-02-2011 where mobile phone providers are required to inform subscribers and users of this mobile Internet-enabled phones of such features, the charges or rates for mobile Internet access, how to turn off such features and inform customers if their usage is nearly half of their allowed credit limit.
While the NTC memo deals primarily with the concerns of postpaid subscribers, I believe a similar scheme would be implemented for prepaid subscribers, wherein providers would inform users of what mobile Internet service or promo they have subscribed to, the amount of credit they have left and a notice via text message when the subscription is about to expire.
Well, that’s how it was supposed to work. Unfortunately, the NTC Memo seems have reached no one in the telcos.
I remember subscribing to Globe’s SuperSurf promo a week ago and though the system was quick to register me in the service, it did not send any message alerting me that my subscription is about to end. It also did not send me a message saying that my subscription has indeed ended.
So my prepaid credit or load continued to be consumed because I wasn’t sure if my subscription has ended or not. I called up their customer support hotline and more than two weeks after my complaint, no update nor action from Globe has been done.
The very exact problem sought to be remedied by the NTC memo remain persistent, giving us subscribers terrible mobile Internet and customer support services. If an NTC Memo is not enough, perhaps it’s now time we need a law to protect our consumer rights and finally make these telcos take notice and clean up their acts.