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Feb 21, 2018 @ 18:58

‘NTC to blame for vanishing prepaid load’


The regulator should employ “political will” to force telecommunications firms to get their act together.

Politikos forced the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to force Smart and Globe to provide a longer life for prepaid load credits.

Members of the House of Representatives quizzed authorities about vanishing and expiring phone load.

“In 2016, telco fi­gures show that there are roughly 128 million mobile phone subscriptions in the country, 95 percent of which are prepaid service users… However, Telcos prey on prepaid load subscribers by setting an expiration for the same. This practice forces subscribers to consume the load or risk of having it expire and be left with nothing,” said Tarlac Rep. Victor Yap.

It turns out that the NTC actually had an existing rule dating back 2009 that sets a minimum validity period for phone load, but has not been strongly enforced.

A December 2017 order also set a minimum one-year expiry for phone load starting January, but the two telco players pleaded for a June 2018 effectivity given some “technical issues,” according to an Abante report.

Instead, Yap said NTC should exercise “political will” to make these telco giants follow.

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