Solon files resolution denouncing overcharge by telcos on SMS cost

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[/caption] This week, the mobile operators questioned the order of the NTC to reduce the text messaging rate and to refund the subscribers, saying the NTC?s directive to lower the interconnection rate among them does not necessarily translate to lower SMS fee. Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy (Party-list, Bagong Henerasyon) urged the House Committee on Information and Communications Technology to conduct an inquiry on the issue to protect the subscribers. Herrera-Dy, author of House Resolution 2904, disclosed that the NTC has issued a directive in November 2012 ordering the nation’s top three telecommunications companies to refund million of subscribers after finding out that firms have been overcharging their customers on off-net text messages. “The telcos have been collecting an excess of 20 centavos ?P1 instead of 80 centavos for each off-net-text message, or those sent from one network to another, since December 2011,” Herrera-Dy said. Herrera-Dy said estimates made by the Philippine Daily Inquirer showed that Smart Communications, affiliate Sun Cellular and Globe Telecom may have to return at least P1.42 billion to their subscribers. Quoting the NTC, Herrera-Dy also said the telcos had defied Memorandum Circular No. 02-10-2011 or the “Interconnection Charge for Short Messaging Service,” which took effect on December 1, 2011 and ordered the reduction of text messaging rates from P1 to 80 centavos for each text, due to reduction of interconnection charges from 35 centavos to 15 centavos. “In order to avoid allegations of unfair rate setting practices, the telcos must follow the NTC directives to provide refunds to its overcharged subscribers and lower its off-net text messaging rates to the prescribed levels,” Herrera-Dy said.]]>

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