After viral post on load theft, Globe moves to tighten rules on VAS

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After a Facebook post by a Globe Telecom subscriber who was victimized by a load deduction scheme went viral, the mobile operator said it would enforce tighter rules against third-party value-added service (VAS) providers.

Globe Telecom general counsel Froilan Castelo. Photo credit: Globe Telecom

On Tuesday, Jan. 30, Globe subscriber Feanne Hontiveros Mauricio posted a scathing attack against the telco after noticing that her pre-paid load was mysteriously vanishing over the last few months.

It turned out that a third-party VAS provider named GotDeals Mobile was responsible for the load theft. On Thursday, Feb. 1, GotDeals Mobile formally claimed responsibility and issued a public apology.

“In reference to a Facebook post of a subscriber complaining about loss of load due to 3rd party transactions, we at Gotdeals Mobile, Inc. are taking full responsibility for the inconvenience that the customer experienced due to issues encountered in our servers. We sincerely apologize to Globe Telecom and their customer for the damage that this may have caused them. We have rectified the issue to ensure that it will not happen again,” the statement said.

Globe said unknown load deductions happen when customers click on an online advertisement link or button of VAS providers.

“As a rule, customers should get a verification code via SMS on how to opt-in as well as another SMS for successful subscription and cancellation instructions,” it said.

However, there are instances when partners circumvent the rule, thus, automatically enrolling the customers without consent. This is what happened to Mauricio, according to Globe.

Globe general counsel Froilan Castelo said the company will now implement stricter opt-in guidelines to make customers aware that they are signing up for VAS subscription which entails charges.

“We want to assure our customers that we have clauses in our contracts with partner content providers which penalize those who resort to fraud,” he stated.

To check their load, Globe said upon receipt of any push text message with an access code, customers can text HELP to the access code number to verify service status, then text STOP to discontinue the service if they want to.

The telco also said it has a prepaid load notification service called Load Watch to help prepaid mobile customers get real-time balance and updates on usage of their load.

“With this service, customers have better control of their load should there be unwarranted deductions,” it said, adding that customers should report unwarranted load deductions on VAS.

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