NTC readies guidelines for telcos
MANILA, Philippines-- Bowing to pressure from lawmakers, government regulators were finalizing on Thursday new rules requiring mobile phone companies to treble the shelf life of prepaid credits amid persistent complaints of “vanishing load” from consumers.
Under the new NTC rules, prepaid load of P10 or less will have a three-day validity period, compared with the present policy of both Smart Communications Inc. and Globe Telecom Inc. of having credits in this bracket expire after only 24 hours.
At the highest end of the range, credits of P600 to P1,000 will have a validity of 180 days from the time they are loaded into a prepaid user's account. This represents a 200-percent increase in load shelf life from the present policy of Smart and Globe to have a maximum validity of only 60 days.
“The expiration or validity of prepaid loads shall correspond to the amount of loads purchased,” according to the NTC draft circular. “The higher the prepaid loads, the longer is the expiration or validity period.”
According to the new scheme, credits of P10 to P20 will be valid for seven days; over P20 to P30 for 10 days; over P30 to P40 for 14 days; over P40 to P50 for 17 days; over P50 toP60 for 20 days; over P60 to P70 for 24 days; over P70 to P80 for 21 days; over P80 to P100 for 30 days; over Pl00 to Pl50 for 45 days; over Pl50 to P200 for 60 days; over P200 to P300 for 90 days; and over P300 to P600 for 150 days.
“The validity period starts upon receipt of confirmation of the prepaid loads purchased,” according to the draft circular. “Call data records shall be made available to the prepaid users upon request free of charge.”
It also mandates that access to balance inquiry service through text messages shall be free of charge.
The NTC's new policy comes after the regulator and telecommunications companies endured a storm of criticism from senators and consumer rights advocates in recent weeks, caused by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile's complaint of “vanishing load” in his prepaid account.
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Salamat naman at hinabaan na ang expiration ng mga load. At free of charge na ang balance inquiry at paghingi ng records. Nakakarma na ang mga pesteng telcos na yan sa pang-buburaot nila sa taumbayan. Bwisit na bwisit na talaga ako sa kanila everytime na lang na bigla kang ma-che-check operator nang hindi mo alam ang dahilan. Tapos pag tumawag ka walang malinaw na sagot ang ibibigay sa iyo. Kung hindi pa nawala load ni Sen. Enrile hindi pa gagawa ng action. Onli in da Pilipins!