MANILA – Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV yesterday called on telecommunications companies to immediately institute clear-cut policies to solve the problem of unwarranted deductions on prepaid mobile loads, as subscribers have complained of disappearing or "nakaw load".
He said there were already several proposals forwarded during the public hearing conducted by his panel, the Committee on Science and Technology, on the issue and said that he expects the telcos to comply.
Present during the hearing were representatives from consumer groups, IT advocacy groups, Department of Information and Communications Technology, Department of Trade and Industry, National Telecommunications Commission, and telecommunication companies Smart and Globe.
Among the solutions proposed was for telcos to issue notifications to their subscribers whenever a load is added or deducted from their prepaid accounts.
The NTC said around 97 percent, or around 126 million, of the country’s 130 million mobile phone owners are prepaid subscribers.
He said that another important step is to go after value added service providers who are the cause of the disappearing loads.
During the hearing, it was found out that there were instances when clicking "X" on a pop-up resulted in an opt-in to an unwanted VAS.
Aquino said that the telcos are already looking at instituting a two-step process to prevent consumers from being enrolled in a VAS without their consent.
He also welcomed a telco’s move for a system refresh that will opt-out all of their subscribers to all VAS subscriptions and, thereafter, implement a stricter procedure when availing of these extra services.
Globe Telecom’s system refresh, which will automatically opt out subscribers from VAS, started yesterday up to March 10.
Representatives from Smart Communications promised that the company will consider this move.*PNA
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