November 30 of last year when the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) ordered Globe Telecoms, Smart Communications and Sun Cellular to lower their short messaging service (SMS) rate from the standard PhP1.00 to 80 centavos via the Memorandum Circular 02-10-2011. Up to this date, these local telcos failed to follow the request which led to NTC’s new order to refund all the subscribers of the excess charge amounting to P0.20 since the supposed implementation last year.
“There was a savings of P0.20 but where did it go? Certainly, consumers did not benefit from it. So, that’s what we are demanding from the telcos,” said NTC legal head Dennis Babaran.
Since last year, the three local telcos resorted to SMS promos to make the charges cheaper and consumer-friendly. However, regular SMS rate both for intra- and inter-network texts remains at P1.00.
The NTC also ordered all telcos to pay a fine of P200 per day from December 1 until they fully comply with the said order.
Globe, Smart and Sun have 15 days from date of receipt of the NTC order to submit their records of those subscribers who were charged P1.00 of SMS transactions from the effectivity of the memorandum last year. They are also required to indicate how they are going to issue the refund to the said subscribers.
Per PLDT who both owns Smart and Sun, “Smart will reserve comment on this matter as we review our options for seeking remedies.”
“SMS is a deregulated service therefore the telcos can impose charges or set the retail price,” said Globe senior vice president Froilan Castelo.
Photo Credit: wiserbuddy
Last modified: November 20, 2012