Detailed prepaid, postpaid phone bills pushed

PRINCE GOLEZ

MANILA – Telecommunication companies may be required to provide detailed billings on prepaid credits and postpaid consumption if House Bill No. 6563 is passed into law.

The Mobile Subscribers Bill of Rights generally seeks to protect subscribers from profit-greedy telecom service providers.

Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate (Bayan Muna party-list) filed the measure in light of reports that a telecom company imposes additional charges for its printed billing statement, reconnection fee and data plan.

“What is worse though is that subscribers are clueless of these charges until they are billed for it,” Zarate said.

The lack of transparency in the true costs of mobile phone services enables telecom companies to impose onerous charges, said Zarate.

“Prepaid subscribers often are left blind as to how some of their credits were consumed, if they were indeed consumed at all. The credit or load expiration is also a dubious practice,” he said.

“Postpaid subscribers, meanwhile, bewail a lack of transparency on the charges levied against them as found in billing statements,” he added.

Moreover, Zarate criticized the telecom companies for refusing to implement the National Telecommunications Commission’s (NTC) 2011 order to deduct 20 centavos from interconnection charges for text messages.

“Interconnection fee is charged on every SMS sent from one telco to another,” he said. That the NTC allows these telcos to greedily charge P1 despite the lowered interconnection fee is a clear case of its failure to protect the Filipino consumers.”/PN