Telcos told to refund subscribers P0.20 per SMS

Posted at 11/20/12 4:34 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Telecommunication firms were told to refund subscribers the 20-centavo cut in SMS rates supposed to be implemented starting December 1, 2011.

On Tuesday, the National Telecommunications Commission said telcos are currently charging P1 per text message when they should have been collecting only P0.80 per SMS.

The order stems from NTC's Memorandum Circular No. 02-10-2011 issued in October last year lowering interconnection charges to P0.15 per SMS from the original P0.35. This, in turn, should bring down the regular cost of text messages to P0.80 apiece from P1.

The telcos were given until the end of November that same year to implement the reduction in rates. Since not one among the three firms--Smart Communications, Inc., Globe Telecom, Inc. and Digital Telecommunications Philippines, Inc.--has carried the new rate, the regulator is now ordering the refund to be paid to consumers.

The NTC has no estimate of the total refund to be paid out, but it said around 20 to 30 million regular SMS are sent daily between networks.

Moreover, the regulator said the three telcos should come up with their own schemes in returning the amount or they will be fined P200 per day since the order was implemented. -- from a report by Lois Calderon, ABS-CBN News Channel