MANILA, Philippines – Prepaid users will also be eligible for refunds from their telecommunication provider, should the networks decide not to file an appeal on the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) ruling to slash short messaging service (SMS) rates to P0.80 from P1.
NTC director Edgardo Cabarios admitted, however, that prepaid users with inactive subscriber identification module (SIM) cards may not receive the refund.
“There will be problems in making the refunds to prepaid users because these users are not identified. So what can be done is, the amount of the refund will be loaded into the SIM cards that were charged P1 on text messages. These SIM cards must be active. If the prepaid SIM card is no longer active, then it will be very, very difficult to give the refund to them,” Cabarios told ANC’s “New Now” on Thursday.
He added that giving refunds to postpaid subscribers will be easier because they are identifiable by the networks.
Refunds to postpaid users can be credited through the monthly bill.
NTC said telecommunication firms have to pay an estimated P6.5 billion in refunds to customers and fines for not implementing the earlier ruling on cheaper SMS rates.
The agency denied on Wednesday the motions for reconsideration filed by PLDT’s Smart Communications Inc. and Digitel Mobile Philippines Inc. and Globe seeking to reverse the NTC’s order.
Cabarios said the firms are given 30 days upon receipt of the order to file an appeal before the Court of Appeals.
If the firms decide not to file an appeal, Cabarios said they will be required to submit to the NTC their respective strategies on how they will comply to the refund.
Both PLDT and Globe said they have yet to receive official copies of the order.