iPhone users complain of skyrocketing roaming charges


Posted at Feb 16 2011 10:09 PM | Updated as of Feb 18 2011 12:07 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Mounting complaints on hefty roaming charges slapped on traveling wireless phone subscribers have triggered the National Telecommunication Commission to call the attention of local mobile phone companies.

NTC chief Gamaliel Cordoba said the complaints were directed mostly to Globe Telecom, which has inked a deal with Apple to carry iPhone among its list of handsets offered to subscribers.

Cordoba said he will ask the mobile phone companies to address this issue during a meeting on Thursday.

"There will be a meeting tomorrow (Thursday) with them. This needs to be addressed immediately because there were so many complaints from subscribers who brought their iPhones and iPad tablets with them abroad during the holiday season," said Cordoba.

Consumers, he said, should be informed of the roaming charges for mobile calls, text message and mobile internet service immediately upon arrival to another country. "They were complaining that when they received their phone bills they were charged for mobile data even if they did not use the service. They did not know that they had to deactivate or turn off some commands so they won't be charged," explained Cordoba.

"The carriers themselves should educate and inform their subscribers that the factory settings of these devices need to be adjusted so they won't be automatically charged for mobile internet use. It is as simple as that. Moreover, they should sent out a text message informing subscribers of the corresponding roaming charges should they opt to use the service when abroad," said the NTC chief.

Globe officials could not be reached for comment yesterday. Representatives of Globe, Smart Communications Inc. and Sun Cellular were called to a meeting before Congress yesterday. Lawmakers are pushing for SIM card registration and imposition of metering device which will monitor the telcos' earnings.