NTC summons Globe over ‘vanishing load’

MANILA — The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has summoned Globe Telecom and its mobile content provider over the issue on the disappearing prepaid load or “nakaw (stolen) load.”

The NTC ordered Globe to suspend the implementation of its content service provider agreement with Gotdeals Mobile Inc. pending investigation of a complaint filed by a netizen over the theft of prepaid load.

“You are hereby summoned and required to file and serve your answer to the letter complaint of Ms. Feanne Mauricio, copy of which is herewith served upon you, within five working days after service hereof exclusive of the date of service,” the commission said in its summons dated February 28.

The NTC will hear the case on March 8.

The commission earlier said that it is eyeing to impose stricter penalties against those behind “’nakaw load” or the so-called “disappearing cellphone loads”.

During a Senate hearing on the issue earlier this week, NTC Deputy Commissioner Edgar Cabarios admitted there are erring value-added service (VAS) providers that eat up a certain amount of prepaid load or credit without notifying the mobile phone user.

According to the NTC official, VAS groups’ other telecommunication services beyond standard voice calls and text messaging are considered as spam messages. A consumer should not receive messages if not registered with the VAS providers.

The NTC can suspend the registration of the VAS providers.

Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, head of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, urged telcos to immediately institute clear-cut policies to solve the problem of unwarranted deductions on prepaid mobile loads.

Aquino proposed that telcos issue notifications to their subscribers whenever a load is added or deducted from their prepaid accounts.

Based on NTC figures, about 97 percent or 126 million of the country’s 130 million mobile phone owners are prepaid subscribers. Aerol John Pateña/PNA-northboundasia.com