July 13, 2014

Consumer groups press refund from telcos

Various news websites carried reports over the weekend about consumer groups pressing the regulator to compel telcos for a refund. This is related to an order by the regulator last year for the telcos to return some P7.6b in alleged SMS overcharges. The telcos have a pending appeal at the Court of Appeals but the consumer groups argued that the regulator should enforce its order and will just reverse the refund later if the courts rule in favor of the telcos.

Our take: This has been a recurring issue on telecom companies. It remains to be seen, however, if the order is enforceable given the strong opposition by the telcos. The latter argue that SMS is a value-added service which, under the law, is not regulated and should be subject to commercial negotiations.– WealthSec