Expiring Prepaid Phone Loads

prepaidLet’s go a bit off-topic today. There was a featured news article at the Philippine Star last week entitled Enrile fumes over lost phone load.  It was about the Philippine Senate President’s getting angry upon learning that the prepaid load that he has not used during the prescribed period of usage expired. Myself being a prepaid subscriber of a cellular phone company, the situation is not strange to me. Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile would like to summon the National Telecommunication Commission (NTC) to explain why do they allow the cellular phone companies to do that. He even said words to the effect that the practice is like the cell phone companies stealing money from their subscribers.

Expiring the unused credits of prepaid subscribers is not the only issue. Most of prepaid subscribers are also complaining about current loads going gone even if they don’t use their phones to send text messages or making calls. In cases like this, the subscribers suspect the unsolicited or spam messages that they receive every so often to be the culprit. Without clear explanation from the phone companies, subscribers think that they are getting charged for such incoming messages to their phones.

I wish to add one issue not mentioned in the news. This is the expiration of the subscriber identification module (SIM) number when a prepaid subscriber fails to load within a specified period of time. Can you imagine the inconvenience that this undue policy gives to the subscriber and his network of callers and texters? What if the SIM holder is an old citizen who only need incoming calls from his loved ones?

I remember reading somebody’s explanation why the above procedures of expiring prepaid loads and unloaded SIMs must be done. He says that the cellular phone companies have to expire them because they unduly clog the phone company’s computer system. If that is the case, why don’t the phone companies expand their system to solve the problem of clogging? After all, the phone companies are making billions of pesos in profits, aren’t they?

Now that the issue caught the attention of the No. 3 official of the land, hopes are high that moves will be done to curtail these undue policies and procedures of the cellular phone companies. I am one among the many who are hoping for a favorable turn-out on any proceeding that our good legislators may conduct.

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