The Department of Justice issued an advisory to telecommunications companies against unlimited 3G internet promos that are eventually throttled down to snail paced 2G when a certain amount of data is used by the subscriber.
This system of ‘Fair Usage Policy’ of these telcos can be considered as a violation of the Consumer Act of 1992 which advances protection against deceptive, unfair and unconscionable sales acts and practices.
|Warning message from Globe when you reached the 1GB daily limit of its ‘unlimited internet’ promo.|
The DOJ compares the telcos’ FUP with the recent issues regarding the piso fare of some airlines and expiration of gift certificates.
“FUP renders the unlimited promo deceptive or misleading since with throttled data access, the service fails to deliver performance, quality, and value,” the advisory stated.
The advisory makes a very strong case against this practice of the telcos. However, they might just get laughed at with the penalties that they cited.
According to the DOJ, the telcos will be fined of not less than ₱500 but not more than ₱20,000 if they continue with this deceptive practice. They may also be imprisoned for not less than three months but not more than 2 years. Needless to say, these are ridiculous penalties for these giant companies.
Nevertheless, the DOJ may also subject the telcos with Administrative charges and impose a fine of up to ₱300,000. The law also states that these telcos might be forced to issue refunds to the affected subscribers.
Lastly, the DOJ also urged the consumers to be considerate with their fellow subscribers and not abuse the networks by downloading files via torrents during peak hours.
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