Senate bill mandates refund for telco, internet service interruptions

Train commuters in Metro Manila browse through their cellphones while riding the LRT on Monday night, March 13, 2023
The STAR/Miguel de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — A senator has filed a bill requiring telecommunication companies and internet service providers to refund their subscribers for service interruptions.

Sen. Jinggoy Estrada filed Senate Bill 2074 that seeks to require public telecommunication entities and internet service providers to create a mechanism that will enable them to automatically refund or adjust the bills of their postpaid and prepaid subscribers whenever there are service interruptions.

It seeks to amend Section 20 of the Public Telecommunications Policy Act of the Philippines to include a provision mandating refund credit to a customer who experienced a service outage and disruption for an aggregate period of 24 hours or more within a month.

Under the proposed measure, the refund credit shall be also granted to customers subscribing to a service on a prepaid basis.

“Why should we pay for a service that we have not benefited from? And at a time when almost everything depends on gadgets and digital devices, it is important to have a fast, accessible and reliable connection,” Estrada said in Filipino.

“Genuine accessibility can only be achieved if the connection services are regular, reliable, consistent, uninterrupted, and fast to allow continuity of activities and interconnection among different users,” he added.

Sen. Bong Revilla also filed a bill mandating telecommunication companies and internet service providers to institute a refund mechanism for service disruptions. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

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