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Text scams, poor service top phone users’ complaints in 2011

Rappler.com
Text message scams and spam, poor services from telecommunication firms, and stolen mobile phones were the top consumer complaints in 2011, data from the National Telecommunications Commission

MANILA, Philippines – Text message scams and spam, poor services from telecommunication firms, and stolen mobile phones were the top consumer complaints in 2011, data from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) showed.

Data from the NTC showed the following top complaints in 2011:

  • Stolen and lost mobile phones – 9,835
  • Text scams – 1,506
  • Poor services – 1,199
  • Text spam – 283


Reports of lost mobile phones have decreased 7.5% from the previous year’s 10,574.

On the other hand, the number of complaints on text scams have remained almost flat from 1,516 in 2010. In 2009, the complaints stood at 1,262 or 36% higher than 2008’s 922 complaints.
 
Text scams are short messaging services (SMS) meant to be untraceable or sent by anonymous perpetrators for crimes ranging from harassment, blackmail and kidnap-for-ransom.
 
The NTC had been issuing warnings urging the public to be wary of text scams. The agency is generally powerless on this because it could not trace the identity of the owner of the prepaid SIM card that was used to send the text message scam. Prepaid SIM cards are inexpensive and could be purchased without an ID.
 
Meantime, complaints on poor services — which ranges from poor Internet connection, erroneous billing, vanishing pre-paid load credits — was cut by almost half from from 782 in 2010.

The NTC did not provide information on the lower number of complaints, but had previously threatened to slap telecommunications firms with punishment fees if these complaints persist.

There were also lesser recorded complaints on text spam, or unsolicited and unwanted commercial and promotional advertisements such as music, ring tones, logos, video clips, in 2011.

Since the NTC issued Memorandum circular 04-07-2009, which does not allow phone companies from sending or initiating push messages to their subscribers, tax spam complaints steadily went down from 1,257 in 2009 to 530 in 2010.

The top telecommunication service providers in the country are the PLDT and Globe Telecom groups. Almost 70 million Filipinos subscribe to mobile phone services. – Rappler.com

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