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Bill seeking refund for bad telco, internet service filed in Senate

Senator Jinggoy Estrada has filed a bill seeking to require public telecommunication entities (PTEs) and internet service providers (ISPs) to refund subscribers if service interruptions have accumulated at least 24 hours in a month.

Senate Bill 2074 or the proposed Refund for Internet and Telecommunications Service Outages and Disruptions Act orders PTEs and ISPs to institute a mechanism that will enable them to automatically refund or adjust the bills of their postpaid and prepaid subscribers whenever there are service interruptions.

The proposed measure will amend Section 20 of Republic Act 7925, otherwise known as the Public Telecommunications Policy Act of the Philippines, to insert 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.

Estrada, vice chairperson of the Senate committee on public services, said the measure intends to implement fair charging of services of telcos and ISPs to the consumers.

The lawmaker said it is important that consumers receive the service worth every cent that they pay, and they will not be charged for the service that they were not able to avail of.

“A refund should be in order if the service outages would accumulate to 24 hours in a month. Serbisyo ang binabayaran natin. Kapag hindi ka nakabayad ng iyong bill sa itinakda nilang due date ng pagbabayad, mabilis pa sa alas kwatro ang pagputol nila ng linya. Kung hindi rin naman nila matutumbasan ang serbisyong binabayaran natin, dapat ikaltas ito sa ating mga bayarin,” Estrada said in a statement.

(We are paying for their services. If a consumer fails to pay his bill on their due date, these companies are very quick in cutting their services. If they cannot provide the services that we are paying for, then it should be deducted from our bills.)

“Bakit tayo magbabayad sa serbisyong hindi naman natin napakinabangan? At sa panahon na halos nakadepende ang bawat galaw natin sa mga gadgets at digital devices, mahalaga ang pagkakaroon ng mabilis, accessible, at reliable connection,” he added.

(Why are we going to pay for services which we were not able to avail of? In this age when we depend on gadgets and digital devices, it is important that we have a fast, accessible, and reliable connection.)—AOL, GMA Integrated News