Thursday, July 31, 2008

Pinoys 'tricked' over 50¢/text rate - TxtPower

July 30, 2008 5:18am

MANILA, Philippines - Despite President Arroyo's announcement of a 50¢ cut in text messaging rates, the public may still have been "cheated," a militant consumer group said.

In a statement, TXTPower, a consumer group, said text messages may already cost less than 50 centavos, given the advancement in mobile communication technology and the gigantic profit telecommunications firms had raked in for the past years.

"The setting of a price of P1 before and P0.50 now, upon the request of Mrs Arroyo, is obviously arbitrary and does not reflect the real cost of texting," TXTPower president Anthony Ian Cruz said in a statement on Cruz's website.

"We challenge the President to order the National Telecommunications Commission to study the real cost of sending one text message, the impact of so-called interconnection fees and the slapping of the 12-percent VAT on text messaging and calls," he added.

He said a study of the unlimited text offers from telcos Smart, Globe and Sun show "the real price of texting may be 100 text messages for just P1 and may even be cheaper if VAT and inter-connection charges are removed."

Kim Gargar, a TXTPower convenor, said the P0.50 rate should be made permanent "even if we all know that the cost is much lower."

Gargar said it (50¢ rate) could still provide relief for the texting Filipinos.

Cruz said that under the law, telecoms firms must show the real cost of services and this should be the basis of pricing schemes.

"But such is not the case. Both the P1.00 rate before and the P0.50 now do not reflect the true price of text messaging," Cruz said. - GMANews.TV


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