The truth behind the expiration of cellphone credits

Last week, the Philippine Congress conducted an inquiry as to why mobile phone prepaid cards comes with an expiration date. Representatives from Smart Communications, Inc., Globe Telecom, Inc., and Sun Cellular were there to grace the ocassion. One lawmaker asked why the expiring prepaid mobile credits? Do they rot? Do they spoil? Do they curdle?

You know that if you buy a P100 prepaid load, you have to consume it within a certain number of days, if not it will expire regardless of how much is left in your credit.

The inquiry was televised on national television and I was able to catch the entire new report where a representative of one telecom company has to say (not in exact words):

“The reason why the prepaid load expires is because mobile numbers with no load / activity still occupies space and bandwidth of our network. Because other users can still call or text them”.

My reaction to this irresponsible statement is this:

What space and bandwidth does it occupy when it has no activity? No load you say? They do have prepaid credits, you guys just took it away by force based on your specified time frame. Are you saying that people can only call or text those phones with mobile credits?

If your allegation is true, then how come unsold prepaid SIM are all pre-activated? As soon as I buy a new prepaid SIM, I can automatically use it, with no activation required. Don’t you think that these prepaid SIM occupies space and bandwidth as well even if they are not in use still?

There’s only one reason why telecom providers put an expiry date on every mobile phone credits – MONEY. The expiration date will guarantee telecommunication companies of prepaid load revenue. Once expired, users will have no choice but to buy new mobile credits. That’s no ifs… and no buts…

I do hope our lawmakers can see that they are given the run around. Protect the interest of the consumer I say before anything or anyone’s interest. God Bless us all!

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