Prepaid subscribers of the country’s two major telecoms networks may now use their load credits up to one year after purchase, the companies announced in separate statements released on Thursday, July 5.
“Effectively July 5, 2018, all Globe prepaid load, including those with denominations below 300 pesos, will carry a one year expiration period,” Globe Telecom said in its statement.
“Starting today, July 5, 2018, all Smart, TNT and Sun prepaid loads now have a validity period of one year. This includes all load denominations of Smart Prepaid, Smart Bro, TNT, Sun Prepaid, Sun Broadband Wireless Prepaid, Smart Link, Smart Marino, PLDT Prepaid Landline Plus and PLDT Home,” Smart said in its statement posted on its website.
The decision is in compliance with Memorandum Circular No. 05-12-2017 issued by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in December 2017, which ordered all load credits to have an expiration date of one year, regardless of value.
The circular initially sought to have the order in full effect by January 5. However, the DICT extended the deadline and gave the telecoms companies an additional six months to tweak their systems as abrupt changes may cause widespread service malfunction.
Prior to the order, load credits had different expiration dates depending on the value. Typically, a Php10 load is only valid for three days, Php50 for 15 days, Php100 for 30 days and Php300 for 75 days.
“We came up with a realistic solution… the one-year expiry date is very safe for consumers because that one year assures that they will be able to use the load,” DICT Acting Secretary Eliseo Rio said in an earlier statement posted on its website in January 5.
However, it must be clarified that the order does not apply to telecoms’ promotions, which are valid only for a specific period. For example, the same rules apply for the text promos of Globe Telecom for prepaid subscribers that are good for a day or a week.
As of the first quarter of 2018, Globe had recorded 63.3 million mobile subscribers, up by eight percent from the same period a year before. Smart, meanwhile, reported it had 58.1 million mobile subscribers in the same period.
Elyssa Christine Lopez is a staff writer of Entrepreneur PH. Follow her on Twitter @elyssalopz