Senate bill seeks refund for telco, internet service disruptions

(INQUIRER) MANILA, Philippines — Senator Jinggoy Estrada has filed a bill that seeks to require refunds to subscribers for telecommunication and internet service outages and disruptions.

Estrada filed Senate Bill 2074, which proposes amendments to Section 20 of the Public Telecommunications Policy Act mandating public telecommunication entities (PTEs) and internet service providers (ISPs) to establish a refund mechanism for service failures.

“Genuine accessibility can only be achieved if the connection services are regular, reliable, consistent, uninterrupted, and fast to allow continuity of activities and interconnection among different users,” the senator said in a statement.

If passed into law, PTEs and ISPs “shall, on a prorated basis, provide a refund credit to a customer, or adjust a customer’s bill, who has experienced a service outage or disruption for an aggregate period of 24 hours or more – within a month.”

“The ISPs and PTEs concerned shall not require the customer to take any action in order to receive a refund credit or bill adjustment,” the proposed measure reads.

The refund credit would also be made accessible even for prepaid subscribers.

“The measure intends to implement fair charging of services of PTEs and ISPs to consumers. It is important that they receive the service that is worth every cent that they pay, and they will not be charged for the service that they were not able to avail of,” Estrada said.

The piece is identical to the bill filed by Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. in November last year.