Protest from PLDT and Bayantel

PLDT and Bayantel filed complaints against competitor Globe Telecom because of what they claim as "false advertising" about the the latter's wireless landline service called DUO. PLDT and Bayantel claimed that Globe has been misleading people about unlimited landline calls.

PLDT and Bayan lodge protests versus Globe Ads
Written by Lenie Lectura / Reporter
THE Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) and Bayan Telecommunications Inc. last week filed separate complaints against Globe Telecom before the Advertising Board of the Philippines (AdBoard) for allegedly making false claims about its new wireless landline offering marketed as Globe Duo.

PLDT head and first vice president for regulatory strategy and support Alfredo Carrera said in an interview that the marketing unit of the phone giant complained before the umbrella organization of the advertising industry about Globe’s new wireless landline offering.

“It’s our marketing unit that knows about this. All I know is that there was a complaint with the AdBoard about Globe’s misleading ads on its Globe Duo product,” said Carrera.

The PLDT official did not elaborate. But according to sources from PLDT and from Bayan, the two were supposed to file a complaint before the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) but instead had to go to the AdBoard first, pending further review of a possible violation of NTC rules on discriminatory pricing.

“We will still take a look and determine if there are settlement rate issues with Globe that needs to be clarified with them. So far, we have an existing interconnection agreement with Globe at P3 per minute for mobile-to-fixed line and P4 per minute for fixed line-to-mobile calls,” Carrera said.

The sources also said Globe’s print ad materials suggest that all landline-to-landline calls are unlimited and free of charge. “But it isn’t. Once Globe Duo subscribers call from other areas other than Metro Manila and Cebu, they are charged P7.50 per minute. So it’s not unlimited landline calls nor is it free,” said the sources, adding that this aspect violates the truth in advertising law.

Globe Duo is Globe’s add-on promotional service to postpaid subscribers which allows them to have a landline number for P399 a month—on top of the current postpaid monthly cellular fee.

When sought for comment, Globe head for regulatory affairs Froilan Castelo said the Globe Duo product is “good for consumers because it adds value to their money.” He declined to comment on the complaint filed by the telcos before the AdBoard.

In a competitive summary among the wireless landline services prepared by one of the fixed line operators, it shows that Bayan has the lowest call rates even to other networks at P4.50 for every minute of NDD (national direct dial) to other landlines and P6.25 per minute to mobile calls. Bayan wireless landline’s coverage is limited to Metro Manila, including Cainta, Rizal and San Pedro, and eight regional areas.

SunTel, Digitel’s wireless landline service riding on the GSM platform, charges P5 for every minute of NDD call and P6.50 to mobile. The network coverage spans within Metro Manila and Davao.

For Globe Duo, the NDD charge and cellular calls per minute is P7.50 each. Its coverage is limited to Metro Manila and Cebu.

For PLDT’s Landline Plus, the network coverage spans nationwide. It now offers on a promo basis a second line to new and existing residential postpaid wired subscribers until July 31 for P360 per month on top of the postpaid monthly fee. The P360 fee carries 300 minutes of local calls. A fee of P1 per minute will be charged in excess of the allotted free minutes.

I don't know what they're blabbering about but Globe's advertisements and website FAQs about DUO clearly state that the unlimited landline calls are only available in Metro Manila and Cebu. Can't they read? LOL!


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