AKO Bicol Party-list Representative Zaldy Co on Monday warned the public against the current modus of some SIM (subscriber identity module) card sellers who are “demanding” additional payment in exchange for registration of their SIM card.
Co has called on the telco companies to take action on the issue, which is taking advantage of vulnerable consumers who are rushing to meet the SIM card registration deadline.
According to Co, “It is unacceptable for these SIM card sellers to take advantage of the situation by charging additional fees for SIM card registration. This is a clear case of extortion and exploitation of consumers. I call on the telco companies to take immediate action on this issue and to protect the rights of consumers.”
Co further added, “The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has already reminded the public to register their SIM cards to avoid deactivation. The telco companies should take responsibility for ensuring that their customers are able to register their SIM cards without additional charges or any form of harassment.”
The deadline for SIM card registration is only two days away, and many consumers are rushing to comply with the requirement. In Baclaran, some SIM card sellers are assisting their customers in registration but are demanding additional fees, especially for those using non-smartphones.
According to some reports, SIM card sellers claim that SIM card registration consumes a significant amount of Internet data, which requires the website to refresh frequently and for the user to refill the form. Hence, they charge an “additional fee” of P20 to P50, depending on the customer’s capacity to pay, since they do not have WiFi and rely solely on their data.
Co urges the public to be vigilant and report any form of abuse and exploitation to the proper authorities. He also encourages telco companies to provide a convenient and accessible SIM card registration process to their customers.