DOJ warns data capping, throttling, false unli of telcos
The Department of Justice has released a second advisory yesterday warning telcos about deceiving consumers on their supposed unlimited internet services.
In a 9-page Advisory dated 09 December 2014, the DOJ expounds that the imposition of fair usage policy on unlimited internet service is inconsistent with the provisions of the Consumer Act, particularly on fair packaging as well as misleading trade practice and advertisements.
Assistant Secretary Geronimo L. Sy, head of the DOJ-Office for Competition (OFC), said that “unlimited data is like unlimited rice or buffet concept – restaurants cannot offer an ‘eat all you can’ promo and when a customer eats more than the average person, to actually stop him or not to honor the commitment.” The Advisory thereby calls on the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to monitor and penalize non-compliant telcos.
The DOJ, through the Office for Competition (OFC), issued said Advisory in the fulfillment of its mandate to protect consumers from unfair business practices and to advance consumer welfare.
The applicable law that of concern here is RA7394.
Republic Act No. 7394, series of 1992, known as the Consumer Act of the Phihppines (“Consumer Act”), advances the “protection against deceptive, unfair and unconscionable sales acts and practices” as well as promotes the “provision of information and education to facilitate sound choice and the proper exercise of rights by the consumer.”
Article 50 considers an act or practice deceptive “whenever the producer, manufacturer, supplier or seller, through concealment, false representation of fraudulent manipulation, induces a consumer to enter into a sales or lease transaction of any consumer product or service.”
The US Government has also pursued cases against carriers in the United States regarding their promise on unlimited internet.
The copy of the advisory was posted on the DOJ website here.