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Philippine carrier admits 'error' in shock bill

A phone bill amounting to more 3 million pesos ($68,000) given to a post-paid customer was in fact an 'isolated error', Globe said.
Written by Joel D. Pinaroc, Contributor

Philippine mobile carrier Globe Telecom has admitted that a bill amounting to more 3 million pesos (approximately $68,000) given to a post-paid customer was in fact an "isolated error".

A blog post from Elmer de Guzman made the rounds of social media websites last week and generated a lot of interest, particularly among Filipino netizens, after de Guzman shared his story and shock upon receiving the bill from the mobile carrier.

De Guzman's post was actually a photograph of the bill, which showed that his total due for the month of October to November 2013 reached the eye-popping amount of 3 million pesos. De Guzman said that the charges were mostly from roaming services while he was on a trip abroad.

The uproar generated by the shared photo apparently compelled the carrier to issue a statement regarding the matter.

In the statement, Globe said that de Guzman "did enroll in the Bridge DataRoam Unlimited promo last November 10, 2013".

"By enrolling in the promo, the subscriber would not have to pay the regular rate of P2.51 per 10 kilobyte of data. Based on our record, the subscriber data usage was at 11,139,210kB, which would amount to more than P3 million, inclusive of surcharges and VAT," Globe said.

However, the carrier said that based on its initial findings, "The system did not apply the correct zero rate for promos on the data usage, which inadvertently caused the bill shock."

Globe said this is an isolated case, and that it is taking steps to investigate similar instances.

The carrier further said that it already "reversed the charges to reflect the correct amount in the subscriber's billing statement".

De Guzman, for his part, acknowledged that he is now in contact with a Globe representative to resolve the issue.

It seems commendable for service carriers to immediately address these customer issues. This is, after all, their obligation to the millions of customers they have.

However, based on the feedback generated by the blog post, the error in the billing is far from being an isolated case, and many other customers do encounter erroneous billing statements. The only difference is that these statements are not as huge as the one de Guzman received.

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