P286-M illegal deductions from cellphone load?

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Emeterio Sd. Perez

Emeterio Sd. Perez

GLOBE Telecom may not be aware that certain groups may be using it to harass its subscribers into paying P5 for services they knew nothing about.

In fairness to the owners and management of Globe, I am not blaming the company for texting me because the messages regarding the illegal charge that I received through my mobile phone might have been automatically generated.

Nevertheless, I am writing about my recent experience that Globe should be aware of. Here are the text messages as they appeared in my cellphone:

12:04 a.m., Dec. 12: “LOADWATCH: You just connected to the internet using your phone/device. Your balance is P129.00, valid until 01/22/2017 01:43 PM.”


11:59 p.m., Dec. 11: “Thank you. Your order has been successfully completed. You have been charged 5.00PhP. Send CENT HELP to 2649 for more info. For help: support@centili.com.”

P5-charge

I don’t know why I would even receive such texts at ungodly hours of the night. Why would anyone, if it was not Globe, send me these messages only to inform me about the P5 charge that had been deducted from my load? I would not have known about the P5 charge because I don’t check my load balance.

I presume that Globe has programmed the load balance command that automatically sends to subscribers their remaining load.

Besides, why would I use my cellphone to surf the internet when we are subscribers to Globe Telecom’s package which consists of a landline and broadband connection? For the information of the company, we religiously pay on time our bills of almost P1,600 a month. We don’t mind its inefficiency: it is too slow for us to fully appreciate.

Wonder of wonders, how can I access the internet or even use my cellphone while I am sleeping? I usually go to bed at nine in the evening.

2649 what?

By the way, what order was the text from 2649 talking about? I don’t order or patronize/buy a particular product online.

I decided to write about these text messages because other subscribers might have had a similar experience. If they did, what recourse do they have against intruders that charge them P5 for a text about a product that they did not order?

What if the P5 charge was deducted from my load? For the sake of the public, here is my computation of a P5-charge based on Globe’s claimed number of subscribers of 57.3 million. At P5 per subscriber, the total would be an astounding P286.5 million for whoever has been intruding into Globe’s message center.

Where did that money go? This is the question that should be the worry of the National Telecommunication Commission (NTC). If NTC wants to go after the culprits, it should strictly monitor complaints from cellphone users, who, in turn, should report what they think are unjust deductions from their cellphone load.

5.2006% dividend

Incidentally, Globe is one listed company that has been issuing non-voting and voting preferred shares. In a recent filing posted on the website of the Philippine Stock Exchange, it disclosed “the cash dividend on nonvoting preferred shares at a fixed rate of 5.2006 percent per annum…”

Globe’s disclosure of the “fixed rate” should be interpreted by the public in such a way that preferred shares, whether voting or non-voting, are liabilities. If not, why would listed companies, like Globe, set a fixed rate of dividend when preferred shares do not earn dividends but interests?

Only CPAs, or certified public accountants, believe preferred shares to be a form of ownership, the reason they treat them as an entry under stockholders’ equity.

It’s about time the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants, which is CPAs’ self-regulatory organization, explained to the public who invest on listed stocks why preferred shares should earn dividends, which are sourced from retained earnings when these are, strictly speaking, liabilities.

esdperez@gmail.com

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