Thursday, March 26, 2020

Money Saving Tip: How to Stop SIM Debiting to Save Money?


Save money by safeguarding your SIM card

We have seen a number of reasons that hampered frugal people on their quest on how to save money.

One of these impediments is the puzzling vanishing of one's money into thin air.

I have my own share of this problem. And today we will talk about that. So let's get started.


Save money by stopping SIM card debiting

Who among you, my dear readers, had experienced being wrongly debited by your telecom network for the amount ranging from 5 pesos to 15 pesos a day? And the automatic charges is continued daily.

The part that makes it preposterous is that you don't know what are those services you are being debited for.

You will just be shocked by surprise the moment you are notified in the text message that you have no load balance remaining in your prepaid account.

Telecom networks won't act favorably


Calling cellphone network to complain against unwanted debiting
Most of the time, your complaints fall on deaf ears.


The worst part of this whole conundrum happens when you call your network and ask to deactivate or unsubscribe your cellphone number from whatever service that debits you.

First, they will assure you that they'll do it. But on the next day, the unauthorized debiting still continues.

Then you'll call again, and a new agent will process your request, only to realize next day your load depletes again.

And it'll just become a vicious cycle everyday.

Up to the point that you become so pissed that you throw a fit on your next call and still your request seems to fall on deaf ears.

Subscribers suffer

Although not all subscribers are affected by unwanted and unauthorized charges, many of them are being victimized.


Philippines cellphone prepaid subscribers suffer from unwanted load debiting
Prepaid load balance disappears with no valid reason.


And I'm one of those unlucky prepaid subscribers.

About a month ago, my load balance of around 150 pesos was eaten up, and I was able to learn about that only when I had received notification that my balance was bellow 20 pesos.

I was able to recover 30 pesos, but the rest has gone.

That's because subscribers who've been wrongly debited have only up to 2 days to recover the debited amount.

That means, if you call now for the reversal of debits made on your load balance 3-days ago, they won't do it as it's no longer recorded on the system.

There are no advanced notices to inform you that your prepaid load will be debited for this or that. No confirmation text such as, “Are you sure you're willing to subscribe to this? You'll be charged Php 5 per ad text. Reply YES/NO.” or “You've subscribed to — tone, ads, etc. — and your load balance will be debited 15 pesos per day.”

As for me, I really had no idea where my money had gone daily. I didn't subscribe to any offer I'd received by text.

I ignore all text messages coming from 4-digits number as well as those coming from different commercial companies such as bath soap, etc. I hate them, and I expunge all of them from my text messaging inbox.

Why some SIM cards get debited?

According to my conversation via voice call with a customer service agent of my telecom network, here are what I gathered:

  1. Telecom Networks are partnered to what they called third-party value-added service companies.
  2. All prepaid subscribers of all telecom networks are Automatically Subscribed to these third parties.
  3. These third parties represent the text messages we receive both from 4 digit numbers and named senders.
  4. Most of the messages we received from these third parties are free while some have corresponding charges.
  5. If it happens that we are subscribed to a paid third party, we need to call customer service to deactivate it.

How to stop telco debits?

By application, calling your customer services is a futile solution.

For some reasons, lack of communication skills among customer support team handling calls renders the time and effort useless.

As I've experienced it myself, the supposedly simple process becomes infuriating.

But I have a way to get around it, and after almost 2-months of calling them every other day for both debit reversals and request for cancellation of the unauthorized subscription, finally, my sim got unsubscribed.

Interestingly, all I needed to do was to get them into my way, not the other way around. Here:

  1. Once connected, ask the name of the agent. If they don't want to give their name, ask for their ID#. Record the time and date of this conversation and as important as it is, record details of your conversation.
  2. Explain clearly but briefly that you've been wrongly debited and you want that third party involved to be blocked in your SIM.
  3. Clearly state that you will file a formal complaint against him/her if after 3-days of processing, you'll still be wrongly debited.
  4. Wait for 3-days. Take note that you'll still be debited on the second and third days. But on the 4th day, your account balance should not change. Make a balance inquiry daily.
  5. By the 4th day, debits will have depleted your load balance, once again. Call again once connected, ask for a manager. This time you have the right to get mad. If you're like me, you will be connected to a supervisor. Get his/her identification.
  6. Be clear that an agent has mishandled your concern. Explain the circumstances. You will be told that they will make a report on how the agent attended to you. Give all the information the supervisor will ask.
  7. Now get that supervisor to give you the name and address of the person who is the head of complaint division for you to get there and file a written complaint. It is important that you get them to give you every detail. Don't accept that they'll do it for you as it can be subjected to cover-up.
  8. The trick is to get the message across that you're really bent in going to their office even though you don't have a plan except if this time still fails. What will happen is the supervisor will take extra effort to fix your problem. Make sure that you have her ID# or name. Record time, date and important details of this conversation.
  9. Wait for another 3-days to pass. In the 4th day and onward, your load balance should no longer be debited ever, like mine. And it will be a huge relief. But who knows, in your case. If you still get debited, go to #10 below.
  10. Go to the address given by the supervisor and talk to the head of complaint division. Write a formal complaint against the supervisor. It is a clear violation of a code of conduct. Now, I am sure that this time, there's no way the head won't fix your problem once and for all. If he doesn't, go to NTC (National Telecommunication Commission) but I don't think you will need to do that. At least, you know your option.

Conclusion

Spending time daily in calls constitutes time wasted, especially if you're not getting any result. Time wasted is money wasted. For frugal people, who only need to adhere to ways on how to save money, getting this done immediately is a priority.

Did you experience getting debited wrongly by your telecom network for unclear purposes? What did you do to stop it? Share in comments' section below so that you can also be of any help to others.

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Vernie Mallorca is an entrepreneur and blogger with years of experience in selling to institutional accounts. He gradually shifted to blogging when he found out that it is his calling to write timely and helpful articles online that can help others to save money, make money, and secure their future by handling their income smartly. In this blog, he shares both managing your finances, however small it is and valuable information on running a small business.

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