Customers Challenge Incorrect Telephone and Internet Bills

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Customers of various Lao telephone networks are upset by incorrect phone bills, and have made complaints to the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications.

The complaints are due to telephone companies charging users for a full minute, when less than a minute of call time has been used.

Many mobile phone operators charge 750 kip per minute for prepaid plans, while Winphone charges 250 kip per minute.

One ministry official noted that while technicians from the ministry do make inspections of telephone company billing systems, the inspections cannot be made regularly due to the expense of operations and lack of equipment.

Current regulations require telephone service providers to charge by the second, and bill according to actual usage.  If the companies are charging by the minute, this is a flagrant breach of regulations.

Unlimited internet plans have also been curbed, with the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications issuing a notice prohibiting such plans. Unlimited plans were axed after overwhelming use caused a poor signal for other users.

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