Telecom firms urged to drop monthly fees
The China Post news staffThe Consumers Foundation (CF) yesterday urged Taiwan's telecom operators to lower their monthly fees instead of rates per second to make the discounts more palpable.
April 8, 2011, 11:14 pm TWN
CF made the remarks after the National Communications Commission (NCC) at the end of March required operators to lower their rates by 4.04 percent, effective April 1.
According to CF, most telecom operators only lowered their rates per second for inter-network and cell phone-to-landline calls.
Take Far EasTone Telecommunications (FET), for example. Prior to Apr. 1, it offered inter-network and cell phone-to-landline calls at NT$0.1223 per second. Now it has lowered the rate to NT$0.1173 per second, a reduction of NT$0.005 per second.
This means, callers can save NT$0.3 per minute.
Looked at from another perspective, a user subscribing to FET's 365 plan (NT$365 a month) got 50 free minutes in the past, and with the new rate, he or she will have 52 free minutes per month. There are many voice traffic monitors on the Internet that can be downloaded to the iPhone and other smart devices to help users keep track of their usage.
According to the CF, the margin of reduction was miniscule, considering how much money the telecom operators made last year.
It said last year, Chunghwa Telecom's sales grew 2.1 percent from 2009, while Taiwan Mobile and FET's grew NT$1.7 billion and NT$3.4 billion, respectively.
“We're calling on telecom operators to lower their monthly fees to make the cuts more palpable to users,” the Consumers' Foundation urged.