Vietnamese Gov’t to tighten mobile service regulations

The Ministry of Information and Communications is developing a draft circular on mobile telecommunication network information services, reported the Vietnam News Agency.

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The circular, which amends Circular No 17/2016/TT-BTTTT, aims to tighten management over services that charge customers periodically.

Specifically, the draft circular only allows network operators to provide services when receiving confirmation by SMS from customers.

The Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) said that the requirement was reasonable and would ensure whether customers want to use the services or not.

In this regard, VCCI said that operators should send notifications to users each time they renew their services. The notifications must include information on how to cancel the service so that users may cancel.

Dau Anh Tuan, Head of the VCCI’s Legal Department, also suggested the drafting agency consider and amend the circular to require providers to send messages to users via SMS each time services are renewed or charges are made.

“The SMS must include the full content of the services, especially instructions of how to cancel the service,” he emphasised.

The chamber also said that confirmation by SMS for only periodic services is not enough; the regulation should be applied to other services such as those charging according to Internet data packages.

The chamber mentioned controversial services such as 3G and 4G, which are charged by default according to data usage unless users register specific data packages.

The default charges based on data used are expensive, much higher than other packages.

However, when a specific package expires due to a lack of money in an account or a depletion of registered data, the system will automatically switch to default charge based on data used.

The VCCI asked the drafting agency to review and supplement the requirements for 3G/4G services.

In addition, it is necessary to supplement the requirements that periodic services must send notification on used data and amount of money deducted after each 30 days or when the services expired, the VCCI suggested.

This is similar to monthly electricity or water bill charges. Such regulations would help related parties reduce the risk of disputes between telecom providers and their customers. 


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