Gov. Ralph DLG Torres signed into a law Friday a bill to prohibit phone companies from imposing an expiration date to unused prepaid phone card credits.
Senate Bill No. 19-05 is now Public Law 19-50 and seeks to prohibit telecommunication companies from imposing an expiration date or forfeiture unused prepaid credits and MIFI credits earlier than 90 days.
The bill, offered by Sen. Teresita A. Santos (R-Rota) in January 2015, notes that those who opt for prepaid cars may not afford to go on a postpaid contract with a phone company and “should not be forced to use all credits” prior to the 30-day expiration date given on the prepaid card.
The bill calls this a “loss to the customers and continued financial burden” during “hard economic times.”
It finds that a 90-day expiration date is “more reasonable” and will give customers more time to use their cards.
The bill imposes penalties ranging from $5,000 and not to exceed $10,000 for persons or entity who violates the new provisions.
The bill says penalties from violations will be paid into the Public Utilities Commission revolving fund.