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Mobile carriers unhappy with 20% discount limit
The Saigon Times Daily
Thursday,  Jul 12, 2018,17:30 (GMT+7)

Mobile carriers unhappy with 20% discount limit

The Saigon Times Daily

Many mobile users have complained that the discount cap of 20% is too low - PHOTO: THANH HOA

HCMC - Local mobile carriers have proposed the Ministry of Information and Communications remove the discount cap of 20% on prepaid subscriptions. Since the limit was introduced in March, the sales of top-up cards have slumped sharply, reported Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper.

In its petition to the ministry, Viettel said macro policies, including the discount limit of 20% affecting prepaid mobile users and payment restrictions on using top-up cards for digital content services, had badly affected the telecommunications business in the first half of the year.

Vinaphone asserted that the current discount limit on prepaid subscriptions was not in line with the enterprise’s management policy and the market economy. Overseas mobile carriers still offer discounts between 70% and 80% based on the number of inventory items they hold.

Since the application of the discount cap, many mobile phone users have complained that the promotional amount is too low.

Responding to the proposal, the Department of Telecommunications under the ministry has directed domestic mobile carriers to report the total number of users switching from prepaid to postpaid mobile services so that the ministry can weigh the removal of the discount limit.

Meanwhile, the department has stressed that the discount cap is in full compliance with the Law on Telecommunications, aimed at encouraging users to switch to postpaid mobile services, which has a discount cap of up to 50%, in addition to other unchanged benefits. The move is also intended to keep prepaid subscribers under control to reduce spam texts, calls and improperly registered SIM cards.

Earlier, a bonus rate of 100%, which was later reduced to 50%, caused a spike in the number of SIM cards and spam text messages as the attractive promotional value prompted people to buy multiple SIM cards. They quickly abandoned their old SIMs, leading to a surge in the number of deactivated SIM cards, according to a telecommunications expert in the city.

The expert recommended extending the current discount cap to attract more users and suggested mobile carriers monitor the frequency and time of promotional offers to avoid rampant spam messages.

It is essential to offer incentives to encourage consumption, but the mobile carriers should apply them properly to minimize drawbacks, the expert added.

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