NCC considers action after Chunghwa launches limited availability low-cost tariffs

17 May 2018

Taiwan’s National Communications Commission has revealed that it will make a decision next week on how to penalise Chunghwa Telecom, following the operator’s decision to offer four low-cost mobile plans for a limited period, according to the Taipei Times. Last week Chunghwa began marketing tariffs which cost between TWD299 and TWD599 (USD10-USD20) per month, with customers only able to sign up for these plans during a limited window. With rival mobile network operators (MNOs) Taiwan Mobile and Far EasTone (FET) following suit with similar offers, it is understood that the NCC registered a high number of complaints from the public, with many of these directed at Chunghwa with regards to long wait times at its stores and busy customer service lines.

Under the ‘Regulations for Administration of Mobile Broadband Businesses’, MNOs can face fines of between TWD300,000 and TWD3 million if it is determined that they have mismanaged operations or offered a sub-par service quality that harmed subscribers’ interests. In line with this, the report notes that the NCC has called on Chunghwa, Taiwan Mobile and FET to provide detailed briefings on how they executed their sales, as it wants to know more about how they planned to enforce the seven-day special, including the number of applications they expected to receive. Commenting on the matter, NCC spokesperson Wong Po-tsung said: ‘We want to know if they planned to streamline the application procedures and whether their retail stores were prepared to handle a large number of applications within a short period of time.’ He added: ‘Meanwhile, we will investigate whether [operators] thoroughly disclosed the information in advance so that consumers would know the differences between service plans.’ Further, the commission also expects to learn whether the special offers have led to significant changes in the number of subscribers among the market’s major cellcos, or whether they motivated subscribers who used to pay higher monthly fees to switch to low-cost plans.