Mobile Operators 'Earned Billions' From Unused Time
The Board of Audit and Inspection on Thursday said it believes Korea's three major mobile operators -- SK Telecom, KTF and LG Telecom -- earned around W870 billion last year by charging subscribers for unused time (US$1=W1,035).
According to the state watchdog's announcement, mobile service providers charge subscribers at every 10 seconds per call. This means that if you're on the phone for 11 seconds you have to pay for 20 seconds of service.
The watchdog said, "The mobile service providers on average charged subscribers for an additional five unused seconds per call. As a result, they earned a presumed W870 billion from unused time last year."
In a joint press release the three mobile operators said, "Based on cases in foreign countries, the current system of charging subscribers at every 10 seconds is rational. If this is changed, it could cause inconvenience and confusion to consumers."