How to Protect Yourself vs. “NAKAW LOAD” in Globe Telecom

James Ryan Jonas

Disappearing cellphone load in Globe Telecom? Prepaid load gone even if you’re sure you did not use mobile data, call, or text?

You are not alone. Thousands, if not millions, of Globe Telecom subscribers suffer this annoying experience everyday. You probably wonder if someone was stealing your load or if Globe was unknowingly charging you for a value-added service.

It looks like your hunch may be correct.

Nakaw Load?

Globe Telecom announced last week it is strengthening rules “against unscrupulous practices of some third-party value-added service (VAS) providers resulting in prepaid load deduction which customers often mistake as Nakaw Load.”

Globe pretty much confirmed that disappearing cellphone load actually happens, but did not explicitly identified it as “nakaw load” and instead blamed VAS providers that offer games, ringtone downloads, or raffle promos to customers.

Apparently, some VAS providers do not follow Globe’s opt-in verification policy, which means a simple inadvertent click on an online banner advertisement could instantly and automatically activate a subscription to the VAS, even if you did not intend to.

As per Globe’s policy, VAS providers must send customers a verification code via SMS in order to subscribe or to opt-in and another SMS to notify that the subscription has been successful, coupled with cancellation instructions. Unfortunately, Globe wasn’t able to monitor this in the past leading to some customers being automatically enrolled — and unknowingly paying for those services — without consent.

Automatic enrollment for VAS not allowed

Globe has reiterated its commitment to implement this policy moving forward, following a viral post on Facebook against Got Deals Mobile, a VAS provider which periodically charged a Globe customer even if the customer did not intentionally subscribe for the service.

Got Deals Mobile’s value-added services (from their website) include:

  • Game On (Download different JAVA games and play all day)
  • GameZone (Play all the HTML5 games you like with no download necessary)
  • Forever Panalo (Play and get a chance to win exciting prizes every day)
  • Pisotone (Install different ring tones on your phone daily)
  • Loaded (Play to win different prizes every day)
  • Azkals (Browse exclusive content about Philippines National Football Team)

If you’re receiving updates or SMS from these services even if you did not previously sign up, it’s likely that you’re being charged and paying for these services, thus, confirming the “Nakaw Load” phenomenon.

The official press release and apology letter from GotDeals Mobile:

In reference to a Facebook post of a subscriber complaining about loss of load due to 3rd party transactions, we at GotDeals Mobile, Inc. are taking full responsibility for the inconvenience that the customer experienced due to issues encountered in our servers. We sincerely apologize to Globe Telecom and their customer for the damage that this may have caused them. We have rectified the issue to ensure that it will not happen again.

Here are some tips from Globe Telecom on how to protect your load.

How to Prevent “Nakaw Load” in Globe

1. Regularly check your load balance.

Dial *143# on your mobile phone to check your Globe load balance. This gives you a real-time update on how much load you have consumed and how much is still left. Immediately contact Globe if you think there are discrepancies in your balance.

2. Turn on “SurfAlert” to protect your load from unwanted internet charges.

If SurfAlert is on, your mobile browsing will be put on hold and you will receive free alerts and flash notifications when your phone or device is trying to use data or connect to the internet. To activate SurfAlert, do either one of these two things:

  • Text SURFALERT ON to 8080 (message is free); or
  • Dial *143# then go to My Account, select Mobile internet usage, and choose TURN ON mobile internet alerts (call is also free)

Follow these tips and we hope you won’t become a victim of Nakaw Load!

James Ryan Jonas teaches business management, investments, and entrepreneurship at the University of the Philippines (UP). He is also the Executive Director of UP Provident Fund Inc., managing and investing P3.2 Billion ($56.4 Million) worth of retirement funds on behalf of thousands of UP employees.