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Ais Reap Rich Pickings From Foreigners

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Mobile phone companies reap rich pickings from foreigners

BANGKOK: -- Foreign visitors are proving lucrative business for Thai mobile phone operators, with one company reaping as much as Bt1.8 billion in revenue from foreigners each year.

Miss Patcharaporn Kuson, head of roving services at Advance Infoservice Co. Ltd. (AIS), said yesterday that last year her company earned Bt1.8 billion from international roaming services, a figure she attributed to government support for the tourism industry.

The company not only provides roaming services, but also offers ‘Sim to Go’ cards for foreign visitors, with around 230 retailing each month.

The cards offer international calls at the rate charged by CAT Telecom Public Company Limited.

Visitors from Japan, Korea and Europe, whose handsets cannot be used in Thailand, area also able to rent handsets from the company at a rate of Bt250 per day.

--TNA 2004-10-01

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Well for the first time I noticed that CAT is also invoicing me for roaming. In other words, not only do I get a bill from CAT for long distance calls I make from home, but CAT is also sending me a bill for calls TO my MOBILE (AIS) phone when I'm abroad in Vietnam, Laos etc.

I argued with CAT telling them they had no right to send me a bill for international incoming calls while roaming abroad, since my contract wass with AIS not them, and that they should take it up with AIS, not me, if they figured they were due their cut. (I know TIT, and of course to no avail)

CAT says they are the only official telecom entitled to redirect incoming mobile calls out of the country and so I must pay them for the privilege. AIS they say charges me 50% more, on top, which seems to look about right according to my AIS bill. I kept saying what if I didn't have a REGISTERED address, or had given a fake one? How would CAT ever get their pound of flesh? Didn't get a logic response..but you know, TIT.

Has this been going on for years? Or is this new?

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Your mobile phone service (AIS, DTAC, etc.) if you don't pay your long distance C.A.T. bill, whether it's your roaming or local to abroad calls. Using a fake address just means you don't get your bills.


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