Subscribers keep savings

PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 October, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 23 October, 1998, 12:00am

The government regulator for telecommunications has decided that about 20,000 customers who benefited from cut-price deals from Hongkong Telecom earlier this year, in breach of its licence, will not have to pay the difference.

The formal announcement confirms a verbal report given to legislators last month.

Rival operators had been pressing the Office of the Telecommunications Authority (Ofta) to ensure that Hongkong Telecom collected the extra cash as part of its punishment for the licence abuses.

In June, Hongkong Telecom was fined $20,000 and told to stop the discounted offers after it was found guilty of widespread infringements by Ofta.

It said Hongkong Telecom had committed 'anti-competitive practices on a substantial scale', with illegal deals taken up by about 10,000 business users and 10,000 residential customers.

Ofta said it had paid heed to concerns of bodies like the Consumer Council, which thought that consumers should not be 'penalised by the regulatory action which should be targeting Hongkong Telecom'.