PCCW wrongly billed users HK$4.3m

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 April, 2013, 4:53am

PCCW has been called on to carefully monitor its licence obligations after it wrongly billed customers HK$4.3 million in broadband and pay TV charges.

PCCW made the billings to the credit card accounts of its broadband service and Now TV customers in November, the Communications Authority said. The case involved about 1.3 per cent of the total number of PCCW broadband and Now TV users.

But the authority noted that PCCW rectified the errors two days after it spotted them. No customers were wrongfully charged in the end.

The case involved human error and PCCW's internal control system, which failed to notice the mistakes until the company reviewed the credit card collection reports, the authority said.

It concluded that PCCW had contravened the licence conditions and the code of practice. PCCW was "strongly advised" to more closely observe both.

Meanwhile, ATV was fined HK$80,000 for breaching the TV programming code's guidelines relating to biased content.

The authority said several episodes of infotainment programme Blog the World aired on its Home channel on various dates from November 13 to January breached the Generic Code of Practice on Television Programme Standards by carrying incomplete and lopsided views. The episodes drew 40 public complaints, which mostly focused on how the programme presented a public relations adviser and two media company chairmen, one of whom was City Telecom chairman Ricky Wong Wai-kay, a free-to-air TV licence applicant, who was depicted as a devil.

The authority said similar unfair portrayals of the three people also appeared in episodes of another programme, ATV Focus, around the same period.

Another complaint said the station aired the Putonghua film The Magnificent Concubine on the English World Channel on September 5, but without English or Chinese subtitles.

The station was reminded to be careful of any such licence breaches and observe the relevant conditions "more closely".