Connect with us

Thailand

NBTC targets huge Cookie Run phone debt

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

NBTC targets huge Cookie Run phone debt | The Thaiger
  • follow us in feedly

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

NBTC targets huge Cookie Run phone debt
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) is considering enforcing monthly debt limits for bills incurred by playing online games.

No matter how cute and innocent Cookie Run characters may look, it was said that players risk losing too much money if they don’t understand that special items in the game are sometimes sold for real money.

“It may be necessary to impose credit limits for the purchase of applications, games, items and stickers – perhaps at Bt1,000 per billing cycle,” NBTC member Prawit Leesathapornwongsa said yesterday.

He was speaking after he summoned the representatives of five mobile-phone service operators to a meeting in the wake of reports that a 12-year-old boy incurred a phone bill of more than Bt200,000 in less than a month via the Cookie Run.

The bill was from Advanced Wireless Network, a subsidiary of Advanced Info Service (AIS), he said.

AWN is the first operator in Thailand to allow mobile-phone users to pay for Google Play Store services via direct carrier billing (DCB). With this method, mobile-phone users do not need to associate their account with a credit-card number. They can pay for the services via their phone-service payment, which could be either pre-paid or post-paid from April 30 to May 30.

AIS executive Pratana Leelapanang said the company had decided to launch DCB services to provide convenience to users of Android phones.

“And when we noticed that some customers had incurred unusually high expenses last month, we didn’t stay idle. We immediately shut down the DCB service for all post-paid users,” he said.

Pratana said AIS had also offered to waive fees for customers who unintentionally bought services from the Google Play Store via DCB.

He said AIS would develop its alert system further to prevent customers from incurring unwanted expenses.

“We’re also thinking about a credit limit and educating the public more about online services.”

Prawit said the NBTC would invite Google Thailand to a discussion on Thursday to see how the firm, as a platform provider, could help prevent the aforementioned problems.

However, the DCB services provided by AWN are done via a contract between Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel), the major shareholder of AIS, and Google Singapore.

Cookie Run is an irresistible game among many Thais.

Two months ago, a Thai man fell from a four-storey building after becoming overly focused on playing the game. Fortunately, he was not seriously hurt.

In the latest case of youngsters unwittingly running up bills while playing games on mobile phones, AIS has agreed to waive some Bt600,000 racked up by an 18-year-old boy in Mae Sot, Tak province.

The boy did not realise he was spending real money when he bought items while playing the popular Cookie Run game.

Atchara Jaikrua, who spent many sleepless nights after receiving a phone bill worth Bt596,398 thanks to her son’s favourite pastime, said she was relieved to hear that the phone service operator had decided to waive the bill on grounds that she did not know it.

Atchara, who works at a drinks shop, paid her actual bill worth Bt614.46 and decided to cancel the number. She also called on other parents to beware about allowing their kids to use post-paid phones.

Similarly, a resident in Phetchaburi’s Ban Lad district was sent a bill of Bt163,405 after her eight-year-old son reportedly bought items to advance in the Cookie Run game through her phone. Somthawil Khiewsa-art said the phone service operator had told her to pay the first instalment of Bt48,000 soon, adding she did not know what to do. She went on to say that her son had played the game for months without any problems and then started buying items, not knowing that they cost money.

Another parent in Udon Thani’s Muang district claimed his child had also unwittingly racked up a bill of Bt70,495 on his phone. Telewiz Udon Thani executive Sawat Theerattananukulchai said he had discussed this case with AIS and the telecom operator had agreed to check if the bill stemmed from the user’s ignorance. And if so, AIS would cover the expense.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Thailand. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Thailand

Work permits for top tier Thailand Elite Card members

Caitlin Ashworth

Published

on

Work permits for top tier Thailand Elite Card members | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thailand Elite

In an effort to give the economy an extra boost, the government will discuss adding work permit privileges for top tier Thailand Elite Card members who invest a minimum of $1 million USD in Thailand.

The scheme will draw more investment to Thailand, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand, or TAT, governor Yuthasak Supasorn. While the types of investments are up to the members, the government recommends property investment. The property sector was hit hard during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Thailand Elite members are on Elite Visas for 5 to 20 year stays. The website says the goal of the program is to “encourage more tourists to come over and stimulate the Kingdom’s bustling tourism industry, as well as to attract more foreign capital to boost the economy.”

There are 9 membership categories for the Thailand Elite Card. Members get privileges like expedited immigration lines at the airport and limousine pickup at the airport. Only those in the top tier categories costing 1 to 2 million baht, plus a minimum investment of $1 million USD within 1 year, will be eligible for the work permit.

Member applications have been at a record high over the past 2 months with a monthly average of 300 to 500 applications, according to Somchai Soongswang, the president of Thailand Privilege Card which operates the Thailand Elite Card scheme.

In August and September, 200 applicants were approved each month. Before the pandemic, only 100 memberships were approved per month. It takes 15 to 45 days to have the membership approved. Members must be screened through the Immigration Bureau, and some also need to pass additional screening through national intelligence agencies.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Catch up with the latest daily “Thailand News Today” here on The Thaiger.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading

Thailand

Win driver allegedly ran red light, hits teenage motorbiker

Caitlin Ashworth

Published

on

Win driver allegedly ran red light, hits teenage motorbiker | The Thaiger
PHOTO: naewna

A Thai motorbike taxi driver, known as a ‘win’ driver, allegedly ran a red light and ran into a teenage student driving on Sukhumvit Road in Chon Buri’s Sattahip district. The 58 year old win driver and the 18 year old student were both taken to the hospital. Emergency responders did not report on the extent of their injuries.

The student, Chatwilai Laopanna, told police that she was driving through the green light when the motorbike taxi driver collided into her. The win driver, Tawin Samila, admitted to police that he drove through the red traffic light.

Na Jomtien Police are reviewing surveillance camera footage to determine what potential charges will be pressed on the win driver.

‘Win’ drivers are an indispensable form of public transport for people to travel short distances, or cut through the heavy traffic, especially around Bangkok. But they are notorious for protecting their ‘turf’, erratic driving and flouting the traffic rules.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

Catch up with the latest daily “Thailand News Today” here on The Thaiger.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading

Business

Struggling airlines to get reprieve through small loans, extension to fuel tax cut

Maya Taylor

Published

on

Struggling airlines to get reprieve through small loans, extension to fuel tax cut | The Thaiger
PHOTO: TAT News

Airlines in Thailand are being offered a financial lifeline, as the Government Savings Bank announces soft loans for carriers left struggling as a result of the current Covid-19 ‘disruption’. Nation Thailand reports that the GSB is offering the loans over a 60 month period, with an annual interest rate of 2%. Chairman Patchara Anuntasilpa says the proposal will shortly be put to Cabinet for approval.

Airlines have been left financially devastated by the fallout from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, with countries closing their borders, passenger numbers plummeting, and carriers forced to slash the number of flights on offer. The services available, including the food services, were also curtailed early on as a preventative measure but that restriction has since been lifted. The effect is being keenly felt by all the airlines in Thailand, with the Kingdom’s borders closed to nearly all international traffic since March.

In a further effort to ease the financial crisis faced by Thai airlines, the Excise Department says it will extend the fuel tax cut for low-cost carriers by another 6 months from the end of this month. Patchara, who also serves as director-general of the Excise Department, says the tax may end up being abolished completely. In normal times, taxation on aviation fuel generates around 1 billion baht a year.

Air Asia has also cut some of its ground costs by using airport buses to ferry passengers from a cheaper aircraft parking area, back to the terminals, foregoing the costs of the airport airbridges. Flights from Phuket to Don Mueang, for example, are now a full ‘bus’ service, sometimes adding an additional 15 minutes at either end for the loading up of the buses and the trip to the planes or the terminal.

It’s understood the excise tax collected since October 2019 totals 503 billion baht, down more than 6.5% on last year’s figure. Most of the income comes from oil or oil products, cars, alcohol, and cigarettes.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

Catch up with the latest daily “Thailand News Today” here on The Thaiger.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading
Follow The Thaiger by email:

Trending