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SK Telecom to give refunds for service outage

Apr 09,2018
SK Telecom said Sunday it would compensate for failed phone calls and text message failure that plagued some subscribers Friday. The compensation, to be reflected in April phone bills, will be worth two days of service and be between 600 won ($0.56) and 7,300 won depending on the monthly plan.

People on the most common plan - the so-called Band Data Perfect Plan, which costs 65,000 won per month - will get 4,400 won cut from their April bill.

In principle, only customers who had a hard time making or receiving phone calls or sending or receiving text messages for three hours or longer are eligible for the compensation. But Korea’s No. 1 carrier has decided to offer the compensation to any customers who had a problem at least once from 3:17 p.m through 5:48 p.m., when the system error occurred.

SK Telecom explained that a system error took place with LTE voice calls and text messages and made an apology on the same day.

The problem is estimated to have affected some 7.3 million SK Telecom subscribers and the mobile operator said it would send them text messages about the compensation starting today. Insiders say the carrier may have to pay up to 30 million won for its service failure.

Individual customers can check how much they will get on the Tworld mobile app or at SK Telecom customer centers and stores.

This is not the first time SK Telecom was hit with such a system error. On March 20, 2014, it experienced a five hour and 40 minute network failure and its CEO made a public apology the next day.

Some 5.6 million users received 10 times the basic fee for the period of the failure and all SK Telecom subscribers had a day’s worth of fees deducted from their phone bills the next month.

Some 20 customers who were dealt direct blows by the call failure - such as deliverymen and designated drivers - filed a suit against the carrier, demanding compensation of 100,000 won to 200,000 won per person, but a court dismissed the case the following year, saying the company complied with the contract terms of the plans.


BY SEO JI-EUN [seo.jieun@joongang.co.kr]