Hey everyone. This might be a bit long to read so I apologise in advance for making your eyes bleed. TLDR
For the last few years I’ve been purchasing the prepaid cards for $1000 that would last for 6 months and give me about 13GB of data. However, as my needs have grown, I find that I end up eating a lot more data, and I keep buying new blocks of data.
Fast forward to the Chunghwa $499 unlimited Internet craze and it gets me thinking that I should look at some of the plans, I’ve been here with an ARC for quite a long time and I have credit cards, so it shouldn’t be that complicated… I see APT’s and Taiwan Star’s deals for $299 unlimited internet.
I decide to check out Taiwan Star after hearing about @Caspian’s suggestion, which advertises $299 for 21mbps. It’s good enough for the road and I’m cool with that, as the big three are about double the price for the same thing. They say no and make up some convoluted rules about how to join…whatever, i’ll go to APT.
Well. This was July/August and I was ready for another battle. So this time… I’m not gonna back off. I’ve read about how people were able to at least pay with deposits after complaining and found The Telecommunications Act, Article 21 forces telcos to provide services fairly.
I went to the NCC, complain, and a few days later APT calls me. They offer me the deposit, but the website still hadn’t been changed. I refused it. I wanted the rules changed at the very least. I don’t want to see another foreigner have to waste their time running to the centre of Taipei to complain for a bloody C$12 plan that doesn’t even have a bloody fixed term contract!
By October, I’ve been to the NCC 4 times. I’ve been to the FTC, the Consumer Protection Centre in the Executive Yuan and the local MP where I live. The MP and staffers were particularly sympathetic and I explained this problem and other problems facing foreigners like the lack of citizenship without giving up for mere mortals.
Well… maybe there is hope. I love Taiwan, but I also see some of the reasons why some can be cynical about it as well here on these forums. But I want to do something about it and I did. I harassed the shit out of APT and the MP continued to push the NCC and other governmental offices to change this rule so that nobody else has to waste their time.
On Friday. the MP’s staffer, of whom I added on LINE, came back to me and announced that they were successful in convincing APT to change their rules. These rules are not perfect, they still want a deposit, they’re still discriminatory. But they’re better. They’re no longer trying to force us to go waste hours of our time to complain to the government to get the “secret deposit service” anymore.
I want to thank Mr Mitch Yu for helping us out. Without him, this battle would’ve probably continued on.
(Yes, he did give permission for me to post the chat online)
And this is the beautiful stack of documents from this whole ordeal.
TLDR: I guess maybe in addition to voicing our opinions on the forums, we can also voice our opinions to those who have the power to enact change as well. Perhaps we should all be going to an MP and other officials to make our voices heard. The amount of discrimination here is unacceptable, yet it’s not Communist China either. We can offer our opinions and suggestions and voices.
I’m done for the night. When I have a bit of time, I’ll figure out how to join. I hope this makes things easier for somebody here. Ci vediamo.