SEOUL, Jan.20 (Korea Bizwire) –SK Telecom, the No.1 mobile network operator in Korea, is modifying internal policies after it was reported that the company was lowering its clients’ credit ratings by reporting those who didn’t pay their bills to credit rating agencies as defaulters.
Unlike SK Telecom, KT and LG U+ don’t report clients as defaulters in fear of creating delinquent borrowers. SK Telecom users seem to have been discriminated against.
With the controversy spreading, SK Telecom decided to instantly stop reporting default information.
According to reports from the Financial Supervisory Service, there were 67,356 individuals reported at credit rating agencies between 2012 and 2015.
Among those who were reported, the credit ratings of 11,492 (17.1 percent) were lowered. The total amount of default was around 122 billion won.
SK Telecom said that clients who did not pay their fees for more than a year, with the total amount due reaching more than one million won, had been reported as defaulters since 2012. Default causes credit ratings to drop, and can lead to restrictions in financial matters.
Once a delinquency is registered, the record is kept for seven years. Even if clients pay the outstanding fees and are freed from being registered as defaulters, the information is kept for five years, continuing to be an obstacle in financial dealings.
Unlike SK Telecom, KT and LG U+ simply limit access to their services when users don’t pay their fees, in fear of creating delinquent borrowers, consumer complaints, and damaging their brand image.
Once controversy arose, SK Telecom decided to stop registering the default information of users that didn’t pay their fees at once.
SK Telecom officials announced their decision, considering the difficult economy and unemployment rates. The company also plans to erase consumer information of clients registered as defaulters, through cooperation with related organizations.
By M.H.Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)