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Phone bill delinquents top 3 million

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Oct 23,2005
The Ministry of Information and Communication said yesterday that the number of mobile phone users who have not paid their bills for two months or longer is now in the millions. According to the ministry’s data on SK Telecom Co., KTF Co. and LG Telecom Inc., the nation’s three major mobile telecommunication service providers, just over 3 million subscribers have not made payments for their cell phone bills for at least two months. The figure represents nearly 8 percent of the estimated 38 million mobile telecommunication users in Korea. Blaming the trend on Korea’s long-running economic malaise, the ministry explained that the list of delinquent subscribers is kept on the Korea Association of Information and Telecommunication’s database in order to prevent people from dodging paying their bills by switching service providers. An official with the ministry pointed out that among the delinquents, there are probably workers who signed on under their companies’ names but have failed to make payments because their employers faced financial difficulties. A member of the association said that although service providers give them a record of delinquent subscribers, a separate list of people prohibited from switching to a new provider is not made public. by Yoo Jee-ho


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