No more mobile bill shocks: UAE bans pay-per-use data

Etisalat and du were instructed by the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority to discontinue the plan.

UAE telecom operators, Etisalat and du, were instructed by the country’s Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) to discontinue their ‘pay-per-use data plans – unless this is “explicitly requested” by the consumers.

The TRA announced on its official Twitter account on Thursday: “In order to protect the subscribers from excessive charges of the service “Pay-per-use data”, TRA instructed the operators (@dutweets and @etisalat ) to discontinue this service unless the subscriber explicitly requests it from the operator.”

Data-on-demand is both offered by Etisalat and du to allow their respective subscribers to pay by the minute access to mobile data. The process is simple to subscribe to the offer: just dial a certain number and start getting the data-on-demand service. But the downside is, should the user forget to unsubscribe or stop the service, he/she will still be charged by the operators.

Commenting on the new decision, HE Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, TRA Director General, said: “This decision reflects TRA’s keenness to achieve customers’ happiness by implementing the best international standards on the services provided by the licensees in the country, providing the best services and the highest quality, and giving the subscribers more freedom and flexibility in choosing the services they desire.

TRA assures that it will spare no effort in implementing the directives of the wise leadership to provide the best conditions for achieving customers’ happiness, the related plans, strategies and initiatives required.”

Meanwhile, Etisalat has sent a text message to its subscribers saying: “Great news! No more bill shocks on data! To prevent unexpected charges, pay-as-you-go data has been blocked from 1st July 2019. For on-demand mobile internet, please dial *800# and use Play on Demand for only 5 fils/min.”

Khaleej Times is awaiting further details from TRA on its instructions to the telecom operators.

TRA had announced earlier the establishment of a new regulatory framework for early termination fees for service contracts provided by licensees in the UAE. The amendment provided for the deduction of one month’s fee for early termination of the service contract.

The contract termination fee was one month’s fee multiplied by the number of months remaining on the contract. These amendments have been already introduced to the new contracts for mobile phone services, and TRA will apply these amendments to other service contracts in the coming period.

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