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Al Mansoori ...protecting consumers.

UAE TRA takes step to end mobile data 'bill shock'

ABU DHABI, June 1, 2016

The UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has ordered major operators Etisalat and du to put a ceiling, or hard cap, on their respective mobile data bundles to protect consumers from unwittingly incurring disproportionately higher additional charges.  

The directive applies to all mobile data bundles whether included as part of the main subscription or purchased as an optional add-on, a statement said.

The directive obligates the operators to limit the supply of mobile data to the size of the bundle.  Once the bundle is exhausted, the licensee cannot supply any further mobile data unless the consumer gives express consent, it said.

The TRA released its directive after identifying several factors that could result in consumers being subjected to disproportionately higher over-bundle rates without their knowledge. The directive serves as a safety net measure to protect mobile data subscribers from what the TRA calls ‘bill shock.’  

Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, TRA director general, said: “We are concerned with the potential for consumers to receive larger-than-expected charges for their out-of-bundle mobile data usage. We acknowledge that both Etisalat and du have provided various tools to enable their customers to monitor their data usage and manage their costs.  However, we note that not all consumers use such tools.  It is also inherently difficult to estimate how much data is actually being consumed while, for example, browsing the internet or sending e-mails.

“Consumers may not be aware of the actual costs associated with such mobile data usage and this could lead to ‘bill shock.’ We aim to address the issue once and for all through this new directive,” Al Mansoori added.   – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: UAE | TRA | mobile data |

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