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Du backflips on bundle changes

Du will now let customers opt out of new packages after customers express suprise

02 Gulf News

Dubai: Du telecom has backflipped on an announcement that said customers would be forced to move to new, more expensive packages on September 1. Customers will still be moved to the new plans but now can change back to the old plans, du tweeted in an decison on Wednesday.

A du spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday with Gulf News that customers can remain with that which they feel comfortable.

“With regard to the recently announced revision to our Home Service Packages, we would like to clarify that it has always been our brand value to offer customers the freedom of choice. With effect from 1 September 2013 and for a period of three months thereafter, existing customers will be able to unsubscribe from the new package and return to their existing packages,” the spokesperson said.

Du Telecom had previously emailed customers to inform them of changes to its ‘Talk and Surf’ and ‘Talk, Surf and Watch’ home services packages. Customers were orginally told they would be moved to the new bundle and would not be able to revert back to the old plans.

The basic plan that provides customers with broadband and landline services will increase from Dh199 to Dh275 on September 1, local media reported.

Du customers will receive all landline to landline local and national calls free in the new packages. Customer will also receive free international minutes to selected destinations.

Daniel Evans, a Sales & Marketing Executive in Dubai and a Du customer, said he would rather opt into the new plan rather than have to opt out.

Evans first heard of the pricing changes online and said that he was disappointed he didn’t hear it first through a official communication from du.

“I was kind of shocked actually because it was out of the blue,” Evans said.

Bhanu Chadda, Senior Research Analyst, Telecoms & Networking, for the Middle East and Africa at IDC said that pricing was only one aspect of the telco market. He said that the new packages signaled that du was reacting to consumer demands.

“Re-valuing packages is part of du’s development in the market for what their customers are demanding,” Chadda said.

While customers complained on social media about the monopoly telco’s have in the UAE, Chadda said the market was no longer just pinned on price point competition.

It’s about value driven competition, he said, especially in the home packages area.

Home packages are becoming more and more important in the UAE and in other Middle East countries, Chadda said.

Chadda said the new packages were a sign that du is being proactive and providing higher value to consumers.

Evans, who lives in an apartment that only has access to du, said that value is important but that he didn’t it in in the new price plans.

“I don’t think the new plan represented value,” Evans said.