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Reader unhappy over telecom provider’s confusing contract

Complaint against early cancellation charge of the contract

Gulf News

I was wondering if I could get du to help solve my problem.
I switched my mobile service from du to the UAE’s other main telecom provider in September 2017. I did it without any problem, until I received a bill from du. I have never failed to pay my monthly bill so the last bill I received from du was a big surprise.

The amount was unusually high, so I went to the du counter in Ibn Battuta Mall, Dubai, to find out the reason. They told me it was due to an early cancellation charge of the contract. What contract? This was my first reaction.

According to the salesperson at the counter, a du agent called me in January 2017 and I agreed to their contract in order to increase my data. I remembered the fact that a du agent called me early last year, but what she told me was that there was an offer to increase data.

She told me I could have more data without paying extra because it was a special offer. I didn’t have to pay anything, neither did I have to do anything, she said.

So I said yes to the offer and that was it. She didn’t mention anything about a new contract, neither did she tell me about the obligation of a 12-month period. This new contract, which du keeps insisting on, has just come out of the blue for me.

Therefore, I raised a complaint at the du kiosk and the woman at the counter told me that somebody would call me within 48 hours.

On the next day, a man called me and said that because of the contract, I was supposed to pay an early cancellation charge.

After explaining the situation to him, he suggested that I go back to the same du counter and ask to cancel the charge. I did that.

However, the woman at the counter told me there was no such contract on my account in the system. Because it was done by the agent, du could not do anything about it and could only raise another complaint. So the agent did it, and told me that somebody would call me within 48 hours.

I waited for a week but nobody called me, so I went back to the same counter again. However, the only thing they could do was raise another complaint, with an e-mail to all the managers in charge. She told me this time, someone would definitely call me within 48 hours.

Sadly, nobody did. Meanwhile, I had to travel and was out of the country for three weeks. During this time, I wrote to du customer service several times, seeking help, because I had received reminder emails for the outstanding payment, which was almost threatening.

To my disappointment, I didn’t get any help from du customer service at all. Since I have returned to Dubai, I’ve received several text messages and phone calls regarding the overdue charge.

I went to the du office in Media City twice, hoping to speak to the manager in charge of billing, but this person never seemed to be in the office, and I could only talk to the person who was dealing with billing problems.

Both times, I was told that somebody would call me within 48 hours. So far, nobody has done so, apart from some reminder calls. I have no idea what to do. It’s been absolutely time consuming and upsetting.

From Ms Emiko Ito Doorneweert

A spokesperson from du responds:

With reference to the query of Ms Doorneweert, upon investigation, our team found that the full contract details and early termination fees were explained to the customer.

Therefore, the charges remain valid. Our team has shared the explanation with the customer. We regret any inconvenience.

Mrs Doorneweert 

Thank you for letting me know du’s response. A manager responded to me by email, saying basically, after the investigation their agent explained everything to me, which I don’t recall at all.

At the same time, I also received an email from customer care after Christmas, to apologise for taking a long time to investigate, but all they said was that they would get back to me. I was puzzled by the two different perspectives.

Anyway, I’ve been asking them for proof of existence of the contract but I haven’t heard or seen anything. They can’t show me any proof because it was done by a telephone call. I have had enough and regrettably, I know the only solution for me is to pay and forget about it.

Du responds:

In response to Ms Doorneweert, we have investigated the matter and our team has confirmed that the charges are valid. As per our system, all extra data activations, which can be done through the phone, are considered as contracts, noting that the same activation cannot be processed without customer’s consent and confirmation.

A du representative had clearly informed the customer about the foreclosure fees. Our team has gotten in touch with Ms Doorneweert and invited her to visit our offices and listen to the confirmation call we have on record. We regret any inconvenience she faced.

Ms Doorneweert 

Thank you very much for playing as go-between to get the attention from du.

Yes, I went to one of the du counters to pay the charge because I didn’t want to continue this battle, which has been upsetting me very much, since the past five months.

Although I paid the fee, I requested the manager directly to let me listen to the recorded conversation between the agent and myself, since he confirmed that he had listened to it.

After a few days, another person from du called to explain how this contract worked and, in fact, let me listen to the exact conversation.

After I listened to it, I still could not understand what it was all about, to be honest, because the word ‘contract’ was never mentioned. However, the agent did mention the termination fee during the conversation.

The du agent told me it was an upgrade offer instead of using a word of ‘contract’ but within the du organisation they use the term of ‘contract’. Only then did I understand what this offer meant, as the agent was trying to explain over the phone.

As a customer, I think it’s a very confusing way to confirm a contract. Having said that, I must admit the fact that I had agreed to this term, so I cannot argue anymore.


(Process initiation: December 25, 2017. Response from organisation: December 28, 2017. Process completion: January 17, 2018.)

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