I have had a postpaid connection with etisalat for some time and in June 2015, I noticed an additional charge of Dh20.36 in my monthly bill. The bill stated that this charge is for “Mobile Data Services”. When I called etisalat’s customer service number about this, initially, they said it was charged because of a call to a ‘special number’.

To avoid wasting time, I paid the amount and to my surprise, the same amount was charged in my July bill, as shown in the etisalat application. I logged a complaint with etisalat by calling 101 and after three or four days, they called me to inform me that the charge was due to subscription to a third-party game site.

I am 100 per cent sure that I have not subscribed to any third-party facility. Etisalat is unable to provide me with any proof of subscription. More surprisingly, the customer service agent informed me that the proof of subscription is in my etisalat bill. The customer service executives at etisalat do not understand the actual issue, but they somehow want to close the complaints without giving a proper answer to the complaints. The executive informed that I would have to send an SMS to cancel the subscription. When I sent this SMS, I got a message stating that I am not a member of any such service.

I had to visit etisalat’s office and the staff also repeated the same comments, as stated by the customer service executive I spoke with when I called 101. I met the duty manager and the division manager to convey my concern, and they promised to look into the issue in detail and refund the amount.

Later, again, an executive called from 101 to inform me that I would have to send the same SMS. I told him that the SMS had already been sent, but he insisted that I would have to do so again. I sent it again and received the same message.

I am totally disappointed with my overall experience with etisalat. How can they include a third-party charge in my bill without my knowledge? They are not able to show me any proof that I subscribed to this facility.

In addition, how can I trust etisalat not to charge me other amounts or subscription charges in the following months?

Other than the etisalat division head and duty manager, I didn’t see or talk to even one person who actually tried to understand the actual issue I was facing. I spent more than one hour talking to different customer service executives and in addition, wasted an hour and a half visiting the branch, which resulted in no solution.

I request Gulf News to intervene in this matter, to bring this issue to the concerned department, so other customers don’t face this problem.

From Mr Robin Thomas Kurian, Abu Dhabi

The management of etisalat responds:

Kindly note that the customer’s issue was resolved, but we tried to contact the customer many times on different days without any reply, so we sent an SMS to him.

Mr Kurian responds:

I am not sure what they mean by this reply. When I lodged the original complaint, I mentioned that I will be away on my annual vacation from August 1 to September 8. I mentioned the same in all my follow-up calls and at the etisalat office visit.

The management of etisalat responds:

Kindly note that we resolved the customer’s issue and we keep calling him, but receive no reply. We do not have any notification from him in his email, stating that he is outside the country.

We will contact the customer three times and if he does not reply, we will send him an SMS and then close the case.

If the customer faces the same issue again, or if his issue is not solved, please feel free to let us know.

(Process initiation: July 27. Response from organisation: July 30. Process Completion: October 29.)

Editor’s note: Do you have similar issues that you would like to raise with us? You can write to us at readers@gulfnews.com.