My wife is overseas and she used her mobile phone to make BlackBerry Messenger Text calls, which are free calls as long as you have a WiFi connection. Unfortunately, if the connection is weak, they are automatically treated as data calls, while the caller is completely unaware that such calls are being charged at premium (international roaming) rates. We are now faced with an extra charge of Dh995, accumulated within a few days. My complaint to etisalat has been unsuccessful as they claim that since another country is involved, they cannot reduce the charge.

My request to them to remove their own charges is going unanswered. Ironically, instead of any reduction, they’re overcharging us, as such calls are loaded with additional charges.

From Mr Jaweed Syed


The management of etisalat responds:

Thank you for bringing Mr Syed’s concerns to our attention. It is important to note that a customer can make free calls on the BlackBerry Messenger Text calls over a WiFi network, but when the connection is weak, it uses the existing data network. Subscribers are always notified when the data network is used for making these calls. We have now activated the hard cap on his connection to avoid similar discrepancies in the future. Mr Syed was contacted and informed on the same and as a special case, a specific amount was credited to his account. The issue is now resolved and closed.

Mr Syed responds:

I received a call from an etisalat representative, who agreed to refund the money charged for data services and also told me that in the future, there would be no charge for data usage overseas, if it is outside a plan. They have refunded August 2016 charges after making a deduction of Dh400. Subsequently, I received a bill for September, which is a continuation of the August bill for the same subscriber, with data usage at Dh584. It was clearly mentioned by the etisalat representative that such charges would not apply, but they now are unwilling to refund the September charges. Please, can Gulf News forward this complaint to them to resolve the issue satisfactorily?

The management of etisalat responds:

Thank you for bringing Mr Syed’s concerns to our attention. The etisalat customer service team would like to apologise for all the inconvenience caused to him. In this case, the customer was refunded for both months — August and September — after deducting the amount of the minimum packages as per the October bill. Mr Syed has now been refunded and the hard cap is activated, therefore no charges will be made for data roaming in the future.

(Process initiation: October 9. Response from organisation: October 31. Process completion: December 15).

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