On April 24, I moved from an etisalat controlled area in Sharjah to Al Warsan 1 in Dubai, and when I visited etisalat to shift my eLife connection, I was told that my new area was a disputed area and hadn’t been assigned to etisalat or its competitor yet, so they couldn’t shift my connection. Instead, I’d have to cancel my connection, pay an exit charge of Dh250 and then reapply for an LTE (Long-Term Evolution) connection. This is basically internet through a Sim card that depends on the cell towers in the area for reception, like a mobile phone.

I refused to pay the exit charges because it wasn’t my intention to cancel the connection, so the agent said she’d write up a complaint and I would receive a call for resolution. This call didn’t arrive until early May, so etisalat charged me the service rental for June, because my account was still active; it didn’t matter that I wasn’t using the service. The agent who called me, said I had no choice but to pay the exit charge and the rental for May, and then log another complaint and there was a possibility I’d be given a refund. I refused, saying I wouldn’t pay until I was guaranteed a refund and he said someone would call me back.

No call came and before the month ended, and expecting to be charged the “service rental” for June, I visited their business centre in Dubai Mall again. The agent there said that the call centre agent was wrong again and I would definitely be refunded. He wrote up yet another complaint and said I would receive a callback confirming this. No call arrived until June and this agent called me rudely, shouting and demanding payment.

He said not a dirham would be refunded and that I owed etisalat my dues, and I would have to pay or risk further repercussions. Naturally, I refused and went back to a business centre, this time at Dubai Festival Centre, and once again, the agent said that the call centre agent was wrong and I would be paid. He asked me to pay about Dh650 and then visit a business centre, closer to where I live and log a complaint and I would definitely be refunded. He recommended the branch at Mirdif City Centre so that’s where I went.

The agent said that there was still about a further Dh650 due against the account, and if I paid that, he would close the account. I had to visit the business centre in Al Wasl and log a complaint. He wrote on my receipt that I would definitely be refunded but I still had to log the complaint. At the Al Wasl business centre, I received the same reassurance, that a complaint would be logged and I would be called back and then refunded Dh968, which is the rental for two months and the exit charge. I promptly received a callback from a polite agent, who said I was guaranteed a rental for two months but in order to be eligible for the exit charge refund, I had to email her my tenancy contract. I did that and this evening, I received a call from a different agent, who said that etisalat understands and I am eligible for a refund, however I wouldn’t receive this until I subscribed to a different service. I said I couldn’t because by now, it had become apparent that my area had been assigned to their competitor. He said he was aware of that but etisalat offers a service specifically for customers in such areas, that’s without a TV connection, and the only way I would be given my refund is once I subscribe to that service. So basically, they were taking away my right to choose a service that I deem more fit for my purpose — a fibre optic connection with a TV service. Either that or forfeit Dh968 that etisalat had taken from me unlawfully in the first place.

Please help me get this resolved.

From Mr Zaid Farzan


The management of Etisalat replied:

Thank you for bringing Mr Farzan’s concerns to our attention. Etisalat customer service team would want to apologise on all the inconvenience caused to him due to shifting of the residence. The account has been refunded with the rental of May and June, including the exit fee. Mr Farzan was contacted and updated on the same, he has requested for the credit amount to be transferred from his eLife to his bank account. The case is now closed.

(Process initiation: August 3. Response from organisation: August 14.)

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.