I’m so happy to know that Gulf News handles complaints because all my efforts to make etisalat understand my situation have failed.

At the end of February 2017, I was in the process of moving out of my previous apartment. I visited one of the etisalat branches and asked a staff member to help me with either moving my eLife connection to the new apartment or to cancel my account. It seemed like she had a bad day and without showing any sign of support, she asked me to first put Dh500 in my account in order to proceed with my request. I had opened this account in 2013 and in October 2016, they upgraded my account, during which, they told me there were no cancelation fees. They did not mention anything about exit charges and the rent of the device.

I asked the agent to transfer my account and charge me on the account to pay later, which was easier for me at that moment, and she said it was not possible. First, I would need to pay in full and I just could not do the payment at that moment. She did not even bother to put my request in the system because I did not make the payment. I decided to leave the apartment, assuming not using the network automatically cuts it off.

But recently, I received so many messages and calls from etisalat and Tasheel that I had to pay a bill of Dh2,711 for service I did not even use! I explained my case to a customer service representative from Tasheel and he was very understanding and helpful.

I visited two etisalat branches to get this issue solved and talked to them over the phone and by email, but there has been no support from their end. Moreover, I am hearing so many new things from different employees, which they did not tell me in 2013, when I was opening this account! They told me every new user would have a 24-month contract, and when the user wants to cancel the connection, she/he has to pay not only the cancelation fees, but also the existing charges and the rent of the device. I cannot believe it. Why did they not mention any of this initially? Shouldn’t the user be aware of these fees? Why do they say the router is for free and then charge you at the end, for device rental?

Is it fair and legal to hide this information from subscribers before installing their devices? Additionally, etisalat always stops providing services if the user, for any reason, does not pay the bill in a maximum of two to three weeks, after bill generation. So why did etisalat keep on giving me services for almost five months without receiving even a dirham from me? It is unfair and not acceptable, because clearly, they knew the user was no longer using the services! When I told them over email that what they were doing was totally unfair and unethical, and that they should have told me about all the costs before installation, they responded: “When you ask for a connection, that means you agree to all our terms, conditions and charges.”

I said it is not true! If I was aware of such expensive charges, I would never have accepted them!

I feel so disappointed, dissatisfied and helpless in this situation and I really need Gulf News to help me. I can only pay for the service I received, up to March 2017.

From Ms Ghazaleh Bagheri

The management of etisalat responds: Thank you for bringing Ms Bagheri’s concern to our attention. Etisalat customer service team would want to apologise for all the inconvenience caused to her. On further investigation, the eLife Lite service was in use until March 13, 2017, with a final warning status on the account on March 25, 2017. Etisalat has made the required refund for non-usage from April to July 2017. We have informed Ms Bagheri that the remaining charges were for the previous rental and device charges. Accordingly, the customer has agreed to settle it via a monthly payment arrangement set up in her account. The case is closed.

(Process initiation: January 15, 2018. Response from organisation: January 17, 2018. Process completion: April 4, 2018.)

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.