Unwelcome exit charges

I have a mobile post-paid number from etisalat. Around six months ago, I received a call from du customer service, offering me more data and talk time for much lesser than the amount I was paying. I agreed to move my number to du. After six months, in July, they shifted my number to du. Now, I have received a bill of Dh886.61 from etisalat without using the number. On the other hand, I received another bill of approximately Dh800 from du also. My plan was Dh250 per month from etisalat with 10GB data and 1,000 local minutes. My plan with du was 12GB data and 300 flexi-minutes with one month paid by me and one month by du.

I was out of the country in August, and du disconnected my number without informing me. I could not use my phone during the entire trip. The main purpose of shifting to du was the fact that roaming was included with flexi-minutes, but they disconnected it due to my missing ID. I couldn’t use the phone, which caused a lot of tension and inconvenience as I had to pay Dh1,600 just for nothing.

I contacted etisalat’s customer care and they informed me that as my number was disconnected on the 3rd, I would have to pay full charges for August and Dh586.67 as exit charges. Nobody informed me that I would have to pay this much if I terminate a contract. I am not sure whether etisalat is entitled to this exit charge, as per Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA).

On the other hand, du also said the same and Dh500 charges are against the usage of data service while roaming. They charged Dh185 for the usage of data service for one minute.

If I decide to return to etisalat, then they will revert the exit charges — but how much will du charge as exit fee? I registered a complaint on 101 on September 21 at 8.56am and a representative called and informed me that Dh586.67 were the exit charges and they have closed the case. I told him that neither had I taken any device nor had anybody informed me I would have to pay Dh586 if I terminated the plan. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have done so.

On enquiry from du, they informed me that I would have to pay Dh1,000 if I go back to du. Kindly help me out.

From Mr Mohammad Abad


A spokesperson from du responds:

In response to Mr Mohammad Abad’s query, following an investigation by our billing and collection team we found that the customer had outstanding payments with the other operator; under TRA directives we suspended his account until the charges were settled in full. Regarding Mr Abad’s outstanding du amount, we found that he had used data service without an international package and was thus charged Dh1/50KB; his plan is only valid for national data services. Our team contacted the customer and informed him of the same. The case is now closed and we apologise for any inconvenience he may have faced.

The management of etisalat responds:

The customer took our plan (yearly contract) and the customer was informed about that (the service rules and policy) and he signed the contract, so the charge is correct.

SMS reminders were sent by etisalat after the customer’s account got transferred to the other operator.

Mr Abad responds:

Thank you Gulf News, for processing my case. Du deactivated my number due to nonpayment of bills (du and etisalat) and service was restored only after making full payment to both the service providers.

My concern was that etisalat charged me Dh586.67 as exit charges, although I did not take any handset and nobody informed me if I exit or change the plan, I would have to pay this amount.

Secondly, du charged for the period in which they disconnected my number while I was out of the country. Thank you for the kind cooperation.

(Process initiation: September 30. Du responds: October 12. Etisalat responds: October 13. Reader responds: October 13.)

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