Unwelcome subscription charges

I would appreciate it if Gulf News could assist me in resolving an issue with du. I have been charged the following amounts towards ‘Mobile Content’ for my number, in spite of the fact that I have not subscribed to any mobile content service:

For the statement dated May 17, I was charged Dh15. For the statement dated June 17, I was charged Dh45. For the statement dated July 17, I was charged Dh45. For the statement dated August 17, I was charged Dh75.

As my office was paying the monthly payments on my behalf, I was unaware these charges were being applied. When it came to my notice, I called du customer care to cancel the subscriptions. However, they were unable to reverse the charges applied for the previous months. Therefore, kindly assist me in pursuing this issue with du and arrange for the charges to be refunded.

From Mr Kumar Mulani

A spokesperson from Du responds:

In response to Mr Mulani’s query, following an investigation into the matter by our billing team, we have found that the charges incurred by the customer are valid due to the fact that the third party service was activated on his number. We contacted Mr Mulani and clarified the case to his satisfaction, and as a result, the case is now closed. We apologise for any inconvenience he may have faced.

Mr Mulani responds:

I am not satisfied with the response, as I believe that customers should be given an option to block third party services to avoid unnecessary charges. However, please pursue the matter further as du have informed me that promotional messages will no longer be sent to my mobile phone. Thank you for your assistance.

A spokesperson from du responds:

In response to Mr Mulani’s query, the customer’s concern was related to third party promotional SMSs. His request was to block the third party text messages that he was receiving, which we have initiated, and it will take a few days for them to come into effect. The case is now closed.

For the sake of public information, we would like to clarify that there are three types of SMSs that customers receive:

1) Promotional bulk SMSs

a. du promoted: Customers can request for blocking of SMS from du by sending a blank SMS to 5293.

b. Third party: Promotional SMSs that are free of charge; however if customers wish to block them, they need to do so individually for each service by sending B  SHORTCODE/CENTRE ID to 7726.

2) Subscription SMSs:

Subscription SMSs offer customers services for which they are charged regularly (either daily, weekly or monthly) if they subscribe – through SMS, Web/WAP or Direct Operator Billing services. Subscription requires consent from the customer for charges to be incurred; similarly, the customer can unsubscribe to these services. Every SMS that the customer receives contains details of how to unsubscribe at any time.

3) Service SMSs:

These come as a result of a customer’s request and as part of a contractual agreement with a service provider (such as banking transactions statements). The customers need to get in touch with their respective service provider to block these SMSs.

du offers customers the opportunity to activate the Do Not Disturb (DND) service by sending a blank text to 5293, which will ensure that they will not receive any promotional or subscription messages.

(Process initiation: September 14. Response from organisation: September 22. Process completion: November 20.)

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.