Dubai: Many etisalat customers have complained that their internet connections have been upgraded to e-life packages without their consent being obtained.

Etisalat's e-life service combines a land line telephone, broadband internet and TV services in a bundled offer.

Jaber Al Janahi, vice-president, corporate communications at etisalat, told Gulf News that a dedicated customer-care team looks into such complaints and refunds, if needed, and adjustments are made if necessary.

Gulf News has come to know of several complaints about unauthorised upgrades. One etisalat customer said he recently received a call from a company representative who offered him an upgrade of his Al Shamil internet connection to the e-life package.

"I clearly said no to the upgrade offer and added that no changes should be made to my existing connection without my consent. But I was very surprised to receive an SMS later confirming my upgrade request," the customer said.

"Etisalat representatives simply call customers and process e-life packages without their approval or consent," the customer wrote to etisalat, requesting termination of his e-life services immediately and restoration of his previous connection.

Meeting targets

Another customer, an Abu Dhabi resident, said representatives often mislead customers saying etisalat is stopping the Al Shamil internet service and that all subscribers are being upgraded to the e-life package.

"I feel call centres and sales representatives hired by etisalat are resorting to dubious means to meet targets and get their incentives," he said. "I used to pay Dh170 for internet services and my land line telephone. After the ‘unauthorised' upgrade, I got a bill of Dh299."

The customer added: "Agreed, they are offering faster internet services, but what if I don't need it. Why should customers be force fed something they don't want, especially by lying?"

He said he had lodged a complaint but nothing had happened out of it.

Another etisalat customer, T. Mohammad Kunhi, also said an etisalat technician upgraded his connection to e-life without his consent.

"The technician filled the form himself and asked my wife, who does not know English, to sign it," he said.

Kunhi added that he complained several times to etisalat, but received unsatisfactory responses.

Etisalat's e-life service, based on the Next Generation Fibre Optic Technology, has received a good response from customers since its launch, the company said in a statement issued to Gulf News.

"There have been some instances where customers complained of their accounts being migrated to e-life without their complete understanding of the product offerings or due to a miscommunication," said Al Janahi.

Resolving matters

"It is our endeavour to resolve such matters to the satisfaction of our valued customers," he further said. Etisalat regrets any inconvenience, he added.

The e-life package not only provides very high internet speeds, but also great savings when compared to individual services, according to etisalat. Twenty free international minutes every month, and up to 16 hours of wireless internet in malls and coffee shops are also part of the package, etisalat said.