If a user was paying Dh100 a month for a phone plan and had 6 months remaining on their plan, previously they would have had to pay Dh600 to end their contract earlier.

Dubai: The UAE’s telecommunications regulator announced on Wednesday that it had slashed the cost of cancelling a mobile phone contract early, following feedback from customers.

Instead of having to pay one month’s rental fee multiplied by the number of months remaining on the contract, users will now only have to pay one month’s rental fee, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) said in a statement.

For example, if a user was paying Dh100 a month for a phone plan and had six months remaining on their contract, previously they would have had to pay Dh600 to end their contract earlier.

Now, the user will simply need to pay Dh100 to end the contract early.

This change will apply to all contracts signed following the announcement, the TRA told Gulf News, but will not be retroactively applied to contracts already signed.

It added that it was working on “introducing these amendments to the other services’ contracts in the coming period.”

Etisalat is a UAE based telecommunications services provider, currently operating in 18 countries across Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

These are understood to include internet and television contracts, both of which fall under the purview of the TRA. The regulator declined to provide a time frame for these changes.

In a statement, the head of the TRA said that the authority always listened to the concerns of du and Etisalat customers.

“We don’t hesitate to review any policies or regulations for the interests of the parties and the public to increase the happiness of the telecom sector customers in the country,” said Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, the TRA’s director general.

The TRA’s head of regulatory affairs said that the changes would give customers more flexibility when selecting phone plans.

“The new regulatory framework of service termination fees gives the users more flexibility in choosing the services that suit them,” said Mohammad Al Ramsi, regulatory affairs director.

“The new amendment comes in response to the complaints of some customers, since the previous provisions forced the customer to commit to using the service until the end of the contract, despite their unwillingness to do so sometimes.”

He added that the TRA would monitor the market to ensure compliance with the changes.

A spokesperson for du said that the company welcomed the TRA’s decision. “As a licensed operator, we always comply with the TRA’s regulations and directives,” the spokesperson said.