The Telecommunications and Regulatory Authority (TRA) said that excessive use of mobile communication while roaming can lead to mobile bill shock. Image Credit: File / Gulf News

Dubai: Finding the perfect holiday abroad requires planning and coordination, starting from the destination, to the time away, the hotel and finding the best activities to do in the area.

Some residents however, get caught up in their holiday so much that they end up forgetting to check their data package and ultimately end up with a "bill shock" — being charged a huge amount on their phone bill.

The Telecommunications and Regulatory Authority (TRA) said that it is aware that excessive use of mobile communication while roaming “can lead to large invoices causing mobile bill shock”.

To protect consumers from bill shock, the TRA’s Consumer Protection Guide explained that it has taken several measures to safeguard residents from the network provider.

Bill Shock
In telecommunications, bill shock is the horror a subscriber experiences if their phone bill has massive unexpected charges.

In general, "bill shock" can be used as a term for the surprise an individual gets on any bill that has an amount higher than expected pending to be paid.

“Following encouragement from the TRA, each of du and Etisalat have developed very good apps whereby consumers can monitor their consumption of services [such as minutes and/or data] and also monitor their expenditure,” it said.

Before hopping on the plane, the TRA stressed that users should subscribe to roaming packages in order to enjoy lower rates when roaming in different countries, and prevent mobile bill shock.

3 ways to prevent bill shock

  1. Check with your service provider to find out what packages are offered to international travelers.
  2. Ensure that the roaming package which you subscribe to covers the country or countries that you visit.
  3. Understand and observe any limitations of the package.

“Furthermore, the Regulatory Framework obligates the service providers to make available means by which Subscribers can, free of charge to the Subscriber, monitor service consumption at any given point in time and in the case of pre-paid service, a means by which subscribers can, free of charge, check the credit balance on the account,” the TRA added.

For some data packages, UAE telecoms allow consumers to select certain caps to help you manage your monthly data spend. You will receive a notification each time you cross a certain percentage of your cap limit.

According to Etisalat’s Code of Practice, “these measures have been applied in order to avoid customer bill shocks and give the flexibility to monitor and manage your monthly spend.”