Mobile phone users in the UAE will no longer be forced to pay steep termination fees for ending their contracts early with telecom operators Etisalat or du.
The UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has announced that the operators can only charge consumers the fee for one month for early termination of services.
Previously, the TRA allowed the operators to charge the monthly fee multiplied by the number of the contract’s remaining months.
The regulator said the decision had been taken in response to complaints from customers.
“This amendment has been introduced already in the new individuals’ mobile contracts,” the regulator said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The new regulatory framework of service termination fees gives the users more flexibility in choosing the services that suit them,” said Mohammed Al Ramsi, director for Regulatory Affairs at TRA.
“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.
“Now, the user can terminate the service contract and choose another service, for a simple charge equals one month fee, which is considered operational fees,” he added.
The decision also comes in the context of the consolidation of all termination fees of service contracts that impose termination charges, making it easier for customers to calculate the costs of the services they wish to use, the TRA said.
“Revision of early termination fees of telecom contracts is part of the sustainability approach whereby TRA is working to enhance the quality of telecom services and to ensure that these services reach the various segments of society on satisfactory terms,” said Hamad Al Mansoori, TRA director general.
“We strive to hear the comments of the stakeholders on the operators’ services, and 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,” he added.
The authority said it is also planning to introduce a similar amendment to other service contracts in the coming period.