Qatar's telecom complaints rise by 94% in 2013

Regulator reports 850 calls from consumers relating to telecom products, services
Qatar's telecom complaints rise by 94% in 2013

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Qatar’s Ministry of Information and Communications Technology has recorded a 94% jump in complaints about telecommunications companies, with figures showing they were all related to the quality of services, it was reported.

The ministry said it received 850 calls from consumers in 2013 relating to telecommunications products and services.

Of those, 440 were logged as complaints, an increase of 94% on the 227 complaints recorded in 2012, The Peninsula Qatar reported.

It said a further 418 of the calls were inquiries, up 51% from 276 in 2012. The remaining calls were not categorised.

The ministry said all complaints related to the quality of services and no complaint was related to the price of products and services.

The ministry on Monday released the Telecommunications Consumer Protection Policy, which aims to protect the interests of consumers and help them make informed decisions about buying telecommunications products and services.

Among key aspects of the document, it stated that service providers should not make any false or misleading claims or suggestions regarding the availability, price or quality of their telecommunications services or equipment. The information given to consumers should be accurate and updated.

“This Consumer Protection Policy will now form the basis for our consumer protection work in telecommunications markets in Qatar,” said Dr Eiman Al Ansari, Consumer and Government Affairs Manager at regulatory authority ictQatar.

He added: “ictQatar already operates an independent complaints service, which consumers can contact if they are dissatisfied with the way their telecommunications operator has treated their complaint. But the improvements made through the draft policy will make it more effective and better able to ensure that operators are acting in the interests of consumers.”

The policy says that the service providers must give retail customers at least one chargeable period’s notice in advance of increases in recurring charges. Also the company must publish any increase in price in one local Arabic newspaper and one local English newspaper.

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