x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

It's a du-turn: planned rise in UAE broadband price reversed

The telecoms company reverses its decision to automatically upgrade internet and call packages following complaints from its customers.

UAE telecom operator du made a U-turn on its decision to automatically upgrade customers on the most basic package, following complaints. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
UAE telecom operator du made a U-turn on its decision to automatically upgrade customers on the most basic package, following complaints. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

DUBAI // Du yesterday reversed plans to raise the price of its basic internet and call package after a social media storm.

Customers will still be automatically upgraded to the more expensive but "improved" 8Mbps service from September 1, but have three months to unsubscribe and return to their previous plan.

"It has always been our brand value to offer customers the freedom of choice," the telecoms company said.

The U-turn comes after angry customers took to Twitter in their droves to criticise the company for its plans to automatically upgrade customers on the most basic package, which costs Dh199 per month, to one costing Dh275 per month.

The company said the extra cost was justified by improvements such as free national landline calls, free international minutes and an on-demand movie service.

But many customers said they were being forced to pay more for services they neither needed nor wanted, and there was no option to stay on their old plan - or even to switch to Etisalat, because the two internet providers monopolise the areas they serve.

Du invited more criticism in its handling of the complaints. At one point it asked Twitter users to complain with private messages rather than in public.

One user was told that if she was unhappy with her service, she could cancel her account at any of the company's branches.

Du apologised for the comment.

 

ksinclair@thenational.ae