Pay-per-use mobile data plans to be discontinued in the UAE

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The move is set to protect subscribers from excessive charges…

The UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has ordered network providers du and Etisalat to stop offering pay-per-use data plans to customers.

According to the TRA, du and Etisalat should only offer the pay-per-use data plan to customers going forward if they explicitly ask for it. The move comes in a bid to ‘protect subscribers from excessive charges’.

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What is a pay-per-use plan?

Pay-per-use data plans are available to customers who wish to buy their data a minute at a time. To activate the service, users can dial a number, and then need to dial the number again to stop the service. Once activated, users get instant access to data at a rate of 30 fils for the first 15 minutes, and two fils per minute thereafter. The same pricing is available on both du and etisalat plans, provided a user has credit balance.

The service continues to run until your credit runs out, or you de-activate the service.

Often, consumers forget to send an SMS to stop the service, which results in the excessive charges. If a customer leaves the service on for 24 hours, it equates to over Dhs28 per day, which can soon add up.

However, both du and Etisalat now list on their websites that they cap the service, so that users don’t face surprising, hefty fees if they forget to unsubscribe to the service.

For du customers, the service will remain active for a maximum of four hours, according to the official website, while a glance to Etisalat’s site advertises that customers are protected from pay-as-you-go charges two hours after activation.

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