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TRA streamlines complaints procedure

Service centre to provide “proper communication” between public and TRA

H.E. Mohamed Al Ghanim, director general of the TRA, says the new system will reduce complications.
H.E. Mohamed Al Ghanim, director general of the TRA, says the new system will reduce complications.

The UAE’s telecom regulator yesterday announced that it has set up a new “service centre” to deal with complaints from disgruntled telecom consumers about the country’s operators, Etisalat and Du.

Under the new system consumers must first lodge a complaint with their telecom operator. The operator must then respond with a reference number and the result of its enquiry “within a reasonable period” before the complaint is dealt with by the regulator.

H.E. Mohamed Al Ghanim, director general of the TRA, said: “The TRA always seeks to provide the best services to facilitate the interaction with the telecoms services stakeholders, where the activation of the Services Centre is to ensure proper communication between the public and the TRA through facilitating the procedures for applying suggestions and complaints without complications.”

Customer service has become a priority for many regulators in the Middle East, as they seek to make sure the rights of customers are protected as competition among operators in the region increases.

Earlier this year, the head of Bahrain’s telecom regulator and former president of the Arab Regulators’ Network, Alan Horne, told CommsMEA that customer service is an issue that affects the whole of the Middle East.

“The right to choose, change and complain is not very natural and is not uppermost in most consumers' minds within the region,” he said.

According to a statement from the UAE TRA, the aim of the new scheme is “to facilitate the flow of suggestions, complaints and inquiries from the telecoms subscribers in the UAE through receiving them via a variety of communications means such as the website, fax, telephone, e-mail, and filling the suggestions and complaint card at the TRA receptions when visiting the TRA offices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai”.

Last month, the UAE’s TRA had to issue advice on how to block spam text messages that many mobile users in the country receive on a daily basis, after it received a number of enquiries from UAE residents.