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UAE's du admits failure in online payment system

Customers disconnected after after payment system fails

Du customers were disconnected after its online payment system failed.
Du customers were disconnected after its online payment system failed.

Du, the UAE's second largest telecom operator, has admitted that its online customer payments system failed last month, resulting in a number of customer's home services being disconnected.

The operator's online payment system failed due to a system upgrade forcing it to return customer payments, it said in an emailed statement to Arabian Business.

"As a result of a recent system upgrade to our online payment system, some of our customers were unable to complete their bill payments via some banks whilst the upgrade was taking place," the operator said.

"In the interest of our customers and as a standard practice with our partner banks, all payment received during this period of upgrade were returned directly to the customer's accounts and the attempted transaction is made void," it added.

Du customers said they were not warned about the problem. "I paid my home services bill via Emirates NBD last month and the money was taken out of my account. It wasn't returned until ten days later. In the meantime I was disconnected for failure to pay my bill on time," one customer told Arabian Business.

"Despite repeated phone calls to the customer service department and several customer complaint letters, at no point in time was I warned about the problem - they just kept telling me they hadn't received the payment.

"It wasn't until I contacted my bank I was told there was a glitch in the system and I had to pay again," she added.

The Dubai-based operator in June said home services customers would be disconnected immediately if they do not pay their bill on time in a bid to crack down on late payers.

Under the new rules customers with internet, television and landline services, are cut off one day after the due date of their bill, if they have failed to make the payment.

The move prompted a flurry of complaints from ArabianBusiness.com readers. "This is all very well if they upgrade their customer service. We have been disconnected twice because their system failed to take a payment. The bill is paid by a standing payment on a credit card and twice their system failed in the space of four months. It took them seven days each time to get the system reconnected," said one reader.

The COO of the phone operator vowed to open an internet investigation into the complaints. "Many of you have posted about individual experiences with our services. I'm going to look into each of these issues myself, and ensure that they are heard and addressed," said Farid Faraidooni, chief commercial officer at du.