CRA Issues Tips to Telecom Consumer to Avoid Roaming Bill Shocks
As the annual holiday season approaches, the Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) issues tips to Qatari telecom consumers to avoid roaming bill shocks.
The two service providers in Qatar have a diverse range of roaming packages and services to cater to a range of consumer requirements. CRA advises telecom consumers to make sure they understand the service they want to use before they subscribe to it, to verify if whether their service provider offers a roaming package in the destination country and to read the terms and conditions related to the specific service they want to use and clearly understand the cost of it.
CRA also advises consumers to understand the activation process before they travel and if in doubt to contact their service provider to clarify and to activate the package before they reach their destination, because they may need to use roaming data to activate the package and could be charged ‘out of package’ for that if it’s not activated in advance.
- Ooredoo’s pre-paid customers can activate Ooredoo passport, by sending “OP” as SMS to 121, or via Ooredoo mobile app.
- Ooredoo’s post-paid customers can activate Ooredoo passport, by sending “OP” for weekly or “OPM” for monthly as SMS to 114, or via Ooredoo mobile app.
- Vodafone’s Qatar pre-paid and post-paid customers can activate Vodafone passport, by dialing *110*110#, or via Vodafone mobile app.
Often bill shock is a result of using a non-partner network carrier in the destination country. Service providers have mechanisms in place to automatically connect consumers to their preferred network partner (If available). Consumers should verify with their service providers whether to keep network selection manual or automatic.
Consumers, who have high-data usage, should continually monitor their balance to avoid incurring high roaming costs outside of their package. Service providers are obliged to provide consumers with notifications before the package ends or is consumed completely. Consumers should take advantage of such alerts and manage their roaming costs responsibility.
- Ooredoo’s pre-paid customers can check their balance for Ooredoo passport, by sending “BAL OP” as SMS to 121, or via Ooredoo mobile app
- Ooredoo’s post-paid customers can check their balance for Ooredoo passport, by sending “BAL OP” for weekly and “BAL OPM” for monthly as SMS to 114, or check via Ooredoo mobile app
- Vodafone’s Qatar pre-paid and post-paid customers can check their balance for Vodafone passport, by dialling *129# or via Vodafone mobile app.
Notifications also help consumers to decide if they want to extend or stop roaming service after the expiry or over consumption of roaming data. If extension of a roaming service is required, consumers should check with their service provider regarding the process of adding more allowance. If using a monthly roaming package, check with the service provider if the renewal is automatic and plan accordingly. Finally, if consumers do not want to use roaming services while travelling, they should ensure to switch off their mobile roaming data option in the phone settings.
CRA strives to help consumers make informed decisions when using roaming packages and services available to them when travelling out of the country as it is vital to stay informed about the data and roaming usage to avoid bill shocks. If consumers have any unresolved complaints with their service providers CRA is available 24/7 through its hotline (103) and mobile app ‘Arsel’.