Mon, 31 July 2017
Roaming charge-related complaints totalling more than BD40,000 in 2016 has led Bahrain’s Telecom’s Regulatory Authority (TRA) to launch a consumer awareness campaign, aimed at informing the public of the risks of roaming bill shocks and the options available to reduce mobile data and phone bills while abroad.
Though these issues made up only six per cent of all complaints during the year, they affect consumers the most in terms of cost.
“The amount of disputed claims remains relatively high, which urges us to continue educating consumers on how to avoid roaming bill shocks in the first place,” says Shaikh Nasser bin Mohamed Al Khalifa, deputy general director of TRA. “We’ve taken some significant steps in collaboration with our counterparts in the GCC to enable consumers with better roaming rates in the region by initiating the GCC roaming regulation which puts price caps on roaming charges. This has been in effect since April 2016 and costs will continue to decline every year until 2020. The focus now is to make residents in the Kingdom aware of how to avoid bill shocks, which this campaign will aim to achieve.”
TRA advises consumers to ask their providers what roaming charges to expect before travelling and what the charges will be at their destination. To be roaming ready, TRA also advises consumers to either subscribe to one of their provider’s data roaming add-on packages, connect to Wi-Fi where possible, or purchase a local prepaid sim card in the country they are visiting.