The price you pay when tech doesn’t work the way it should.

By on June 27, 2011
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Hint: It’s not cheap.


Like almost everyone else in the UAE, I have two mobile numbers. One is from Etisalat that is generally in my iPhone or whatever Smartphone I am reviewing and the other is from du that sits in my BlackBerry. The reason I have du in my BlackBerry is because I tend to travel frequently and with du, you can switch from local to global BlackBerry services from their website and only get charged the higher international rate for the days you are away. Etisalat, on the other hand, charges you a full month at the minimum and requires you to visit one of their branches when you want to downgrade back from International to local.

I had one of my travels pop-in last week and before heading out, I logged on to du’s self-care website to change my plan from local to global. When I tried to do that, I got a message saying that I was already on the global plan. I should have seen that as a sign, but dismissed it thinking I might have forgotten to switch back to local when I came back from a previous travel which was just last month.

Anyways, with global roaming supposedly all set, I headed out thinking everything was all set. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Two days into my travel, I receive an SMS from du stating that I had run-up my approved line of credit and my phone was being switched from post-paid to pre-paid until I clear my balance. I logged on to du’s self-care website and out of nowhere, it showed my bill to be over 2,000 Dirhams. And my BlackBerry plan was stated as local and not global.

What I am assuming happened, is that there was an issue with the self-care website when I accessed it prior to my travels and my BlackBerry plan did not change from local to global as I wanted it to. Instead, it continued being on local and I was being charged for data at the exorbitant roaming rates. Not only did my BlackBerry service stopped working but I could not receive any phone calls or messages either as I was on a pre-paid plan with all credits used up and then some.

Luckily it was the weekend and I was traveling back to Dubai the following day so I wasn’t as furious as I would normally be. I sent an email to du to complain about this- lets see how long it takes for them to settle this issue, if it gets settled at all.


Abbas Jaffar Ali is the founder of and a blogger, geek and self-declared tech pundit who can't stop talking about technology. Find him on twitter as @ajaffarali

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