New telecom policy released by ictQATAR …

The Telecommunications Consumer Protection Policy recently released by the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (ictQATAR) points out that billing by the operators must be clear and accurate. The bills may be issued in paper or electronic version if the consumer agrees to it.
According to the new policy, a service provider shall provide customers with invoices at least once every three months and at no charge.  The bills must be in plain, simple and easy-to-understand format and provide accurate information on the services provided. It must state clearly the amounts due for each service and the method of calculation or tariffs for any service on which invoices are based, on the length of calls or other measure of usage.
As per the new policy, if a  customer opts for electronic bills, then the service provider should ensure that they are accessible to the customer on request and for at least the preceding 12 months.
Similarly, a customer shall not be liable to pay any fee for services or equipment that  he or she has not ordered and an operator shall not charge a customer except for the specified fee.
A service provider shall comply with quality standards with respect to the number of complaints about billing accuracy and time taken to resolve such complaints and shall provide regular compliance reports to the General Secretariat.
It also states that within 20 days following the end of each billing period, an  operator will provide free of charge to its residential or single-line business retail customers other than pre-paid customers, an itemised bill in a format that is clear, legible and easily understood, for all services provided by the operator.
The bill may be issued in either Arabic or English depending on the customer’s preference. It should acknowledge payments made on the previous bill and state when non-payment may result in disconnection.
An operator  must provide electronic notification to any customer subscribed to a plan with a set included value such as an allowance for calls, SMS, or data when the customer reaches 80% and 100% of the monthly expenditure or allowance permitted under the specified scheme.
These notifications must be  provided within 48 hours of reaching the allowance and  shall be  provided electronically, by e-mail or SMS. It should clearly inform the customer that the limit of the relevant allowance has been reached and the implications for continued use of the service.
As per the new policy, a service provider shall retain accurate records of all billing for a period of at least 12 months from the relevant billing date, and shall make them available to the General Secretariat upon request. Gulf Times

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