The Telecom’s Regulatory Authority (TRA) announces the launch of its latest 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 roaming abroad.
According to their latest consumer affairs roaming analysis report, TRA received roaming related complaints in 2016 amounting to more than 40,000 Bahraini Dinars, making up only 6 percent of all complaints during the year, but affect consumers the most in terms of cost
“While the report points to our awareness efforts making an impact, the amount of disputed claims remain relatively high, which urges us to continue educating consumers on how to avoid roaming bill shocks in the first place.” Says Sh. 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 in favor of consumer welfare. The focus now is to make residents in the Kingdom aware of how to avoid bill shocks, which this campaign will aim to achieve.” Added Sh. Nasser.
In 2016 the cost of international calls made from within the GCC costed 241 fils per minute while in 2017 this was reduced to 233 fils. National calls made within the GCC used to cost 98 fils per minute which went down to 94 fils. SMS messages used to cost 30 fils last year compared to 26 fils per message in 2017. Finally data roaming rates in 2016 used to cost 489 fils per megabyte which was reduced to 320 fils.
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 providers’ data roaming add on packages, connect to Wi-Fi where possible, or purchase a local prepaid sim card in the country they are visiting in order to avoid bill shocks.
“It’s important that consumers know how to take advantage of these reduced costs which is what TRA intends to accomplish with this campaign.” Says Mariam Al Mannai, Manager of Consumer Affairs at TRA. “We highly encourage consumers in Bahrain to engage with us during the campaign and come to us with their questions. We have multiple communication channels including social media, email (consumer@tra,org.bh) and a dedicated hotline (81188).”
Multiple channels will be used during the campaign to reach out to the community to enable consumers to be aware of the methods and mechanisms available so that they take advantage of roaming rates, add ons and packages that are available in their travel destinations. For more information about roaming tips, please visit TRA’s website www.tra.org.bhBack to News Listing