Tips to mobile phone users to avoid roaming bill shocks – CRA

As the annual holiday season approaches, the Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) would like to alert all consumers to ensure that they are familiar with their service provider’s roaming packages and services if they plan to use their Qatari SIM cards aboard

As the annual holiday season approaches, the Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) has issued tips this year too to telecom consumers in Qatar 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.

The 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.
The 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; and
Vodafone’s Qatar pre-paid and post-paid customers can activate their Vodafone passports by dialling *110*110#, or via Vodafone mobile app.

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.

The 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.

Most common complaints related to roaming services, received by CRA, are as a result of the consumer using the wrong network carrier, overconsumption of roaming data (exceeding set limit), or misinformation about the activation and termination process.

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