Thursday, June 18, 2009

Etisalat saga

For those who don't know, Etisalat are the incumbent phone operator in the UAE. They are government owned and until fairly recently had a monopoly (there is now competition from Du, but with only mobile coverage in Abu Dhabi). Like most places out here, their customer service experience is pretty low.

When we moved (or as they say here, shifted) to our our apartment, Etisacrap installed a new FTTH (fibre-to-the-home) unit on the wall of our front room, as we had requested internet access (4Mb, same as we had in our villa). As the apartment was serviced by FTTH, I was told that we could upgrade to 16Mb. "Great", I thought! I work a lot from home and my company pays for the Broadband bill, so as soon as the internet was up and running I called to ask for an upgrade. Broadband out here is an exorbitant price, 4 Mb is Dhs449 (£77) a month and 16Mb is Dhs549 (£95) - probably about 3 times the price in the UK. So, on the 15th of May I called for the upgrade. I didn't think much about it for a while, but then I realised after a while that, actually, it didn't seem to be any faster! I did a speed check and sure enough, it was the same.

On 23/5 I made a complaint to Etisacrap. They said I have already upgraded to 16Mb. I said yes, I know that, but I'm not getting it! They gave me a complaint number.

8/6 speed still the same. Complain again. I have been getting charged at the new rate since 15/5. They give me a new complaint number.

15/6 speed still the same. Complain again. They give me a new complaint number.

18/6 speed still the same. At the end of the month I will get my first bill at the new rate, and am unlikely ever to get a refund I guess.

I wish I had never bothered.



  1. Neil, at least you are getting internet at your house, unlike a lot of others it seems. Not fair though that you arent getting what you paid for. Can you downgrade to the cheaper plan?

  2. Well, I'm waiting to see if they can actually fix it, because I'd rather the higher speed, but if not then yeah, I'll downgrade.

  3. Nicely written ... Just moved here, and trying to get as much info as possible on "how to live" locally!!

    Cheers from a food blogger :-) Yes, there's always one!

  4. Julian, welcome! Just ask if there is anything you think I may be able to help with. You can always email me on The TRA here have set up a complaint system on there website, so I used it! Since I did, I had Etisalat all over me to try and fix it, and it is now much better!