Etisalat, du to compensate BlackBerry users after outage

UAE telcos will credit users with three days free usage after BlackBerry service failures
Etisalat, du to compensate BlackBerry users after outage
Osman Sultan, du CEO. The telco has agreed to compensate BlackBerry users
By Shane McGinley
Wed 12 Oct 2011 03:57 PM

UAE
telcos Etisalat and du said Wednesday they would compensate BlackBerry customers
after a technical failure caused the outage of email, messaging and browsing
services.

Twitter users across the Middle East on Wednesday reported
disruptions or complete outages of services on their smartphones, as outages
entered their third day.

"Prepaid
customers will receive the equivalent of three days usage, free-of-charge and
credited to their account within 24 hours, while for postpaid (contract)
customers, this will be adjusted in their monthly bill," Etisalat said in
an emailed statement.

Rival
telco du said individual BlackBerry subscribers on prepaid contracts would
receive the equivalent of three days’ free usage, or AED4.5. Users on post-paid
contracts would receive AED3. Subscribers to du’s ‘Unlimited’ national package
will receive AED13, while those using the international package will be
refunded double the amount at AED26.

Postpaid
customers will have the credit added to their next bill and prepaid users will
have the credit added to their balance over the next three days, the telco said
in an emailed statement.

Research in Motion, the Canadian maker of BlackBerry, has
blamed a core switch failure for causing a large backlog of data and has said
it is working to restore normal service.

Analysts
said Wednesday that RIM may face an uphill struggle to regain consumer
confidence as service disruptions continue.

“If
it had been a brief problem that had been resolved then perhaps people would
see it as a one-off incident, however, I think it’s getting a bit beyond that
now because it has dragged on into the third day,” telecoms analyst Matthew
Reed at Dubai-based Informa told Arabian Business.

RIM
on Monday said its business in the Middle East had grown 140 percent in the
last 12 months and said it planned to expand its presence in Lebanon, Jordan
and Pakistan.

The
BlackBerry device has been the subject of numerous threatened suspensions
across the world, as governments seek to access its encrypted email and
messaging devices.

The
UAE last year threatened to suspend BlackBerry services, after authorities said
the encryption technology didn’t comply with national security laws allowing
access to data traffic.

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