Several residents have recently faced phone bills in the tens of thousands of Dirhams
6 January 2019| Last updated on 6 January 2019
Dubai residents have been left in shock recently after receiving their mobile phone bills this month.
A number of residents are beginning their new year faced with huge bills, unfortunately - and it seems to have been a common problem for several people using one particular telecommunications provider in the UAE.
Reporting on the issue, The National shared that telecoms provider du had in fact waived the phone bills of a number of holidaymakers who had returned to find they had huge phone charges.
Taking to social media, namely Facebook groups, disgruntled residents have been sharing their shock at arriving back in the UAE following the festive season with bills of between AED 5,000 and AED 30,000.
A few cases have been resolved by du themselves, as they claim the inflated numbers could be a result of an "online glitch".
Many others have been left disconnected and unable to use their mobile data or phone friends/family in the UAE, and have been instructed to wait until their bill payment date before they are able to query the bill amount.
Check your data usage on your phone
If you've fell victim to these huge phone bills this January, all we can suggest at this time is to plead your case with your telecoms provider.
If your charge is due to "data usage", smartphones like iPhone and Samsung Galaxy do allow users to view how much data has actually been used during a certain period of time.
To do this, head to your Settings in your mobile device and under Connections or Wi-Fi/mobile data, view your "Data usage". Here it will show you just how much MB you have used for the month.
How you can prevent huge phone bills in Dubai
To prevent receiving huge phone bills from your telecoms provider in Dubai, there are a couple of steps you can take...
Set an overspend limit
Due to regulations enforced by the Telecommunications Regulatory Agency in 2016, du and Etisalat customers' are required to cap their data usage to prevent inflated bills and "bill shock".
Residents can apply an overspend limit, for example, of AED 100 to your postpaid plan via your du or Etisalat account. This would mean your data and phone calls will be stopped if you reach your postpaid contractual amount +100.
For instance, AED 279 monthly charge, + AED 100 overspend limit would equal to no more than AED 379 per month.
Turn off your data assist
Smartphones nowadays have an option for "data assist", which kicks-in when you have a weak Wi-Fi connection. Basically, your phone will use your own mobile data to bridge the weakness in your Wi-Fi connection to ensure your experience isn't interrupted when browsing online, emailing or using social media.
This happens primarily when you're connected to a public Wi-Fi connection - like when you're travelling, for instance.
If you have data assist enabled and you're abroad, it's bound to cost a lot of money as all those little connections will amount to something. Keep an eye out for repeated LTE connections while roaming, even if your roaming is switched off.