IT & Telecommunications

Bahrain’s TRA strengthens consumer protection measures

Bahrain’s Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) has taken the initiative to bring all telecom licensed operators to sign and undertaking enhancing consumer protection and empowering consumers.
 
This collaborative effort marks a groundbreaking achievement, making Bahrain the first country in the region to implement consumer protection measures through an undertaking.
 
Effective September 1, 2023, the new undertaking will introduce five main consumer protection measures. 
 
Five main measures
The Contract Summary, where licensed operators will provide consumers with a concise document along with their service contracts, summarising the key terms and conditions of the services they are subscribing to. 
 
Contract Termination and End of Contract Notifications: Consumers will receive an end-of-contract notification when their service contracts end, which will specify the date on which the contract will end. Furthermore, if a consumer requests to terminate a service, they will be informed of any outstanding charges, including early termination fees. 
 
Billing Transparency and Accuracy, in which licensed operators are committed to providing consumers with transparent tariff information and accurate billing and shall implement measures to ensure that billing information is error-free across all subscriptions and billing methods, giving consumers confidence in the accuracy of their bills. 
 
Tele-sales, Value-Added Services, and Multi-Factor Authentications: Licensed operators shall only be promoting their telecommunications services and products in a fair, transparent, accurate, and responsible way. Key terms and conditions, including tariffs, contract terms, and termination conditions, will be clearly communicated. Additionally, consumers will have direct access to view their service subscriptions, manage value-added services, device installment plans, and track data usage. 
 
Service Quality Levels, where in the event a consumer experiences a service or product quality level that falls below the promised standards and the issue is not resolved within a reasonable timeframe, consumers will have the right to terminate their service contracts without incurring early termination charges. This provision ensures that consumers receive the quality of service they have been promised.
 
Elevate consumer experience
Philip Marnick, General Director of the TRA, said: "The signing of this groundbreaking undertaking solidifies Bahrain's leadership in prioritising consumer protection. We commend the licensed operators for their commitment to empowering consumers. This initiative will elevate consumer experiences and reinforce Bahrain's position as a regional leader."
 
Sh Abdulla bin Humood AlKhalifa, the Director of Consumer and Communications, added: "Bahrain is setting a new standard in the region with the introduction of these comprehensive consumer protection measures. We extend our appreciation to the licensed operators for their support in safeguarding consumer interests. This collective effort will create a fair and transparent telecommunications market, empowering consumers and fostering long-lasting trust."-- TradeArabia News Service