According to the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority’s latest statistics, 1,597 consumer disputes out of 1,604 were resolved by the TRA in 2019, an 89% increase in number of disputes from 2018. The TRA’s Consumer Affairs arm determined that 60% of all disputes received last year were related to Mobile services, whereas Broadband disputes made up 24%, Fixed Line services made up 11%, and 5% to other disputes such as calling cards.
TRA Director of Consumer Affair & Media Shaikh Abdulla Bin Humood Al Khalifa stated that “Consumer Protection and Awareness, as well as ensuring compliance among service providers is a main pillar of the TRA’s Mission, and we take every precaution to ensure that consumers are represented fairly.” Shaikh Abdulla further added that, “We have consistently been spreading awareness among consumers to enable them to make informed decisions and depend on the TRA to handle consumer disputes in the sector. These efforts have been successful thus far, as the rise in the number of complaints reflects that more and more consumers are becoming aware of our role.”
TRA also continued its efforts to enhance communication channels between TRA and all consumer segments and improve the level of services provided to them, as it launched the video call service to subscribers with special needs to facilitate the communication process and educate them of their rights as consumers in the telecom sector. TRA’s Consumer Call Center (81188) has received more than 31,000 calls since its inception, with an average of 96% success rate of responses to the calls.
“Mobile services represent the largest segment of disputes on a consistent basis, year on year.” Says Amna Al Ghatam, TRA Manager of Consumer Affairs. “Statistically, Mobile subscriptions outnumber every other service in the sector, thus this is expected, paired with the fact that mobile service disputes comprise of mobile data, calls, coverage, billing and roaming, among other factors. We expect dispute cases to continue rising as our awareness efforts continue. We welcome and urge consumers to approach us with any issues they face with their telecom services by escalating their disputes through our channels.”
Subscribers can raise disputes by contacting the TRA’s call center on 81188, or through the consumer portal on www.tra.org.bh.