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Friday, December 3, 2021

Residents irked after Vodafone, Ooredoo raise international calling rates

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Photo for illustrative purposes only
Photo for illustrative purposes only

Qatar residents who threatened to switch telecom providers this week after learning about new increased international call rates were dismayed to find that the price hike applies to both Ooredoo and Vodafone.

Citing factors beyond their control, the companies have raised their standardized rate for prepaid international calls from .66Dhs/min to .99Dhs/min.

In a statement, Ooredoo, whose change takes effect tomorrow, Nov. 1, said:

“This rise in price is a response to the increasing costs of terminating overseas calls, which is an issue affecting the industry globally.”

Vodafone, whose new prices took effect on Oct. 29, is also raising its local call rates. In a Facebook post, a customer service representative stated:

“Due to increasing associated costs, we have been forced to increase our Prepaid international and local calling rates since the old prices were no longer feasible. The international standard rates have been increased to 99Dhs/min and the standard rates for local call been increased to 55Dhs/min.”

The new rates come on the heels of a UN report stating that Qatar has the priciest internet and phone services in the Gulf, and is frustrating some residents who say they already pay enough to talk to loved ones.

Online, customers have been reacting with anger and disappointment to the announcements.

Reza Raisi told Vodafone:

“Qatar already has the most expensive rates and now with this new 1 QR per min international rate no country can break this record.”

Louay Lzk said:

“50% sudden increase on the rates! This is certified theft.”

Flor Cargason pleaded to Ooredoo:

“Please decrease your rates, our salary same only. . . No increase!!!!!!”

And Ahmed Nadeem said:

“we don’t need you Ooredoo, make it 100 QR/min , we have many other applications to call”

Meanwhile, both companies are reminding residents that they can subscribe to services that would decrease their international calling rates. Ooredoo and Vodafone are offering customers the ability to talk to people in certain countries for 60Dhs/min if they pay a QR1/weekly fee.

Both companies also have special deals to call India.

When asked why these packages are unaffected by the sudden price increase that has hit carriers, a Vodafone spokeswoman told Doha News:

“Over the past 18 months, the interconnect costs have been gradually rising for many destinations. We needed to increase prices within our international portfolio. We elected to increase our international standard rate and maintain our best value international offers. This means customers with the highest international calling needs still get excellent rates.”

An Ooredoo spokeswoman added to Doha News:

“We are sending targeted messages to all our customers and an end of call notification for Hala customers (after every international call they make) informing them of the changes and suggesting the best saving option for them.”

Are you affected by the new prices? Thoughts?

11 COMMENTS

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Saad Farooq
Saad Farooq
8 years ago

I have seen and had been calling my country at 3.5 – 6 Riyals per min before Vodafone arrived. The increase is still minimal in my opinion given rates are also increasing in my Home Country.

Observant One
Observant One
8 years ago

Umm seems like UN reports are treated with scant regard…so why is the UN Commission for Human Rights visiting Qatar for again.. maybe they can report that service workers and labourers work one hour to make a 6 minute phone call home?

Ce Moi
Ce Moi
8 years ago

I have been using Rebtel for a few months now, much cheaper than Ooredoo or Vodaphone, apps also available, calls to UK cost approx 0.03QAR pm and India cast approx 0.09QAR pm. They also do package deals eg 243mins for $2.40 to India…. try it out – http://www.rebtel.com/u/02432867372

AnonymityBreedsContempt
AnonymityBreedsContempt
8 years ago

I find that using Facetime on an iPod touch, iPad or macbook is so much more satisfying than a phone call. Skype isn’t bad.

MIMH
MIMH
8 years ago

Competition. What competition? This sounds like collusion to rig the market in Qatar and abuse their dominant position. This is illegal in most countries in the world.

Witness how the UK government ordered the 6 big energy suppliers in the UK to come and testify in front of a government committee on the price rises recently implemented. They had to justify their actions in public and it was televised.

Can we expect the CEO’s of Qtel and Vodafone to testify in front of the telecoms regulator here, of course not.

Molten Metal
Molten Metal
8 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

This is QATAR!! (300style)

O O/
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/ — /

sicti
sicti
8 years ago

Lies, lies, lies. Prices are falling all over the world, both for telephony and internet services only VF and Qtel are increasing prices.

greg
greg
8 years ago

i prefer when i pay 0,09 Dirham per minute…you know the provider…

Chillaxxx
Chillaxxx
8 years ago

Given the fact that I used to pay AT&T $60 a month for 2 hours of international calls, this is ok..

Airlifter
Airlifter
8 years ago

US$59.95 and I get UNLIMTED calling to the USA and Canada FOR 5 YEARS using MagicJack. And if I have to call elsewhere, Skype offers 2 cents a minute to most countries.

VF and QT will never get my business for long distance calling.

koko
koko
8 years ago

Have you noticed that even tho they are saying this is a “No Tax” environment, the only people paying for these hikes are the expats. How many Qatari’s actually live abroad and call family members??? Expats are being taxed (higher prices for international calls)… there’s more we (expats) are paying more for also, but i’ll keep it to the phone conversation…

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