The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of the Kingdom of Bahrain has issued the Consumer Protection Guidelines, which consists of three key issues: consumer rights, choices for consumers and communication with consumers.
The document clarifies to all parties in the telecommunications sector TRA’s vision with regard to the protection of consumers’ interests in accordance with the Telecommunications Law. These Guidelines are unprecedented in the region in terms of their detailed development and their commitment to addressing consumers’ concerns and needs.
TRA’s Director of Consumer Affairs and Media Ms. Ghada Al Qassab said: "One of TRA’s duties is to review all contracts signed between telecommunications companies and consumers. As such, TRA believes that the protection of consumers’ interests requires further regulatory instruments, whether by regulations, guidelines or code of practice along with the terms and conditions set forth in consumers’ contracts."
TRA expects that all service providers use these Guidelines in their relationship with consumers, especially with regard to consumers’ rights, such as:
- Obtaining detailed information on service prices before entering into contracts with service providers. The terms and conditions of such contracts should be clear, comprehensive and free.
- Obtaining help and inquiry services from service providers via free lines on an ongoing basis. Complaints should be resolved efficiently by the service providers.
- Dealing with consumers on fair and non-discriminatory terms.
- Being able to access safe services in accordance with international standards.
- Ensuring privacy of personal information and protection against deceptive marketing practices, and other consumers’ rights.
Ms. Al Qassab concluded by saying: “We hope that consumers take informed decisions when selecting a particular service or entering into service contracts with service providers and also maintain a copy of the service contract with them in case of any dispute that may occur with service providers. TRA may issue regulations on each individual subject based upon these Guidelines if it finds that market practices prejudice the general framework set out in this document.”
The Consumer Protection Guidelines can be found on TRA’s website at www.tra.org.bh.
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