UAE’s second largest telecom operator, du has recalled a series of its prepaid (Pay As You Go) recharge cards due to a print defect.
The cards are being withdrawn after several complaints by the customers that they are unable to recharge their mobile credits through the card as the top-up codes get erased when the silver scratch panel is scratched.
The company admitted to the fault after an investigation and has promised to replace the defective cards for those who have lost money, 'Khaleej Times' reported.
The issue was brought to the firm’s notice by supermarket and grocery owners after seeing that a growing number of customers are returning with the same complaints. The firm says it has identified the faulty series of cards and would soon replace it with new ones.
Aboobacker Cheruvangote, Manager of Al Madina Supermarket Group, said customers’ complaints peaked over the last fortnight which indicated that the problem was with the new batch of the cards.
Retailers said they started advising customers to “scratch with care” as overly scratching the silver panel on the card could result in the 15-digit top-up code also getting erased. Many of them also switched to the ‘open cards’ (the ones printed in the form of bills).
“You can’t top up the card if even one digit in the code goes missing. We cannot do anything but tell the customers to approach du for refund,” said Saithalavi of Alavi General Trading.
Du issued a statement on Tuesday saying most of such cards had been withdrawn from stores around the UAE and replaced with fresh stocks. “However some customers may have already purchased in the past few days and may have the cards ready for topping up their mobile. Customers holding such cards can get a replacement from a number of our premium dealers (Axiom Telecom, One Mobile, Fono, Eros, Digital Home, Jumbo Electronics, Sharaf DG) or any du store, bringing with them the original card, or by simply calling our call centre for free by dialing 155 or 055 5678155,” the statement read.
Luma Jasim, du’s Corporate Communication Vice-president, said there were 41 du shops and 150 partner shops from where the customers could avail the exchange option. “They can call our call centre anytime as it works 24x7,” she noted. The shop locations can be had from the call centre or by visiting the link: http://www.du.ae/en/about/dushop.
In the statement, du said its call centre teams were able to recognise the faulty cards based on the scratch card’s serial number and would apply the recharge onto the customer’s account. Apologising for the inconvenience experienced by its customers, du assured that it was taking “this matter with utmost seriousness with our suppliers to prevent any inconvenience in the future’.