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As Vodafone Qatar customers find themselves without service for a second day, the company’s CEO has spoken out, pleading for patience and apologizing for the disruption.

Shedding a bit more light on what happened, Ian Gray said a network upgrade went wrong on Monday.

“Yes we have a backup, but unfortunately the backup went wrong as well,” he added.

Currently, Vodafone Qatar is collaborating with people from around the world to fix the problem, and is also flying in parts to help restore the network, Gray said.

No timeline

However, he did not specify when service would actually return.

“Everything is happening as quickly as it possibly can,” he said, apologizing for the “aggravation and frustration” customers must be feeling and hinting at compensation.

“We will be doing something about that, but the first focus has to be to get this fixed, get everything up and running and give you the service that we want to give you – the service that you deserve.”

In a statement, Vodafone pledged to announce a compensation plan “within 24 hours of service restoration.”

After going down early Monday morning, Vodafone was able to partially restore 2G services last night.

But customers today continued to complain about not being able to make phone calls or access the internet via Vodafone.

This is the worst outage the provider has seen since it entered Qatar’s market in 2009, ending Ooredoo’s monopoly.

Vodafone has been given until Thursday to report to the country’s telecom regulator about what happened. It must also present a plan to prevent such disruptions in the future.


Vodafone / Facebook

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Vodafone Qatar has confirmed that its network has “technical issues,” leading to a loss of service for customers.

In a tweet early this morning, the company acknowledged the problem and said that it was working to resolve the issue, which it said “might affect access to our network.”

And three further tweets sent seven hours later, the company said that the problems started when it was carrying out upgrade work on its systems:

The company went on to say that its staff were “working tirelessly” to fix the issue, and said that it would keep customers updated on Twitter.

However, it did not provide any time-frame for when the service might return to normal.

Customer frustration

Many of Vodafone Qatar’s customers have taken to social media to express their annoyance at the lengthy lack of service.

We’ll keep you posted on developments. Thoughts?

Video still via ictQatar

For illustrative purposes only

Qatar residents filed over 3,500 complaints against Ooredoo and Vodafone last year, but most of them were deemed “invalid” by the country’s Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA).

The complaints were mostly related to billing, delays in service activation, poor network coverage, roaming charges and spam calls and texts.

Of the 3,504 complaints lodged in 2016, 2,058 were thrown out for not meeting the necessary criteria.

Daniel Foster/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only

The CRA said 94 percent of the remaining 1,446 complaints have been resolved, and the rest should be figured out within “the coming weeks.”

According to CRA President Mohammed Ali Al-Mannai, the body is working with telecom providers to improve communication services in Qatar.

“Soon, CRA intends to launch a new interactive complaints management system to make it more convenient for consumers to lodge and monitor complaints,” he said in a statement.

Filing a complaint

Consumers are invited to approach the CRA if they are unable to reach a solution with their telecom provider after first lodging a complaint with them.

Residents should include contact details, the complaint reference number they filed with their service provider, copies of relevant documents such as bills or receipts and other information, as detailed here.

Omar Chatriwala / Doha News

Photo of mobile spam for illustrative purposes only.

The CRA said after receiving the necessary details, it will investigate and keep consumers updated with what’s happening.

However, it appears the body can only operate in an advisory role, following up with telecom providers on the problems raised.

It cannot get involved in any private legal disputes on behalf of consumers or force service providers to take any particular action.

Have you tried filing a complaint with the CRA? Thoughts?