By Doha News Team
After nine days of outages, Vodafone Qatar is now completely back online and has launched a compensation scheme for customers.
In a statement today, the telecom provider thanked users for their “loyalty,” apologized for the disruption and announced a new You First program.
The scheme offers both post- and pre-paid customers free data, and traveling Vodafone Passport holders a full refund.
On July 17, the company’s network went down, causing a loss of voice and data services for nearly two days.
The company said this had been caused by “technical issues” while carrying out upgrade work to its systems. Over the course of the next week, services were slowly restored, first 2G and then 3G.
Finally yesterday, its entire network, including 4G, was back up and running.
CEO Ian Gray announced the compensation scheme today, saying “sorry is not just a word.”
Vodafone said active users of its Postpaid services will get a one-off compensation of 30 percent of next month’s bill. They will also receive 6GB free a month for the next three months.
Existing Prepaid customers will receive 500 Flex for free for five days, and this can be used for local or international calls, data or SMSs.
“Flex will be added to Prepaid customers in batches within the next 2 weeks. Customers will receive an SMS with the date of when the benefit will be added to their account,” Vodafone said in an online statement detailing the compensation arrangements.
Postpaid customers will also be compensated automatically.
Meanwhile, users who were traveling overseas during the outage, and who had activated a Passport pack will be refunded for the value of the roaming pack.
The failure of services was met with frustration and anger by many of Vodafone Qatar’s 1.5 million customers.
Some were particularly riled by the company’s initial lack of communication as the outage happened.
Gray issued a video statement last Tuesday, as the outage was into its second day, apologizing to customers for the disruption and admitting that the network and its backup had both failed following an upgrade.
The telecom provider flew in parts from across the world and collaborated with technicians internationally to fix the issue, he said.
At that time, Vodafone had promised to announce a compensation plan “within 24 hours of service restoration.”
Qatar’s telecoms watchdog, the Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA), called on Vodafone Qatar to issue a full report on the incident by July 20, including what steps it has put in place to avoid similar outages in future.
The details of this have yet to be publicly revealed.
Were you affected by the Vodafone Qatar outage? Thoughts?