Q-Tel breaks with holiday tradition

16 Jan 2006

Qatar Telecom (Q-Tel) did not offer any discounts on international calls during this year’s Eid Al Adha season, breaking a years-old policy of billing all international traffic at off-peak rates on national holidays and festivals. The decision reportedly dismayed thousands of telephone subscribers, especially Asian, Arab and African expatriates who had bought pre-paid calling cards, expecting Q-Tel to apply the off-peak rate around the clock for overseas calls. Supermarkets, restaurants and other retailers had also heavily stocked the cards anticipating the usual heavy holiday demand. Q-Tel spokesman Mustafa Jameel Al Qatami made no apologies, simply saying that the telco reserves the right to choose whether to offer discounts.