Dubai-based Sakshi Advertising & PR company was shocked after receiving their phone bill. The company received a bill amount of more than DH 3,50,000 and suspected a phone hacking. The company claimed that they never made calls for the amount mentioned in the bill.
Shocked staff at the company said telecom service provider du disconnected their lines after they failed to pay the two ‘outrageously inflated’ bills amounting Dh 3,55,692.58 for February and March.
Shocked chief executive officer of the company, Atul Dhawan, said, “It’s unbelievable because our monthly spend had never gone beyond Dh3,000. Not at least in the last seven years”. The company was handed a Dh 2,07,213.85 bill in February.
The figure included a monthly recurring charge of Dh 1,869 and a usage charge of Dh 2,02,797.09 for the 31-day billing period between 1-31 January. By February, the total outstanding bill had shot up to Dh 3,58,240.58 which included another Dh 1,49,157.73 in usage charges for the window between 1-29 February.
Dhawan said it is more than 100 times the company’s average monthly spend and more than what they would pay over a period of ten years.
“Either something’s gone horribly wrong with du’s billing or someone has been tampering with our lines to make calls,” Said Dhawan who has been running the media agency since founding it in 1996.
The CEO said they don’t recognise the numbers shown in the itemized bills and calls were made to countries they don’t have any business dealings. “What surprises me even more is that most of these calls were made at hours when our offices remain shut,” he said
The copies accessed by UAE-based newspaper Xpress show two dubious bills that run up to over 60 pages each with lists of hundreds of international calls made to numbers in countries like Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cook Islands, Cuba, Haiti, Ivory Coast, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Monaco, Gambia, Tunisia and the UK.
Dhawan has registered a complaint with Dubai Police and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (RTA) but is yet to hear from them as investigations are currently underway.
Earlier on February 25, his company lodged a complaint with du as well but their phone and internet connections were disconnected on March 13. The services have not been restored.
Service provider du has asked the company to clear all the dues for restarting the service.
However, du has denied any lapses from their side.