Customers complain mobile phone operators are secretly charging more

The Consumer Protection Agency filed a complaint to the Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) against the country’s three major cell phone operators  on Thursday.

The agency is asking for investigations into whether Vodafone, Etisalat Egypt and Mobinil have a secret agreement to increase the prices for prepaid mobile credit cards.

ECA head Atef Yacoub said he received several complaints alleging that since January 2012, the three companies have begun cutting 51 piasters a month from customer credit via a “stamp tax,” although such a tax was not stipulated in the contracts the customers had signed.

If these allegations are true, the service providers would be carrying out monopolistic practices, Yacoub said.

Communications and Information Technology Minister Hany Mahmoud said earlier this month that his ministry was considering a 15 percent sales tax increase on mobile phone users.

There are 90 million subscribers to the three networks, according to the ministry.

Edited translation from MENA 

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