Preamble

WHEREAS the National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA) is, pursuant to  Telecommunication Regulation Law   No. 10  of 2003, the only national authority competent to regulate the telecommunications sector and grant licenses and permits to companies or corporations in the Arab Republic of Egypt (A.R.E.) in compliance with the most advanced technological means, and in a way that guarantees the satisfaction of the needs of the users at the most affordable prices, based on free and fair competition among service providers on a transparent and non-discriminatory basis and in a manner that protects the users’ rights;

WHEREAS the NTRA intends to fulfill its objectives set forth in the Telecommunication Regulation Law   No. 10 of 2003, especially those related to consumer rights protection, with the aim of boosting and fair competition between companies licensed to provide same services, setting a balance between their interests and the rights of their consumers. 

Whereas, the NTRA issued the General Rules and Conditions for Consumers’ Rights Protection and owing to the huge advancements and developments of various telecom technologies and services provided to the public;

Therefore, the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) has decided to update, develop and issue the General Rules for Consumers’ Rights Protection in the context of the contracts of mobile and fixed service contracts as follows:

Firstly: Definitions:
  1. The NTRA: means the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) established as per the provisions of the Telecom Regulation Law No. 10 of 2003.
  2. Service Provider: means the company licensed by the NTRA to provide telecommunication services in Egypt.
  3. The user: means any natural or legal person using or benefiting from the fixed and mobile services.
  4. The subscriber: means a natural or legal person that entered into a contract with the service provider and benefits from the service and is legally liable for contracting. 
  5. Force Majeure: means any event, condition, incidence or a number of incidences that could not be overcome nor foreseen. Events of force majeure are events beyond the control of the Licensor and Licensee and cause or result in the non-performance of their obligations set forth in the license granted to the service provider or the gross hindrance of their execution. These events of force majeure include but not limited to: wars, civil unrest, nuclear radiation, floods and torrents).
Secondly: General Rules for the Protection of the Rights of The Users of Mobile and Fixed Services in Egypt:

Article (1)
Without prejudice to the provisions of the Telecom Law No. 10 of 2003 on the regulation of telecommunications and licenses issued by the NTRA to companies operating in Egypt and licensed to provide mobile and fixes services in Egypt, the decisions issued by the NTRA on the protection of users’ rights are considered an integral part of these rules and are complementary to them.

Article (2)
The licensed companies will enter into contracts with users, either directly or through the authorized distributors, according to the form previously approved by the NTRA, accompanied with a statement detailing the subscriber's personal data and the basic terms and conditions of the service provided.

Article (3)
The licensed companies shall submit a proposal of a service provision contract form that includes all the terms and conditions set forth in these “Rules and Conditions” to the NTRA for checking, review and approval. The NTRA should give it back to them with remarks and observations, if any, or notify the licensed company that the form is invalid and unapproved to be re-examined.
In the event that NTRA does not accept the proposed service provision contract form, it shall notify the licensed company in writing of detailed reasons for non-acceptance so that it may review these reasons and give it back thereto in accordance with NTRA's opinion and remarks and the General Rules for Consumers’ Protection.

Article (4)
In case the licensed companies intend to make amendments to a contract form previously approved by NTRA, they should refer it to NTRA to obtain its prior written approval of such amendments as per the same procedures pursued in the above-mentioned clauses.

Article (5)
The companies are obligated not to suspend the service at the subscriber’s request except after obtaining the latter’s written consent or through a recorded voice call with the subscribe,r provided that the subscriber's call is from the same number of the line on which the service will be suspended. In all cases, the customer's identity and national number must be registered.

Article (6)
The licensed companies are obligated to create a database that includes the data of all subscribers. It should be continuously updated and kept in the company's database. The customers’ transactions made with the company should be kept by the company for at least one calendar year. All data should be put at the disposal of NTRA or its authorized representative at any time to review, have access to and take any data deemed necessary by the NTRA. This will take place within the framework of the legal rules and laws enforceable in Egypt.

Article (7)
The licensed companies are obliged to provide the service, under the scope of the license granted to the service provider by the NTRA, to the users on non-discriminatory basis for any reason. They may not refrain from providing this service to them without giving reasons that should be assessed by the NTRA.

Article (8)
The licensed companies are obligated to provide all services licensed by the NTRA at a level of performance that conforms to the internationally-recognized standards and paramters and the recommendations of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). It should also adhere to the specifications, standards and verification mechanisms issued by the NTRA related to the quality of service and the updates made by the NTRA thereto.

Article (9)
The licensed companies are obligated to allocate numbers for telecom services to emergency and rescue centers and to provide access to these centers accompanied with the information and data specified by these centers, especially the caller ID (number, location); allowing the subscriber to call these emergency and rescue centers from any place via the licensed company's networks at any time, at no cost, by using various telecom devices connected to the said networks in a way that ensures call initiation and termination, and determines the caller’s location on the same line as per the standards and technical requirements set by the NTRA and without any restrictions on communications. The rescue and emergency centers mean those designated by the competent authorities in the country, providing rescue and emergency services, especially the following:
  • Fire department and civil defense services.
  • Ambulance services.
  • Police department.
Article (10)
The licensed companies are obligated to have trained staff to receive the users’ inquiries and complaints received by the NTRA and respond to them as soon as possible, as determined by the NTRA and pursuant to the regulations issued in this regard. They should also establish a system that limits the frequency of complaints related to the provision and quality of services.

Article (11)
The licensed companies are entitled to receive a fee (tariff) from the service users for the services they provide. The licensed company shall submit to the NTRA prior to the service provision the proposed tariff and collection methods to be approved by the NTRA in accordance with the principles and rules issued by the NTRA in this regard, and that  the licensed company shall adhere to. In case the licensed company enters a contract with the users on a tariff that has not been approved by the Licensor (NTRA) as per the principles and rules approved and issued by the latter, this will be considered a violation committed by the licensed company and that tariff will not be applicable.

The licensed company may not modify or change the tariff or collection methods without obtaining the NTRA’s prior written approval as per the principles and rules approved and issued by the Licensor in this regard.

Article (12) 
The licensed companies and their employers are obligated to maintain the confidentiality and privacy of the service-related information and documents they receive, whatever they are, and not to disclose them to third parties without a legal requirement. Any violation of the principle of confidentiality and privacy will be considered a breach of the terms and conditions of the license issued to the company by the NTRA.

The licensed companies shall be exempted from maintaining the confidentiality and non-disclosure of the data or information they have if such disclosure is made as per the law or at the request of the judicial authorities, or with the client's consent that should bear a separate signature.

The licensed companies are obligated to take the internal procedures to maintain and secure the confidentiality of communications and telephone calls made on their network, including maintaining the confidentiality of calls, without eavesdropping, recording, broadcasting or publishing them by any means except by law.

Article (13)
The licensed company may not activate any paid service without obtaining the customer’s prior approval.

Article (14)
The licensed company shall provide and publicize free codes to unsubscribe from all paid services.

Article (15)
The subscriber is entitled to request the company to stop any unsolicited advertisements sent to him.

Thirdly: the terms and conditions that must be included in contracts concluded between mobile and fixed service providers and subscribers in Egypt:
  1. Mobile service contracts: the contracts entered with the subscribers shall be in accordance with the form approved by the NTRA prior to contracting, accompanied with a statement detailing the personal data of the subscriber and the basic terms and conditions of the service provided. This contract shall include in particular the following:
    • The terms and conditions of the contract entered by the company and the subscriber divided into three sections:
      • General provisions.
      • The company's obligations.
      • The subscriber's obligations.
    • The type of service or services set forth in the contract and the specifications.
    • The licensed companies’ obligation to maintain the confidentiality of subscribers' information, data and communications as per the provisions of the law. The company shall be exempted from maintaining the confidentiality and non-disclosure of the data or information they have if such disclosure is made as per the law or at the request of the judicial authorities, or with the client's consent that should bear a separate signature.
    • The terms of payment approved by the NTRA, including the administrative expenses, taxes and any other charges.
    • The term of the contract and any renewed term(s).
    • The rights and obligations of the subscriber and the licensed companies in case of violation of the contract concluded between them or in the event of termination of the contract before the expiry of its term and the fulfilment of the violting party all financial penalties and compensations.
    • A clause stipulating that the contract is personal in nature and the service may not be transferred or re-sold to third parties without obtaining the prior approval of the licensed company.
    • The licensed companies’ commitment to provide the services at the highest quality that should be maintained according to “the standards set forth in the license awarded to the company by the NTRA”.
    • The licensed companies’ connitment to issue a detailed invoice in case the subscriber intends to issue such invoice for the service or services that can be invoiced according to the type of service. This invoice should include the details of the service charges in terms of value, the service duration  and the payment allowance period. The paper may issued as a hard or e-copy at no cost.
    • A clause obligating the company, in case of the subscriber’s failure to pay any amounts due to him, to send the latter a notice to pay the due payments. Such notice should be served with an acknowledgement of receipt or through any other means such as a text message (SMS) proving that the subscriber was informed that the service will be disconnected from the line in dispute. It should state that in case of failure to pay the payable amounts within one week from the date of notice, the company will be entitled to discontinue the service of the line, provided that the procedures mentioned in the contract are taken.
    • A special number should be assigned to receive customers’ complaints, not to mention the NTRA’s numbers assigned to receive their complaints in case the licensed company fails to respond to any of them. This should be mentioned as follows "In case the complaint or problem cannot be resolved, kindly call NTRA on (155) and the toll-free number 08003330333".
    • A clause should be included in the contract obligating the licensed company to compensate the clients affected by the interruption of service resulting from a collective malfunction in case it is due to causes the licensed company is liable for. In such case, the customer should be exempted from paying the subscription fees for the period of service interruption or as determined by the NTRA and the licensed companies without prejudice to the emergency conditions, force majeure and the standards setr forth in the license granted to the company by the NTRA.
    • The companies are obligated to provide a copy of the contract to the customer in the Arabic language. It should include all the agreed-upon terms and conditions, and must be written in a clear font so that the user can read the contract easily (for example, the fomnt used should be Simplified Arabic - font size: 10 or Traditional Arabic - font size: 12).
    • The companies’ commitment to certain methods and procedures for the settlement of users’ complaints or resolution of disputes resolution in addition to the customer’s right to seek recourse to the NTRA in case the dispute is not resolved.
    • A clause stipulkating the companies’ obligation to determine the procedures for the refund of the users’ due payments in the event of termination of the contract before the expiry of its term or abolition of contract.
    • A clause stating the maintenance systems of the licensed company as it is obligated to provide a customer service system that receives and resolves customer’s complaints round-the-clock seven days a week.
    • An indication that the contract is its approved by the NTRA.

  2. Fixed  service contracts: the contracts entered with the subscribers shall be in accordance with the form approved by the NTRA prior to contracting, accompanied with a statement detailing the personal data of the subscriber and the basic terms and conditions of the service provided. This contract shall include in particular the following:
    • The terms and conditions of the contract entered by the company and the subscriber divided into three sections:
      • General provisions.
      • The company's obligations.
      • The subscriber's obligations.
    • The type of service or services set forth in the contract and the specifications.
    • The licensed companies' obligation to maintain the confidentiality of subscribers' information, data and communications as per the provisions of the law. The company shall be exempted from maintaining the confidentiality and non-disclosure of the data or information they have if such disclosure is made as per the law or at the request of the judicial authorities, or with the client's consent that should bear a separate signature.
    • The price of the service, the time unit for this price, collection  methods and the current terms of payment, including administrative expenses, taxes and any other charges.
    • The term of the contract and the renewable term(s).
    • The subscriber's obligation not to use any devices to encrypt telecommunication services except after obtaining the approval of the Licensor (NTRA) and other concerned parties.
    • The subscribers' rights and obligations of and the licensed companies and subscriber in case of violation of the contract concluded between them or in the event of termination of the contract before the expiry of its term and fulfillment of the violating party of the financial penalties and compensations.
    • The procedures for the refund of the subscriber's due payments in the event of termination of the contract before the expiry of its term or abolition of contract by the company.
    • The methods and procedures for the settlement of users' complaints or resolution of disputes resolution in addition to the customer's right to seek recourse to the NTRA in case the dispute is not resolved.
    • A clause stipulating that the contract is personal in nature and the service may not be transferred or re-sold to third parties without obtaining the prior approval of the licensed company.
    • The licensed companies' obligation to provide all services licensed by the NTRA at a level of performance that conforms to the approved standards and paramters set forth in the license granted thereto by the NTRA.
    • The licensed companies' commitment to issue a detailed invoice in case the subscriber intends to issue such invoice for the national calls.
    • A clause stating the licensed company's obligation not to modify the monthly subscription or call tariffs except after obtaining the NTRA's prior written approval as per the license issued in this regard.
    • A clause should be included obligating the company, in case of the failure of the subscriber, who owns more than one line, to pay any amounts due to him, to send the latter a notice to pay the due payments. Such notice should be served with an acknowledgement of receipt. It should state that in case of failure to pay the payable amounts within one week from the date of notice, the company will be entitled to discontinue the service on that line.
    • A special number should be assigned to receive customers' complaints, not to mention the NTRA's numbers assigned to receive their complaints in case the licensed company fails to respond to any of them. This should be mentioned as follows "In case the complaint or problem cannot be resolved, kindly call NTRA on (155) and the toll-free number 08003330333"
    • A clause should be included in the contract obligating the licensed company to compensate the clients affected by the interruption of service resulting from a collective malfunction in case it is due to causes the licensed company is liable for. In such case, the customer should be exempted from paying the subscription fees for the period of service interruption or as determined by the NTRA and the licensed companies without prejudice to the emergency conditions, force majeure and the standards setr forth in the license granted to the company by the NTRA.
    • A clause should be included in the contract stating the maintenance systems of the licensed company as it is obligated to provide a customer service system that receives and resolves customer's complaints round-the-clock seven days a week.
    • The companies are obligated to provide a copy of the contract to the customer in the Arabic language. It should include all the agreed-upon terms and conditions, and must be written in a clear font so that the user can read the contract easily (for example, the fomnt used should be Simplified Arabic - font size: 10 or Traditional Arabic - font size: 12).
    • The contract should mention that it is its approved by the NTRA.