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Saudis spend 30% of income on phone and Web services

Phone bills and Internet-based services provided by telecom companies eat up 30 percent of individual Saudi income, local media reported, quoting data released by the consumer protection agency.
Nasir Al-Tuwaim, head of the Consumer Protection Association (CPA), indicated that while the average consumption has been pegged at 30 percent, some individuals spend 50-70 percent of their income on communication services.
He added that the CPA intends to publish the latest findings in relation to the services provided by telecom firms every three months to monitor consumption rates and quality of services. In addition, the association will also rate the telecom providers.
Al-Tuwaim noted that the figures released show that consumers spend a considerable amount of time and resources on phone calls and Internet services, despite the adverse economic and health consequences.
The CPA chief attributed the high ratio of telecom costs to a number of factors, including the relatively high call price in the Kingdom, which stands at SR0.35 per minute compared to international rates of SR0.07. Telecom charges in the Kingdom are among the highest in the world, he said.
He also said that lack of information about telecom charges, especially roaming prices and Internet services, hits consumers hard.

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