JEDDAH: Irfan Mohammed
Published — Sunday 2 December 2012
Last update 1 December 2012 11:46 pm
Various telecom companies’ sales and customer care offices in Jeddah witnessed large crowds yesterday, as subscribers, mostly expatriates, waited in long queues to restore their pre-paid SIM card.
The majority were confused and unaware of the new regulations regarding recharging their SIM cards and transferring credits.
The telecom company employees appeared exhausted by the end of day, opting to finally post a notice across all their office branches, explaining in detail the new procedures.
Beside expatriates, who are the main clientele of prepaid SIM cards, several young citizens also lined up to update their personal information with telecom companies for their SIM cards.
The Saudi Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) set a mandatory rule for all subscribers, which entails the entry of their resident identification number, in order for them to be able to recharge or transfer credits.
According to the rule, pre-paid SIM card subscribers will not be able to charge, recharge or transfer credits, unless they enter their ID number, followed by the recharge voucher number. More importantly, the ID number entered must correspond to the ID number provided by the subscriber to the service provider, when the SIM card was purchased.
STC, Mobily and Zain have now offered subscribers the option to update their personal information through their websites, instead of having to visit the offices. Subscribers have to enter the SIM card serial number, which is listed on the backside of the SIM card and then they are required to enter their identification number.
CITC also introduced a system, which enables residents to check whether a SIM card is registered under their name without their knowledge. STC subscribers can end a SMS message containing the number (9988) to the number (902). Whilst Mobily subscribers, can send a blank SMS message to the number (616166) and Zain subscribers can send a blank SMS message to the number (700123).
Pre-paid SIM cards are more popular among residents because it enables them to control their telephone budgets and provides them with easy recharge and credit transfer systems