Users can sue Mobinil for service cuts

Ahmed Feteha, Thursday 2 Jun 2011

Law does not impose direct fines on the service provider for communication black-outs but compensation can be acquired through individual law suits


“Mobinil users could file suits against the company to be compensated for damage caused by service suspension,” Hassan Youssef, lawyer and coordinator for the Egyptian Coalition for Human Rights (ECHR) has told Ahram Online.

The mobile network of telecoms giant Mobinil was suspended for around four hours on Wednesday starting from 5pm.

Youssef explained that while the law does not impose direct fines on the service provider in case of service cuts, compensation can be acquired through law suits.

“It is not an easy legal procedure, those affected have to quantify the damage they incurred and prove it in front of the court to get a favourable decree,” he added.

Hassan Kabany, Mobinil’s CEO, said that the company is currently contemplating compensations to users according to the provider’s damage estimation, official news agency MENA reported yesterday. 

“Even if the company willingly provide compensations, those harmed can still pursue legal action,” Youssef said.

In late May, a court ruled to fine three Egyptian officials, including the former president, LE540 million for damages caused by data and mobile service cuts during  the January uprising.

Despite their collaboration with the regime, mobile operators were not fined for cutting their services. On the contrary, the Communications and IT Ministry has announced it will pay domestic mobile-phone operators LE100 million ($16.8 million) in compensation for the five-day disruption of services.

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