Dubai’s customer service ticks me off

customer service

Photo for illustration purposes only.

Some days are smooth as melted butter, others are as rough as gravel. Well, today seems to be my non-melted butter days. Let’s put it this way, sometimes living in the UAE sucks out all the optimism in you in all ways possible.

I tried to open a new bank account by walking to the bank’s branch near my office last week. Fifteen minutes walk, one way wouldn’t seem to be ‘near’ but well, it’s a good exercise, I thought. I went last Thursday bringing all the needed documents stated in the website. When I arrived, they told me I lack one document: my salary certificate. I argued that it wasn’t written anywhere and if it had been, I would have brought it. They insisted so I walked back to my office, got the needed document and walked back to the bank again. I filled out forms. Then the customer service person told me their system is ‘down’ and he couldn’t open the account for me that time.

“Come back on Saturday morning, madam.” (They are off on Friday)

I walked back to my office gritting my teeth. Saturday came and I walked again to the bank – to find out that that customer service person WASN’T there and that the other staff there COULDN’T open the account for me! WTF, right?

“We’ll have him call you tomorrow, first thing in the morning, madam.”

Sunday came. No call. What can I expect from Dubai’s rotten customer service? Still, I gave them one full day credit, whatever their reason was. Today, Monday, I walked to the bank again because I was fed up waiting for a call that I know won’t come.

Newsflash: that customer service person did NOT report to work yet and someone told me: “His wife is sick, madam.”

I was so pissed I could burst. In fact, yeah, I bursted. How many f*cking times should I walk to your f*cking bank to be able to get one damn bank account open!? I had to sneak out from work only to be this disappointed and angry?

I wished those were the words that came out of my mouth. “How many visits are required to open that one simple account! Give me a new form and open it right here, right now. Cancel whatever that guy did to my application!”

“But we can’t access your account, the guy locked his system.We will have him call you as soon as he comes to the office at 12 noon today. Sorry.”

I asked for that guy’s mobile number and left, crying all the way back to my office building. I’m not sure what I’ve been crying for – the fact that they were all lying creeps, that I had to walk again and again and still empty handed or the fact that I wasn’t able to complain or voice out my frustration out as much as I wanted to (I need to take a Complaining for Idiots class or something). I think it’s all the above.

13:00: No call came. I called him and got an Arabic message which means the phone is off.

16:00: The freaking phone is still off.


  1. Customer service really has its ups and downs here. Carrefour Sharjah City Center advertised a kid’s bike for less than a hundred dirhams a few weeks back. Thinking it was a good bargain, me and the missus trooped down the mall and asked where to find the advertised bike. When we got to the section where the bikes were, the bike we wanted was on top of a shelf at least three levels high. Not being able to reach it, i approached the nearest sales staff i could find. Asking for him to please set down the bike i wanted, the guy replied it wasn’t his area and turned his back on me. Not wanting to argue, I looked around for another sales staff to help me but alas, i couldn’t find one. I went back to the same guy and once again asked for help. He didn’t budge. Noticing that there were quite a few shoppers around us, i remarked in a high voice, “Can you help me? You shirt says Can I help you, well can you please help me. I’m sure you can, your shirt says Can I help you so i think you’re supposed to help me, right?” The guy finally got the picture and proceeded to bring the bike down for us to inspect.



  2. Oh Grace, this is truly not right and so much unnecessary torture. now why in the world someone else at the bank can’t open the account instead of this idiot is beyond me. I am so sorry you are going through this. Too darn bad you can’t go to another bank but obviously this is where you need to be. Two days of this would have driven me off the edge, but then to go through all this too? You have every right to vent. And you know what? There really should be a law against something like this (and people like this) Too bad you can’t lock him up in jail and throw water in his face *heehee* I’m terrible I know. sounds like you have a lot of patience to put up with it all!

    Hope someday you get to open the account!

    .-= Sandy´s last blog ..Charlie Brown Christmas =-.



  3. I have had similar experience and I guess, I cried too (pissed off). Actually, I think, generally speaking, most of the people here are like that. I can’t seem to understand, most of the time, why they can’t do anything to…. you know… I mean, sometimes it doesn’t make sense! The reasons are too lousy or they could be that idiot not to have a system to cancel and do it themselves… I don’t know…

    And you can’t trust them with whatever dates or times they say. They don’t take it seriously. That’s why they keep using the word, Inshallah – to mean that they will do it when they feel like it, when they remember it, when you’re lucky and the like.

    I found Anton Deleon’s comment/experience good… all because he was able to say what should have been said! Bravo!
    .-= rose´s last blog birthday special =-.



  4. I hate it when people are like that… it always seems that when they know that YOU need THEM, they can treat you any way they want… It totally pisses you off, and if you really say what you are thinking, then YOU get thrown out of their business and YOU lose out!!
    Poor customer service is one of my pet peeves, I used to teach customer service in a retail food store, so I KNOW how people should be treated!
    I hope things work out the way you want!

    Dealing with poor customer service is really a pain, especially things as nasty as this don’t happen in Japan where I lived for more than 10 years. Being used to almost perfect customer service just adds up to frustration…

    .-= Lorie Shewbridge´s last blog ..Cartoon of the Day: Parents, Be Specific =-.



  5. Good grief how crazy is all that. Good thing walking is good for keeping your tush and legs toned and good for your heart (considering all the stress from the bull and your need a bowl of ice cream or chocolate) 🙂



  6. Ouch! Thanks for the post. I can definitely relate to this post. Lived in Abu Dhabi for 1.5 years and, at times, my patience was tested to the EXTREME! There is an inordinate level of red tape and bureaucracy in the UAE. Close your eyes and breath….



  7. I can’t count the number of times my arteries almost burst from frustration whenever cashiers here in Riyadh ignore the “first come, first served” rule whenever people are in a queue. It’s sooooo annoying! And it’s even worse when you’re brushed off with an “inshaallah” – you just can’t argue with that.
    .-= CandyQ´s last blog ..So that others may live. =-.



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