Readers raise concerns with banks and telecom firms

Readers share grievances, from trouble opening a bank account, to compensation for false offers by sales representatives

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Gulf News

Unable to open account

I wrote an online application to open an account with RAKBANK. I received a message a few days later, asking me to visit the bank in Al Qusais branch to collect a welcome kit. However, I was told that there was mistake in my name. I had filled the name as per my Emirates ID, which is a legal and official card issued by the authorities.

The bank representative told me that I had to fill in the name as per my passport, which was not mentioned during the application process. When I met the officer in the bank, he did not help to correct the name. Furthermore, the bank manager told me: “If we do not open an account, what would you do?” I found this kind of reply to be impolite towards the customer.

Later, during my communication with the bank, they stated that the decision was based on the bank solely, and the same was mentioned in their letter to me. They were unable to open my account. I then received a letter from the bank, stating that they would be closing my account. This means they actually had opened my account and did not check their records before saying so.

Lastly, they sent a letter saying that they would not entertain any communication from me.

At this point, as in individual and resident, I would like to ask the bank:

1. Why have they refused to open an account?

2. Why didn’t they reply to my query when I asked them why they had refused to open my account? Especially when there was already an account opened in my name.

3. Why didn’t the bank give me specific reasons for refusing to open the account, rather than saying it is the bank’s policy?

I expect the bank to reply and provide the right services to its customers.

From Mr Mohammad Rizwan


The management of RAKBANK responds:

Thank you for your correspondence regarding concerns raised by Mr Ali.

Mr Ali requested to open an account through our Click & Collect service via our website and the account was opened subject to submission of additional documents.

Further to our review, Mr Ali was informed of the Bank’s inability to activate the account and this was communicated to him vide our letters dated June 13 and July 11, 2016. Please note that all applications and requests placed by customers are subject to approval at the sole discretion of the Bank.

In view of the above, we regret our inability to accede to his request for account opening.

Please feel free to contact us for any further clarification.

Mr Rizwan responds:

Please note that the bank’s reply is the same as what they have replied to me. I want to know why the bank is refusing to open an account for me when I have legal and valid documents. They are not giving me any specific reason for it. Also, how they can they refuse to open an account for me, when they have in fact, already opened one, and closed it?

RAKBANK responds:

Thank you for your correspondence. As stated in our previous response, all applications are subject to approval at the sole discretion of the Bank. In view of this, we confirm that our stance on Mr Ali’s request to open an account remains the same.

Please feel free to contact us for any further clarification.

Mr Rizwan responds:

Though the matter is not resolved from my point of view, I would like to close the issue, since the bank has not provided a genuine reason as to why they cannot open my account when I have valid and legal documents of UAE.

(Process initiation: July 27. Response from organisation: July 28. Process completion: August 9.)

No access to funds

I would like to share the experience I had with Noor Bank, with respect to my end of service benefits.

I was working with an international group from May 9, 2012 to April 14, 2016. During this period, I opted for personal finance from Noor Bank.

I then left the company, as I found a new job at a company based in Ajman. When I left the old company, my full and final settlement, along with my last salary (April) was transferred to Noor Bank and the same amount of Dh32,716 was credited to my account on May 3. Due to personal finance, Noor Bank has frozen my account with the above mentioned fund, and I was in a position where I could not even withdraw a single dirham from my account, even from my last salary.

Further to this situation, I contacted Noor Bank. They advised me that they would be releasing my funds upon the receipt of my new visa, Emirates ID, salary transfer letter from my new employer, a salary certificate from the new employer and my first salary credit.

I submitted all the relevant documents to Noor Bank on June 13. My first salary from my new employer was transferred to Noor Bank on June 7. From this salary transfer, the bank has deducted April and May’s pending equated monthly instalments (EMI) without any intimation to me. I was again in a situation where I was living without any money at hand. At the same time, the bank was withholding my funds from me. I requested them several times to deduct the EMI from my funds and release my salary, but unfortunately, it never worked out.

Finally, I was forced to write about my situation to Central Bank, with all the details. They accepted my complaint. Further to this, Noor Bank’s Quality Assurance team has contacted me and assured the release of funds in seven days, following the receipt of all the above-stated documents.

But on June 21, I received a call from the same team, saying that my funds will not be released until my third salary is credited from my new employer.

I have been without a salary since April and this bank is enjoying my hard-earned money, leaving me without any justice. I humbly request Gulf News to consider my case and support me in getting access to my fund from Noor Bank at the earliest.

From Mr Sebin George


The management of Noor Bank responds:

Noor Bank is committed to finding an amicable and fair solution towards any customer complaints. We are always transparent with our customers. This starts with acknowledging the problem raised by the concerned individual and working towards a swift resolution.

Soon after we received Mr George’s complaint from Gulf News, our Customer Experience Unit investigated this matter further.

After further investigation, Noor Bank attempted to contact Mr George to resolve the situation, however his phone was switched off. Noor Bank has now released his account, so that he can make transactions. The block had originally been placed due to his employer change - as his new employer was not listed with Noor Bank. The Bank had thus followed the standard process to block his account, until three salaries were credited to his Noor Bank account.

Noor Bank wishes to assure all customers of our best service and prompt response to any complaints and grievances they may have.

Mr George responds:

As mentioned by Noor Bank, the funds, which were under hold, have now been released. Thanks a lot for your time and consideration.

(Process initiation: August 2. Response from organisation: August 8. Response from reader: August 8.)

No luck

I have a complaint against Emirates NBD (ENBD). I had a credit card, which has now been cancelled. The card balance was paid through a bank loan. I have a ‘No Liability’ letter from the bank dated February 4, 2016. For getting the ‘No Liability’ letter, I had to pay an additional fee of Dh1,750 to close some of the instalments, which in itself, is wrong.

However, even after closing and cancelling the card and receiving a ‘No Liability’ letter from the bank, they continue to debit some of the instalments every month. As of date, I have debits of Dh800 and more, on a card that was cancelled in February. Any amount of phone calls to the bank’s call centre and branches have not helped me. Even this month’s card statement shows dues even after closure of the credit card.

Can Gulf News please help me to resolve the issue?

From Mr Radhakrishnan Nagela


The management of ENBD responds:

We are pleased to inform you that our Group Customer Experience team provided Mr Nagela with the necessary clarifications and the matter has been resolved to his satisfaction.

We wish to confirm that the accrued interest, which was inadvertently levied on Mr Nagela’s credit card has been reversed as appropriate.

We have offered Mr Nagela our sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused, and have reiterated our commitment towards continuously improving our services. Emirates NBD appreciates its customers’ feedback and will take every opportunity to further review and enhance any internal processes that require attention. We would like to thank you for your continuous support in providing us with the opportunity to resolve their issues.

(Process initiation: July 28. Response from organisation: August 3. Process completion: August 8.)

Voucher has no balance

I am a frustrated and loyal customer of etisalat since June 2004. This is regarding the redemption of etisalat rewards points for a hypermarket voucher of Dh500. When the voucher was presented at the hypermarket, they said the voucher has zero balance.

This incident happened on July 14 and I have been following up with etisalat on all their customer service channels via email, phone (101), their chat app and even Facebook Messenger.

To my amazement, every day, when I give the reference number of the previous complaint, I get a response that the complaint number does not exist — this happened on the chat app.

On the emails, I have been following up every day and emails can be given as evidence. I received a holding response to wait as it is still under investigation.

On the phone, they have no clue.

This is frustrating and I feel etisalat is taking their customers for a ride. It is a matter of Dh500, which is rightfully mine and should be returned to me.

Please take up this matter with etisalat.

From Mr Akash Rathore


The management of etisalat responds:

Thanks for bringing Mr Rathore’s concerns to our attention. Etisalat Customer Care would want to apologise for all the inconvenience caused. Mr Rathore has received and used the voucher. The case is solved and closed.

(Process initiation: August 9. Response from organisation: August 29. Process completion: September 8.)

False promises?

I have been a victim of false promises of five per cent cashback on FGB LIC Signature card.

I was applying for a credit card from another bank, but an agent from FGB came at the same time as the other sales representative and offered me his bank’s card.

FGB’s sales representative told me about the card benefits, including five per cent cashback and 50 per cent off on all movie tickets. He said the card is free for life, with no joining fees, no annual fees and no hidden charges.

I have processed transactions of over Dh7,000 on this card since the past 45 days and have found no cashback received.

So I became doubtful and called the agent. He was still committed to his statement that I would get five per cent cashback. However, when I called the customer care centre, they said it was not so, rather, charges of unnecessary insurance would be levied on me.

I think this is a serious case of fraud and not acceptable. FGB should connect with me and explain.

From Mr Jitender Puri


The management of FGB responds:

FGB is grateful for all customer feedback to which, we give careful consideration as we strive to consistently deliver the highest standards of service. The bank has been in contact with Mr Puri, and the matter has been resolved to the customer’s satisfaction.

Mr Puri responds:

Thanks for the intervention, Gulf News. FGB indeed connected with me. They told me that they would give me a cashback of three per cent only and not five per cent, though this offer is not the same as what the sales representative promised. But I have agreed to this offer.

(Process initiation: July 27. Response from organisation: August 3. Response from reader: August 8.)

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