I would like to highlight a complaint I made recently to Emirates NBD regarding incorrect charges on my credit card for the use of an airport lounge at Prague International Airport. The complaint remains unattended, despite several attempts to have it resolved, at my end.

My husband (supplementary card holder) and I (primary card holder) received our new Emirates NBD Dnata World credit cards in March 2016 just before we were about to travel on our family holiday. One of the highlighted benefits was complimentary airport lounge access to card holders and children under the age of 12. As mandated, we completed the online registration on the Lounge Key website, which has a wide network of airport lounges.

We travelled on March 25 and on our return, that is, April 3, we used our new credit cards for the very first time at Prague International Airport’s Terminal 1, Menzies Aviation lounge. We ensured that we checked the lounge’s conditions of use prior to entering. We were asked to electronically register our signatures at the reception desk since we were using our cards for the very first time; however, minutes later, I received an SMS stating that we were being charged. I walked to the lounge’s reception and enquired about the charges, to which I was told that they did not charge us but had only registered our signatures. Convinced, I walked away, as we both indeed did not sign against any charges. We were travelling with our two sons, aged 6 and 9.

I returned to Dubai and complained to Emirates NBD, narrating the entire incident, and I was comforted by the telebanking executive that these charges would be reversed, and were only charged as it was our first usage. Although I found the answer to be not very convincing, I was assured the charges would not reflect in my statement. But to my despair, the monthly statement issued reflected the charges. I called the bank once again and complained. I was informed that the matter would be investigated with Lounge Key for a resolution.

On May 2, my husband received a call from the bank, informing us that we went to the lounge with a guest and hence we were charged. My husband replied that we were travelling with two children, and as per that specific lounge’s condition, our children are allowed free of charge. To that, my husband was asked to take the matter directly to Lounge Key, stating this was not the bank’s responsibility and that they had done their bit.

My objective behind raising this complaint is not to get the Dh100 plus amount charged, which, needless to say, we paid only to avoid interest being charged and to avoid further follow ups with the bank, which as it is, is showing reluctance. Rather, I want to highlight this whole business of offering credit cards with benefits, as it seems like a total con. The amount of calls one receives during the process shows a very high level of commitment and customer service, but when there is a problem, it’s like the bank is abandoning you and giving you ridiculous and unacceptable answers, leaving you feeling frustrated and completely cheated.

I am a strong believer in feedback. I want the bank and all its third party suppliers to treat its customers in a fair and just manner.

From Ms Arunima Gaitonde


The management of Emirates NBD responds:

We are pleased to inform you that our Group Customer Experience team contacted Ms Gaitonde and provided her with the necessary clarifications and the matter has been resolved.

We have investigated the customer’s query and would like to clarify that as per the Bank’s policy of the airport lounge access, Dnata World cardholders enjoy unlimited complimentary visits only for themselves. Any additional guests wishing to join the cardholder, as per the terms and conditions, will be charged a flat rate on the registered credit card.

However, since Menzies Aviation Lounge admits children under the age of 12 for free, we have arranged to reverse the amount back to Ms Gaitonde’s credit card, which will reflect within seven working days.

Furthermore, the Bank has provided her with all the information relating to the lounge access for her future reference.

We would like to reiterate our commitment to providing superior service to our customers and thank you for your continuous support in providing us with the opportunity to resolve their issues.

(Process initiation: May 31. Response from organisation: June 8.)

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