This is with reference to my car loan, which had direct debit instructions at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), from the account in which my salary is deposited. It has been seven months since I requested for a direct debit change to another bank, due to a change in my salary account. The reason for the change in salary account was due to poor service by ADCB, who were unable to assist me with my credit card or investments.

In August 2014, during the month of Ramadan, I changed my salary transfer account and requested ADCB to close my account. This was done at their Karama branch in Dubai. I filled out an account closure form and handed it over to the customer service counter.

A few days later, I received a call that the direct debit instructions still existed with ADCB and I should amend that. I went to the bank where I had the car loan and made the change, got the required documents and gave it to the Karama branch, as they requested. I was assured that with this paper, the account would be closed. I then travelled for my summer holidays and while outside the country, I got a number of calls saying I would need to hand in the direct debit change form to close the account. I mentioned to the agent that I was outside the country and that I would do the same upon returning to Dubai.

Upon my return, I went to the Karama branch again and submitted the same paper that detailed the change in direct debit instructions from my loan providing bank. Once again, I was promised the account would be closed. From September, I kept getting emails that my account had been overdrawn and I was charged Dh250. There were no responses to my emails or telephone calls for a month, and subsequently I got charged again for service fees.

I visited the branch in Karama and was assured by the manager that this issue would be sorted. He took another set of forms signed by me for account closure, but of course nothing happened. I tried to visit the Karama branch again, but it was closed for renovation indefinitely.

In November and December, I was charged again, and the same thing happened in January and February 2015. The total charges have now compounded to Dh850 and I have received a call again regarding the same.

In January, I called the bank and was put through to the collections department. My conversation with the person did not reach any conclusion, as he kept insisting that to close accounts, I had to get in touch with a different department, and that he was only chasing collections. I mentioned that I had visited the Karama branch at least six times and provided all information and that the charges were not justified.

May I request Gulf News to help me in closing this long-pending matter with ADCB?

From Mr Mohit Soral, Dubai

The management of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank responds:

Thank you, Gulf News, for your cooperation and communication with us in the endeavour to best serve our customers and resolve their issues.

Customer satisfaction is at the very top of our agenda, which is why we have an established Service Quality Unit that is dedicated to handling all customer enquiries and complaints. While we cannot comment on specific customer cases, we do take finding a solution for our customers very seriously and approach every situation with the best interest of the customer in mind.

With reference to Mr Soral’s issue, please be advised that we have investigated the matter and noted that Mr Soral had requested to close his ADCB account, however, due to an active direct debit instruction on his ADCB account from a corresponding bank, he was directed to first cancel this instruction and only then his account in ADCB could be closed. The cancellation of the direct debit instruction was not done, during this period the corresponding bank presented the payment demand several times, which were returned due to insufficient funds resulting in charges on his ADCB account. ADCB tried to contact the customer as a follow up on account cancellation, however the customer was not reachable. Customer claims that he had contacted the bank for closure of the account after cancellation of the direct debit facility, yet there are no records of the same.

As a service gesture, the bank has decided to waive off the charges debited and closure of the account. The customer has been contacted and advised on the result of the case, which is now closed.

We continually urge all customers to contact our Service Quality Unit 24/7 by phone, email or web, should they need any further clarification regarding their issues.

We would like to thank you for bringing this issue to our attention and hence giving us the opportunity to further our servicing to our valued customers.

Mr Mohit Soral responds:

Thank you, Gulf News. My complaint has been resolved to my satisfaction.

(Process initiation: February 18. Response from organisation: March 1. Reader response: March 18.)

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