Sim card replacement

This is in reference to my futile attempts to get a Sim card issued for a number, which is in my wife’s name. This issue has been going on for about a month now, since the outgoing facility was barred due to non-submission of documents for mobile number re-registration, because I was on vacation.

On August 20, I visited Oasis Centre to get the work done, but I was told that they couldn’t do anything, since outgoing calls were barred. I was told to go to either Mall of Emirates or Al Wasl Business Centre.

On August 22, I visited Mall of Emirates, only to be told that they couldn’t complete the mobile number registration since the management did not allow this to be done there. Please note that I called etisalat multiple times that day and also went on live chat on their website to ensure that Mall of Emirates could re-register the mobile, but alas, the information they gave me was wrong - something that is not my fault.

I visited Al Wasl Business Centre two days later and managed to finally get the number re-registration completed, but again, they were unable to issue me a new Sim card. The reason they gave me was: “the system needs to release the blocked number”.

Since the connection belonged to my wife, it meant that even in spite of their incompetence, they will issue the Sim only if my wife is present. Since she was sick for a few days, I could not visit etisalat during this time. I could do all the above as I was still in my annual leave until August 28. After that, schools reopened and I was back at work.

I managed to visit etisalat again on September 10 at Oasis Centre and again this time, their system was down. I asked the staff at the counter to issue the Sim card and asked to link the Sim to their logs once the system was up and running, but he could not do so.

I am amazed that a big corporation like etisalat does not have personnel to fix their system issues once it is down. I am amazed that their call centre staff do not have the correct information. I am amazed that their live chat staff do not have the correct information. I am amazed that their website says something and their staff say something else entirely. The website says: “Visit any of your nearest Etisalat Business/Service Centres and Outlets or our partner offices locations, fill up the application form by specifying the mobile numbers you wish to re-register”, but visit any outlet or partner location and they say otherwise.

I am even more amazed that it has taken almost a month and they are not able to solve my Sim replacement issue - something that shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes. Even if etisalat argues that this number was partially disconnected, Sim replacement must not be an issue in this day of internet and computers. I am amazed!

Etisalat must realise that I have other things to do rather than keep visiting their outlets/business centres. Since I work until 7.30pm, it is almost impossible to visit the outlets before they close.

Nowhere at the Oasis Centre outlet is it mentioned that they provide only mobile phone services there. But ask the staff there about eLife and they are prompt to say that they don’t have this service - only mobile phone services. If that is the case, why doesn’t etisalat put up a board there saying the same?

From Mr Fajer Naufel


The management of etisalat responds:

Kindly note that the customer’s issue was resolved about the mobile phone. He asked for information about his eLife service and we are working to contact him and provide the information.

Mr Naufel responds:

Thank you Gulf News for raising this issue and for the community work.

Etisalat finally issued the duplicate Sim on September 17. Etisalat rang me to enquire about the status. The staff member was most apologetic and listened patiently to my grievance, for which I am extremely thankful. On my part, I assured him that I only resorted to the media as I was made to run back and forth for about a month. He even added a three-month offer on the mobile number!

However, with regards to my eLife, a person did call me back, but he was not able to provide me with the exact amount of disconnection charges. I am enquiring into the charges in advance, as I do not want to communicate a grievance after the charges have been billed. But now, I have no other option other than to cancel the account and raise complaint later on.

(Process initiation: October 7. Response from organisation: October 8. Reader confirmation: October 10.)

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