Settling bills

I applied for a credit card with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) in 2012 and the sales representative told me that I would get a limit that is three times my salary. But after approval, I received two credit cards of the same amount. It seems the bank wants to charge more interest and late payments, that’s why they issued two credit cards instead of one.

After a year of regular payments, without fail, I lost my job on September 2, 2013. I paid the bank in September’s billing cycle from my end of service benefits. After that, I was not able to pay the credit card bills.

I returned to my home country after cancellation of my visa. On my return, after two months, I received a call from NBAD, and told them about my situation, requesting a final settlement, but they refused. Again, I tried to convince them that I am not able to pay all my interest and late payment charges. However, they refused to settle, despite each one of my calls, which they have on record.

My principal outstanding is approximately Dh19,000 on both cards.

From the past 15 days, the bank’s collections agent has been contacting me and said if I would pay with interest and charges, an amount of Dh25,000 instead of Dh19,000 (principal outstanding), the bank was willing to settle my cards. When I arranged that money and called him for the settlement, he refused to settle and said that now I would have to pay Dh28,000 or Dh30,000 to settle the cards. According to him, my total outstanding was Dh35,000.

He told me that I am a ‘beggar’ who was asking for the waiver of charges. At this point, he humiliated me. His behaviour was pathetic.

I don’t know on which door to knock... Gulf News is my only hope. I would eagerly accept a solution and would appreciate the newspaper’s help.

From Mr Farooq Al Badr, Sharjah

The management of National Bank of Abu Dhabi responds:

Thank you for your constant cooperation and communication with us in the endeavour to best serve our customers and resolve their issues. We investigated Mr Al Badr’s complaint and below is our feedback.

Mr Al Badr requested for two credit cards as per the credit card application signed by him. Our customers do have the option to cancel any of the cards by either visiting any of NBAD branches or calling the Contact Centre at any time.

We understand that Mr Al Badr lost his job in September, 2013, and he started having irregularities in his credit card payments. Therefore, our collections department contacted Mr Al Badr several times and requested him to at least settle the minimum dues each month, but unfortunately Mr Al Badr failed to do so.

We also did a full investigation into the claim that one of our staff called Mr Al Badr a ‘beggar’. However, after searching through all the voice recordings, we could not find this word being used, therefore, called Mr Al Badr to confirm that this was the word used. It was at this point Mr Al Badr confirmed that it was not the word that was used by the staff, and it was his interpretation from the conversation.

We have contacted him again, and on humanitarian grounds we have offered him a settlement amount, which is far lower than the total outstanding in order to close these credit cards.

All his concerns now stand positively resolved.

Mr Al Badr responds:

Thank you so much for your kind support. Because of the newspaper’s intervention, the settlement has happened, but it’s not done completely, as I need the bank’s clearance letter. They said that they would issue the letter after 45 days because some merchants might asked for the due payment. However, they have forgotten that my cards were not used for the past eight months as these cards were blocked from the collections department. So, what are they waiting for?

NBAD settled these cards at Dh25,000 and my principal outstanding was around Dh19,000. I didn’t pay them from past eight months, and for that, I have been charged Dh6,000.


NBAD responds:

Thank you for bringing Mr Al Badr’s concerns to our attention. We have issued the clearance letter, and Mr Al Badr can collect it from his preferred NBAD branch.

We have contacted Mr Al Badr and apologised to him for the behaviour of our collections staff, who will undergo further training and counselling.

Unjustified charges

I am using etisalat and have got two postpaid Sim cards and both have troubled me. In the first week of April, I converted my prepaid number to postpaid. I activated the new postpaid offer and chose a preferred number, which is an add-on. I received all the confirmation messages but not the 50MB data and free monthly local minutes, so I started using the number only for making calls to the preferred number.

After a week or so, I checked my online statement and to my surprise, I was also getting charged for all the calls I was making to my preferred number, which was supposed to be free. I filed a complaint at 101. They said it would take seven working days and I waited, but received no response! I started calling them 10 times a day and still nothing helped. When I asked them to connect me to the supervisor, they simply hung up the phone.

I have more than Dh1,600 on my bill now, which are all for calls made to the preferred number. Additionally, my phone was disconnected for non-payment of the bills. Meanwhile, my other number that has a monthly data plan of 130MB, a daily social messaging service and 100MB data active, just stopped working in June. So, I currently have no data on my phone. I have filed several complaints and there is not a day that passes by that I don’t call their contact centre. I also visited etisalat’s main office in Sharjah, but all in vain. Currently, one of my phones is disconnected and the other one is without any data.

From Ms Memoona Arshad, Sharjah


The management of etisalat responds:

Kindly note that the customer’s issue was resolved.

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