In 2014, I had a credit card and owed Dh15,800 to Dubai First due to the high interest and high minimum payment of the card, and I couldn’t make the payment until they filed a case against me. After a few months, I was contacted by the bank and offered a settlement payment, whereby I had to pay Dh15,800. I took the offer, went to the bank and paid. They gave me a clearance letter, which I gave to the police to clear my name from the system.

At the end of 2015, I applied for a top-up loan from a bank, but they declined my application because I have been blacklisted by the Central Bank. I contacted the Central Bank and they said I had to contact the bank that blocked me. I contacted Dubai First and requested to be unblocked, since I had paid whatever dues I had to.

After five days, a man from the Collections Department phoned me and said they would only unblock me if I paid Dh8,000. I was shocked and asked why I had to pay, because I had already paid and I was cleared. He told me it was because I did not pay the interest on my card. I don’t understand why I had to pay the interest for the card that was already paid and closed.

First of all, I am not the only person from my company who did a settlement agreement with Dubai First — they are not blacklisted. Also, I have another bank, with which I had a settlement and they did not ask me to pay extra.

From Ms Jocelyn Abejero, Dubai

The management of Dubai First responds:

At Dubai First, we are committed to provide the best of service to our card members and assist them in unfortunate circumstances.

Ms Abejero has been a delinquent customer with Dubai First and there was a police case opened against her. Dubai First has cooperated with her and agreed to close the police case in 2014 by offering to settle her dues with a significant discount. There was a Release Letter issued which serves the purpose of closing the police case. However, Dubai First has never issued a Clearance Letter.

The customer has also addressed the Central Bank with the same grievances earlier this month and we have agreed to reduce the amount from Dh8,000 to Dh5,000 in order to upgrade the Central Bank rating, an offer that the customer refused. The customer has been contacted again and has now agreed to settle the renegotiated amount.

Ms Abejero responds:

Thank you, Gulf News, and I appreciate the help. In the beginning of the conversation with Dubai First, they were so firm that I had to pay Dh8,000. After contacting Gulf News for help, they asked me to pay Dh5,000 instead of Dh8,000. I just wish to end this business as I have had a very bad experience, especially from the people in the Collections department.

(Process initiation: January 19. Response from organisation: January 24. Reader confirmation: February 1.)

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