Difficult payments
I received a call from a Dubai First representative who very rudely mentioned that his Head of [Loan] Recovery will not revert to my emails or phone calls and has instructed him to call me to inform me that they will not reduce the amount even if I am a guarantor. He also mentioned that since I highlighted his rude and unprofessional attitude toward customers in my emails, he has refused to give me a single dirham reduction, which he had initially offered me in his email. I reiterate that I very well understand the responsibilities of being a guarantor and am willing to pay off the loan amount to the bank. However, as I am the main source of income in my family, I am not in any position to pay the lump sum amount of Dh55,000 in one go.

Therefore, I request Dubai First to please help me first by reducing the amount of the loan payable and secondly by giving me the flexibility to pay off the same in monthly installments of Dh500.
From Ms Fahmida Hussain

The management of Dubai First responds:
We wish to inform you that in this case the Dubai First customer stopped making payments on their Dubai First personal loan for a number of months in the first half of 2009 and a police case was filed against the customer.

By September 2009, since the customer was not making any payments, the customer's friend personally got in touch with Dubai First and informed us that they would guarantee the repayment of the customer's loan. As per the policy of Dubai First, the customer's friend (the Guarantor) signed all the relevant documents accepting that they would stand as guarantor for the customer's Dubai First personal loan. The Guarantor also issued Dubai First a personal cheque as guarantee. The Guarantor fully understood their obligations and responsibilities as guarantor for the customer's personal loan.

Later on, the Dubai First customer as well as the Guarantor failed to make payments which had been mutually agreed upon.

Notification was also provided to the Guarantor that if payments were not received either from the customer or from the Guarantor, a police case would be filed. Since there were no payments even after reminders, a police case was filed for recovery. The Guarantor was stopped at the airport as there was a police case against them. After this, Dubai First agreed that the Guarantor could pay a lump sum amount to clear the case and also release the police case.

The Guarantor complained that they could not make the lump sum payment and asked if Dubai First could put them on a monthly payment plan. Since both the customer as well as the Guarantor are in default on a majority of their payments and since they both have a negative credit history, Dubai First, as a policy, is not ready to accept payment in instalments for this relationship. Dubai First's settlement offer stays as it is. We have examined our records and also confirm that no staff within Dubai First have dealt with the Guarantor in an unpleasant manner or spoken to them in an unfriendly way.

Dubai First declines the Guarantor's complaint and the Guarantor must get in touch with Dubai First if they wish to coordinate further. The customer and the Guarantor are at default on all scheduled missed payments as well as their additional agreements with Dubai First to make payments on other occasions.

 Crediting points
I am a credit card holder of First Gulf Bank. In August 2010 I got a message from the bank stating that if I activated my card before September 5, 2010, I would earn 1,000 points. Accordingly I activated my card on September 1, 2010. To my surprise, until this day, the promised 1,000 points have not been credited to my account. I made many calls to the customer services department [and received] many promises and assurances, but the points are not yet credited. It is almost a week — there is no progress. Is it fair on the part of the bank to make such false promises? If we delay the payment to the bank, they lose no time in charging the customers. I want to verify my complaint and highlight it in Gulf News to alert other innocent customers.
From Mr Ashok Shetty

The management of First Gulf Bank responds:
Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. First Gulf Bank takes comments such as these very seriously and cares deeply about the quality of service extended to its clients.

We pledge to take appropriate action with the relevant department to ensure that these concerns are addressed.

We aim to treat every complainant with utmost respect and revert at the earliest with the appropriate feedback and suggestions.

Our call centre will get in touch with the client directly.

First Gulf Bank updates:
The issue was resolved to the customer's satisfaction. Mr Ashok Shetty's points have already been credited to his account. There was a slight delay from the system but it has been credited as per the policy of the bank.

Mr Shetty responds:
Thank you very much [Gulf News], for the prompt response regarding my complaint against First Gulf Bank. As soon as the newspaper took up the matter with the concerned department of the bank, its representative immediately called me and confirmed that they had credited the points to my account.

But I told them to send me an email outlining the action taken on the concerned issue. Accordingly, the bank management did so. I once again thank Gulf News for taking up my matter and resolving the issue.

 Transfer troubles
I have had problems trying to transfer my existing etisalat landline and Al Shamil connection. I had an Al Shamil connection with unlimited usage at Dh149 per month. On changing my residence from Al Nahda 2 in Dubai to Al Qusais 1, I was told that it was not possible to transfer my connection [and that] there was only one available option.

[I was told to] cancel my connection and upgrade to e-Life at Dh299 per month after the initial offer period. [However], I have absolutely no need of a high speed connection.

Left with no other option and the need for an internet connection and landline, I opted for e-Life after cancelling my connection on July 15, 2010.

On July 22, on checking the status of my application, I found that it had been misplaced, traced and later updated. After repeated follow ups, a technician arrived in the first week of August to install [my new connection].

He examined the existing fibre optic box and declared that it was not suitable for e-Life and said that remedial action would be taken.

I have been following up with etisalat ever since and have had a hard time [without a] land line or internet connection.
From Mr Mangalth Chacko Monsy 

Editor's note: The complaint was sent to the management of etisalat. However, despite repeated reminders they failed to respond.

Refund request
I am a subscriber to du's home package, including the Showtime premiere package. As they were no longer able to offer the English Premiere League on the Showtime package, I asked them to remove the Showsports channels, and add the Abu Dhabi channels to my package.

I am now paying du more, yet they have charged a downgrading fee of Dh199. I have written to du to complain and request a refund, but have had no response. I spoke to a customer care supervisor and all he could say was sorry but that is company policy and he cannot change it.

Du's argument is that these are different providers - Showtime & Abu Dhabi Sports. I explained that my contract is with du and the penalty charge is being imposed by du, not their partners.
From Mr Jayesh Shah

The management of du responds:
We regret the inconvenience caused. Having conducted a thorough investigation in the matter; we are happy to announce that the error has been rectified and the charges reversed.

Mr Shah responds:
Du has contacted me and advised me that they will rectify the situation.

Editor's note: If you have similar consumer complaints, send them to us at: readers@gulfnews.com