Winning hearts in the bargain
I am an Indian expatriate, living in Dubai for the past five years. On January 30, my family and I drove to Abu Dhabi, to meet a friend. By the time we decided to return, it was already 11pm. On the drive back, I realised that I had forgotten to refuel my car. Soon, the dashboard indicator started flashing a 'no fuel' sign. I looked for a petrol station everywhere, but could not find one. I had no clue where to go and whom to contact for help. The gravity of the situation dawned upon me - being lonely on the road was scary, especially with my family in the car. Then, I saw a police station and decided to approach for help. I narrated my problem to the duty officer, who reacted immediately and came to my rescue. He got into his car and asked me to follow him to the petrol station, which was five kilometres down the road. Additionally, he gave me his contact number, in case I needed any further help. I thank the police officer and salute the Abu Dhabi Police for recruiting such helpful and kind-hearted staff, who go out of their way to help people and win hearts in the bargain.
From Mr Nasir Haidade

A great leader
My comments may not make any difference but His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, always comes up with a way that is unique compared to all other great leaders ("Mohammad treats family to true Arab hospitality", Gulf News, February 4).
From Mr Amjad Majeed Q.
Website comment

Learning from example
I am not surprised. I have met him occasionally - once driving his own car. On another occasion, I met him at a technology exhibition, where he was walking, as if he were an ordinary visitor. Many leaders should learn from his example.
From Ms Nicola Siotto
Website comment

Rethink, relax
This is in reference to the community report on stray cats ("Feeding stray cats good move, but&," Gulf News February 2). I think citizen reporter Mr Peter Veyeren is a troubled man. The article reflects the misinformed phobias that some people have toward cats, such as the idea that cats carry strange germs. There is no comparison between the killings in the zoo, in Gaza, and the stray cats in Dubai. Feeding a few cats in Mirdif is not the "worst course of action". The destructive attitude against the lives of animals, by the writer, is much worse. I have found through the years that people who love cats also love and respect others, and people who "hate" cats harbour angry emotions against other people, too. This negative attitude is reflected by Mr Veyeren's attitude that cats in the garden are bad, they enter his territory, walk on his many polished cars, make noise, and that all of this is a hassle to his stressed out life that values 'things' over people. The cats are not the problem for Mr Veyeren, his negative attitude toward life and peace is. He needs to relax.
From Mr Dennis Russell

Dirty trick
I've been receiving numerous phone calls from sales agents of several banks offering credit cards, personal loans and such. I have always declined such offers, simply because I don't need them. However, one bank played a little dirty trick on me, recently. It had me surprised when I received a statement for the card I had never applied for or received, charging me for services I never availed. I simply had to request that they cancel the card, but had to waste some of my time in the process. I hope these banks refrain from engaging in such kind of unsolicited services.
From Mr Wilfredo Alcantara

Right to complain
It is not only right for the patient to complain, it is praiseworthy ("Nurse suspended for offering to pray", Gulf News, February 2). Most nurses take a pledge before they register in their profession. Often a nurse promises to care without prejudice to race, colour or creed. Nurses have a code of ethics. They may not publicise their religious convictions in any of the clients homes, unless invited to do so. At best, the nurse was misguided. England is a country that practises religious freedom. Visitors and citizens are free to pray according to their spiritual need. Many countries are often admired for their 'religious tolerance'. Periodically, we are wise to test ourselves. I wonder how the nurse would react if an elderly member of her family was asked the same question by a nurse from another religion.
From Ms Ruth St Claire

I think Gulf News' editorial comment on victims of scammers is very harsh and unfair ("Unchecked greed leads to misery," Gulf News, February 4). People who invested their money had already earned it. They trusted that the system would not allow such deceit. Perhaps, some needed quick funds for education, life saving medical procedures and such. Now their lives have an unknown quantity of added misery, for they have been robbed. It is not all about a get rich quick scheme for investors. These evil people should be named, shamed and punished.
From Ms M. Fitz

Believing in the system
This is with regards to the protests by some of the parents of children studying in Modern High School, in Dubai. I am a mother of two boys studying in grade 10 and 8. To date, I have not had any complaints about the teachers of this school. When I did, a talk with the principal was all it took to clear the issue. The teachers do an excellent job of teaching our children. My husband and I believe in the system. Our children spend nearly eight hours at school with their teachers and friends. Teachers have families, too. They, too, have wives, husbands and children, and need to provide for them. If we believe in giving quality education to our children, we need to pay for it. If we can afford to buy expensive cars, clothes and go on holidays, the least we can do, as a parent, is pay for our child's education. It is only good education that will help our children in their future. I hope the authorities keep their promise of increasing the teachers' salaries, If they are satisfied, our children will have teachers who are willing to teach and impart the right education.
From Ms Khushnum D.

To sum it up
When people earn Dh2,000 to Dh3,000 a month, they are asked to pay Dh4,000 to Dh5,000, as rent, for a studio flat in Dubai.
From Mr Ram Kumar


Ongoing struggle
According to the one-year contract that I signed, I was not supposed to pay the first month's rental. However, contrary to the terms of the contract, it was added to the first bill. I called 101, but they said I needed to register a complaint at the location from where I got the connection. I visited etisalat's Al Wasl branch on October 11, 2008 to register a complaint. The executive present admitted there was a mistake and asked me to provide a written complaint along with a copy of my ID card. I was a little surprised at this request since it seemed that the customer's word was not enough.

I submitted a written complaint on the same day and sent a copy of the letter by fax to 06-7460444 the following day. To avoid any disruption of services I went ahead and paid the whole amount and was assured that the next bill would be corrected and the adjustments will show. However, the adjustment had not been made in the subsequent bill that I received.

I made several calls to the helpline number to enquire about my case but the issue was not resolved. It has been more than four months and etisalat is still unwilling to set a time frame by which the issue will be fixed.

In fact, during my last conversation with a customer care executive, I was told the amount would definitely be adjusted if I get my connection disconnected. I do not know whether that was a hint. After an ongoing struggle with etisalat for over four months, I am not surprised any more.
From Mr Niloy Nag

The management of etisalat replies: etisalat regrets the inconvenience caused to the customer. etisalat has informed the subscriber that he is eligible for a first month free rental. etisalat representatives have called the customer and resolved the issue to his satisfaction.

In repair
Since November 2008, I have been calling etisalat trying to get my Al Shamil connection repaired. I called at least 20 times, sent two e-mails and one fax. However, there was no result! There is no response or explanation from etisalat's side and the line has not been repaired, too. However, the bill is always on time.
From Mr Ralf Zimmermann
Abu Dhabi

The management of etisalat replies: Kindly note that the issue has been resolved. The subscriber has confirmed that his internet connection's speed is fine. etisalat regrets the inconvenience caused to the customer.

No connection
Our internet connection suddenly went off on November 20, 2008. We immediately lodged a complaint with etisalat. Without giving an accurate answer, we were told that action will be taken within a week. We have since called etisalat numerous times, only to listen to the same drivel. The customer service agents never seem to have any updates on our complaint. We are sick and tired of this inconvenience and just want our internet connection back!
From Dr Sabiha Mehdi

The management of etisalat replies: Kindly note that the issue has been resolved. The subscriber has confirmed that her internet connection is working fine. etisalat regrets the inconvenience caused to the customer.