Reader complaint
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  • Problem with paying household bills by cheque
  • Cashier won’t accept cheque issued by spouse
  • Stop charging 1.45 per cent on amount paid using credit card

On December 10, 2018, I visited Al Jazzat Centre of Sewa, in Sharjah. This was one of my regular visits to pay my Sewa monthly dues, vide my bill, which I have been doing for more than 14 years that I am a resident of Sharjah.

I got shocked at the payment counter when I produced my cheque (ADCB) with the stipulated amount Dh870.40, in favour of Sewa. As a routine practice, I also wrote my Sewa account number and my mobile number on the back of the cheque as a regular practice.

But after looking at the presented cheque and at the computer monitor in front of her, the lady cashier, at the counter, first looked at me with an element of contempt, and then asked me if the name on the cheque, as printed by the bank on the cheque, was that of mine. I said: “No, the name on the cheque was of my wife, and I am paying my dues through her bank account. On this, she told me, ‘No, the name on the cheque (as printed by the bank) has to be the same as that on the bill that Sewa has raised.’”

I was shocked. I told her, I am paying my Sewa dues, by this same very modus, since last 14 years. Each time, our Sewa bills are paid through the same bank account that is in my wife’s name. We never have faced this type of rejection by the cashiers in 14 years, so why now?

I pointed out to her that the entire name printed on the cheque also bears my name, which proves beyond doubt, my relationship with her.

I also pointed out to her, and by now to the male supervisor who joined the discussion, that how does it matter to Sewa, from which sources my Sewa dues are paid up, in as far as it is through a valid and legal cheque, mode of payment, and also in as far the deposited cheque is honoured by the bank, on which such a cheque is issued.

I asked them if they do not accept this presented cheque, I am left with no options immediately. On which both of them advised me to pay either cash, or by credit card.

I pointed out to them that in spite of very clear guidelines from the Central Bank of the UAE, Sewa is an agency, which charges about 1.45 per cent service charges, if any payment is made by customers, and hence I never opt for that payment options.

We never have faced this type of rejection by the cashiers in 14 years, so why now?

- Mr Shailesh Upadhyay, Sharjah

At the end of such frustrating arguments, all I had to do was to cough up all the cash that I had in my wallet at that time Dh600, and the remaining amount I had to pay by my credit card, of course with the applicable “service charges” as a penalty for payment through my credit card.

Through Gulf News, I want to bring out this issue, wherein for payment of household, Sewa bills, a wife cannot issue cheques to Sewa, if the bill is on her husband’s name. Sewa should discontinue the practice of charging a sum of 1.45 per cent on amount paid using credit cards.

From Mr Shailesh Upadhyay


Editor’s note: The complaint was forwarded to Sewa for comments. However, its management did not respond.

(Process initiation: January 22, 2019. Process completion: February 26, 2019.)

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