The Twitter warning by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to Emirates Post and other government departments on Monday has set off a flurry of complaints against several public services, with the concerned entities promptly responding to them.
On Monday, Shaikh Mohammad warned government departments against poor customer service by laying bare a mystery shopper’s picture of a long queue at an Emirates Post counter.
In his tweet, Shaikh Mohammad, said, “This is not our standard, nor our service. I will not keep in my team whoever offers such a poor level of service.”
He also tweeted the highlights of a report that evaluated Emirates Post on various parameters including services, effectiveness, customer experience, absorption capacity and work culture.
His message received an overwhelming response, with his followers on Twitter saluting him for his hands on and transparent style of governance. Many of them also took the opportunity to raise their concerns or bring to light unresolved complaints regarding various services. The immediate replies they got from the concerned entities on Twitter, they hoped, would translate into action at the earliest.
The complaints were wide-ranging and cut across departments across the emirates as they covered everything from health, education and jobs to parking, street lights and even the media.
Residents wanted mystery shoppers to be sent to hospitals, clinics, post offices, schools, colleges and telecom centres, among other places, to help improve their functioning.
“Thank you Sir! We have a major parking problem in Al Ras, Gold Souq area due to Deira Waterfront construction,” tweeted one resident, adding that four big parking lots in the area had been shut and it was taking an average of two hours to find parking every day.”
Another complained about a six-month old request for a taxi compensation for his mother. A third talked about how street lights had not been provided in one section of Al Quoz, despite a request made four years ago.
Dubai Road Transport Authority promptly replied to all such tweets apologising for any inconvenience and requesting for a mobile number, so they could be contacted. Some complaints were even registered immediately with an assurance that they would be answered within a specific date.
Many tweets brought up the issue of long waits for doctors’ appointments, besides other woes at clinics and hospitals.
“Some private hospitals need better control. We have already had a problem caused by the carelessness and incompetence of the employees in one hospital and the response to the complaint was not expected,” said one tweet.
There were other tweets on unavailability of a vaccine, a child not getting the required medical attention, shortage of doctors, undue expenses incurred and so on.
Dubai Health Authority and the Ministry of Health were also prompt to respond to the concerns, asking the complainants to provide their contact details for further action.
In the field of education, the Twitterati highlighted cases of children being under pressure, with pleas to review not just some schools, but also colleges and universities across the UAE.
“A lot of money is wasted Sir on printing books that students do not use … they remain useless,” said one post.
There were also complaints about the speed of the internet and the high cost of telecom services, with appeals to make communication in the UAE the best in the world.
“With all respect to TRA and its achievements, the way complaints are handled does not meet expectations,” said one tweet which got a prompt reply again from the authority.
One Emirati claimed he had been looking for a job since 2015 but had been consistently rejected. DEWA, one of the departments mentioned in the tweet, immediately got back asking him for his number so “we can help you better”.
Even the media was not spared as one resident in a tweet hoped that the National Media Council would have a greater role in overseeing media institutions, going beyond legislation.