Thursday, November 13, 2008

Financial Woes

Dubai: it’s a cosmopolitan city which is more forward thinking than any city in the world, right?

Ok, so explain this to me regarding banking in Dubai:

Direct debits do not exist. Yes, you heard me. A colleague just bought a car, and had to HAND WRITE 36 cheques. Yes, 36 cheques.
The bank cannot activate my cashpoint (sorry, ATM) card. They tell me every day that they have done it. Two weeks later, it still won’t work.
The bank mixes my signature on the system WITH A COMPLETE STRANGER’S. To be fair to them, the entire staff at my local branch went white as sheets, and pronounced this as a ‘disaster’, so they did understand the severity of the situation.
That said, it took another TWO WEEKS to sort it out. Meaning that every time I went into the branch to withdraw money (because, duh, they can’t get my ATM card to work) they challenged who I was as my signature didn’t match. Err that’s because you have it wrong, dunces!

I don’t mean to moan. I have come to expect mediocrity and stupidity from the service industries here, so I am actually remarkably relaxed about issues such as this. How will I cope when I return to a normal country? I may die of shock to encounter someone that knows what they are doing!

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