The bank that cares

So I have posted before about my bank and its shortcomings. But that is nothing compared to this story.

It all starts back in August. The day after Bss and the kids got here we drove to Abu Dhabi so that they could do some sightseeing and shopping. When we were driving back, I took my wallet out of my pocket and set it on my lap. Then about 40 km from Al Ain, my oldest son announced that he needed to make a stop. So we stopped at one of the roadside WCs. When we got back to Al Ain, I had planned on buying everyone dinner and then going home to bed. But my wallet was gone. I assume that I dropped it at the place where we stopped, but maybe it was at the mall where we were going to grab some fastfood.

So, when I finished panicking, I realized that I needed to call the bank and cancel my ATM card. When I called the 800 number, the customer service rep asked the last time that I had used the card. I told him that it was the day before in Dubai at the airport, he confirmed that that was the last time it was used and that I just needed to go to the bank the next day to get anohter one.

So a couple of weeks later I was looking online to see if a check had cleared and noticed a charge for 3870 dirhams from a store that I hadn't been to and three days after I reported the card missing. So I called the bank and they told me that the card had been used the night that I lost it and the charge had not been filed until three days later, but that it wasn't a problem. All I had to do was go down to the bank and file a fraud report and it would all be resolved in few days.

So, I go down there, fill out the papers. The clerk tells me that I had called at 10:15 pm and the charge was at 10:24 pm. He also tells me that they will be back in touch in just a few days. A week later I ask about it. Still investigating, but in a few days, I'll be contacted. Another week. Same thing. Another week, I decide that I need to see someone else. I go see the customer service reps upstairs. Guy calls someone on the phone and tells me that I called at 10:30 and the card was used at 10:24.

Since I knew this was at the very least wrong if not a lie, I kept working my way through the bureaucracy. The manager of the branch claimed for about two months that he checked on the situation every day and that it would be resolved almost at any moment. He also implied that the bank believed that I might have done this myself to defraud them.

Then another customer service rep that I spoke to said, after speaking to the head office, that there was no paperwork on this at all. Keep in mind, this is about four months into the saga. So I refile the papers and check back every couple of weeks.

Then finally after two more months, I finally get an answer. The answer is no. Yes, I did call to cancel before the card was used, but that doesn't matter because the bank takes at least a half-hour and more probably longer to cancel the card. So their defense is that they are incompetent (and really proudly so), so it isn't their fault.

So then I asked why in the world it took six months to come to this conclusion. Well you see, they had to investigate. This is the thing that made me the most angry about the whole situation. That is complete B.S. Their investigation turned up exactly nothing that I did not tell them the first day.

Then to top it off, the rep acted stunned when I told him that if that was the case, then I wanted to close my account.


secretdubai said...

How appalling. You should name the bank, and you should contact its PR people. Email me if you need help with that. Go as high as possible and kick up an absolute stink.

Have you also involved the police? Because they should be informed, and they are often quite quick at tracking offenders (though unfortunately rather a lot of time has elapsed here).

Al Ain Taxi said...

Union National Bank, me thinks.

Marcus Aurelius said...

That bank is rotten and I had the same reaction when I closed my account due to their rotten service.

Posted in (very much delayed) response to your earlier blog.

I'll name it for you! The Union National Bank formerly known as the BCCE formerly affiliated with that famous institution the BCCI. A colleague in the English Dept took all of her BCCI deposits out the summer before it went bust. She used the cash to fund her vacation and she was glad she did (this was the same woman who took a summer vacation from her job in Kuwait in what was it now? 1990?).

I had an account with that rotten bank because as you state it is the default bank that does business with the U (IIRC Sheik Nahyan the Minister of Education has a major interest in the bank). Arrrgggghhhhh! I set up a standing order with them and they couldn't execute it reliably. I finally left.

I went to the Mashreq Bank and was very happy with them. I even managed to get setup at the Mashreq's bigwig branch, up on top of Shar'a Khalifa (IIRC that is where it was, at least at that time). Still had the hour problems and they did not have the convenient ATM at the Jamaah Islamiya (where I spent most of my years there teaching) but it was well worth it.

Also, not bad advice on getting your wealth sent offshore. You don't necessarily have to send it back home, you can send it elsewhere. I had some accounts in the Channel Islands and two worked out fairly well for me. I was buying pounds-sterling on a monthly basis and when I finally sold them for $ I made out well. Another account changed their rules and allowed me to cash out in advance and this was just before the USA Stock Market collapse.