Wednesday, 5 November 2008


You’ve issued me with a new Visa card. Can I ask why? The old one doesn’t expire for two years.
You asked for it.

I didn’t.

It’s the new black card.

So’s the old one.
It’s because your wife’s card was taken by the ATM.

No it’s not. Her card’s been replaced, you agreed not to replace mine. And that was months ago.
Pause. It’s a process.

It’s a what?
A process. By the system. It’s the system.

The system?
Yes. That’s it. The System.

Is this because of the security issues you've been having?
No. No. Not possible. I don't know. Yes, it's not. I have to get someone to call you back. Overload. Overload. My mind is going. Dave? Dave? I don't believe you wanted to do that Daaave....

I followed the complaints procedure and faxed a complaint form to my bank after Dubai’s RTA took Dhs750 from me in error and refused to refund it. Over three months later, the bank hasn’t responded.

Almost a month ago, the same bank failed to make a transfer to the UK in good order. The consequence was a botched transfer and an exchange loss, charged for me for some reason, of some Dhs 1200.

Two weeks ago I was suddenly issued with a new visa card, although my old one hadn’t expired. It has a new security number. Concerned, as they have messed up standing payments on the card before and we have, after all, just been asked to change all our PINs because of a security issue, I called the bank to ask them to confirm why they had issued a new card. The conversation above (only the last line is makety-uppity, BTW), is just one of many that ended with me insisting that someone, anyone who could take responsibility and tell me why I had a new card that I didn’t want or need, call me back.


For a month I have been leaving messages on the answering machine of my ‘Status’ account manager. For a month I have been leaving urgent messages with the call centre to have someone, anyone call me back to discuss the above. They won’t give me any other telephone number for the bank.

This Saturday I am going to go to HSBC in Bur Dubai in person. Expect to hear about the consequences in Gulf News and other leading daily newspapers. I'll be 'British expatriate A.M.' in case you want to be sure it's me. I’d appreciate if you could all start some sort of ‘Free McNabb’ campaign as soon as the stories break. Thanks.

*Update. We blew this Saturday, so it'll have to be next. The best laid plans of mice and men...


Anonymous said...


What you need is a quality bank...

I conduct my banking business with RBS, face to face, after hours, over a pint or two.

I work in CRM and know a bit about customer service and believe me, it's not systems/software or processes. It's people!!

If you want an intro just holler -



Anonymous said...

Unleash hell, Mr McN. Possibly on rollerskates.

EyeOnDubai said...

What time? You should sell ringside seats!


Seabee said...

I confidently predict that when you call in person you'll still get the runaround.

Remember to try not to insult anyone, hard as that will be, because that attracts a longer sentence than just about anything.

Grumpy Goat said...

When I complained about the level of customer service displayed to a Status customer, I was invited to upgrade to Premier. Hahaha!

An analogy (not in any way to be construed as any criticism of the local Ford or Land Rover agent):

"So you bought a Ford Fiesta from Al Tayer and it was complete shite. And the mechanics were incompetent, and servicing and repairs cost a fortune, took aeons and failed to sort out the problems. Have you considered trading it in for a new Range Rover...?"

Anonymous said...

Complain loudly here.
It worked for me anyway

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