Sunday, December 09, 2007

Sorry, it's another rant.

Feel free to ignore this, I'm just venting my frustration at the way companies here inconvenience us, waste our time and money.

I'm sure we all have many examples of the syndrome - having to go in person, not being able to make appointments etc - but here's my latest.

Background: my car insurance includes a very useful Vehicle Registration Service - they take the car for its annual registration.

Great, that'll save me best part of a day messing around getting to & from plus all the aggro. of doing paperwork here.

Except that when he was bringing it back to me, the driver called to say an idiot had run into the back of my newly re-registered car.

I have to take the car with the police report, copies of my registration card & driving licence, the insurance policy, to the Mazda dealer Galadari so that they can give an estimate.

I'm in Dubai Marina, they are on Al Ittihad Road, not only the other side of Dubai but - literally - in the middle of the disaster that is the new interchange under construction near the airport.

I fight the traffic and the roadworks all the way, they give me the car back after an hour of fiddling around and I fight the traffic and the roadworks back to Dubai Marina. Over three hours of my life have disappeared.

That's not the problem, here's where the typical Dubai company don't-give-a-damn-about-the-customer starts.

After they've received the estimate the insurance company wants to check it against the damage. That's OK too.

Galadari Mazda tell me to take the car in before 7.30am Sunday, which is when the insurance company inspects the cars. If that's too early for me I can leave it there before 5pm Saturday. They will call me "sometime on Sunday" when the inspection's done and I can collect the car.

So I'm to be without the car for that time and either have to pay for a hire car or taxis for two days. We have to get from and to Galadari, get to work on Sunday morning, two of us moving around but without the car.

Mrs Seabee has a friend of a friend at the insurance company, calls, discovers their man will actually be at Galadari around mid-day Sunday. I drive there then, he takes two photos, I drive away within 5 minutes.

No hire car, no taxis, no leaving my car at the dealer for a day and a night as I would have done had I listened to Galadari.

It simpy doesn't occur to them to try to give customer service. To make appointments, to tell the customer when the assessor will be there, to save their customer large slices of time, money and inconvenience.


i*maginate said...

seabee, I noticed there are a lot of "rants" on here of late! Keep 'em coming, nice to see the "rant" side of this blog ;-)

I sympathise with what you're saying and wonder if/when things will change. If they will, who's responsible, I wonder: the employees, the decision-makers, both, and does the govt have any role to play in private companies? What about the need for stringent membership rules for admission to these "associations" e.g. for insurance, with ref to your case.

It is simply unacceptable to be expected to "leave one's car" for inspection and do without one.

I was thinking about this before, but surely it's obvious if companies such as these made it easier for customers and avoided procedures that could be more time-effective, it would have less impact on the *economy* - my logic is that if, daily, 1000 of us go through the same experience you describe here (minus your wasta) and all of us could be making loads of money in the 3 hours (for example) that we lose by dealing with these avoidable situations, what effect it has on the economy. Business deals lost, time taken off work etc. I'm sure it's not huge relatively speaking, but it does add up eventually...especially when there are many more instances of the kind of situation you describe in any given month.

Seabee said...

i*maginate, that's really the point, apart from getting frustrated and ranting about it. Dubai's future relies totally on business and things like this make trying to operate a business here frustrating, costly and inefficient.
Even the RTA says road congestion costs the economy Dh4.5 billion a year, add to that the high cost of running a business with rents etc, the awful Etisalat communications service, inflation etc etc etc. The cost really is huge. And business has alternative cities in the region to operate from.

Restless in Dubai said...

Well, that's why, my car has had more than 5 accidents (dents in the car park in our building in SHJ and that's just another post by itslef) for over a year and I still have it unfixed, I surely don't care if my 80,000 DHS car looks as ugly as a 1998 Toyota Creseeda.. I just don't wanna go though that... never...