The DU Top-Up Ordeal

151119 The DU Top-Up Ordeal

 

Every once in a while we use up data (god knows how) and need to top up during the billing month.

I have 1GB + 300mb as part of my post paid package and very rarely need to top up during the billing month. If I do have to top up it is normally due to too much use of Google Maps or unexplainable and most probably a glitch by my provider (which they will deny).

My provider in the UAE is Du.

In the 3 week of the billing cycle my phone stopped having data. I couldn’t top up as I didn’t know the text message to use to top up and couldn’t get online until i went to a cafe and asked for their password.

Once I got in touch with Du by Twitter (I can’t talk to the du people on the phone they annoy me so much), they told me what to SMS to top up.

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 12.11.43

 

 

(Side note – despite so many years requesting for SMS’s to be sent in English only they still persist in sending them to me in Arabic. How hard can it be to allocate me to the English SMS’s!?!?).

Anyway so I sent the message and got this message:

 

2015-11-19 12.07.12

Although self explanatory, I entered that i wanted “300MB o”. I didn’t really need 300MB, but thought I might as well and also it would roll over. Yes I know it says Prepaid customers only but it seemed absurd so tried.

However, I wasn’t allowed to top up 300 MB one off.

I tried 1 GB one off.

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 12.19.03

 

Nope.

I tried online when i got home and found I  could only top up 1GB recurring.

I don’t want to have a recurring 1GB top up. It costs 100AED extra and I don’t need that much. I don’t understand how you cannot top up for an amount of data for a one off.  Do any of the data plans allow for one off top ups or am I the only unlucky one to have a plan that doesn’t allow for it???

So I called Du. The long and short of the conversation was that I had to top up 1GB Recurring but that I could cancel before the 17th November.

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 12.21.07

 

The man was even nice enough to send me the message to remind me to cancel the top up.

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 12.19.41

So of course I tried to deactivate the data bundle. Did it work? Of course not!

I tweeted and got slow replies. I had tooth issues so couldn’t speak, so asked for them to just deal with it and cancel this recurring cost I never wanted.

Today I got a call from a Du service guy. He informed me that I couldn’t cancel until the next  cycle on 17 December. Which means I am forced to have this data package that I never wanted for a month more.

I asked him what my data amount would be after the 17 December. 6 times!

I got the answer eventually. I will now have 100mb and not 300 mb.

So in short:

a. I had 1GB + 300mb

b. I tried to top up 300mb but had to top up 1GB

c. Deactivate the 1GB from 17 December as they wouldn’t let me do it on 17 November despite trying to do it by SMS.

d. I will now have 1GB + 100mb.

So they forced me to cough up money for a bundle I never wanted. Now I have requested to go back to my previous package and stop this ordeal they are deducting 200mb off my package.

Awesome.

I have topped up in the UK with my old O2 account (which was also postpaid) and it used to be so easy doing it on the automated system as soon as my data was gone.

It seems like Du want to ensure that it is an ordeal to top up and also want to force us to pay extra. Of course that is the way to win the hearts of the customers, force them into paying more for something they don’t need or want and then penalising them for wanting to be on their package.

I will be escalating this to TRA as well. I’m sure as with other government companies and bureaucracy requirements, I will be required to complete millions of forms with information including my mothers’ maiden name, Emirates ID and what I last ate before I can file the complaint.

*bangs head on table again*.

If you are on Du and have topped up, what has been your experience. Has it been an easier experience or just as difficult (or worse). Would be interested to hear your answers.

 

Shelina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2015 Shelina Jokhiya | All rights reserved – This post is provided for the convenience of Shelo’s Cheeky Rantings readers. Any reproduction of the content within this feed is strictly prohibited.

 

The Italian

151112 the italian

There is a new sandwich being sold this month in McDonalds UAE. I was hungry. I was intrigued so thought I would check it out.

This was the conversation at McDonalds

Me: “Hi, what is in the Italian?”

The Server: “Chicken”

Me: “Yep I can see that, what else”

The Server:: “It’s a Chicken Burger”

Me: [big sigh] “Ok I’ll get it”

How can you be at the front of the house and not know what is in the burgers?? It’s McDonalds! Do they not train their cashiers on what to say to customers when there are new burgers?

Obviously not.

If you were curious, here is the information on the burger.

151112 the italian view

It was not bad but the Basil pesto mayo sauce was a bit too tangy for my liking and the bun crumbled being Focaccia style!

But most importantly, once again a fail in customer service here.

*sigh*

Shelina

 

 

 

 

 

© 2015 Shelina Jokhiya | All rights reserved – This post is provided for the convenience of Shelo’s Cheeky Rantings readers. Any reproduction of the content within this feed is strictly prohibited.

 

Staycation at Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi

This weekend, I got to spend a weekend relaxing, for once, at the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island. The decision was very last minute, but we felt like getting out of Dubai and seeing one of the other Emirates.

I have never been to the Park Hyatt in Abu Dhabi, but have been several times to the Dubai branch to use their dining and spa facilities (and also to attend a wedding there). The Park Hyatt Dubai is beautiful from the moment you get to the entrance and valet. I expected the same when we got to the Abu Dhabi Park Hyatt, but unfortunately it doesn’t have the same authentic arabic charm as its Dubai counterpart.

When checking in, we encountered the strange demand of giving AED300 as a “deposit”. We are used to being asked to give our credit card details, so they can use it to deduct all expenses when we check out, but this was something new and slightly annoying. We gave a credit card to pay the deposit and to also settle the room bill and went on our merry way to the room. The room was lovely. Everything I have expected from Hyatt properties on my travels. We took a ground room floor which had a balcony overlooking the garden and pool.

Dinner choices are limited at the hotel so we choose the Park Bar and Grill. Fortunately I had an Entertainer Voucher to buy 1 get 1 free main course so we could splurge a bit on the meal :). The food was delicious and the service fantastic; one waitress from South Africa was especially kind and helpful.

The night should have been joyous in the comfortable bed, but there was this bizarre dripping noise above us for the whole night. It was intermittent so couldn’t tell if it was due to pipes, a leaky bath in the room above or if it was between the ceiling and floor of the two rooms. It was truly irritating.

The next morning we spent chilling out at the beach and in the room. It would have been better if we had not received text messages from the bank at stupid o’clock (more of that soon).

Also we didn’t receive our complimentary newspaper. We couldn’t understand how they could forget a simple thing that they offer as a service!

At midday exactly, we started getting calls and knocks on the door that we had to check out..NOW! The hotel had obviously ignored the requests we had made in the booking which included “Late Check Out”. The hotel was not busy at all so they could have let us stay an hour or two, but nooppppe we had to leave pronto.

Now back to the text message we got. Remember we gave the AED300 at the start? Well after that we had a meal and a few drinks as obviously we were staying at the hotel. Well that deposit was used up so the hotel decided that rather than waiting for us to check out and check the total bill, that they would charge us immediately for any expenses we made during the stay. Plus they were deducting at silly o’clock so we were being awoken by the phone beeping. We were so angry.  At the hotel desk, we complained about the method of taking money off us without us check the final bill.

The reasoning by Park Hyatt (the Manager decided to join in to defend their position – quite condescendingly if I say so myself), was that they had a new policy that they would block the amount on our credit card as and when we used their facilities. The actual amount would not be deducted until we had checked out they assured us. The reality was that they weren’t blocking the amount, they were automatically deducting from our card as and when they felt like it. I have been to Hyatt hotels globally and other hotel chains, but never heard of this nonsense.

They were treating us like potential thieves who were planning to do a runner out of the hotel without clearing the bill and also they were deducting us for amounts we were unable to verify first. They may have deducted amounts which were not related to our room. If you have dealt with banks in the UAE, you know how much of an ordeal it is to get refunds for amounts that are falsely taken from your account or credit card.

The attitude and behaviour left a very bad taste in our mouth. The apologies were insincere. In the end, we viewed the bill, signed and left very angry. Because of the behaviour at this Hyatt, I have no desire to go to another one unless there are assurances that we will not be be treated like this and will receive better service from a 5* hotel.

What has been your experience with the Park Hyatt’s you have visited? Would love to hear your good or bad stories.

Update 12 October 2015 – I have received an apology from the hotel with regards to the complaints above. The policy on getting a deposit and then deducting as and when is supposedly an citywide policy in Abu Dhabi. I find it hard to believe this can only happen in one city in the country. It was good of the hotel to acknowledge my blog post and feedback from their survey.  

Would be interested to know if others have had to deal with the same payment/deposit policy in Abu Dhabi. 

Shelina

© 2015 Shelina Jokhiya | All rights reserved – This post is provided for the convenience of Shelo’s Cheeky Rantings readers. Any reproduction of the content within this feed is strictly prohibited.

MAC Agonies

I am a MAC makeup fan. Have been since my early 20’s and I guess I will continue to be one as they have my skin colour shade, good products and I am too lazy to change brand.

However, during the last 10 years living in the UAE, being served at a MAC store or counter has been beyond excruciatingly painful.

Talking to friends, acquaintances and even a manager from a major department store, everyone dislikes going to MAC in the UAE. If they can postpone buying their makeup until they fly out of the country they will.

I am an easy customer for the MAC ladies. I buy the same waterproof liquid eyeliner every 2 months and any waterproof mascara which is black and in stock. In addition I will use my 6 empty containers to get a new Odyssey Lipstick every 2 months. They don’t even have to use the till to process the free lipstick. Asking them to give me my free lipstick in exchange for recycling my containers is the most awful thing to ask the MAC ladies . They will tut, scowl and puff around getting that folder out for me to sign.

Occasionally I go off script. When I have been in London or other countries, I have asked the assistants to randomly choose me a new lipstick or eyeshadow colour to be my new favourite. They always choose amazing shades which I use for ages (Odyssey lipstick came into my life when I asked a lady in MAC London to choose a colour for me). I tried this request a few times in the UAE stores – the response would  usually be “I don’t know what you like, you should choose the colour”. Yep – [sigh]

Most of you ladies may be reading the above thinking, hey that’s normal here. However I recently saw incompetence of such high proportions that I have had to vent in this blog today.

I have been using this tinted foundation for a few years. It’s light, matches my skin colour and covers the blemishes.

Studio moisture tint

I ran out in July. As I wasn’t leaving the country until mid August, I braced myself and went to the MAC store in Mall of Emirates. The store was empty, there was no one there but me. The MAC lady would not serve me until I went and stood next to her (very closely). I showed her the above picture and gave her my colour. The response was as follows:

MAC – “We don’t have this in stock”.

Me – “Can you check your cupboards just in case”

MAC – [Scowl and tut] – “OK” [rummages in one cupboard]
“No it’s out of stock”

Me – “When will you get more in stock?”

MAC – “I don’t know. We get shipments every day.”

Me – “Can you take my details, order the colour and let me know when it arrives so I can collect it”.

MAC – “No. We don’t know what will arrive”.

Me – [sigh]. “OK thanks bye.”

The same situation happened in FOUR out of FIVE other MAC stores. In the Mercato store, the lady asked me for my details (I didn’t suggest it to her as I had lost the will to live so was surprised by the initiative taken) and told me she would call me as soon as it arrived. She was exceptionally helpful. But I never got a call.

I did complain about the attitude at the Mall of Emirates branch to someone not from MAC. A MAC Manager called a few days later but I was just about to watch a movie. I asked her to call me back. She never did.

Anyway I finally gave up until I went to Terminal 3 Dubai Airport in mid August (so 6 weeks later). At the airport, it may be busy, but I always seem to be served (most probably as I know what I want and I ask, pay and leave). I didn’t have much hope for getting my foundation but thought I would ask.

Me – “Hi do you have this foundation [shows photo]

MAC lady – “It’s been discontinued”

Me – “How long ago?”

MAC lady – “About 3 months ago. There are 2 new alternatives. This one (see below) is the closest to what you had and a similar price”.

Prep and Prime BB

Me – “Perfect, I will get that in my colour”

MAC lady – [tests the colour on my hand, finds the foundation and organises for me to pay for it].

Tell me, how did all those other MAC Ladies not know that this item had been discontinued for 1-2 months when I went to see them? Do they not have product updates? Staff meetings? Do they not think it’s weird if one major product (which a lot of my friends use so it can’t be a rare item) has stopped appearing in their store?? Why did it require me to go to the airport to get some clarification on my foundation and get something for me to slap on my face?!!??!

It shouldn’t be an ordeal to get a product. I am a loyal fan (you can see by the number of empty containers I have at home for recycling). But even if i was not a loyal fan all of us should be treated properly as customers. This is a global brand and they must have the same training globally – I would assume.

To put this more into context – when I went back to the UK, I went to the MAC in Selfridges in London. This is one of the most busiest MAC’s I have seen in my travels globally. Usually it is so busy I don’t bother going to the stand and go to Carnaby Street, but I thought as I was there I would brave the crowds. I got served by newbie girl, who needed help from her manager, but who served me quickly. I had smiles from 3 other assistants whilst I was waiting for my products and the lady at the till had a proper conversation with me!! That is 5 assistants at MAC being nice to me. It would be a miracle if even one smiled at me in any of the UAE branches. Plus I got the products I wanted without any attitude and a proper explanation about them.

I have luckily stocked up for a few months to ensure that I do not have to purchase anything from the UAE branches for long time. But I shouldn’t have to do that. I should be able to go into this global brand store and be served properly with knowledgeable assistants who do not give attitude to the customer.

If you have any suggestions on how we can start being treated as customers (paying as well) in their stores, please leave a comment. If you are MAC please please please can you train your staff here to be nice to the customers?

Thanks

Shelina

© 2015 Shelina Jokhiya | All rights reserved – This post is provided for the convenience of Shelo’s Cheeky Rantings readers. Any reproduction of the content within this feed is strictly prohibited.

Using Public Transport in Dubai (vlog #6)

Metro Gold Class Entrance

My lovely car was with the car garage for 2 days so I recently had to use public transport. As the petrol prices have gone up in the UAE, the Ministry of Transport has told us to make the most of the public transport. So I did…

Here is my vlog on using the public transport – Careem private taxi, tram, metro, bus (well tried to use the bus) and taxi.

Using the public transport would be great, if you could access it and there was help from the RTA Dubai on using it.

I did complain to RTA and was advised they would look into my complaint. With regards to the bus stop, they told me the bus stop number I had to go to (with no directions), complained again, then they said the road where the bust stop was  and finally gave more directions. Pointless telling me when I was home where the bus stop was. I got more information from the JVC Facebook group on the location of the bus stop (one member gave me a map with an arrow pointing the location of the bus stop!).

The RTA said they would also consider my complaints about lack of air conditioned shelters at the Mall of Emirates main bus stop. I have heard nothing since from them.

What experience have you had using the public transport in Dubai. Is it a better experience for you?
 
Shelina

 

 

 

    

 

© 2015 Shelina Jokhiya | All rights reserved – This post is provided for the convenience of Shelo’s Cheeky Rantings readers. Any reproduction of the content within this feed is strictly prohibited.

 

The Ordeal Of Going to the Cinema

Baby 3D Glasses Watching Film On TV, Children Eating Popcorn

I love movies. I love going to the cinema. I love watching art house and blockbuster movies. I love the whole movie watching experience (especially back in the UK).

I just don’t love going to the cinema in the UAE.

In 2005 when I first came here, the problem with going to the cinema was the censoring of movies. The censors would cut the movies so badly that you could see the rips from the scissors on the film. The films would make no sense. The violence would remain but everything else would be cut. Supposedly violence is fine.

Then it progressed to people talking on the phone during the movie – to their families in other countries or mates in the mall waiting for them . Why they couldn’t talk to them outside the cinema screen was always a mystery for me and other cinema goers. And it always has to be loud. On their bloody Nokias!

The recent issue has been with babies and kids. For some reason it is perfectly acceptable for babies and kids under 10 to watch movies which are classified PG13, PG15 and 18+. Yes, that’s right we have had babies screaming at their top of their lungs during an 18+ movie.

I recently complained to one of the cinema chains and have been having daily phone calls with them arguing that these movies are not meant for under 10 year olds or under 17 years old if it is an 18+! . Their argument is that if it has PG on it, and parents take them to the movie, they can watch a PG13 or PG15 movie. It does not matter if there is violence, sexual connotations or rude words in the movie. They are being escorted into the cinema with an adult so they can see the movie.

The cinema chain have told me to complain to the cinema ushers if I have a concern in future during the movie, which means I should disturb the people sitting near me, get up, complain and miss part of the movie. Awesome. So it’s either suffer watching movies

Maybe I am getting old, and admittedly there was no PG12 and PG15 until I was in my teens, but these movies are NOT meant for kids. They are meant for teenagers and adults. Kids should be watching Disney, Pixar and Minon movies.

My bigger concern is allowing babies (under 1) into the cinema. The movies are too loud for us grown adults let alone babies. It cannot be healthy for their ears and no wonder they are screaming if they are hearing the Avengers kill the badies at millions of decibels??? My argument with specific cinema chain was that they should be allowing adults with babies to buy the tickets let alone into the screenings, but I was advised that it was permitted by higher authorities!

I have no idea who the higher authorities are, but if you work for them or do know who they may be, can the issue of allowing kids into the cinema to watch movies not meant for their age be raised?  What is the point of cinema classification if kids of all ages can enter the screening?

Update: As wisely pointed out by some readers, there should be a complete ban on children going to late night/midnight screenings. The children want to sleep and instead are being forced to stay awake and cannot sleep due to the loudness of the movie. Parents should have common sense and be more responsible, but cinemas should put their foot down as well.

Please use #UAECinema to spread the word about this issue in the cinemas here!

Let’s try and make some positive changes to our cinema going experience.

Shelina

The River of Slime is Coming

ghostbusters 2 slime  Ghostbusters 2 Mood Slime

With all the hate going on in world due to Daesh, racists, Fox News, cyberbullies and trolls, we are creating a gigantic river of slime of hate.

Remember it happened in New York and the only one who could save the city was a positively slimed Statute of Liberty!

I don’t think there is enough of those Statutes to help save the world, so can we start being a nicer to each other.

And if you can’t be nice, go onto an island with all the haters and build a house…or something. Thank you!

Shelina