No one was there to explain consulate procedure

Khaleej Times received a complaint from a Dubai resident (name withheld on request) who claimed that a French Consulate staff member was rude to him.


Published: Thu 24 Aug 2006, 9:50 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 6:16 PM

The complainant said that when he visited the Consulate on Thursday (August 17) he was told the office was closed due to the weekend. When he returned a day later at 11am, there was nobody except for police personnel standing outside the consulate office who told him to come back the next day at 8.30am.

The complainant returned on Sunday and the policeman advised him to come back the following day at 6.30am. He arrived at 6.20am on Monday (August 21) and was waiting outside the consulate in a corridor, with approximately five other people until 8.50am when a consulate staff member came out to see them.

He claims the Consulate staff member said that only people who had appointments were allowed to come in and the rest of the people were told to come back again the following day. Upon trying to explain to the Consulate staff member that they had been told to come today, the complainant claims the staff member gave no apology, was rude and said nothing other than it was a holiday. He then closed the door. The complainant said he thought this was not acceptable behaviour and questioned why on most days when he visited the Consulate there was no staff outside who had the ability to answer questions or explain the Consulate procedures properly.

He also questioned why there was no sign outside the Consulate office to advise people it was closed on account of public holiday.


Khaleej Times contacted the French Consulate in Dubai and the sources there said they were unable to comment on such issues.

Parking spaces blocked

A RESIDENT of Pioneer building in Karama called up complaining that some residents blocked the free parking lot in the area using their old cars.

“Even though there is free parking slot we never get a chance to park our vehicle. Some of the residents in the area are used to reserve the public parking slot by parking their old cars and keeping the place to themselves,” he alleged.


Khaleej Times contacted the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and enquired about the complaint. Mehdi Ali Ridha, Director of Parking, Traffic and Roads Agency, RTA said: “We did not get any complaints so far from the residents in this regard.”

However, he clarified that public parking space is meant for all the residents and should not be used as a private property. Nobody is allowed to reserve public parking areas,” he said.

He advised the residents to complain to the concerned official departments such as the Environmental Department at Dubai Municipality, which takes action against those who commit such violations.

Credit card delays

Khaleej Times received a complaint against ABN AMRO bank from Mr. Rajnikanth, who said: “I wanted a credit card. For this purpose, I contacted ABN AMRO bank through their phone banking facility. I was told that someone would visit me in two days and get all the necessary paper work completed.

I waited for many days but no one ever showed up. Every time I used to contact the bank through phone banking, they would repeat the same thing that they would send someone in a day or two. Exasperated, I myself went to the bank and completed all the formalities.

After a few days I got my credit card, a visa card. A few weeks after this, the bank launched a new type of a credit card, a master card. As my salary had also increased during this time, I contacted the bank to upgrade my card to the new one. They told me that my old card could not be updated to the new one.

If I wanted the new card, I should apply for that. I agreed to that and rang phone banking to apply. Again the old scenario started again. They would promise on phone to send someone in a day or two and nobody would come. It has been more than a week now and still no action from the bank’s part.”


WHEN Khaleej Times contacted ABN AMRO, they first refused to answer without receiving the complaint in writing. Khaleej Times faxed the complaint to them the same day but ABN AMRO took 10 days to reply.

Their reply is reproduced as follows: “We would like to draw your kind attention to the fact that in strict compliance with our bank’s policies, we will not be able to share specific client information with a third party”.

“Having gone through the content of your letter, it seems that the customer is allegedly complaining about a legitimate right the bank reserves to approve, decline or upgrade customers’ credit card limits. Should you require any transaction-related data on the subject customer’s account, we would need to get a written complaint duly signed by the customer, plus an explicit written instruction from the said customer authorising you to clarify this matter with the bank.”

“For the record, ABN AMRO has approved protocols and procedures for addressing customer concerns. Our dedicated staff is committed to serving customers with a high degree of transparency and professionalism. In light of the above, your request will be kept on file until we receive the above mentioned written complaint and authorisation requirement. In the meantime, if you need any further clarification, please do not hesitate to contact us”.

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