Telephone banking in Dubai is about as frustrating as it gets

Comment: Financial institutions say they are investing in customer service, but they don’t act like it.

Parag Tikekar

Quite a negative article. Let's look at the positives:
- If as the writer claims that no Bank does things better: let's accept this as the in-thing here. Why complain?

- Which industry provides you the level of service that you expect? Are you willing to pay the required price for the service?

- People will always complain. Most other industries also, majority would not recommend their present company to others. Human tendency is to complain & not be satisfied with what they are getting!

Diya Pardasani

Yes right, banking services here are not up to levels of developed countries let alone telephone services, but great deal of effort is visible in improving over all customer experience by many banks, especially local. It's a competition driven market. There are certain concerns of account hacking (happened with me in 2010 with one of the local banks) and I understand that its not possible to eliminate those issues entirely. However, with continuous customer and tele-staff education the impact can be minimized.
Moreover, we all know we cannot survive without banking services. Our constant feedback will only make them aware of their scope for improvement and help us get better services.


Customer services in GCC and India is non existent. I have accounts in India in two leading banks and I am suffering from not being able to bank for last six months! Some services are worst than that in Saudi. Demand supply ratio is so wide in India they don't care about a customer in any industry, be it telecom, bank or retail. In GCC and places like UAE customer services are manned by Asians, mostly south Asian who are used to this type of behavior. Unless management commitment is strong every customer is taken for ride. I don't think this is going to change in the near future. My two cents.


Just today. We requested a change in signatories in 3 linked bank accounts, it has taken more than 6 weeks but ok.
Today we receive the letters confirming the change plus one letter claiming that they have closed on of the accounts effective Feb 28th... an account where we were paid 48 hours ago (March 20th)

Oh well.


I previously worked in the banking industry in a large number of countries (albeit in capital markets not retail but I was familiar with the retail operations wherever I went). I have also obviously been a customer in those places too. Service standards in this region are among the worst I have experienced. The single biggest issue is that everywhere else I worked staff understood it was a privilege to have customers whereas here most staff genuinely believe that the customer is privileged to be allowed to bank with them; that in some way customers are lucky that this greatly esteemed organization has lowered itself to bother with their meagre affairs. Change that attitude and you'll see an overnight improvement but good luck because it is really heavily engrained.


Let me see if I get this straight. The whole telephone banking industry in Dubai is frustrating because a single staff member in one bank asked too many security questions?! about painting with a broad brush.

Brucy Bonus

serves him right for using a card for a AED 15 payment.


what an insightful thought.
The whole point of the card is avoiding to get cash. It makes my life simpler, it makes the merchant life simpler, and it makes my PA life much simper when she need to reimburse expenses.

Maybe this region has the banking services it deserves after all.

One Guy

So hang on, the last article posted by this Author went to great lengths to tell us how good everything is here in Dubai, he in fact calls anyone out that says otherwise, if I remember correctly.

Now we come to find that local telephone banking is about as frustrating as it gets, oh the surprise of it all!

Credibility rapidly diminishing.


Banking service overall in Dubai is a total joke. Best Airline, highest tower, great life, beautiful hotels, booming financial sector. A lot of flagship to be pride of!! But banking service is a total disgrace. Local banks, international banks same !!!


I'm afraid it is not only the phone banking that is terrible, it is the entire banking system, have you ever tried to deal with a bank face to face, the attitude is take it or leave it.. I'd rather be humiliated over then phone rather than face to face. The UAE needs professional bankers and not some imposters posing as bankers. The good thing is that they are all terrible so there is some consistency here.

Big Bad Dom

Agreed Patrick. In the UK I have telephone banked for 25 years, without ONE mistake, which is unprecedented. Here I have accounts with the 2nd largest Global Bank, who sends me mails to tell me I can download statements from my Internet Account that I cannot access. It has remained unresolved for 5 years! They only seem interested in new Customers I think? The other one, voted Best Regional Bank, has Internet Banking with glitches, and tele-markets me constantly, despite protests. When their Internet Banking failed to allow me to schedule an interest-free repayment for School Fees over time, I had to call the tele-banking, who then scheduled payments with interest! It is costing me thousands of Dirhams. They have argued and refused to correct the error, despite screen-shots of the website problems that prompted the phone call initially! Do I have to take this up with their regulator?! If recording your conversation is for "quality purposes", where is the quality?

Placid Rego

Telephone Banking & Customer Service in the UAE - It's a nightmare .


Absolutely 100% true. Its frustrating to answer their stupid security questions. The banks personnel are born with brain dead but with arrogance. My nationality in the banks books were shown as UAE, while the passport that I submitted while opening the account is Indian. Are they dumb to not even check this? How many ever times I repeatedly ask them, how is that possible when I have submitted my Indian passport, can be a UAE national? I am only a resident here... goes to dumb head. At last finally after big fights got it changed. They just hire some useless staff who speak like a machine, with one question only. Same with Etisalat also.

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