Etisalat, you've done it again - only, not to me this time.

I (surprisingly) have a couple of posts coming up that involve AWESOME service, here in the UAE.

I’ve been pretty fair in my past posts and actively avoid being too gushy about places I like... but a couple of things have happened over the last week or so that have left me gobsmacked.

Seriously good service by companies that obviously take looking after their customers very seriously indeed.

I was about to post said somethings when I was contacted with another Etisalat horror story that was simply too good to miss out on.

A gentleman by the name of Scott (but for anonymity’s sake we’ll call him, Mr S... err.. wait... never mind) sent me an email, obviously having seen the joy that was the internet saga that The Bayt Al Abudhabilist had experienced recently (see posts Waiting for Etisalat - 13 days and counting and Etisalat - the epilogue) he thought he’d contact me with his current experience... here’s the truncated email:

“We now have a fourth complaint number after they failed to show for the second time yesterday.  This dates back to the 9th May although we haven’t had the internet for over a month now – I thought this was on the basis of not paying the bill but apparently not

Prior to this I made numerous calls to their IT helpdesk to try and fix the fact that the wireless element of their service didn’t work

Current compliant number is xxxxxx – this was raised cob yesterday and I await a call

Previous compliant number was xxxxxx2 – after speaking to the engineer personally on Monday afternoon we agreed that he would meet me at my house at 4pm yesterday to fix the problem – he didn’t show and Etisalat claim that  complaint number was cancelled on account that they couldn’t contact me

Prior complaint number to that xxxxx3 – again after speaking to the Engineer personally they were supposed to visit my house at 9.30am on Saturday morning and guess what – he didn’t show and Etisalat claim that the complaint number was cancelled on account they couldn’t contact me

Previous complaint number xxxxx4– don’t ask

Apparently they claim they send me messages in English although everything I get from them is in Arabic including complaint number cancellations!

They don’t start work until 10.30am making any form of early morning appointment impossible

They seem incapable of understanding my specific instructions in respect to their wasting their OWN time turning up unannounced as we both work, so there will unless arranged there will be nobody there- we both work.

With this in mind I made two appointments which theyfailed to keep

Apart from this complaints number procedure that doesn’t appear to work there is no other process to escalate a complaint

Amateurs – the conversation with them yesterday end with me threatening to rip the estisalat equipment off the wall coming to their offices and inserting it somewhere that might do some good... or better than it is doing me at least.

So - you see? How can I NOT post it.?..

Etisalat’s system works fine if every single cog in the machine falls in to place - but like all things ONE cog decides it isn’t going to perform its duty and it all falls in a frustrating, blood pressure raising, force-one-to-hard-liquor mess.

It also sounds like the people at the front line of the system are beaten down so much by the immense onslaught of customer complaints that they simply take the path of least resistance, they actively try to resolve THEIR problem - that of getting an irate customer off the phone so that they can get on with their next call - rather than the CUSTOMER’S problem - paying for a service that cannot be reliably supplied and are feeling no support from...

...AND if they really hate their job (who can blame them?) the ‘customer service’ folk have the potential to make things very difficult indeed.

Like not changing a customer’s file to information that might assist the customer - like “Customer must receive texts in English” for instance.

I’ve said it before, and will continue to say it: I completely understand that the management of data infrastructure and hardware and assets must be a huge job, one that I am sure would be beyond me.

Beyond me because it isn’t my job.

It IS however Etisalat’s job, they are a company that is paid to service this small country’s data and telephony requirements.

Sometimes they get it right, unfortunately (as you’d see from comments in the other posts) they get it horribly wrong too.

There has to be a better way. Or better people. Or better companies - should they ever be allowed in.

I am certain that lack of competition and accountability makes some companies complacent, this is one of those instances.

Have issues with your phone or data? Please feel free to shoot an email to me if you feel the need to vent OR simply leave a comment …

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Andrew Webber is a writer, living in Abu Dhabi with his wife, two cats and two dogs.

His first book "Erasure" was published in June 2012 and was followed in 2013 by the Prequel to Erasure, "Broken".

In 2016 Erasure was a prize winner in the Montegrappa Writing Prize - part of the Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature.

For more information click the "Erasure" book cover on the left side of this site, or simply go to

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