ravings, rantings and ramblings
Emirates claims that they unite people. Only if they had a little united communication, it would have saved me a frazzled Saturday.
I wanted to buy tickets and procure visa for my parents. I had got my documents in place and that included an Arabic salary certificate that I got done painstakingly from a Malbari typing centre. I kept checking my progress with the ever-helpful Emirates staff. They were indeed very courteous and helpful as they hand-held me with all my requirements. And so, I set out on a sunny and humid Saturday to Dnata SZR for the needful.
At the booking office, I was discouraged saying that visa services do not work on Saturdays. Imagine my surprise, when days back, I was told by one of those courteous and helpful voices on phone that I could get tickets and visa done on Saturday.
Any refusal on visa matters, deals a heavy blow. It is a very expat thing. I decided to call the Emirates staff back again to clarify. The IVRS lady reiterated that calls maybe recorded for training purposes. I hoped so, as I waited to be served. And now started a series of wonderfully varied answer to one query – where and when can I get my parents visa done?
Sat, call 01: the woman informed me that visa services do not run on Saturdays. Only weekdays from 9 till 2. I noticed the sign at the booking office that said 9 till 3. I decided not to pick on that.
Sat, call 02: Gentleman on the other end asks me to go another office near the Emirates HQ, near the Dubai airport as my residence visa was issued outside Dubai. Assured me, it would be done if my documents were in place. I rattled off the documents I possessed and he reassured me that I was good to go.
Sat, call 03: somewhere in my mind, I decided to call again. The stylish gentleman told me that I could get visa done at Dnata SZR. He went on to give me a quick lesson that visas are issued for a country and not city. The fact that my visa was issued at an Emirate other than Dubai didn’t matter. I was told that I could get my parents visa procured from anywhere in Dubai and / or UAE. Graciously, I was given an example that there aint a London visa or an Oxford visa. It is always a UK visa. Enlightened.
Suddenly, the outside day temperature was getting to me despite my car air-con. To all my counter-questions, I was encouraged to get tickets and visa for my parents from where I wanted. To this particular phone call, I did hope that my call was being recorded for training purposes.
I was quite exasperated at being lobbed out (like ping-pong) with each phone call. Every voice had a well-informed tonality. If, only!
I decided to make one last call after I reached home that hot Saturday.
Sat, call 04: Thankfully, the gentleman who answered my call, laid down the details, thread-bare. With my visa issued outside Dubai, the protocol was different. I was told where I could go to get it done. Closure.
I was very disappointed by my experience with Emirates. The fact that there was no certainty of information was rather disconcerting. Something that one doesn’t expect from a company that has shaped up so wonderfully well.
So, the feedback card reads:
Service with a smile – 4/5
Relevant information – 1/5