Tuesday, 4 August 2009

The Doha Runaround

From: Rizzajane Cruz
Sent: 01 August 2009 14:34
To: will
Subject: online uk us address
Dear Mr.Will,

Thank you for subscribing to Shop&Ship Mailbox service. You can now enjoy shopping from any online store and have your favorite items delivered straight to you.
Simply use the below US mailing address when ordering from any US website. This is your own personal US shipping address.
Kindly submit your id card copy to complete your profile
________________________________________
From: Will
Sent: Saturday, August 01, 2009 4:17 PM
To: Rizzajane Cruz
Subject: RE: online uk us address

Great thank you. What do you mean by ID Card Copy?

Regards, Will
________________________________________
From: Rizzajane Cruz
Sent: 01 August 2009 15:24
To: Will
Subject: RE: online uk us address

Hi sir good afternoon,

You are most welcome...

I need the copy of any valid id card, just send it here so I can put it in your file, in order for you to use your account continuously.

Have a good day!

________________________________________
From: Will
Sent: Saturday, August 01, 2009 10:19 PM

To: Rizzajane Cruz
Subject: RE: online uk us address

Sorry but why do you need this?
Do you have a fax number I can send to?
Thanks, Will
________________________________________
2009/8/2 Rizzajane Cruz
Hi sir good morning,
We need your ID card for reference, to complete your profile, and also you can send it through our fax # 450 6622.
Thanks,
Rizza
________________________________________
From: Will
Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 1:13 PM
To: Rizzajane Cruz
Subject: Re: online uk us address
Ok, I'll fax it. Is that a local Qatar number?

thanks, Will
________________________________________
2009/8/2 Rizzajane Cruz
Not only sir the # but the copy of any valid id card.

________________________________________
From: Will
Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 2:54 PM
To: Rizzajane Cruz
Subject: Re: online uk us address
I don't understand.

So is the fax number in Qatar? Or not?
________________________________________
2009/8/2 Rizzajane Cruz

That’s our fax #, just send your id card copy,
Thanks..
________________________________________
From: Will
Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 3:07 PM
To: Rizzajane Cruz
Subject: Re: online uk us address
What is the full fax number including international dialling code?
________________________________________
2009/8/2 Rizzajane Cruz
We need your ID card for reference, to complete your profile, and also you can send it through our fax # 450 6622.

+974
________________________________________
From: Will
Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 3:26 PM
To: Rizzajane Cruz
Subject: Re: online uk us address

So it is a local Qatar fax number, that's all I wanted to know. Thank you.
________________________________________
2009/8/2 Rizzajane Cruz

Yes sir, because you registered here in Qatar..

You are most welcome…

Friday, 3 July 2009

Qatar Airways - Quite Awful more like

I'm writing this from the airport - I should have been on a flight 2 hours ago but I'm now waiting for the next one to the UK so I'll use this additional time to vent my spleen about Qatar Airways atrocious policies and customer service.

I booked a return flight to the UK a couple of months ago, on a UK credit card. Nothing too unusual about that I hear you say. Well I just so happened to lose my wallet (with all credit cards, driving license, etc.) last time I was in the UK. There were no issues with leaving the UK without it - I mean, why would there be?

So I try to check in this morning, but the checkin staff say they need my credit card. I say I've lost it. They say they need the number. I say I've lost it. People lose cards. That's why they're made of cheap plastic - because they're replaceable. Nowhere anywhere else in the world with any other airline have I run into this problem. I talk to the supervisor, she gruffly says there's nothing she can do. I talk to the sales counter - they say they need the number, or I can buy a new ticket.

No here's the rub. I'm heading back to the UK to get married. One of the last things I did was send as much money as possible back to the UK because we've got caterers, bands, and bar bills to pay. Anyway - why should I need to buy a new ticket? I've already bought one. They have the receipt. I have the receipt. The system says it's paid for. My identity is confirmed by my passport. I just do not understand why they need the original credit card as well? Seriously, what moron at Qatar Airways thought this one up?

They say maybe they can make an exception if I'm a privilege card member - and I am - but only if I've got silver or gold status. FFS! I'm heading to the UK to get married! I need to be on a flight today! You can make an exception for other people, but not for me?! Qatar Airways has a shitload to learn about customer service. I've only been out here a few months and was planning on always travelling to the UK with them - but never again! I'll bet you BA wouldn't dream up this Kafkaesque nightmare.

So I speak to my bank in the UK, and after explaining to them the absurd situation I find out my old credit card number, which I duly present to the sales desk. 'No, no' they say - 'we need the actual card'. Ok, you can imagine I'm pretty annoyed by this time but try to keep it together - after all they're the ones standing in the way of my ticket home. I ask how I'm supposed to present them with a lost credit card, when it's been lost. The very definition of lost means - gone, vanished, disappeared, unobtainable! I don't have it.

More phone calls. Nothing they can do. 'It's not me sir, it's the airline policy'. I get buffeted between the sales team and the checkin desks. No can do. You'd have thought I was asking to fly for free! Or without a passport! Absolutely madness. I can't even phone a friend up and get them to pay - because they need a physical card presented at checkin!

Finally I do some sums and figure out that I have just enough on my debit card and cash to pay for a new ticket. I'm told I can get a refund on the previous one. Minus the no-show fee of course. I am just about to fly into a rage at this point, but what can I do? I need to get home. If I had more money on me, or any other cards (they're waiting for me back in England) I would have told them to get fucked and bought a ticket with BA. So I wring out my pockets and scrape together enough to cover the cost. Not a small sum might I add. Arguing about the refund will have to wait for another day.

Although, in order to get the refund of course I need a letter from my bank, saying they cancelled my card, containing the card number and details about the Qatar Airways transaction in order to prove it wasn't fradulent. I'm sure my bank will laugh me out onto the street with that one. But at least I know you can reason with a UK company.

And so, the saga finally ended and they gratiously allowed me to get on a new flight. 5 star service? Only if those 5 stars stand for amateurish, unprofessional, dismal, bureacratic and total shit.

p.s. I might be not quite in the mood for the pub later, or very much in the mood. Today could go either way really. Does anyone fancy picking me up from the airport? I'm on QR001 to Heathrow...

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Ok blog time

Right, I haven't updated in a while due to manicness of travelling and work but don't fret, I'm still alive and well. Only 2 weeks to the wedding now and I think just about everything is organised, at least that's what Jenny tells me and since I wholeheartedly trust her I'll go with that. My trip back home was busy to say the least, but I got a chance to check out the venue, which is lovely, so it should be a great day. All I really need to do now is figure out what I'm supposed to say in my speech. I don't want to ramble on for too long as we've got 2 best man speeches to go through, but it seems like I have to thank the world and his dog, as well as be funny and charming at the same time. Hmmm. Don't hold your breathes guys.

I'm flying back to the UK on Friday - but with no Jenny to meet me at the airport :( She's busy sunning herself in the South of France but I don't begrudge her as she's been great organising everyone so deserves a rest. I'm hoping the flight home will be less bumpy than the last one or else I might be a bag of nerves by the time I land. I'm also hoping that this time I don't lose my wallet - with all my cards, resident permit and driving licenses in it. Actually I can't - because I haven't got replacements for everything yet. I've been to the police station twice already and need to go again in the morning as they need all sorts of documentation, and that's without getting to the driving license part.

I think visiting home has made me a bit homesick. It was so nice to see England at it's best - in the summer sunshine. And catching up with friends only served to show what's missing out here, as nice as the people I've met are they're still no substitute for friends who've known you for years. I'm sure I'll feel a lot better when Jenny comes out - I just hope we get on as well out here as we did back home. Oh well, pub quiz tomorrow - that should be a laugh - hopefully we'll do better than last month's atrocious 15th place or whatever it was.

I'm officially an employee now as I've passed my probation so it'll be good to now really get into things and push things in the right direction. If only I wasn't so distracted by homesickness and wedding preparations. I think people have noticed I've not been going out as much, but when I get back next month I'll get back into the social swing of things.

No other great news to report...Other than I bought a Pure internet radio - wholeheartedly recommended - and I'm getting strangely drawn to provincial English county radio. It's a damn sight better than the one English language radio station out here - that is in French for half the day! Oh, and my salary is dropping rapidly due to the strong pound (or weak dollar). Pah. Still considerably more than I'd get in the UK though, and anyway, money wasn't the only reason for coming out here.

Things I need to bring back from England next trip - sharp cooking knife (can't find a decent knife any where - want to get another Victorinox one), Molton Brown manly stuff, DVD player (we've got two so no point buying another) and a pair of trousers for my Hugo Boss suit that I ruined (although unlikely the shop will have it since it was last year's).

Monday, 25 May 2009

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Round up

I’m writing this from the resident’s pool. The sun’s gone behind the tower and it’s only a balmy 39 degrees. There are a total of 2 other people at the pool (excluding Jenny) so to say it’s exceedingly pleasant is an understatement. Almost universally this seems to ring true for everything out here. Last night I went for a birthday meal at Chingara – an Indian restaurant in the Ramada Hotel. There were 11 of us, Indian and English (and Irish I suppose), the food and drinks were plentiful and delicious, there was a live band playing traditional Indian music and I even got an unexpected pressie – a beautiful bejewelled marble clock. I’m sure not everything here is as easy or enjoyable as the last couple of months have proved, but I’ll soak it up while I can.

 

It’s great having Jenny here, it’s true when they say happiness is better shared. I’ve decided that everyone visiting will get the VIP treatment once at the airport – this is provided by Al Maha Guest Services, who wait for you when you get off the plane and then go and sort out the visa while you relax in their lounge with a drink, before whisking you past the lengthy immigration queues. Jenny was quite impressed. Possibly not as impressed as by the Four Seasons brunch in the morning. Four hours of frankly excessive over-consumption, laced with wine and cocktails. Followed by more cocktails and wine until way after the sun went down. I think I’m in danger of spoiling her.

 

Work’s still busy, but still enjoyable. I think I’m likely to pass my probation, they seem to think what I’m doing is good, so I’m glad about that. We’ve had the last couple of weekends off which I’m even happier about. Some downtime is finally allowing me to catch up with a few things, such as wedding plans with Jenny, and phone calls that I’ve been meaning to make for a while. They might have to wait a little longer though as we’re off out soon for shisha with the helpdesk and ops guys. It’s a tough life.

 

 

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Very true

http://www.qatarliving.com/node/464456

All the locals drive Landcruisers...