Posted on 23-09-2009

The world of customer service is truly an exciting experience, simply because it’s just so diverse. At some places you get the red-carpet treatment, and people will go out of their way to make sure that you’re happy and they’ve solved whatever problem you had. But some other places are run no better than a soup kitchen.

Take today’s scenario as an example. I’ve only realized recently that the SIM card that I’ve been using for the past 9 years is actually registered in my mum’s name. And since I want to get a data package added to it, I figured that the best thing to do would be to first get the SIM in my name. A quick call to the ever helpful support line and the person who answered my call calmly said that all I had to do was to get one of their forms signed by my mum, enter my details on it, and take a valid ID to their nearest branch to get it changed over to my name. So I did just that – got the forms signed, got her passport copy, got my original passport and ID cards, and headed down to the branch near my house. Sadly the clerk there said that my mum had to come and do the name change on my behalf, so the next day while I was at work she headed down where the clerk proceeded to tell her that it wasn’t necessary for her to come down, but I had to come instead as I was the new customer. He scribbled his signature of approval on the form, handed it back to my mum, and she handed it back to me in the evening. So mustering all my willpower, I headed back down to the branch and after a few minutes of waiting in line, I sat down at a counter to let the real fun begin.

Me: Hi – I need to submit a form for change of ownership for a SIM card (handing over form and documentation)
Clerk: In whose name?
Me: Oh it’s in my mum’s name at the moment, but I want to change it to my name.
Clerk: Where is she?
Me: My mum?
Clerk: Where is she?
Me: Er – she’s left for India for a month this morning
Clerk: She’s not here?
Me: No, she’s in India for a month
Clerk: But we need her to be here
Me: Well she came here already and whoever she spoke to said that I had to come down instead with my original documents – see the signature? (I point at the scrawl at the back of the form)
Clerk: But this sign is for you
Me: Sorry?
Clerk: This sign is mean that you have come
Me: I don’t understand…
Clerk: This sign means that you you have come here, but we need her to come here
Me: But she’s in India now and I need to get this changed under my name
Clerk: But I cannot, I need her to be here
Me: (slightly losing my mind) But she has ALREADY been here and the clerk said I have to be here
Clerk: Okay which number you want?
Me: This number (pointing at the form)
Clerk: You want SIM card?
Me: No, I just want the account in my name
Clerk: (starts typing away at the computer) Give me any phone number in your name
Me: I don’t have a phone number in my name
Clerk: You don’t have any number in your name?
Me: No
Clerk: Why?
Me: (blank look)
Clerk: (continues to type my information in) Okay, fifty dirhams
Me: (hands over money)
Clerk: Okay, now its done in your name
Me: Great – thanks. I also need to add a data package to it please?
Clerk: Now not possible
Me: Why?
Clerk: System must update, maybe take 24 hours, you come again and add data package, okay?


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