Planning on opening an account with QNB? Read my story.

First of all let me say that there are people in QNB that I adore. I think that they are amazing people, but I only wish that the whole organization acted the way that they do. There’s no way I’m keeping this bottled in. Qatar National Bank is a STUPID bank. Now I’ve ALREADY got an account with them, but every time I wanted to check if transfers were made, I had to drive to a branch, wait in a que, then ask for a print out. Why? Because they don’t give you internet banking by default, you have to apply for it, and at the time of joining them they didn’t TELL me that I had to apply for it.

So I finally decided that I was going to get online banking. I stepped into a bank and asked for the service. The man behind the counter told me that I could just register online at home. “Are you sure?”, I asked. “Yes of course”, he replied. So I went home and tried to register. [Please enter your atm number]. I don’t have an ATM card for my companies account… So I finally decide to go back to the bank again and explain the lovely situation I was in. The fun begins. Read the rest of this entry »

Apple cancels orders – No more Aramex :(

Oh Apple why do you do this to me? Where’s the company that inspired us all to ‘Think Different’. If an Apple employee ever reads this, shrugs, and says “Yeah right”; it’ll be a true tragedy.

So I had ordered some iPads from the US store to be sent back home to me here in Doha. Most stores don’t send internationally, so Aramex’s Shop&Ship’s service comes in handy. For those that don’t know Aramex, it’s basically the Arabian FedEx, but more importantly, it’s our link to the West’s fantastic world of shopping.

What Shop&Ship gives you is a US and UK address so that you can order stuff online, send it to your new address and they’ll forward it off to you.

Sadly though! After ordering everything for the Apple store, I just received an email telling me that they don’t ship to P.O.Boxes OR Forwarders. They also told me that I had a day to change the address or the order would be cancelled. What’s more, they’re enforcing a ‘two per person’ policy.

*sighs* why oh why.

Anyway, so I posted on twitter and facebook that I needed a US address and luckily I had 9 people offer to help out. (Thanks everyone!) but the point is, I’m almost tempted to just cancel my order and give up on Apple…

*twiddles thumbs*

Edit: Want an iPad shipped to Qatar or anywhere?! Visit www.shipmypad.com and grab an iPad. (It’s around 1,000 QR cheaper than most shops in Qatar.

The QNB Story

73910-QNB_new_logoSo let me start this off by saying that I worked with a great team. I worked for a subsidiary of QNB. Independent (to an extent), challenging, and did I mention that there were great people to work with?

My issue is probably with the bank itself in ‘essence’. I cannot find fault with most people (note I said most). However since joining, there was always the feeling of confusion, no not from my end, but from QNB itself. Nobody really knew what they were doing completely; I talk about the people I interacted with of course and this post is only meant to highlight my experience.

What made the experience a bit sad was that QNB actually treated staff worse than customers. Now if the level of service given to customers is quite low, you can only imagine what staff get. No special rates, hardly any exceptions, processes are a bit more difficult and you have to pick up your account debit card 4 months after you apply in a leaky toilet under head office. Alright so I made the last one up, but that’s how it feels.

After quitting, I decided to take the professional route and stay a month in order to take care of the work left over and to ensure that the projects (and clients) that I had on my plate were completed and/or handed over professionally; after all, that is the right thing to do. Many Qataris simply leave the next day, but oh no, I had to let morals get in the way. It was a foolish mistake.

I had left to Japan when I had the lovely surprise of seeing that my cards were canceled. Yep, I had a month left, went on leave for a few days only to find that I couldn’t use my cards half way through. After returning to Qatar, I saw that I couldn’t use any of my cards! Calling up customer service was of no help because they simply said they didn’t know what the problem was.

So I waited a bit over a week and then finally decided that I didn’t want to have my money in a hidden account and went off to the main branch to set up a new account. They gave me a few papers to sign, signed them, and left with the card. Not bad, I get a debit card on the spot. The next few days didn’t go on too well since it took a while for it to link up to my online banking. It was a hassle, I had to create a new account and transfer funds, but it was over and done with. The end of the month came and my team gave me a nice lunch to say goodbye. That’s pretty nice.

Last pay and I’m out of there. Nope. No pay. Yep no pay for me. QNB didn’t put me on the pay roll. They told me that they would pay my salary 21 days after I quit. Wait what?! I have a mortgage to pay… I worked for a whole month for what? To get paid two months later? I tried called the AGM since he was a friend but he was on vacation for 3 weeks.

So I send off an email to a person I considered a friend at HR and ask him to please ‘help a brutha out man!’ He was always friendly to me, and in fact, he told me to call on him if I ever needed help. I explained the situation and got an reply “Isn’t this your signature”, with an attachment to an account cancellation form. The form was dated the 19th! They canceled my account BEFORE I signed that form. I was GIVEN that form when I created a new account! Plus canceling my original account is against policy! It should have been converted to a customer account… Guess they follow policy when it suits them.

I explained that to him and he cced in someone saying “please follow up”. Nice…. thanks Qatari bro. You really helped me out there. //end sarcasm. So the guy (who also works in QNB HR) goes an reactivates my old account… no I don’t want my old account reactivated… Just send my salary to the new one… No he can’t do that… So Saturday comes a long and I get a text that my account is 10+k overdrawn. What? Wasn’t my account reactivated so that I could get my salary and now I’m overdrawn?

The geniuses reactivated an empty account which automatically charged me an ‘empty account’ fee, then charged me some sort of interest, and then pulled out the mortgage. To make matters worse, the mortgage statement didn’t even reflect that! What the hell?!

So the office manager sends an email to HR on my behalf asking them to please sort this out. What does she get as a reply? “It’s a customer account now so it’s not our business. Let him go to main branch.”. What the F~~~~~ I don’t even want to waste a badword on them.

So now I have to go BACK to the main branch, get them to waive these fees and sort crap out. How nice of them! Who wants to bet I’ll be speaking to someone who either a) doesn’t care or b) ‘can’t do anything because it’s out of his hands’.

Moral? Sometimes you just can’t be too nice…  *sighs* No regrets from leaving a bank that couldn’t at least show me an inch of compassion. I guess I stayed as long as I did because of a few reasons, the CEO was an interesting person, one of the GM’s was a supporting individual, and I met some amazing staff at the bank. It’s thanks to them that I cannot say that all my time was a waste.

Note: Let there be no misunderstanding. My time in my line of work was great. I learned from my team, I managed to work on fantastic and amazingly huge transactions, and I was able to get a new understanding for the way the banking ‘game’ is played, it’s just that I wish things went a bit easier. We return to that classic sentence which is meant to be words of support but often get considered words of despair “Life’s not easy”.

Gaza: A Qatari’s View

I’m sure that many will agree that what’s going on in Gaza is disgusting. A lot of Arabs feel that the world turns a blind eye when Israel masacres innocent people, but scream terrorism when any Palestinian defends himself.

Don’t get me wrong, most don’t support Hamas. Most support the idea of freedom and being able to practice their faith as they like. The argument there is, ‘but there are those that abuse religion or have their own extreme or twisted views”. Yes that’s right, so how about we democratically target those areas and lead a new wave of tolerance?

“Only God can judge me”, yet we live in a society where people judge each other.
“God will lead you into a life of happiness with your partner (wife)”, yet some individuals feel it is necessary to control who you marry.
“Pray 5 times a day”, but some walk out with a frozen heart.

There’s a lot of hypocracy, there is no doubt about it, but we live in a world that’s supposed to try and find solutions by using the brain that God gave us.

Solving the problem with gun’s blazing; just a moment… I’m getting a hint of dejavu..; is wrong and anyone who stays silent doesn’t care about living in a peacefull democracy.

The Jews asked for an apology for the genocide that was sadly afflicted onto their people, yet they mass murder now in the thousands of innocent Muslims.

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Photo by Muhammed Basheer

I’m proud of the fact that there are so many in Qatar that want to make it visible that they stand against the killing of the innocent.

iLoveQatar.net says “I Love World”

Oh and quite recently Brazil has been helping out Palestine! Way to go Brazil!

Click here for more

Lexus Qatar still sucks

Time to use some strong words here… I… LOATHE… Lexus Qatar.

So I went to them to fix my front bumper and hand in some documents. They told me they’d order the bumper, spray it all up and then call me so they could do it on the spot. Wow! That’s pretty good!

So I called up the next day to see what was going on (it was a Monday). The man tells me “give it three days, you kow what, in three days it’s Thursday, just give us the weekend too and we’ll call you on Sunday”. Wtf? Fine, I’ll give you until Sunday. Sunday comes.. nothing… I call… I get the typical ‘tomorrow, the bumper hasn’t been sprayed yet’. Wtf? Next day comes and I get a call 15 minutes before they close telling me to bring the car in. Read the rest of this entry »

Freedom of Expression

    Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which the Qatari Government is a signatory of states: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any medias and regardless of any frontiers.

    The Emiri Decision Number 86 of the year 2007 on the establishment of the Doha Free Information Centre marked yet another step towards establishing a State of rights and freedom of speech. The decision stipulated that the Centre be a non-profit organization, headquartered in Doha City, and have the authority to establish other affiliated centres inside and outside Qatar. It is worth mentioning that His Highness the Emir issued a decision in 1998 annulling the ministry of information, giving birth to a new era of freedom of speech where censorship was removed from local media.