So, I know I’ve had Fadi Ghandour on my site back when it was on blogger. And I must say that I have nothing but respect for the guy. Both personally and the social contributions that Aramex, as a company, makes are inspiring. I heard him at TEDxRamallah and he was excellent. But here’s the thing, his company is sadly full of incompetent people. And that’s what breeds a hate-hate relationship for me. I’d love to find ANYTHING to love about them (and thus have a love-hate relationship), but as a customer, I just can’t.
Now, I have a much bigger hate-hate relationship with banks in Jordan, as I’m certain everyone knows. I’ve also had the founder’s daughter of one of the biggest banks in the Middle East comment when I’ve called them to task. The banks have complacent, rude employees who give a mediocre customer experience on a good day. When you team that with Aramex, well… let’s just say that I’m certain this is one of the 7 rings of hell. Really.
Each time we need to get new bank cards from my least favorite bank in Jordan (who ever thought that I would want a “local bank” when opening an account at an international one. Helloooooo, I want an international bank experience, not a Jordan one. Please not a Jordan one). At any rate, every SINGLE time our cards expire or need to be reissued I have issues. Not with the bank mind you. I have issues with delivery by Aramex. In the past, I finally asked the bank to simply have an English-speaking staff member call me to come pick up my card. That worked fine. But now, here we are again…
Due to some account changes, El 3atal and I need new cards. We went into the bank well before Christmas at the beginning of a 2 week stay in Amman for him. We were assured the new cards would come well before he left. They didn’t. Of course they didn’t. I have no idea whose fault this is and I had expected nothing less. When he had them issued, he confirmed 3 times (!) that if they came after he left, there would be no problem for me to sign for them. He was assured, three times, that since it’s a joint account and I have signing authority it would definitely not be a problem. Fast forward to yesterday (two days after El 3atal left, mind you).
I got a pleasant call from a nice girl at Aramex. She wanted to know how she could call Mr. 3atal. I explained that he was out of the country. Oh, no. She wanted to deliver his new bank cards (one of them ought to be mine as well, I’m pretty sure but let’s leave that aside for the moment). They can only deliver them to him personally and he must sign for them himself. So, when will he be back. I then told her, I have no idea, maybe a couple of weeks, maybe a month. Oh, then they will have to return the cards to the bank. Of course they will… of course.
After this little spiel, I attempted to explain to her that the bank had assured us that I could sign for the cards. I asked her to call the bank to check. Apparently, such a phone call is impossible. She was firm and adamant that no, she couldn’t call the bank and she couldn’t have me receive the cards. OK? I will admit that while my patience was very limited from the beginning of the call, this put me far past the limit. I was rather unkind in explaining to her that she should never end a negative statement with OK? It, in fact, isn’t OK. OK? is asking for agreement. If I say to you, let’s go to Chili’s for dinner, OK? That implies that I either a) agree or b) have another option. When I asked her, so with your OK, is there another option, she replied that of course there was not. There was, in fact, no way at all that she could be of any help whatsoever. I explained that in the future, if she is unable to assist in any way, she should not say OK. She should simply inform the customer that here is the problem, she can’t do anything to resolve it, and the bank will contact the customer.
Understand that I have sympathy for her. I know people who do customer service training in Jordan. They are as clueless as those who perform as customer services reps. So, I am certain this young lady has neither the authority to actually assist the customer nor the understanding (or perhaps interest) that she should think of a way to help. I also get that the bank of my (un)choice has rules and has not exactly been clear with their partner. But honestly, by calling my telephone with no solutions and no assistance all she did was waste my time.
And when I realized that my card should be in there and tried to call back to find out, the number listed left me talking to another nice girl who was not only helpless, but then actually managed to disconnect me. So, no resolution and a hang-up.
If this were a one-off, I would be merely a tad miffed. But this is a consistent issue. It happens every single time we need bank cards. It happens every single time we order via shop and ship (a year later I finally got one order and two months after that they tried to make me pay for someone else’s order). When we worked with them in the past to have their delivery folks take invoices to customers and return with checks, they didn’t get it right a single time. Not once. Out of probably 20 opportunities. I ended up hiring a taxi driver to go to each location and manage it. He got it right. Makes you wonder…
So, from now on I will be forcing my opinion on this one. It always seems to be me dealing with the incompetence and I’m done with it. If the bank needs to get something to me, they can call me and tell me its ready at their location. Because frankly, the 20 minutes I spent trying to get both young ladies to think through whether they could actually help in any way and the annoyance I experienced that lasted after are not worth it. I’ll never get that time back. And if I have to choose, I’d rather spend my time parking in a crowded area and dealing with incompetent bank employees because at the end of it all, at least I’d have some resolution. As it was, I’m just frustrated and will still have to go and deal with the bank. So, thanks, but no thanks. Please don’t deliver anything to my door because if there’s one thing I know, it’s this: They won’t get it right. Not even once. Save me from incompetent service providers and their incompetent partners, please. I haven’t got the patience to be nice…