Over the past few months, I've seen the amount that I owe the internet service provider increasing. Every month have been paying the bill through my bank on the internet. Yet, when the bill comes, I it hasn't been credited. I haven't been thinking much about it since the bill usually arrives a few days after the due date. I just figured that the previous month's payment arrived after the billing cycle.
When I finally got this month's bill, I saw that I still owed for three months. Companies here don't seem to be too bothered about late payments, but when they cut off service, they do so without warning. This past February, after being reassured many times that I shouldn't worry about never having received an electricity or water bill for six months, service was cut. (Click here for that saga.) There seems to be an attitude of, "Don't worry, it will happen," but unless you doggedly pursue things like this they can blow up in your face.
When I called Etisalat, the internet and phone company, they told me that they have not been receiving the payments that my bank has been electronically deducting from my account. After a few minutes, the service representative informed me that because I added phone service to my internet service, my account number has changed. Over the past several months, I have been making payments to an account with no service attached to it. Apparently, with the dozen or so phone calls and emails Etisalat has given me asking me to change to a service that I already switched to, no one at the company thought to contact me to inform me that I've been paying money into the wrong account.
The operator told me that I would have to go to an Etisalat office to transfer the credits into my new account. Today, after waiting for a half an hour at the office, I went through the procedure of transferring the money I have been paying in my name to an another account in my name. Once finished, the service representative told me that the payments will be credited to my new account in a mere two weeks. This is a perfect example of fine Emirati efficiency at work.