In reference to the front page business article One in five bank customers planning to switch providers (January 20), I am compelled to write and agree that the levels of product knowledge and lack of customer service are indeed frustrating. However, I doubt that 20 per cent of banking clients will actually change providers, due to the hassle factor and time involved. Banks know this. Sure, some customers will move, but I expect most will complain but stay at their existing provider, unhappily.
From personal experience, the banking system here in the UAE is eye opening, when compared to my native UK. Back home, everything was done online, over the telephone or through the ATM. It was almost never necessary to actually visit a branch. Having to go to the branch to do so much here and then having to queue for ages is frustrating to say the least. There are usually ample tellers, but just one person who deals with products, which causes a queue of customers.
We recently wanted to top up our loan, and the bank literature said it was as simple as a phone call. The person on the phone said we needed to go to the branch, but did not need to take any documentation with us. After waiting at the branch, we were given a list of documentation that we needed to return with. After following these instructions, we were told to wait two to three days to receive the top up monies in our account. After a week, we chased up the bank only to be told that actually they needed one more piece of documentation before they could process the monies. However, they had failed to inform us, which meant a further delay. We are still waiting to receive the funds.
Finally, the levels of customer service are questionable. I think that the banks need to re-evaluate their whole marketing communications strategy, including human resources and training. A consistent approach from the top level to the bottom will certainly improve the customer experience.
Jenny Hunt, Dubai
The US president Barack Obama risks international isolation and a failed presidency if he authorises an American veto against a United Nations Security Council resolution demanding the dismantling of all Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The European Union, Russia, China and a majority of the international community are all expected to vote for the resolution and to back the establishment of an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.
The American president will have to think very carefully indeed before emulating his predecessor, George W Bush, in appeasing Israel's policy of illegal expropriation of Palestinian land. To isolate America from its allies in Europe and around the world in order to appease Israeli expansion would almost ensure the first single-term presidency since George HW Bush in 1993.
John Kidd, UK
With reference to the news article India's Singh reshuffles cabinet (January 20), even though this decision is late, some new ministers may deliver better in the coming months.
Uttar Pradesh and Kerala has been given more prominence because the Congress Party wanted to concentrate more on the future of those states.
Still, the common man's problem of inflation was not addressed by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, though officials promised the inflation rate may come down in March. Earlier, they predicted inflation would come down in December 2010.
With all the scams and corruption allegations, the big question is: will the new reshuffling of the UPA cabinet win the people confidence? We have to wait and see.
K Ragavan, India
The article Jail house rocks (January 20) profiled the 10 greatest movies of the prison break genre, including The Great Escape and Escape from New York. Just out of curiosity, why are you glad that Gerard Butler did not do the remake of Escape from New York?
Why do you call him a "rom-com hero? He has only made two romantic comedies, but he has made six action movies including 300. I am not big on prison break movies anyway, although I liked The Great Escape.
Bonny Shirley, Abu Dhabi
The news article Travellers' aid for halal eating (January 19) described how the Dubai Municipality has issued a leaflet for air travellers listing common non-halal food items. This is a great initiative. A guide of halal food outlets and restaurants in each city, their grading based on quality, and how to reach them would be greatly beneficial.
AW Syed, Dubai