x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

Call for a change to customer relations

Problems with internet and questions about the ID card and court procedures.

Currently, I am signed up with du's iPhone bundle, in which I receive free internet every month for Dh50. For the month of July, I was charged Dh2,000 and they disconnected my line. I had contacted the call centre and complained about this on August 8 and I was told I would be getting a reply in seven days. But still the problem has not been resolved. Whenever I call to check on the status, I'm told that I will get a call back in two hours, but they never call. It has been more than 21 days, but I have had no joy and no one seems ready to take responsibility for my case. I'm thinking about cancelling all my du numbers and am very dissatisfied. Can you get them to deal with my problem?

MAAbu Dhabi 

This issue took a total of 31 days to resolve - poor service by any standards - and MA is still unhappy with du as he feels badly treated by them. A company spokesperson stated: "We regret the inconvenience caused. Having conducted a thorough investigation in the matter, we are glad to inform that the error in the customer's billing system has been amended." The company has promised him a refund, but MA would still like a senior member of du staff to contact him to apologise and explain why there was such a major problem and why it took so long to resolve .

My brother was sentenced in a real-estate case to six months imprisonment with a fine of Dh1.5 million and deportation on completion of his term. He has paid the fine amount and the sentence will come to an end in the next two months. I would like to know if there is any way of getting the deportation removed. We are Indian nationals, but we were born and brought up in Dubai. My parents and my entire family have been living in Dubai for over 30 years and we consider Dubai as our second home. We have no family in India and therefore my brother has no place to return to if he is deported. I would really appreciate if you could help us find some solution to this problem and help my brother to continue his life here. 

SM Dubai

Once the courts have issued a sentence, such matters can really only be handled through legal channels. You could ask your brother's lawyers to launch an appeal to ask for the sentence to be overturned on the grounds that he has served his time, has paid a large fine and all his family is in Dubai, but there will be significant costs attached to this and no guarantee of success. Is it necessary to have the Emirates ID card to sell an Abu Dhabi registered car? I am planning on selling my car shortly, but am being given conflicting information. 

AAAbu Dhabi

As it is still not yet compulsory for all expats to have an Emirates ID card, it is not essential that the card be shown on either the sale or purchase of a vehicle. It has been announced that cards will be mandatory by the end of this year, so it is likely that they must be shown at the time of any legal transaction thereafter. 

I am currently employed by a medium-sized company, based in Sharjah, with the title of "clerk", although I don't work in an office. When I arrived in the UAE, my employer provided me with a contract that we both signed. According to this contract, I have to work eight hours daily and will not work more than 48 hours a week. But unfortunately, when I started working in this new branch earlier this year, my new supervisor insists that I often work at least 10 hours a day without overtime pay. He says that I am a supervisor so no extra pay is required, although I do not manage anyone. What does the Labour Law say about my situation? Is it true that a supervisor position will not receive any overtime pay? Can they force me to work on a Friday, as they say that I must do this? I heard from other employees that if I complain, the manager can see to it that I do not get paid, but can this be legal if it happens? 

JPSharjah

According to the UAE Labour Law, the maximum working day for any adult is eight hours a day, or 48 hours a week. Only those persons who hold executive or administrative supervisory positions are expected to work longer hours without additional pay and I would not expect JP to fall into these categories. If an employee works additional hours, then they are entitled to overtime pay of at least their standard pay, plus an additional amount of not less than 25 per cent extra. If, however, these additional hours are worked between 9pm and 4am, then the additional pay must be no less than 50 per cent of the basic pay. Overtime should not exceed an additional two hours a day. If an employee is asked to work on a Friday, then they are legally entitled to take a rest day in lieu at a later date, or to be paid their standard wage plus at least an additional 50 per cent for the hours worked. It seems that JP is owed monies by his employer for the additional hours he has been working and he has the right to take his case to the Ministry of Labour if the company refuses to pay. A company may not stop paying an employee just because they feel like it and any company that does so is breaking the law and should be reported.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai. Write to her at keren@holbornassets.com with queries for this column or for advice on any other financial planning matter. Letters can also be sent to onyourside@thenational.ae