Monday, December 09, 2013

Invoice in the wilderness

NOT a Business Centre
“That’s curious: this month, Itisalot’s online billing system seems to have gone wrong.”

The Crumbling Villa typically generates about AED50 a month in international phone calls made on the land line. Other calls are made, but these are on pre-paid mobile accounts. Why is an unprecedented five-fold increase in IDD calls this month coupled with an inability of Itisalot to itemise the bill?

Is it the housemaid making long calls to Sri Lanka? Probably not. Is it Beloved Wife liaising at length with retailers in the USA who are incapable of understanding that 95% of their potential customer base doesn’t have a US ZIP code? More likely.

I phoned Itisalot’s Helpless Desk on 101 and explained that this month, and this month only, the International Direct Dialled phone calls were not itemised. After a long waste of oxygen, electricity, and everyone’s time, the guy on the Helpless Desk agreed to email the call breakdown to me. He then chose instead to email a form to fill in to apply for an itemised bill, which would have to be taken to an Itisalot Business Centre with copies of Passport, Visa, ID card, National Cycling Proficiency Certificate, and Little Orphan Annie Decoder Ring. I’m disinclined to do this, primarily because the service has already been applied for and, up until last month, works.

I dropped into Itisalot’s outlet at Mirdif City Centre to sort out the problem. No, they couldn’t help; I’d have to go to a Business Centre. These, I was assured, are all over the UAE. They’re easily identifiable because they each have an oversized golf ball on the roof. I’d have to take an ID card, official NOC letter, passport and visa copy, attested inside-leg measurement, hoofprints…

This is not entirely true. The golf ball near Trade Centre Roundabout does not surmount a Business Centre, the only place to go is in Deira, and how unreasonable it is of me not to know this. 

So I went into the Deira Business Centre and, after queuing for half an hour, explained my difficulty. Clearly, because Itisalot can total up and invoice the value of last month’s International Call Charges Charges [sic] then Itisalot must have a record of the calls. But no: owing to a problem in upgrading the software, the breakdown is Not Coming In Dubai. More specifically, “No Call Details for the selected Account and period.”

But Itisalot is adamant that the call breakdown is not available. “Definitely within two days,” I was told, with all the confidence of an Itisalot employee who’s heard so much propaganda about how wonderful the organisation she works for is that she believes Itisalot's hubris, and was mortified when her confidence was questioned by a world-weary Goat who has heard such hollow promises repeated before.

Maybe next month I should display the same lackadaisical attitude to payment as Itisalot does to itemised billing.

Edited 10 December to note that the Itisalot website has changed again, and the itemised bill has at last appeared. It was indeed within two days; pity it was ten days late. 


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