Monday, October 20, 2014


The Goat was recently issued with a new credit card. The previous one, which had worked faultlessly for several years, was now deemed by the bank not to be secure enough, and so a new one with an embedded chip was issued to replace it.

The Goat has hardly used the new super-secure card. He rented a car from AVIS, he paid a month's rent at a major Doha hotel complex, and he paid a couple of phone bills over at Itisalot. He has certainly never used the card to buy anything from some outfit apparently calling itself the Igenetix Corporation, and was thus a little surprised when his phone bleated on Thursday to alert that a payment of $50 had been presented.

It startled the Goat even more when four further $50 charges appeared in as many minutes, but by then the Goat was on the phone to the bank and getting the card blocked.

When the Goat makes a card transaction on line to a foreign retailer, the bank almost invariably phones him to check that the transaction is genuine. Yet five quick-fire transactions didn't ring any alarms this time.


"A new card will be issued to you after five working days, Mr Goat."

"I won't be able to receive it. I'll not be in Dubai for several weeks."

"No problem. Give us your current address and we'll get it to you there. You'll need to provide some sort of photo ID."

Hahahahaha! Meanwhile, back in the real world...

"Oh, no, Mr Goat. It must go to you personally in Dubai."


In short, the local and yet global bank is incapable of delivering the replacement card to anyone except the Goat's own hoof and only in Dubai. It can't be sent to the bank in Doha for collection; it can't be sent to the Goat's temporary address (business or residence) in Doha; it can't be mailed; it can't be delivered at the weekend in Dubai; it can't be delivered to Beloved Wife, even though she has her own card for the same account.

Fail. Fail. Fail.

Eventually, 40 minutes into the third long phone call to the bank's call centre, the Goat was told to write a letter to the bank, get it stamped by any branch of the bank, and send the letter to Beloved Wife. "Please deliver the replacement card to Beloved Wife on the Goat's behalf...etc."

Except in Doha, apparently, they don't do that. Never mind this outfit being a major international bank; they do it differently in Doha. They're special. My, these crayons are yummy!


The Goat was now instructed that he'd have to rewrite the letter, addressing it to the bank in Dubai. He should get it stamped in Doha, wait four days for the letter to be mailed, and then all should be well.

Enter the Bank Manager: "You have a joint account? yes? Good; there's no problem. Beloved Wife can go to the branch and pick up the card. All you have to do, Mr Goat, is go to your home branch in Sharjah to arrange this."


"Or send a secure email using the bank's online banking website to instruct the bank to give your new card to Beloved Wife. Oh, but despite the fact that I can see you, your face, your old and cancelled card, and your ID card, you can't send a secure email because you don't have your Secure Key device. How silly of you not to bring it to the bank, when all you'd been told was required was a rubber stamp."


DHL rang the Goat on 20th October to say the card was ready for delivery. But no, they absolutely would not deliver it to Beloved Wife. The bank confirmed (eventually) that they received the Goat's secure email on 19th October, but had not seen fit to communicate this piece of irrelevance to DHL.

Just imagine a parallel universe in which the customer of a major international bank can have his credit card replaced wherever he is on the planet, and without every bank representative coming up with a new and unique set of widely and irregularly-spaced flaming hoops. One of the Goat's friends says American Express can do this, so why not Red Triangles?



Anonymous said...

Red Triangles can do it elsewhere in the world. Methinks yours may have red triangles on the outside, but it's still the BBME on the inside.

Eric the Boat

Grumpy Goat said...

Definitely BBME on the inside, with all the parochial uselessness that this implies.

The bank's response to my secure email: "We cannot deliver to Beloved Wife..."

It seems that nobody at the bank is capable of joined-up thinking.

Grumpy Goat said...

It irks me even more to learn that I am responsible for paying the value of the fraudulent transactions. They're all there on my statement.

I'm told that the money will be refunded once the investigation has been concluded, but that this may take six months.

At least the bank won't be out of pocket. That would never do, would it?

Guess which caprine is shortly to be a former HSBC credit card holder.

Ian the Dog said...

Now that's interesting. Not the aversion to delivering your card, but the first (card-scamming) bit. We got scammed for a total of Dh12k on my wife's Rakbank card - which was never used on the interweb. We deduce that some ratbag had clocked the CVC code in a face-to-face transaction, and then used it to pay several Itisalot bills online. Prime suspects where the card was used: Carrefour, Du and....Itisalot. Coincidence?

Anonymous said...

I've heard of people who have removed the CVC number from their card to combat just this problem. Doesn't affect card readers, and you can still use the card online provided you can remember the number.

Eric the Boat

Martín said...

you MUST be making this up!...
Please! tell me you're making this up... Pretty please?
In any case, I had a similar fraudulent transaction made with my AmEx and they phoned me, blocked the card and issue a new one within 10 minutes, which took all of 17 hs to arrive home by express DHL delivery.
Highly recommended.

Grumpy Goat said...

It is, unfortunately, all completely true. I eventually received the replacement card weeks later when I was in Dubai. I also got a letter from Red Triangles stating that they'd refunded me. But that if their investigation showed anything dodgy on my part I'd face the full weight of the law.

Basically, we still think you're somehow at fault and will punish you if at all possible. Way to improve customer relations!


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