i finally applied for an internet connection in my apartment, but went through a whole merry-go-round process that was totally unnecessary! not to mention the amount of money wasted!
ok, here’s the (loooong) story. everyone i talked to (and even in their website), i was told that i’d have to go to the etisalat office to apply for an internet connection. and two of my colleagues even pointed me to the government building near to our apartment, where there’s an etisalat office there.
i was also told that i’d need to have my residency visa first before i can apply. so right after i’ve gotten my residency visa, i made plans to go submit my application. and it being a government building (and etisalat being government-run), i was of the opinion that they follow the normal government office hours. so i waited for my next executive duty* day to go submit my application.
*executive duty is when a manager/director/gm walks about the building after office hours to check on everything and then submit a report on his/her findings the next day. of course, there are other roles and functions, but i don’t wanna bore you with all those stuff. anyway, all managers/directors/gm will go on duty in turns, and on average, each will have 2 days of duty per month. duty starts from 6-11pm, and we’re allowed to come to the office at 12pm the next day.
so the next morning after my duty, with a copy of my visa and passport in hand, i got on a taxi and told the driver, “government building”. he just nodded and started driving. after a while, i asked him if he know where is it. he said, yes. to make sure he really knows it, i even told him that i wanna go to the etisalat office at the government building. he just nodded and said, “ya, ya”.
but then he made a wrong turning at a junction. i immediately told him that the building is in the opposite direction. he insisted that it’s the correct way. i argued that it’s not correct! apparently there are a lot of “government buildings” in dubai, all with etisalat offices, and the driver was bringing me to a further one! long story short, he had to make a few u-turns (coz that’s how the roads are in dubai, don’t ask me why!) and in the end, DID NOT even bring me to the government building that i wanted to go!
instead, he brought me to an etisalat outlet, along the very same main road and only a few blocks away from my apartment! and the fee came up to 40 dirham! i was so mad!! but i didn’t wanna argue with him coz we’ve wasted precious time driving around in circles and i still need to catch the 11am staff bus to the office!
so i paid up the blardy driver and went into the shop. but then the lady at the desk said i’d need a consent letter from my company, coz i’m staying at the staff accommodation. what the…??? the website didn’t mention anything about such letter. and my colleague in hr made a call to the etisalat office a few weeks back, and wasn’t told of such letter!
so i can’t apply without the letter. but i found out that the outlet closes at 9.30pm. ok, so i’ll just go to the office and get the letter from hr, then come again after work to submit my application. i hopped onto a taxi again to go back to my accommodation and the fee was just 7.50 dirhams! but i have to pay 10 dirhams as the standard minimum charge for taxis. 50 dirhams for NOTHING!
then that night, with the company letter in hand, i decided to WALK to the outlet, coz i reckoned it’s quite near. but i underestimated the distance, and ended up walking for like 30 min! so going home, i hopped on a bus instead. coz i already know where i am and where i’m going, and it’s much cheaper! anyway, upon reaching the outlet, i was told that for my building, i can only apply for the eLife package, due to some fibre optic thingy . eLife is basically a package with a higher connection speed, where they also throw in a lot of other useless “perks” like free 20 min international calls, 8hrs of free wi-fi at hot-spots, caller phone id, bla bla bla… things that i don’t really need. when i argued that my colleagues who stay in the same building are under the more basic al shamil package, the sales person said, “no, that’s from last time. now your building can only take eLife.” blardy hell, the cheapest eLife package is double that of al shamil!
but no choice lor. also have to pay for it if i want an internet connection. but guess what? the next day in the office, when i told my colleague about it, she said that was exactly what happened to her previously! but she was put off by the price and didn’t apply. then later she went straight to the etisalat office in the government building, and was able to apply for the al shamil package. she’s guessing that these outlets earn a commission from etisalat for every eLife package sold, so they tell people that their buildings/area can only go for eLife. argh!!! i’ve been conned!
so that night, i made the trip to the outlet for the 3rd time, on a bus. i told them that i’d called up the etisalat office and was told that the al shamil package is perfectly fine for my building (it’s true, i did make that call), and also, my neighbour had her al shamil installed just last week (not really true). so i want them to change my application to al shamil as well. the guy at the desk (the same one who did my application the night before) said he’s already processed my application and i can’t do any changes now. so i told him if it can’t be switched, i’d like to cancel it. he spoke to his colleague in tagalog for a while, clicked on his computer a few times, then said they’re not able to switch the package coz they only sell eLive at the outlet. what the hell??? instead of telling me that they don’t have the al shamil package right from the beginning, and that i’d need to go to the etisalat office to apply for it, they tell all these bullshit stories about fibre optic crap and that the cheaper packages can’t be installed in my building! if this is not a con job, i don’t know what is… and i nearly got conned too!
anyway, i canceled my eLife package and hopped on the bus to go home again… and you know what? as it turned out, all these merry-go-round was totally unnecessary. because when i called the etisalat office earlier that day, i found out that i can actually apply for an internet connection with just a phone call to them from my etisalat mobile number (with no charge some more!), coz they already have my visa and passport info!
so means i needn’t wake up earlier on the day after my night duty, take that super expensive taxi ride, make 3 to and fro trips to that outlet, walk my legs off for one of those trips, or get a consent letter from my company. heck, i didn’t even have to wait for my residency visa! i could’ve applied for it the very same day i moved into my apartment!
a total waste of time and money and energy! apply for internet also have to be so drama! haiz…
p/s: internet connection will take a maximum of 2 weeks to get installed. so yeah, no connection yet!