Saturday, 27 August 2016

A case of horrible customer service

A friend  asked me to post the following on this blog with regards to a recent encounter with DNATA, a subsidiary of The Emirates Group and probably the world’s largest suppliers of aircraft ground handling, cargo, travel and flight catering services.


On 12th August, I flew from Singapore to Dubai via Bangkok on TG flight 404 and 517. Upon arrival in DXB Terminal One, my checked in luggage with a Priority tag was nowhere to be found. I went to the baggage services counter to lodge my report. I was told that my luggage wasn’t on the TG flight because of the short connecting time after it arrived in Bangkok but my layover in Bangkok was 2 hours and 30 minutes. The customer service officer from DNATA, the operator of the lost and found department then told me that the luggage was on the way to Dubai on an EK flight scheduled to arrive past midnight and it will be delivered to my hotel by 6 am.

On 13th August at around 9 am, I called the toll free number given by DNATA because the luggage does not arrive at my hotel as promised. My call was directed to a call centre in Philippines. I was told that my luggage arrived on EK 355 around 12 plus in the morning and it was in Terminal 3 waiting to be escorted to Terminal 1 where Thai Airways office is located. During that conversation, I was told that it will arrive at my hotel shortly.

As a frequent flyer, I am aware that Emirates flight EK 355 is the direct flight from Singapore to Dubai and it is not from Bangkok to Dubai. IT’S EITHER DNATA’s STAFF IN THE AIRPORT GAVE ME THE WRONG INFORMATION ABOUT THE SHORT CONNECTING TIME IN BANGKOK OR MY LUGGAGE NEVER REACH BANGKOK AT ALL. I WAS A LITTLE CONFUSED BUT I MADE NO FUSS.

At around 12pm, I called Thai Airways Dubai Airport’s office and spoke to a Mr Glad. As the luggage service handling is under the jurisdiction of DNATA, there is nothing much that Mr Glad’s office can do except to urge DNATA to expedite the delivery.

At around 10pm, the customer service officer at Taj Dubai assigned to my room, Miss Pooja offered to get the representative from the hotel to liaise with DNATA regarding my luggage and I consented to it. At around 11pm, I was informed by Miss Pooja that the luggage IS NOT IN DUBAI AND IS CURRENTLY ON THE FLIGHT TO DUBAI AND WILL BE DELIVERED IMMEDIATELY UPON ARRIVAL. WHICH IS WHICH? STILL ON THE FLIGHT AFTER 24 HOURS?

Still no luggage when I woke up on 14th August. At around 11.30 am, I called DNATA again. I was told that the luggage had arrived in Dubai and it is waiting for security clearance as it was an unaccompanied luggage. I told him that security screen and other procedures shouldn’t take more than 24 hours. HE REPLIED THAT DUE TO EK FLIGHT CRASH LANDING IN DUBAI, DNATA IS FACING A DELAY IN PROCESSING AND SORTING OF LUGGAGE. FLT EK 521 INCIDENT HAPPENED ON 3RD AUGUST. WHAT?? 

I cease calling DNATA after that conversation. My baggage finally arrived on 15th August at around 6.30 am, 48 HOURS AFTER THE TIME OF DELIVERY PROMISED BY DNATA’S STAFF IN THE AIRPORT AND 58 HOURS AFTER MY ARRIVAL IN DUBAI. 

End quote.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

It is a serious business !

One of the most candid picture of me ever snapped! The photographer captured the rarely seen in public serious side of me when dealing with business on hand and in this instance, shaping the newly arrived mini Wrightia Religiousa bonsai. 

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

An old temple in Teluk Intan

My friend Little Q is in town, joining me for a few days during one of my weeklong pleasure of working from home. Today, for lunch, I took her to Restoran Min Loke for Teluk Intan’s famous assam laksa, one of the three must have lunch-time delicacies when you visit this quaint little town. The other two are the Mastan Ghani mee rebus and Krishna nasi kandar.

On the way home after bowls of heartfelt assam laksa and a little chat with the laksa aunty, I made a stop at the Old Cantonese Temple 广东古庙 to buy a few of my favourite white cotton t-shirts. For the locals, the place is known as 广府庙 or the temple that the Cantonese pray and the Hokkien folks pray at another temple known as Sheng Kong Temple.

The temple was built during 19th year of the reign of Emperor Guangxu.
Currently, there are about ten vendors selling all kinds of clothes and shoes surrounding the Cantonese temple but during its heydays, the place was a bustling stop with more than 30 shops and a dim sum eatery tucked in a corner.

In the 70s till early 90s, shoppers from all three races will go there for clothes, shoes and songkok before the festive season. There were two Malay stalls operating inside the compound. One of them is the current Kedai Kain Hamid which moved to a shop house a short distance away. Besides that, this was also the place to go for new school uniforms, school bags and sparking white shoes that will soon turn into muddy yellow with Teluk Intan's frequent flood.

Alas….those days….

While I was waiting for the vendor to search for the shirts, Little Q ventured off to the temple for photo taking. With her permission, I am sharing some of them here and all I can say is that beauty lies in simplicity and we tend to miss it…..till it took another person to guide us there again. 

Thank you very much Little Q for guiding me towards the beauty that I miss in my hometown.