For the GEEK in you

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I wish to announce the death of Al Futtaim Motors

Because it's me who's going to kill them.

I've bought two cars recently and both have been Toyotas. Cars being cars, at some point, they require some mechanical TLC. So it's off to garage for a service.

Just where are your garages? Why, that's another fun game for owners to play! You get two maps in the dashboard, one to Shk Zayed and one to Rashidya.

The Rashidiya one used to be easy to find, but good luck now with that assignment now that Festival City has sprung and turned the area upside down.

Walking in, there's a huge garage area, and smaller 'Express' one to the side. Knowing it was a minor service, I happily dropped it off in Express, unfolded my paper and waited.

An hour passes.

I can see the car being serviced outside, so it would be unkind to hassle the staff. Ok, now it's done, disappearing into the bowels of the garage for a wash.

Does anyone call me? No.

Another 30 min gone.

Ok, now it's time to hassle them. After poking the grumpy filipino assistant a few times, he hands my paperwork and points me to the main garage to pay.

That all done, just the car to collect right?


I wait and wait and no sign of the car coming out of the garage. I ask the security guard. "We don't know where it is, sir." So heartening.
I offer to go inside and look. "Only Al Futtaim staff allowed inside, sir." But I've already paid! And everything's done!
"No sir. If it's lost someone will find it."
Why don't YOU find it?
"I can't leave this room sir."

30 mins.

For peter's sake, don't they know where it is? Cars are coming out every second, but not one is mine. Who's looking for it?
"Someone, sir. It's very hard to find because all the cars look the same."
Why don't you take the remote and flash around till you find it?
"Because we keep the hazards on while washing the cars, sir."


45 minutes later, standing outside in 45deg heat, it emerges, hardly washed. Let's just say there'll be no tips today.

When I get home, there are scratches on the front and back, like someone bumped it into a wall.

Al Futtaim, go rot in hell. This is probably the best story I've had from them, others have been far worse. Losing it is probably the least harm they could do. Sometimes, they'll just dump your car outside in the sand like so much unwanted garbage, or refuse to do the work that you paid them to do.
And their sales/service staff! Unhelpful, unfriendly, content in their belief that they sell the most popular cars in the Gulf so they don't have to try. Buy it if you want or piss off. Information? Pah! That's for 'troublesome' people. If you want to know about the car you're buying, well you should have come prepared then. Test drive? The cheek! Phone them up and getting a price is like extracting teeth. Want a different colour? You wish. This is what they import and that's that. No wonder I have a white car.

That same attitude extends to every other part of their automotive empire and frankly I've had enough of it and enough of buying Toyotas. Whatever my next car, it won't be from Majid and his gang of crooks.

PS: I should add, like the good hatemonger I am, that certain communites have no problem whatsoever with their Al Futtaim experience.


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