Dubai Consumer Mirror

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Personal Experience: Dubai Duty Free

Because of a very extensive travel schedule, Dubai Duty Free (DDF) has become a favorite shopping destination. I end up buying everything from there. Especially perfumes. They are at least 20% cheaper than market.

On my last trip to Paris, my wife and daughter tagged along. Wondering what a 7hr flight might do to a hyper-active toddler, my wife proposed we buy one of them portable DVD players. To me, that was a brilliant idea as we can distract her with Dora, Barney and the Teletubbies.

So, after a bit of browsing, we bought a Sony portable for about Dhs 800 and 3 kids DVDs, paid for everything, picked up the bag and rushed to the gate after that and into the plane.

After take-off and the seatbelt sign switching off, I reached out to my bag to pull out and plug in the player in the in-seat power socket and get the little one entertained a bit. To my surprise, the DVDs were no where to be found.

I pulled down the bag and looked in every bag we had. My wife told me that most likely the salesman forgot to slip them in with the DVD player. Luckily, there was a cartoon channel on the in-flight TV and that did the trick with the little one.

Upon arrival to the hotel in Paris, I looked for the DVDs again with no avail. So, I called the DDF and asked them about the missing items that I paid for. The woman who answered told me that she will check with Lost & Found gave me a reference number and said that they will call me back. Between you and I, I thought that was the end of it.

Surprisingly, two days after that, they did call us back. The woman said that she didn't find anything in Lost & Found or in the "left behind" files. However, they will look into the case and call me back.

I wasn't too hopeful, to be honest, and didn't think I would see the Dhs 360 (cost of DVDs) back.

But a couple of weeks after that, the woman called me to tell me that they haven't found anything, however, they asked that the next time I travel via Dubai Airport, to check in with the customer service counter and claim any 3 DVDs of my choice!

I had a flight that week and I walked up to the Customer Service desk and identified myself. From my mobile number, she retrieved my file and informed me that if I prefer a cash refund or take ANY 3 DVDs of my choice. I told her I just want the same DVDs I didn't get.

She said to take anything I wish and they are willing to reimburse me the difference if what I take is less than the claimed amount.

She escorted me to the DVD section, waited until I picked the DVDs, processed the transaction on the DVD section cash counter, thanked me and apologized again for the inconvenience.

Hats off!

Seriously, about 15 million passengers from every tongue, shape, color and form, fly via Dubai Airport every year. And EACH and EVERY one of them pass by Dubai Duty Free.

To get such followup, attention and a personalized service like that is nothing but admirable and reflects a world class level of professionalism that can rarely be found anywhere else.

Thank you DDF.


  • One of the things my house guests who recently got back from Dubai mentioned, was the GREAT customer service.

    Some things have certainly changed for the better there in the last couple of years...

    By Blogger Tainted Female, at July 13, 2008 at 8:38 PM  

  • Always nice to hear some good stories about UAE customer service!

    By Blogger Abu Dhabi/UAE Daily Photo, at July 13, 2008 at 11:38 PM  

  • I agree.. it very refreshing to see that someone actually cares at these big Incs.

    And i always say give credit when credit is due .. and did DDF earned it.

    By Blogger moryarti, at July 13, 2008 at 11:59 PM  

  • Smart companies with their own interest at heart can't be anything but great with costumers.

    You're a case in point. From now on, you're going to buy even more stuff from DDF, and people like me and the others who read your post will also go and buy from "the good people" at Dubai Duty free.

    In other words, the wise companies know this well: It pays to be good :)

    By Blogger Mustapha, at July 14, 2008 at 1:03 AM  

  • wait wait wait wait

    *calls up Satan*

    Hell didn't freeze over O_O

    ma32ool this is in Dubai!

    By Blogger KJ, at July 14, 2008 at 9:41 AM  

  • looool
    such good reviews and positive advertising only cost DDF 360 dhs.. plus the cost of a few calls.. that's excellent economics i think heheheh

    el mohim everyone's happy :)
    and the lil one got her barney and dora dvds

    By Blogger BuJ, at July 14, 2008 at 11:04 AM  

  • That is really amazing. I am so surprised.
    Well done, I would not have bothered calling, thinking that they would not help much.....I shall remember this one.

    By Blogger CG, at July 14, 2008 at 11:56 AM  

  • Great service, a rarity to be cherished.

    How sad that it is quite so rare and has to be quite so cherished! :)

    By Blogger alexander..., at July 14, 2008 at 3:15 PM  

  • Wow...pretty impressive :)

    By Blogger Dubai Sunshine, at July 14, 2008 at 9:06 PM  

  • totally agree with everyone ... it DOES pay to be good to customers ... and it is a shame that its the exception these days

    By Blogger moryarti, at July 14, 2008 at 10:57 PM  

  • hi, very heart warming!!!

    I read a glimpse of this post at tabloid of gulfnews today's issue july 15th, it was cut though, up to the point that you did not find the DVD's. readers might think the opposite of what really commenced.

    By Blogger Dubai Kerida, at July 15, 2008 at 1:35 PM  

  • This is nice to hear , I have never been successful in Arabic countries when it is about customer service , many times it was a total nightmare even with a bill in my hand . So i tend to give up quickly . I enjoyed customer services in Canada and the UK but im glad to hear such good customer service in Dubai . Bravo .

    By Anonymous fatima, at July 19, 2008 at 11:23 AM  

  • I plan to visit Dubai and want to know if portable player is user friendly and working fine. Does it have in built battery or cables to connect to inflight power?

    By Blogger Ravi, at January 9, 2009 at 9:57 PM  

  • its not bad .. but a bit expensive in comparison to the models out today - i bought it around 7 to 8 months ago.

    By Blogger moryarti, at January 10, 2009 at 2:40 AM  

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