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Spiteful Emirates NBD seeks revenge on American customer, who is now preparing to take criminal action for harassment.
July 26, 2016
Emirates NBD seeks revenge on American customer. They don’t want his money. They just want him to lose his job. American man preparing to take criminal action over “outrageous” harassment & defamation.
An American national was contacted by Trust DC on behalf of ENBD to settle a AED55,000 debt (apx. £11,000). While the bank was willing to agree to a reduction on the outstanding amount, the customer was unable to pay in a lump sum and so offered instalments instead.
The bank refused to believe that he was unable to pay the amount, because his income was three times higher in the UAE than in the UK and they imagined he was a "high earner". Despite us offering the bank his payslips and tax returns as evidence, they decided that they would simply try to have him fired. They would rather see him suffer than actually recoup funds.
Trust DC had been harassing the customer at his offices for months, during negotiations, calling his office every hour and hassling the reception team, divulging the customer’s private information to unauthorised third parties. There was no purpose to this, because we were in communication with them already and so it only served to cause anxiety to the customer in hope that it would inspire him to pay more.
The debt collection agency was reminded on numerous occasions that it was counter productive to hassle and harass the customer’s colleagues, particularly when the customer was in communication and had appointed representation.
Finally, after their initial harassment attempts failed to change the facts of the customer’s financial capabilities, the bank officially declined his good faith offer. They realised it was going to be a "write off" for them if they did refuse the offer and declared that they had no intention to use the legal process to try to recover the funds. They declined to pursue the matter through the British Courts (where he is residing), presumably, because they do not think it is worth their while and he has no assets. They didn’t want to let the matter go though. They wanted the customer to suffer, knowing that this would not even benefit the bank. On instruction of ENDB, Trust DC painstakingly perused the customer's employer's website and took the email addresses of around 100 staff members. They then threatened that if the customer did not pay within 24 hours, they would send a message to his colleagues, advising them of “criminal cases” and “fraud”.
Radha Stirling, founder of Detained in Dubai, and who worked with the agencies, said in a statement "I fail to see how it is advantageous for a bank to decline an instalment plan offer and then seek payback. It is shameful and unprofessional at best, but at worst, harassment and defamation are illegal in both the UAE & the UK. The deliberate sharing of information with employers or colleagues is most certainly a breach of trust and privacy laws. There is no legitimate justification for disclosure to third (and irrelevant) parties. Customers who struggle to repay their debts, still need to be treated with courtesy and dignity, particularly when they are trying their best to reach a settlement and have appointed representatives. Emirates NBD are fully aware of the debt collection process and encourage it.
This (American) customer is standing up for his rights and hiring representation in the UAE to take out legal action against Trust DC and Emirates NBD, including individuals within both organisations.
Harassment is unacceptable and unlawful. Customers need to stand up for their legal rights, in order for any change to occur. Banks can either negotiate peacefully or they can take legal action. They can not slander, threaten, intimidate or harass their customers."