Sunday, January 22, 2006

At your service (not really)

If I had a business whose only service was to collect money from people I'd make sure I'd give every possible channel for people to come and pay me the money that I'm trying to collect from them. Makes sense, no? Well I've been wanting to pay the ESO's bills for the past two days and I just haven't been able to make it to OIFC's payment centers during their office hours. OIFC does not have any self service kiosks or electronic payment systems. You either pay at their counter or you can go pay at a bank (which will most likely charge you 500 baisas per bill). It's virtually impossible for me to leave work these days for anything and OIFC's offices only open in the evening from 4 to 6 (which I didn't know until I found myself outside the locked door of their Zakher branch at 6.15pm today).

While we're on this subject, isn't it time that retailers in Oman stop this dark ages business of opening two shifts and start going for a more convenient morning till night straight shift? I still have no idea which shops open at 4 and which don't open till 5 and then again which ones are closed by 9 and which ones stay open till 9.30 or 10. Yesterday I called Mac Center at 7.45pm and asked them what time they close. The guy said "8.. 8.30." I didn't understand so he explained it could be anytime in between the two!


Nameless said...

It would be perfect if organisations (Banks, companies, shops, department stores) work the hours that the US goes by. Banks from 7am/8am-5/6pm, shops from 9am/10am to 9pm/10pm etc. It would be so convenient especially for employees in the private sector. It's not even hard to work that out - people can work in shifts.

OceanDream said...

What would be great is that if we could pay our bills just about anywhere. When were studying in Glasgow, Mux and I would pay our bills at the corner shop. You just have to bring your bill with you and thats it! So convenient because it meant hat we could pay our bills any time of the day or night (it was a 24 hour shop).

How about the post office? Its amazing the number of services provided in post office offices abroad!

Sree said...

Regarding paying bills, it'd be a major success if banks could imitate what BoA and some other banks have done here in the US. Online bill pay or mailing checks at a specified address at a specified time/date. That way you avoid writting checks, buying stamps and mailing them and/or driving around and writing checks to businesses.

I agree with nameless's comments otherwise. Why open early during banking hours if your business hardly gets any customers during that time? Open late and stay late, so customers who work late can come in.

Ali said...

hmm ever though of PhoneBank?
I don't know if other banks use that service but i do with with O.I.B
it's pretty neat

muscati said...

Actually I use internet banking for all my own bills. It's very convenient. We've applied for the service for the ESO but it's been a month and it's still not set up. Until then we're paying the bills at the OIFC office.

Arab Pearl said...

speaking of making ESO payments, I've registered some *i'm hoping just a couple if not longer* months back and haven't come around to paying my registration fee, i recieved an email from one of the members and was told to make a transfer through the bank, its been over a month and i was wondering if my registration application would still be available/valid for payment or would i have to reregister?!

My working hours come in the way so often and in the weekends i can never seem to get myself to going to the bank and if i do, i literally forget, its becoming ridiculous and i wish i could make the transfer online, it would be very convenient for us lazy/forgetfull/busy ones. hehe

muscati said...

AP, I totally understand what you're going through. You're registration is kept pending till you pay. I know that it sucks that we don't have online payment but the problem is that there isn't any bank in Oman that offers an online payment gateway. The only way would be to do it through a foreign bank and then we'd have issues with collection and transfer fees. If you don't have time to got to the bank to make a deposit, you can come by our office and pay there or send the money in the mail. Or if you're unable to do any of that we can even arrange for someone to come take the fee from your office or any place that's convenient to you. How's that?

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