They call that a fashion choice?

A reader was not impressed with some of the attire at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Other letter topics today: customer service, books and Indian politics.

Great customer service starts with staff development

I am writing in reference to Keep customers happy to cash in, expert tells firms (January 29).

I have suffered some abysmal customer "service" catastrophes already this year, and I believe Suhail bin Tarraf, who is quoted in the story, has hit the nail on the head.

It's all in the training and staff development, rewarding them on the responses of their customers first and foremost, then on their productivity and other relevant performance metrics.

When people are rewarded - or penalised - on the basis of overall customer feedback, they are more motivated to improve and try to meet customer needs in a timely and efficient manner.

The only good customer service I receive comes from businesses that recognise and embrace this standard.

Congratulations to Emirates NBD for recognising this gap in the market. I hope other companies will follow suit.

E Fabbri, Dubai

Painful story of abandoned girl

I was heart-broken when I read Father of abandoned Amna charged with torturing her (January 29).

It pains me that anyone could cause physical and emotional distress to an innocent little child who could do them no harm.

I hope that she will be well looked after in the social care home and that they will find her a loving foster home.

Razena Schroeder, Dubai

Providing books will boost reading

The National has raised a valid point that despite the UAE having a high literacy rate, few people read books for pleasure (Push to get public hooked on reading, January 26).

It would help tremendously to get youngsters into the habit of reading if the Abu Dhabi Education Council provided more books for schools.

I taught English at a school but did not have any books at my disposal for my students, other than those in a library that had no set hours of operation.

Teri Adams, Abu Dhabi

Cafe is gone, but memories linger

I am writing in reference to The day the music died ... (January 29), about the demolition this week of the original Hard Rock Cafe in Dubai.

I am so glad I took photos of the cafe last month.

Brigitte von Bulow, Dubai

Action needed on statehood pledge

It was upsetting to read Delay in decision to form new Telangana state prompts clashes (January 29).

In spite of promises made last year to settle the issue of statehood, the Indian government is continuing to drag its feet.

Failure to come up with a timely solution has resulted in chaos in Andhra Pradesh. Before making promises, the government should have thought through all the implications.

The government should look into the matter urgently to avoid any unfortunate eventualities.

K Ragavan, India

Stars' strange sartorial sense

I'm writing in response to your online gallery from the Screen Actors Guild awards (SAG Awards 2013: best and worst dressed, January 28).

What were Julie Bowen and Jane Lynch thinking when they chose their outfits?

Also, I think Anne Hathaway looked like a vampire.

K Sakks, Dubai

Assaults should not be tolerated

The rise in incidents of sexual assault on women in the UAE is a cause for concern (Unreported sex assaults mean a new approach is needed, January 29).

The suggestion by your opinion writer, Peter Hellyer, that women must come forward and report such cases makes sense. But that is easier said than done.

There are various reasons that prevent women from reporting such cases to the police, and the article mentions them. So, even though women realise the importance of reporting assaults, they may not do so.

The authorities must take serious note of the situation and take appropriate measures to curb this menace before it spirals out of control.

Your newspaper has reported in the past about women facing harassment. There should be a zero-tolerance approach towards crimes against women.

Name withheld by request