Reciprocity Failure

Saudis often complain about how long it takes to get a visa to the US, but what about Americans who want to visit Saudi Arabia? Salem Sahab says the Saudi government has a lot of work to do there:

I personally know a case of a Muslim American who wanted to come to the Kingdom with his family during the holidays to perform Haj and do some business. His Saudi host tried his level best to get a visit visa issued for him and his family but his attempts proved futile.

First, he was asked to approach the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) to obtain the visas for his guest and family despite the fact that the authority clearly has nothing to do with the issue. Then he was told to ask his guest to specify his relationship to the women accompanying him even though the names of the women and the nature of their relationship was clearly mentioned in their passports. What were they thinking?