Allianz Auto Assist

My car refused to start on Sunday, and as a car dummy I didn’t expect it was the battery. I thought the maintenance-free dry cell would last longer than acid lead batteries. That incident caused me to miss a friend’s wedding, but I am happy to see the pictures posted in many other blogs as well as in Facebook. I wish them a lifetime of happiness.

Back to the car problem, I tried to contact some of the workshops nearby home but to no avail. So since I have just installed the new car road tax and the Allianz Auto Assist sticker on my wind screen I decided to try calling them. 1-800-889-233

A female picked up the phone and asked me whether I have tried jump starting. Of course not because I didn’t expect it was the battery. Plus, it was Sunday and nobody was around. In 10 minutes Allianz called me back and told me that they are sending people. In another 10 minutes I received a call from the person responding to the case. And for every 10 to 15 minutes after that Allianz called me to ask for progress. It was a nice gesture. Although I had to wait for the auto assist van to arrive for 1 hour (nearby agents had other cases so they had to come from PJ), it was overall a nice experience with Allianz.

The battery was changed, and I went out with my family not to the wedding as it has ended by then but just to get out.

Kudos to them for providing a great service. I will stay with Allianz as long as I can. Anyone else have good experience with their car general insurance provider? Share them!

Maxis to bring iPhone 3G to Malaysia on March 20

Really? That short notice? I was casually browsing my Google Reader when I stumbled upon this exciting news. Exciting? Not anymore. I don’t know why but the frustration of waiting has made me less interested in iPhones. The time stamp on the news was like 4 hours before I started this entry. Fresh!

maxis-iphone-3g

Going to into Maxis site there is now a big banner “Be among the first to own an iPhone 3G“. No, Maxis did not do anything wrong and it’s still a great news except that right now there may be hundreds of people in Malaysia using cracked iPhones. Among the first? I don’t think so. It should say “Be among the first to own an official and uncracked iPhone 3G“. Yes that’s me trying to be funny. Ha ha.

If you’re interested you may go here at Maxis’ spanking new iPhone section. Enjoy it. I don’t think I will be getting one anytime soon.

Queue Jumpers Beware

If I were to make a separate website dedicated to share pictures of queue jumpers, would anyone be interested in joining in? It can be worldwide as queue jumper is not a rare breed.

Queue jumpers deserve to be shot, and if I have the power like Sylar I would have thrown the truck upside down or to the road side while making sure the driver (and passengers) escape unhurt. That should be a good lesson. They are the most inconsiderate people on the road.

Here’s one driving the green truck:

asshole-driver

Too bad my K750 camera was too slow to capture this image and I can’t see the registration numbers. Maybe next time I will always have my DLSR and a fast lense by my side. The other day there were two queue jumpers at the same location so I had the idea to get ready with my camera phone but it looks like I need a new plan.

Locked Fire Door at SOGO Kuala Lumpur

I can’t help noticing that all fire doors next to the elevators are all locked. I do understand that fire doors need to be kept closed at all times and some are locked electronically but these were locked using padlocks. In the event of an emergency, would the person responsible be running from floor to floor unlocking the doors?

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Shop Jusco or Carrefour

I have been doing groceries shopping alone for about 20 days now, and I have always done it at Jusco. However today since I had to pick up my spectacles from Focus Point I went to Carrefour instead. There were several differences between Jusco and Carrefour and to tell you the truth I prefer Jusco.

My personal opinion is that Jusco seems to have a better environment and it’s cleaner. Plus, service is very much better than Carrefour.

When I arrived home today I realized that the cashier scanned the large promotional pack (6 x 4) of Season’s Chrysanthemum tea as separate 6 packs:

carrefour-seasons-pricescan

When it should be at the promotion price of RM12.99 (I wasted RM6.57):

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But I guess it was an honest mistake. I hate it but they are still human. It’s also partially my fault for not checking everything (my excuse is that I was dizzy wearing the new glasses).

Comparing prices I found out that the price of Mamy Poko New Born (pack of 52) differs significantly! Since I bought 3 packs at Carrefour I wasted RM14.76 compared to buying them at Jusco:

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However if you’re a cranberry juice lover like moi, you’ll find that the price is cheaper by RM2.00 in Carrefour. So if you’re looking into buying bulk let’s say for a party you should head to Carrefour:

Carrefour:
Carrefour

Jusco:
Jusco

On Property Purchase and Money3

As some of you might already know I bought a property in August, and the banking procedures were dragged until September where RHB Bank suddenly wished to change the loan amount. My agent, agent S was a 22 year old mobile agent I found through word of mouth. She was not helpful because she didn’t really know what she was selling, and I suspect she is new in the field. Right now I realized how dumb I am not to realize with that age she must be a fresh graduate. (I have nothing against fresh graduates in other fields but I do think experience is critical when it comes to money related matters).

I was afraid that RHB bank will impose the 1% penalty to me because I wanted to cancel the loan (how can I proceed there is not enough loan amount!?) so she gave me her best advice – keep quiet so that the bank will cancel the loan. And I did just that and got off the wagon without having to pay any penalty. I also immediately looked for other options.

Al-Rajhi was fast, they contacted me immediately after I filled in the web form but too bad they currently don’t provide loans for properties under construction although the property was 90% completed back then.

And then I contacted Money3. They were also very fast and with the network they have with banks they were able to assess my loan requirements and made several applications. Agent K was helping me with everything and he was very professional. OCBC Bank approved my loan in September and it was time for signing the offer letter but agent K was not available because he was on paternity leave. Agent J took over and it was overall a pleasurable experience as he handled everything for me.

Everything were excellent until it was time for the MRTA (Mortgage Reducing Term Assurance). He was also an AIA agent and tried to sell the Wholelife package (payable yearly) to me which was quite a good package as I will be able to break even and get some profit after ~15 years. He was stressing on how important to get an insurance otherwise OCBC will not be releasing my funds. If the bank does not release my funds on time there will be interest to pay to the developer. When he first prepared a quote, I had to pay ~RM3600 yearly but when he called me back in early November it was at ~RM4969 so I told him I want to look for other options. He said that is not possible, the bank will block my funds. He never called me back until today.

I made the ultimately correct decision when I decided to call OCBC directly and I was told that OCBC does not have any requirements for me to have the insurance. It was optional! So agent J lied to me in my face. At that moment I lost all my respect for the guy. When OCBC released the funds to the developer it was proof that agent J was lying.

I realize the importance of MRTA and I was planning to take it via OCBC itself or using Prudential but I suddenly went busy. I will do that soon.

Back to the RHB issue, it was such as a waste of time and money. For instance agent S took RM10 for account opening and never returned it (she called me afterward telling me I had to open a current account because of the facility I requested). RHB bank penalized me RM20 for closing the current account earlier than 3 months. The lawyers charged me RM160 for the cancellation. That’s already RM190 there not including my gas cost for traveling. And the worst case of all is that the developer is now charging me with ~RM4280 for the late interest fee (period between when RHB approved my loan until when OCBC released my funds). I have already sent them an appeal to remind them my case and can only hope that they can consider exempting the fees.

That’s it people, my only advice is to find the right people (agents) and even if you find a good one please avoid trusting them 100% as when it comes to money people will try to trick you. In the RHB case I do blame agent S and the bank itself and in the Money3 case I don’t blame Money3 but the agent himself for being an as***le. And if you’re wondering, you don’t pay Money3 for the services. The bank pays them commissions.

Anonymous Cowards

Anonymous coward – this is the default user name that is displayed on Slashdot for users who wishes to post comments anonymously. It’s really an appropriate term. Why would you want to be anonymous if you really believe what you’re talking about?

I am mainly disappointed with people who are promoting racial tension in Malaysia. If you really want to do it then you will need to be prepared for ISA (Internal Security Act).

Remember the road sign issue between Teresa Kok and Khir Toyo? There was a website that reported all sort of racial news called pembelamelayu.com and there was actually a police report lodged against this site. It was only after the police report was made the site was brought down.

I somehow have a feeling that I may probably know which group is behind the site, but who knows I might be wrong. This proves my point that there are many anonymous cowards who likes to talk but not take responsibility. I can’t provide any prove and I don’t have any further details about the website so you don’t need to contact me to ask for any details. Ask yourself one question – if someone is hurt mentally or physically as an outcome from the things you write in your blog are you willing to take the responsibility and guilt? Only write if your answer is YES.

Same goes to those who have been hanging pig heads all over the place in Melaka. What the hell??? If they really believe that it’s the correct thing to do, stand there and wait after hanging the pig heads. Of course they will be arrested but then again it’s what you are fighting for why be afraid?

Right now we can’t be sure who hung those, it might even be a member of the committee against the building of pig farms – just to increase tension. Who knows?

Although I don’t necessarily agree with all blog writers such as Raja Petra or the others who have been arrested before, there is only one thing I respect the most – the willingness to go out with their own name and not be anonymous cowards.

I am neither a political writer nor a political enthusiast but I do read (and watch) the news. And I hate racism. Why can’t we learn to live together?

Anyway the point here is that if you really believe what you are talking about (and fighting for), use your own name instead of dumb aliases or being anonymous. Take responsibility. Period.

What Happened to My Upload Speed?

For quite some time I have been working from home with no difficulties, and I am happy with the speed. Sometimes I even have 3 or 4 terminal service windows open, juggling between them to complete my tasks.

However this morning when I tried to utilize my Nortel IP Softphone 2050 to call my boss for the weekly 1 to 1 meeting the software kept crashing on me. It was the same case when I called my cell as a test.

And so I decided to poke around everything and digging up stats for my home network. Do you know what I found? I found out that my upload speed has been capped to 64kbps. What the hell happened? Rebooting the modem didn’t help.

Here is a screen capture from my AM300 router:

I am too old to rant too much, and I am too tired to give them a call just to have them go through the usual routine of plugging and unplugging.

This is the moment where I really pray that a better service would be introduced. I am truly tired with TMNET’s incompetent service. This is a low class service. And because it’s government linked we have no choice. Two of the Internet giants are both government linked. I am sad.

Google @enstek

From conversations I had with my colleagues at work, and from other friends I heard that Google is going to have presence in Malaysia, specifically at @enstek in Sepang. It’s a new flagship area opening its wings to tech companies from all over the globe.

Is this really true? In some stories I even heard that construction work has started at the site. I would really appreciate it if anyone could point me to the right direction. Googling doesn’t help as the keywords are too common.

From my point of view, Google presence is definitely welcomed in Malaysia. There will be new job opportunities and I know for sure people will jump with joy and try their best to penetrate the company. As for me, I don’t think I am well qualified yet to work with a gigantic company like Google. But who knows… I don’t have a crystal ball to show my future.

What about you? Will you try your luck if Google starts recruiting in Malaysia?

This Is Not SPAM

Since the past 2 weeks I have been receiving funny and annoying emails that start exactly like this:

And each of them is actually promoting different programs: i.e. easy money, forex investments. Translation:

Don’t these idiots know that when they start sending unrequested emails to multiple recipients at the same time, it’s considered SPAM?

So if I see one of them and kick them I can say: “I am not kicking you”.

What Happened to Marché Mövenpick

I went to have lunch at at The Curve on Saturday and I was a bit disappointed by the lack of staff and all the waiting we had to do. While I understand that the system is for you to order and wait they should not have asked people to come back in 5 minutes if we actually have to wait for 20.

I was ordering the 1/2 Roasted Chicken meal and the guy who is attending the stall is also the same guy who cooks the mixed vegetable at the next stall. And the funniest thing of all is while the menu said roasted chicken they are actually reheating it on the grill. Yes, on the grill. So the chicken gets charred and tasted like charcoal, and loses all its moisture. The vegetable is all dried up, and I think that the menu has been changed (many meals have been removed).

The roasted chicken in the same restaurant used to be moist, juicy and the gravy was superb. This time they provided BBQ sauce.

And using the grill also means that it takes a lot longer than the oven. I saw that the oven was switched off so I think this may be a step to cut some cost?

What’s wrong with the restaurant? Are they so affected by the economy that they decided to provide improper food, lousy service, and jeopardize the whole business?

I won’t be visiting this restaurant anytime soon unless anyone really wants to eat something from the menu (the mixed vege and the sauteed mushroom still tastes the same). I’ll just go to Kenny Rogers for roasted chicken.

SMART Tunnel Woes

I just watched a segment from TV3’s Buletin Utama about complaints regarding the closure of the SMART tunnel. It amuses me with the fact that people seem to be blaming it on the tunnel management alone when the reason is closure is known – to redirect water.

For the ignorant or the unrelated readers from overseas, the tunnel operates in 3 modes:

  1. Normal – no water flowing. Traffic as usual.
  2. Storm – water flowing in the lower section of the tunnel, allowing traffic in the upper section of the tunnel.
  3. Heavy storm – water flowing throughout the tunnel, no traffic may pass.

I understand the disappointment that came from motorists, but to be fair I think the blame should go to the engineers who planned this project. Perhaps the volume of water that may pass in the tunnel was not correctly projected? From the news what I understand is that since opened in May 2007 the tunnel have been closed to traffic for 44 times now, causing huge traffic jam in the city. Of course, this shouldn’t be the case if the volume of water is not significant and water only pass in the lower section.

The CCTV footage that was shown clearly showed that water level was indeed more than half the tunnel’s height. I am not sure whether anyone can call this project a failure. It may not be perfect but it is indeed preventing flash floods in the city. So we have to choose either one, which is quite fair for me although the original plan was to solve both problems – flood and traffic flow.

Then again, it’s a RM1+ billion project and there is no doubt taxpayer’s money are involved. You be the judge.

Ramadhan: McDonald’s Breakfast Starts at 5.00

I have just returned from a short trip to Taman Equine McDonald’s to look for some light food for sahur. It was exactly 4.22 AM when I arrived at the drive-thru. We wanted to have the big breakfast set but the voice on the display said “during Ramadhan breakfast starts at 5.00 AM”.

I said thanks and left. I just want to warn everyone because I’ve never heard of this special change during Ramadhan. A bit disappointed but it’s OK.

Jusco Baby Cots

We went for baby shopping again on Saturday, this time at Mid-Valley. Surprisingly there are not as many choices as in The Curve. We’re looking for a cot, stroller, car seat, and playpen.

While in Jusco I saw this sign on one of the baby cot:

I know I know, it means don’t put your child in the display unit. But it sounded at first like do not ever put your child in the cot bought in Jusco 😉