Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Microsoft "New Efficient" (Windows 7) event at KLCC

Just came back from Microsoft Windows 7 event. Other than Windows 7, Microsoft introduce Windows Server 2008 R2 and Exchange 2010. I am just interested in Windows 7 only.

The first session is from 9am to 11.30am, more on marketing talk, a bit lengthly. Microsoft partners and a few of their customers talk about the success case on implementing these few new software system.

Windows 7 is easy to use, easy to deploy, with advance power management software, and a few others advantages. I will not believe it until I try it myself, luckily everyone who return back the evaluation form will get a Windows 7 90 days evaluation copy.

Everyone likes free gift, technical people are responsive with free gift.

Q&A with free gift
Correct answer came with a free gift
(when is my turn?)

Why? Because technical people (including software developer, administrator, network engineer, support...) are poor. Long working hours, short break, a lot of work, but very little pay. So technical people have to try their luck at technical company's public event.

Luckily these technical company are generous, they give out books, bags, software, training vouchers, computer mouse and NOTEBOOKS! Really they give out few notebooks as free gift this time. You register the event, you are entitle for lucky draw, you pass back feed back form, get lucky draw, you tweet (about the event), you get lucky draw, you answer question, you get free gift.

There are free gifts, free drinks, unfortunately there is no food provided, no breakfast, lunch or refreshment. This is the only IT event that make me feel really hungry.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Rely on contract is old business style

I want to terminate my P1 Internet service before my one year contract end, because I experience line drop problem and unable to connect Internet with the P1 service. One of the supervisor at P1 HQ refuse to help me, and gave me only 2 choices, which make me feel like being threated. Is either I pay $299 (I suppose is the modem price), or wait till they check my network problem. (story here)

Contract is to protect the consumer or the service provider? The business style to use contract to tie up customer is so old fashion.

P1, Maxis broadband has contract, so I choose DiGi broadband.

I choose DiGi broadband because their package is flexible. For my DiGi broadband package, if I terminate the service before the one year contract, I just need to pay for the modem (which came with the package) in prorated, and not the full amount or all the subscription fees for the rest of the months till contract expired.

You must think that without a contract, is not able to tie up customer for a period of time, is true. Recently I am thinking to terminate the DiGi broadband and subscribe to another package, but not P1 or Maxis. I am thinking to subscribe to another DiGi broadband package, which is cheaper.

Sometimes contract do not attract customer, but keep customer away. Provide a better service should be the more appropriate way to keep the customer.

If the provider can provide me a good service, why I bother to change?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

P1 upload test error

Test the P1 network this morning.

P1 download speed is fast but upload speed is 2!?

upload speed is 2
P1 upload problem this morning

Later it shows upload test error, may be time out.

upload test error
P1 upload test error

I notice, modem indicator has turned red.

iPod beginner buying guide 2009 Q4

Recently there are some people asking me, is it worth buying the new iPod nano (with FM and Video recording)? Which iPod should I buy? First, you always ask yourself what do you need? What is your budget?

There are 4 type of iPod model, iPod classic, touch, nano and shuffle.

iPod classic. Hard disk base, big and looks bulky, store up to 40 thousand songs. You can sync almost every mp3 you have into this iPod. Most people will not carry such a large music library with them.

iPod nano. Apple just launch its 5th generation of iPod nano. This is the most common model which comparable to other mp3 players available on the market.

The iPod nano size is like a chocolate bar, easy to carry around, the price tag is higher than average. This new iPod nano came with FM tuner (first in iPod history), video recording and pedometer. iPod nano is capable to playback movie as well, but I find it a little too small for movie and photo display.

iPod shuffle has been criticized badly by their competitors when it was launched, because it doesn't have a display (and FM). The cheapest China made mp3 player came with a display. Shuffle is very small and is good for workout.

Sometimes you will find that it was given as a free gift when you purchase your LCD TV or blu-ray player.

iPod touch. If you just using iPod for mp3, iPod shuffle and iPod nano is good enough, if you need a portable media player (for watching movie and photos), you need an iPod touch.

The iPod Touch is like the iPhone without the phone function. The iPod touch has an (updated) 8G model, and the new 32G and 64G model. There is no 16G available, the new 32G is cheaper than the previous 16G version, and the new 32G came with earphones with remote mic which cost about RM129.

The new iPod touch (32G and 64G version) is worth buying, and yes, it is very expensive, you can buy a netbook with this price, but there is no other products come close to iPod touch (except iPhone). Or may be you can wait for another 12 months to the next Apple music event to get a better offer.

iPod came with different model and different price. My opinion all iPod are price above average. It depends on your budget and your need.

Personally I prefer iPod Touch, but for iPod beginners may start from nano or shuffle. Or you can try to ask an iPod shuffle (or nano) as a free gift when you buy your new LCD TV.

Monday, November 16, 2009

MNP Rashomon version

MNP is Mobile Number Portability, allow mobile user to switch from one mobile network to another mobile network without changing the number including the prefix (eg. 012, 016, 019...)

"Rashomon" ( 羅生門 ) is a movie by lengendary Jananese director Akira Kurosawa ( 黑澤明 ). The movie is about a curious murder case, all people involved in the case are giving a different story of their own.

MNP has started more than a year, but mobile users are still confused with it, since there is not much benefits from switching one network to another network, MNP response is not well received.

I have a main and sub line to switch to another mobile operator as sub line, but I get different answers from mobile operator, dealers and MCMC on how to do the MNP.

For sure, I can not switch just one of the line from the main or the sub line. All parties are giving the same confirmed answer, but other answers are just confusing.

Some told me I can not switch my main and sub line as a sub line of another network.

Some said is possible, but I need to switch as pre-paid, then convert it to post paid.

Some said I don't even need to switch as pre-paid, direct convert it as sub line will do.

I don't know which is the right answer, I didn't use MNP.

This time I try to do it again, the dealer told me that I can split the original main and sub line to two different account, is just easy. I have double check this solution for me, so I just gave it a try.

The mobile operator support call me this afternoon, the MNP is not successful, because the 2 accounts are still under the same name, even it was splitted.

You think my case is complicated? The mobile operators' billing system is hundred times more complicated than my case here. If they can handle their billing system, why not my case?

Someone must have done something wrong, I have to find out myself later.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The discounted cabin service of AirAsia budget flight

"now everyone can fly", is true.

No doubt, AirAsia is popular and with a branded name, for its low air fare to fly. When you are thinking of Air Flight, most people will think of AirAsia, first is to check their air fare. For those who don't fly, you can fly now. For those who fly, they fly more often with AsiaAsia. I find it almost unbelievable, travel by Air may be cheaper than travel by bus.

Recently I have the pleasure to fly with AirAsia, I am a little bit disappointed with their cabin services. Those who have fly with AirAsia recently, should agree with me. The first experience is, the flight attendance are so careless that she split the left over milo drink on my friend clothes, she did apologized but my friend complain to me that she didn't help him to clean up the mess.

The second experience is I am travelling with another 2 friends and AsiaAsia. We have pre-ordered the food, but the food was not delivered earlier as usual, but they start selling food to the others in the cabin. Since the food is not ready for us yet, my hungry and thirsty friend requested (to buy) a drink, but the air hostess told him politely that he can't because food trolley cart has just pass by (a few steps) and we have to wait till they came back. I have written this down in the feed back form, but so far there is no reply or response from AirAsia.

I ask my friends who travel more often with AirAsia, is the cabin service that poor? They answer, yes, as usual. My experience told me that the air hostess service is the best service I can found, it is as good as those high class restaurant, but the new experience on AirAsia cabin change my mind, the service was discounted together with the ticket price.

This is about working attitude. In service sector, like hotel, restaurant or bank, provide a good service is the basic thing. Is not how much the customer pay for it, as long as you getting paid by the company, you are responsible to do a good job. Even is a free service, you should do it well. Never heard of such thing happen?

The free and open source Firefox browser, is much better than many commercialize browser.

Hopefully AirAsia will improved and do not set a bad example for the other service sector.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My last P1 bill rebate is 330

Since I have experience with P1 network problems for more than 2 weeks time, P1 offer me a one month rebate for October. I shouldn't trust them anymore, because I have bad experience with them. They always says they are going to give you some rebates to cover your lost for the days that you are not able to access to the Internet, but they never keep their promise. (read here)

This time they did gave me some rebate, is 3.30.

p1 rebate
My P1 rebate is 3.30

Monday, November 09, 2009

P1 CEO Michael Lai

Sin Chew Daily has a 2 page coverage story and interview with P1 CEO Michael Lai (賴敬達) at Fortune Investment Weekly section.

Since P1 already has an aggressive advertisement campaign for these 2 months, is this interview necessary? If Michael Lai has free time, he should pay more attention to those P1 users' complain (here, here, here, here and here).

Michael Lai is a high profile CEO, I doesn't know much about him, but I believe he is good, in business or a professional manager. Before joining P1, Michael is the Marketing Director of Oracle Malaysia, Senior Vice President of Branding and Market Development for Celcom, CEO of TM Net. Michael is familiar with the telecommunication and internet broadband market. You can look at Michael's profile on Green Packet website.

You still don't know who is Michael Lai?

DiGi girls
Michael in Bername news

streamyx ads
Streamyx ads strike back to P1

Michael Lai
Michael Lai, P1 CEO.

You can visit the post at low yat forum too.

P1 customer service not to serve the customer

P1 customer service is not to serve customer, but to protect the company.

Company staff is responsible to defend their company, because company pay their salary, but for the P1 case since all the subscribers pay monthly subscription fees, they should treat the subscribers better.

Sunday I drop by at P1 HQ (again) to terminate the Internet line. The supervisor keep telling me that I can not terminate the P1 line because I have a 1 year contract with P1. Since P1 is not working, as well I terminate it. After bargain for so long, the supervisor so sure that I can not terminate the line, but he is not sure that when my internet line problem can be solved.

The worst thing about the P1 customer service is their attitude. They are not there to solve your problem, at lease I don't feel it. The supervisor told me that if I insist to terminate the line now, they will charge me RM299. I just need to pay for another 2 month subscription, a total of RM198 till the contract end, it will be cheaper. They sounds like 'Dai Ko' and threaten the customer, by telling me that, you either let me check your problem or you pay us the RM299. Unbelievable.

(If P1 can solve the problem, why my Internet network problem remain unsolved, after I reported my Internet problem?)

This is the worst case scenario, my P1 Internet line has been down for almost a month, they was not able to solve the problem, they can't even send a technician in a week time after my problem reported (and their promise is in 4 days time), the collection department keep chasing you to pay the outstanding payment. If you want to terminate in this case, you will be threaten.

Come on P1, you can do better than this.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Streamyx guy solve my P1 problem

I complained about my P1 problem a few days back, they suppose to send in a technician in four days time. Today is the third or the forth day, but there is not sign of any technician coming in to solve the problematic P1 network problem.

The P1 technical people call me yesterday, ask me to reset the modem, place the modem in different place, towards the direction closer to the nearest base station, is still doesn't work. If I push the modem further a bit toward the base station direction, it will be put outside of the house. No joke.

Luckily the Stream guy came a little bit "earlier" today and solve our P1 problem. How? I think you all know how, just replace the P1 with Streamyx.

streamyx ads
Streamyx ads strike back to P1

That will end my experience with P1 in 2009. I started using it on January 2009 with one year contract. Is still one or two months before the contract end, but I doubt P1 dare to ask for the 2 months remaining payment.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

DiGi Get Connected roadshow at Suria KLCC 2009

DiGi is running a Get Connected roadshow from 4th to 8th November at Suria KLCC. I drop by and take a look at what they are offering. DiGi always came out with good offering, but I still want to complain a few things here.

1. DiGi gift. DiGi can spend millions of dollars on newspaper, TV commercial. I don't believe they are so stingy on their mystery gift. If you receive the following SMS you are entitle for 1 (if still available):

"DiGi Get Connected Road Shw@KLCC Center Court on 4-8 Nov09. 1st 300 customers to show this SMS@redemption counter will walk away with a mystery gift. T&C Apply."

Guess what is the mystery gift? Is a DiGi door hanger. What type of door hanger? Is like those you found in the hotel room, hanging on the door handle with "Do not disturb" writing on it. No joke, that is the mystery gift with limited supply.

Come on DiGi, You can do better than that.

The following are all about the wrong information that DiGi representative have given to me in the morning. Since I have bad experience with it, I double check the information, and then I go back to them in the afternoon, they admitted they have made some mistakes. Their excuse is, they are just on the first day of the roadshow.

I am so mad, not just for the wrong information, but when I ask the DiGi representative to double check some of my doubts. Few of them double check for me, few of them didn't. They still came back with some wrong information for me. May be the DiGi package are too complicatied for them to understand.

2. The Nokia 2730 does support 3.5G. I am interested with the free Nokia 2730 phone which came with the new subscription. One of their representative told me that it is a 3G phone, so I ask does it support 3.5G? He says no. I have checked the mobile88 website, it says yes for 3.5G (HSPDA). The representative insist the answer is no, because he is checking another website.

Later I check it on the website, Nokia official page says WCDMA 850/900/1900/2100, wikipedia says is a 3.5G cell phone.

3. The offer for 3G Internet Unlimited monthly 58 is RM48 not RM58, the offer end 31 December. When I was informed that the 3G Internet is RM58, I ask the promoter, isn't RM48? The promoter says RM48 is for DiGi broadband, DiGi 3G is RM58. I though I just get the 2 package price wrong. If you are confused with DiGi broadband and 3G service, try read broadband vs 3G.

When I go back to the roadshow in the afternoon, she told me that she just made a mistake.

4. Broadband data usage is not review in OCS (Online Customer Service) website. Start from the day I subscribe to DiGi broadband, I was told that I can check my data usage in OCS, but I never find it there.

Since they keep saying that I can check my data usage in OCS, I just want them to show me how. Then they came back the real answer to me, no, you can not check your data use in OCS.

5. You though I am complaining no pretty girls there? No, I don't. I am really tired today.

DiGi girls
Training time at DiGi roadshow.

DiGi broadband vs DiGi 3G

DiGi broadband and 3G are 2 different services, most people are confused. This is the information that I have collected these 2 days, hopefully can help you to have a better understand the 2 different services.
DiGi has no 3G services, the DiGi 3G is just a marketing term. The DiGi 3G is a 3.5G (HSPA, High Speed Packet Access or some name it HSDPA, D means download), which is faster, an improvement to the 3G services. In general you can call 3.5G and 3G as 3G services, but DiGi 3.5G services only provide data access. You can not have conference call with DiGi 3G (3.5G) services. If you have a phone which only support 3G, it will not work with DiGi network.
To help the consumer have a better understanding on DiGi broadband and 3G, DiGi people will tell you that broadband is for your desktop access to the Internet, 3G is for your phone to access to the Internet. If you just normal people and doesn't want to know more, you should stop here.
Further question, can I use my desktop or notebook connect to the DiGi 3G services? The answer is yes. You can place your SIM card (with 3G service activated) in to GSM modem which support 3.G (eg. Huawei 160e), or you can use your mobile phone as a dial-up modem for your notebook, it works. The only thing missing is you will not be able to receive phone call while accessing the 3G services with your notebook.
How about the other way? Will it works if I place the broadband SIM card into the phone? According to the DiGi representative, it works as long as your phone support 3.5G services, but you can not make calls with it. Since I do not have a mobile phone which support 3.5G, I have not tested with it.
If you access to DiGi broadband web page, you will notice there are 2 data services call broadband and 3G, hope my explanation can help you to make your choice.

Monday, November 02, 2009

P1 Sudah Potong advertisement

"你割左沒 ?" (Cantonese)
"Sudah poting?" (Bahasa Malaysia)
"Cut already (you Internet line)?"

I just go to P1 HQ to complain about the Internet connection again.

P1 Already cut ads
P1 lastest ads posted at the HQ building

The latest P1 advertisement campaign has been running for about a month time, it should come to an end. I didn't notice it at the beginning, I first know it from my friend. The advertisement is everywhere, on TV, radio, full page coverage on newspaper, billboard...is hard to ignored it.

Their slogan is, "Sudah potong?" (Cut already?). It refers to cut the fix Internet (Streamyx) line, and switch to wireless P1. The slogan may refer to circumcision as well. The ads are impressive, it capture public attention, but I think the the ads are rude, low class and inappropriate. You can talk about it with your MSN friends, put it on your non-official blog, but put up such ads to the public is not necessary.

I go to the P1 HQ not to complain about the advertisement, but the Internet connection (again!). I am having a connection problem for more than 2 weeks time. P1 representative told me that they are upgrading the network at my area, that causes slow network connection. The problem is not just slow, I can't even connect to the Internet at all, for almost 2 weeks time.

P1 should save some of their marketing budget and assign it to their technical department to improve their services. If P1 provide good services, fast Internet connection, I can advertise for P1 free of charge here.

If the problem continue, I have to "Cut now", not the wire line, but the wireless WiMax line. P1 agree to send technician to look at the network problem in a few days time. More stories after three days later.

Is WiMax a good business investment?

3 companies were fined a total of 3.8 millions for failing to provide the required WiMax network coverage

WiMax is a technology like WiFi, but has wider coverage range, since they use different protocol, you can not use a wifi device (eg. netbook) connected to WiMax service. The WiFi (the wireless internet that we use at our home and internet cafe) has a shorter coverage range of about 100m, WiMax coverage range is counted by kilometers.

Don't be too excited to get a WiMax license in Malaysia here. Before you start making money, you have to invest tons of money in and you are not sure when you can collected the money back. This is still not the worst case scenario.

So far there are 4 WiMax license issued, to Green Packet (P1 WiMax), Redtone, YTLE (YTL e-Solutions) and Asiaspace. The first three companies are public listed company, only Asiaspace is not public listed, most people are not familiar with Asiaspace. Each company is responsible to provide WiMax service for at lease 25 percent coverage, I assume these 4 companies share the 100 percent coverage, that's how MCMC came out with the 25 percent coverage figure.

P1 (Packet One, backup by Intel) has started to provide WiMax services in August 2008, and P1 is the first to roll out WiMax service in South East Asia. The other three companies are not ready to provide WiMax services yet (I remember Asiaspace did provide WiMax services). Redtone, YTLE and Asiaspace was fined a total 3.8 millions Ringgit Malaysia by MCMC (Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission) for failing to meet the required network coverage. YTLE was fined 1.9 millions, Asiaspace was fined 1.7 millions, Redtone was fined 200K.

Don't be too excited by getting a WiMax license, before these companies can provide WiMax sevices, they was fined millions of dollar. P1 has started WiMax service for slightly more than a year now, but the service quality is not good (read my previous post). Heavy investment in advertisement and marketing campaign may bring down Green Packet's profit too (financial report).

WiMax investment could be a money printing machine but it could be money burning machine too.