Crocs Malaysia Warehouse Sale

I have always been a fan of Crocs shoes because of their lightness, durability and the airy design. As someone who suffers from athlete’s foot since the teen years, airy means better air circulation and dryer feet.

Back in 2009 or 2010 we went to a Crocs warehouse sale in Ikano Power Center in Damansara. It was held in an empty unit next to the IT hypermarket at the top floor. We bought 5 pairs – two for myself and three for my son.

I bought myself an Olive Baya, and a Black Trailbreak.

For my son we bought him a Green Baya, a Batman Cayman and a Crocs Electro.

For other models than the Baya, links are from other websites as they no longer exist on the official website. Maybe they have been taken off production or something.

The purpose of this post is to make sure that if there is any more warehouse sale in the future, and if you’re going, you better thoroughly check the shoes you’re buying.

A few days back, my son was having trouble to put on the Crocs Electro on his left foot. That was weird, and at first I had a silly thought that his left foot has grown more than his right foot. I was surprised to see that the shoes, although marked with the same size, had the left one smaller than the other.

I don’t know how this happened but I’m not happy. Lucky for us we realize this before his feet were bruised more. It is not my intention to accuse anything at anyone but I have to admit that I am disappointed. Knowing Malaysia, we can’t return the shoes especially since it was bought in a warehouse sale. Heck, we can’t even return them if we buy them at retail price.

And of course, living in Malaysia I’m not excluding the possibilities of foul play. It’s how most businesses make maximum profit anyway…

You can see more pictures in the full post.

Continue reading Crocs Malaysia Warehouse Sale

TM UniFi Downtime: Exercise Your Rights

If you are a UniFi subscriber, and live in the Puchong (plus Damansara reported by achmatibrahim via Twitter) area you might have already been aware of the downtime since yesterday afternoon (8 December 2010). At the moment I am writing this post, it has been more than 12 hours. TM is not actively informing users about this downtime and all we get is this from their Twitter account:

tmcorp-unify-down

I have just called the UniFi Center a few minutes ago and the guy who picked up the call was a sales guy. He tried to contact the technical department but he failed. At least that’s what he said. So he promised to call back with a ticket number. I think he will not call me until the whole thing is over. I will just lodge a report with MCMC.

At first, he told me that TM is aware of the downtime and it’s because of server upgrade. That’s a lame and insulting excuse. There is no announcement on the UniFi website.

Please people, if you are one of the affected subscriber please do your part by calling 1 300 88 1222 and insist on a ticket number for the downtime.

Even if it’s one day, for VIP5 package subscriber that’s already RM149/30 = RM4.97 and if every single person as mentioned in the tweet above makes a claim for rebate, that’s already costing TM the amount of RM9,940 in rebates. Don’t take it from TM that “it’s OK to be down if so many people are affected”. We pay for this service.

Don’t ask for a rebate when calling the UniFi Center but ask for a formal report to be done. With the ticket number, go to MCMC website and lodge a formal report. The direct link to the Aduan is here.

We need to send a message to TM that downtime will cost them money. Otherwise it’ll be as usual for every single service we have in Malaysia where we just sit and wait for the service to get back.

We need to make them go out of their beds and work on fixing the issue. I am serious about this. You can do your part.

Yes, I am getting old and like to rationalize instead of rant.

skmm-unifi-report

Everything On The Web Is Public Domain

200px-www_logo_by_robert_cailliau

That’s what an Editor of the Cooks Source magazine told a writer when she called about the magazine taking her 5-year old article and publishing it in the magazine.

If that’s true this blog wouldn’t have been taken down by GoDaddy a few months back because one of the sister blogs hosted in the same account had a copyright infringement issue. The 5-year old post had a picture of a simple omelet which belong to someone else and nobody noticed it until this year.

One of Malaysia’s food blogger had his image taken once and printed in in the Saji magazine. The image was printed in the July 2010 issue and the apology statement only appeared in the November issue.

It’s really funny how people think that everything on the web is “public domain”. Or it can also be a simple response in order to stop the caller from asking for formal apology statement or making monetary claims, in hope that the writer is easily intimidated and not knowledgable in law.

A nice thing about what happened for Monica Gaudio is how wide the issue is being covered in the web. People shared the issue and soon they found out that the magazine has taken a lot more from others even from commercial blogs. Hey, it’s public domain right?

This is what I was trying to do when I wrote about how Mat Gebu’s image was stolen. In hope that Malaysian become more concerned and care about others instead of their selves. But I guess it’s just not working in Malaysia where people don’t really value work by others, and everyone claims that they can do whatever the other person is doing. In the end, everybody in the business loses and the cheapskates and freeloaders win. When workmanships are not priced right, everyone in the same line of work suffers.

Source: Mashable – Web Shames Magazine for Plagiarizing Blogger’s Article

The WWW logo is in public domain

Malaysian Bank to Avoid: EON Bank

I received a call just about 10 minutes ago, from an automated recording system.

Dear customer, you have eight thousand of outstanding amount in the system. Please remit your payment immediately. Press 0 to talk to our customer service

So I did. For the record I never had any relationship with this bank for anything.

The person on the other end was very rude, and he yelled at me “EON BANK!!!” when I asked which bank it was. The automated call didn’t even bother to mention the bank name, as if EON Bank is the only bank in Malaysia.

So he received a “yell back” response. I have already told their customer support so many times that the person they are looking for is no longer using this number. The number is inherited from someone else and apparently it’s attached to the EON Bank credit card.

What to do other than just to say that they dialed the wrong number? But receiving a call saying that you have RM8000 outstanding amount is really a shock to this old man.

EON Bank, you suck big time. I thought RHB is the only bank that sucks in Malaysia. I was proven wrong simply because I have never been your customer.

Don’t bother emailing me, I don’t care.

DiGi iPhone Page Has Wrong Modification Date via HTTP

iPhone 4 has just been launched in Malaysia, and I have also been closely following the progress.

Looking at SoyaCincau’s comparison between Maxis and DiGi, I was attempting to load DiGi’s page again. I have done this before.

Instead of talking about iPhone 4 itself, I am going to see why the page is showing me 3GS instead. Yes, I am a nerdy SysAdmin and it’s hard to change.

The page is here http://www.digi.com.my/iphone/getone_want_iphone_payment.html

Here’s the page in my browser:

digi-iphone-http

I was about to blame it on Maxis Broadband’s transparent proxy when I saw that it was a MISS from Squid. And then I saw the modification date is way in the past (highlighted above).

This is not something serious, but just in case you get the old page, clear your browser’s cache and you should be able to see the new page. Or, access it via HTTPS:

digi-iphone-https

Notice the last modified date makes much more sense now.

The technical explanation to this is because your browser sees that the page has not been modified and decided to show you the cache. It’s as simple as that. This may happen because of misconfiguration or something like that but as I said, this is not something serious.

I just hope those who has been seeing 3GS list can now see the updated 4 list.

Have I decided which provider I am going to choose? Well that’s a secret for now…

Maxis Transparent Proxy is Causing Problems to Developers

I had to transfer 2 WordPress blogs to another hosting provider last night, as the free one is going to expire today. It should be as easy as:

  1. Transfer the files
  2. Transfer the database
  3. Change DNS servers in registry to the new DNS servers
  4. Configure the new hosting location

In a few hours after the DNS propagation is finished I should be able to point to the new site. If not, I should be able to use the host file /etc/hosts to point to the new server and make sure it works well.

I’ve had the trouble with Maxis transparent proxy before when it was blurting out random errors to random sites.

Today, even when OpenDNS is already updated with the new IP (DNS propagation has finished), the transparent proxy is still outdated and points to the old server.

maxis-transparent-proxy-troubling-developers

I am sure if I call Maxis or even use its MaxisListens Twitter account, they will not even understand the concept of DNS.

The thing with transparent proxy is, as long as it’s HTTP traffic it will be going through it (not HTTPS), and it does not matter if I use a host file.

Oh well. I guess I can’t test this quickly right now except by using an anonymous proxy or connecting to an external VPN. Who appreciates time these days?

BTW, making modifications in domainregistry.my was very fun and it took me more than 30 minutes to modify one domain.

Sakae Sushi Lets Mothers Starve On Mother’s Day

Technology is great, indeed but human interaction is also important.

We are sushi lovers, yes. Our favorite sushi outlet in Malaysia is Sushi King.

Passing by Sakae Sushi for many times and looking at the rows of computer screens, we decided to try it out on Mother’s Day at The Curve. While other eateries provide promotions for the special day on 9th May, Sakae Sushi did not bother. But it’s still okay.

After clicking on a menu item, customers are able to choose how many items they want to order, and to click confirm again to avoid making a false order. It’s cool. When confirmed, a big sentence popped up in the middle of the screen saying “your order has been sent to the kitchen!”.

As my better half really loves bento sets, we ordered one of the items called “Unagi and Tempura Bento”.

The sushis looks nice, comparing to Sushi King they have a lot more options for one particular ingredient. For example there were more than one sushi made with Unagi.

After more than 30 minutes and a few plates of sushis later, the bento still had not arrived so I called the waiter and had the order canceled. Bye bye Sakae Sushi. That’s the first and last time we will visit you!

By the way, forget bringing an active toddler to the place as their hot water tap is by the table side and there is no safety feature!

Yes, I could not stress this more. We are very particular about retail and food customer service.

The same thing happened to us last 2 months where my niece did not get her food, at Paddington House of Pancakes in Mid Valley.

Forex Trading In Malaysia

It was an interesting morning today, when a friend told me that his brother received a job offer in a Forex trading company in Shah Alam. It was great news that he was able to get something after searching for opportunities for quite a while. However since my niece experienced this more than once, I am skeptical about such companies in Malaysia.

I asked him to check with the Securities Commission and whether or not the company presented an offer letter to his brother.

At first I thought that Forex is administered by the Securities Commission (SC) but I was wrong. When called, SC said that Forex is administered by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).

BNM Foreign Exchange Administration said:

In Malaysia no company or individuals are given license to do forex trading except for registered merchant banks

Which corresponds to this List of Authorised Dealers of Foreign Currency. One thing that disappoints me the most is that BNM did not ask the company name, showing that they have no immediate interest in closing such fraudulent businesses.

Signs that a company might be working on something fraudulent:

  • They don’t really have a proper business sign at their office
  • They ask candidates to go to training first, before they provide an offer letter
  • They have options whether the employee would like to be paid based on commission or on a fixed rate

It is a great thing that my friend’s brother told him about it. My unfortunate niece did not share the news with me so she ended up wasting weeks without getting paid. And imagine if the office is raided by the authorities. I wouldn’t want to be a part of that, would you?

So the lesson to learn here is that you should always tell someone about your opportunities, and never immediately trust just any company no matter how desperate you are for a job.

And of course, always get an offer letter first before you start working. This is the most important thing of all, when getting a new job.

Review: The Picture Company @ One Utama

Due to the ranting nature of this post, reader discretion is advised. Some language may be offensive.

We found The Picture Company in One Utama some time ago and decided to try it out. We were out of time and unable to look for more options. We called the place to make an appointment and asked about the rates. The person at the other line told us since it’s a birthday the session fee is waived – that’s all, no more explanation. Not really exciting, but okay. Free stuff usually comes with strings attached.

When arrived, we were brought directly inside the studio for a 40-minutes session. The photographer doesn’t speak Malay but weird English. The studio is basic with thick white paper background and two soft boxes as lighting source. I personally was too busy trying to make our son laugh to look at the camera model but it was a Canon.

After the session the photographer took 30 minutes to select and crop the photos. It was when the photos are ready we learned that we have to select and purchase the photos we like for RM68 each, 8R size.

We were too excited to ask for the package details. There is a concept of pay only what you want (no package). The question is only why didn’t they explain to us the rates for the printouts.

They told us that they make money by printing, that’s why the RM150 photography session was free. The only soft copies they will give us are small “email size” – and the photographer even told us we shouldn’t print those as they will come out pixelated on paper. They also told us that they have copyright on those photos.

For RM68 per piece, I would expect we get the high resolution soft copies (at least for the ones we ordered for print) so that we can do anything with them (i.e. nice computer wallpapers, canvas prints). It’s not like we’ll order more prints afterwards anyway, and their retention period is only 3 weeks for non members. They don’t have canvas printing yet, and when available next year it’s gonna cost a fortune. This means, in order for us to get canvas prints we need to become member to make sure they will keep our files for a year. They are that greedy, yes. Heck, if they ask us to pay for the soft copies I would gladly pay.

So this is what I would call perniagaan yang hina dan keji. It’s despicable and dishonorable not to explain to customers beforehand, and it’s obvious that after spending a family session we would love the photos and will pay for them in the end. It’s a smart and dirty trick taking advantage of excited parents.

We ended up paying RM68 (each!) for all the photos we shortlisted (more than 10). It’s going to be ready in a week, I hope they will be high quality prints or I will definitely make a scene. Since they talked about copyright, if they make a mistake by using our photos commercially they will hear from our lawyer as we didn’t sign any model release or any agreement for that matter.

For RM68 each the photos are only bare printouts, inside a huge envelope. The colors are too soft, and the printouts are not sharp. It’s not worth the money.

If it wasn’t such a special day (and since we have spent precious time) I would have paid the RM150 session fee, and told Jo to delete the photos off the Mac and shove the CF card up her ass.

Next time we would consider going to those photographers who specializes in family photos. 90% of them provide soft copies and also photobooks.

I know, we are difficult customers. There will always be difficult customers like us. We’re hard to please, and we don’t take things lightly. Malaysian customers are too kind to businesses so they give crappy service and taking things for granted. Not us.

On a separate note, Cupcake Chic @ The Curve is nice. People are friendly and helpful, the cakes are nice. Highly recommended. They are too small to talk about much, but they are good in what they do – that deserves a good word.

Funny Phishing Attempt

I received an email with no text but contained just an image as attachment, and the whole image is a hyperlink to a phishing site:

Notice the casual language and a spelling mistake (find out where!), plus the Copyright year is 2009. The email was sent to someone without the Internet banking facility, and a dormant CIMB account.

But thankfully it has been reported and updated in Mozilla Phishing and Malware Protection.

cimbclicks-phishing

I am intrigued to know whether these phishers are using any targeting mechanism to send these emails because they seems to be sent to the correct people. For example this email is sent to a Malaysian living in Malaysia. Can anyone tell me whether you are not in Malaysia and/or not even Malaysian and receive this email?

I used to receive the Bank of America spam a lot but not anymore. Maybe they now have a geographical database of emails. Interesting.

Malaysia PayPal Users Can Now Add Local Bank Accounts

My better half told me yesterday that we can now add our local bank accounts in PayPal. It was too good to be true so I decided to check. I went to check my PayPal emails first just in case I missed an announcement. However, I don’t see any. It’s kinda weird that when a new language is available PayPal sends us an email but not for something as important as this?

▼ A d v e r t i s e m e n t

Oh well, not a big deal. I am all hyped with this new ability, and am already thinking of ditching my Al-Rajhi account (debit card account used for withdrawals).

Adding a bank account is very easy. On your “My Account” page, click on “Profile” which will reveal a drop down where you select “Add/Edit Bank Account”.

malaysia-paypal-step0

Next, you just enter your details:

Details

Don’t put in the wrong routing code. Always double check. This routing code is also sometimes referred to as the SWIFT code. I am amazed on the considerably long list.

malaysia-paypal-bank-routing-code

And that’s it. The next thing you will see is that it’s listed in your bank account page:

malaysia-paypal-done

Please, be sure that you entered the correct bank name, account number, and routing code. As the fee list suggests, you will be charged RM15 for every rejected transaction:

malaysia-paypal-fees

You’ll be charged RM3.00 for amounts less than RM400, free otherwise. I think it does not get any clearer than this.

Enjoy your new ability! It does not involve in eating brains this time.

Is 5GB Per Month Enough? Fair Usage Policy

I don’t think so. Last week, I was on leave for the whole week and did some light browsing at home. To avoid contamination with other PCs in my house, I conducted this test while purely tethering on my BlackBerry device. WIFI was turned off.

The only objective is to see how much data I am using per day to browse the Internet – lightly. No streaming, no gmail, no gaming, no real facebooking. Facebooking was done on the lite interface at http://lite.facebook.com.

▼ A d v e r t i s e m e n t

From the simple test I was able to determine that I use around 420MB per day for light browsing. Multiply that by 30 days and I will get 12900MB which is roughly equivalent to 12.6GB!

Now that explains it why at the end of each month my connection is in snail mode because it’s most likely that Maxis is capping my speed because of overuse.

Bear in mind that this is only for 1 computer.

maxis-daily-usage1

I have been starting to miss Streamyx which I used to hate so much. At least they are slow because of the International link and such, not because they intentionally limit my speed. To me, Streamyx’s BitTorrent capping is fair.

Plus, these Telco are changing their packages like changing underwear! (If they do!)

maxis-new-packages

And of course:

maxis-fup

I can’t wait to have Streamyx back. Currently I am limiting browsing at home, so that my better half will not encounter problems doing her business online.

Secret Recipe at The Curve Damansara

My other half and I have always loved Secret Recipe. Among our favorite dishes are the Thai Fried Rice, Vietnamese Beef Noodle, Singapore Laksa, and not forgetting the cakes. It’s a Malaysian brand, and it provides good food.

However we have not been visiting any outlets since a couple of months ago because we had a bad experience at the Jusco Taman Equine outlet. The food was not fresh and tasted weird.

▼ A d v e r t i s e m e n t

On Saturday we decided to have Thai Fried Rice at The Curve outlet because we missed it. However when we tried to order it, the server roughly said, “Tak ada!” (It’s not available!). Well they should at least be more specific whether the menu item has been phased out or they are out of ingredients, or whatever reasons they may have. And the most important part is to say sorry. As customers, we were obviously disappointed because what we wanted to have was not available.

But that’s it. Not a word more from the server. He might also be the manager because he dresses differently from the others.

And so we bailed out. I said to my other half, “So it’s true Secret Recipe has turned bad and becoming worst. Furthermore they are always rude.”. Unfortunately (or fortunately) the guy heard me and rudely said “Dah tak ada, nak buat macam mana. Tak baik cakap macam tu.” (We don’t have it what can we do. It’s not good to say that).

I wanted to turn to him and tell him I was not talking to him but I quickly remembered where I am – Malaysia. A good friend of mine (who returned from the US for the Eid holidays) tried to confront a salesperson at Adonis Mid Valley because she was ignored (the salesperson was sitting doing nothing and not paying attention when assistance is needed), and my friend was asked to leave. Perhaps my friend forgot that she’s back in her own country where the shops and retailers are always correct.

The server did miss the point – they are rude not because something was not available, but because he didn’t greet and didn’t apologize. If he’s really the manager I think the HQ made a mistake hiring someone not bright enough.

It’s funny how the retail and food industry work in Malaysia. We have no choice but to pay 5% service charge, and we get crappy service. I would gladly pay 20% tip for a splendid service.

You know what, it’s all about customer service skills. This is definitely not the first time something is not available at a restaurant but the server should be quick enough to suggest other alternatives and be apologetic about it.

Right now I don’t think I have the appetite to visit any Secret Recipe… maybe some time in the future but definitely not the one in The Curve. Heck, I was not even this disappointed when a roach was in my drink.

Tips When You Know I Am Going To Interview You

If you by any chance, by any way find out that I am going to be the person interview you for a job you need to know the following:

  1. Don’t come late. 1 minute late and your resume or CV will end up in the shredder or the trash can. Do your location research the day before the interview. If you really can’t, leave home 2 or 3 hours early. If you’re going to be more than 10 minutes late, don’t bother coming. Call the person who arranged the interview and cancel your session. If you see my carry no pen, you have already failed the interview.
  2. Don’t come too early. The earliest you should arrive is 10 minutes before the interview. Technical interviewers have other tasks too.
  3. Do your research about the position you are applying, and if possible about the company. This reflects on how resourceful you are.
  4. Don’t hesitate when answering questions.
  5. Be very interested to ask questions about the job, and about the company.
  6. If you don’t know, don’t try to deviate the question. Just say you don’t know and you will be better respected. Nobody knows everything.
  7. Try convincing me that you will be able to, and are interested to learn things you don’t know.

Good luck.

Italiannies Sunway Pyramid

This is an overdue post that I wanted to write right after I came back from there on Tuesday, but I couldn’t.

That day, I went back home earlier than usual as my other half was craving for pasta. Pizza Hut and Kenny Rogers pasta were also candidates but we like the Carbonara at Italiannies best because of the full flavor. It was our second time at Italiannies Sunway Pyramid, as the first was on Father’s day where I enjoyed a free Grilled Salmon Oreganata (that is a RM44++ meal gratis). I like the branch in Sunway Pyramid better than the one in The Curve as the restaurant is bigger, the air conditioning is a lot cooler, and the environment is much calmer. Plus, the service in Sunway Pyramid is superb.

If you have been following my posts, you will know that I am easily annoyed with bad service. I was annoyed at first with the weird, hard to understand accent but it faded away when they gave their best service. The first time I went there they helped me carry the stroller up the stairs (we used the wrong entrance by the pub to the smoking level). This time, they brought a pillow for my kid’s back support when they saw that I had to use one of my hand to support the kid’s back on the considerably large high chair. They paid good attention and gave help without the need to be asked. I felt so grateful I almost shed some tears but fortunately I didn’t.

If tipping is practiced in Malaysia those two servers would get a fat tip from me. Well I would still tip them if I feel like I have money to spare but not right now. Maybe some day, hopefully soon.

Italiannies in Sunway Pyramid consists of two levels – the lower level is the smoking level and there is an entrance near the pub (I can’t remember the name). If you’re coming from inside the mall, the entrance is at the back of TGI Friday’s. Yes, you have to enter TGI Friday’s, go left and straight to the back where there is a door waiting for you. I personally prefer this entrance.

I will go there again, to try the Sicilian Pizza. I ended up having the salmon again since they were out of ingredients for the pizza (it was quite late in the evening).

So what about you, do you like Italiannies and what can you recommend to have there?