Archive for August, 2010

on happiness

“Happiness, as we all know, can’t be pursued directly, but what was the gain in tracking down every nuance of unhappiness, meticulously uncovering origins that left a lot to be desired but that could never be changed, no matter how skillfully you tried to reconstruct them?”

– Daphne Merkin in “My Life in Therapy” published on NYT.com, Aug 4 2010.


Read Full Post »


This post is about my unpleasant encounter with the biggest telco in Singapore. Please skip this post if you have a low threshold for rants and expletives. So the story goes like this:


I called up the big telco lunchtime yesterday to check if my mobile line is due for recontract. I remember the two year contract should be up second half of this year, but I can’t remember exactly when. After entering many “1”s (for english, for mobile customers, for checking on recontract), I finally got through to a customer care officer (CCO).


Things started well enough.


CCO: Miss Lim, our record shows that you just recontracted your mobile line last August.

me: !! No! I’m very sure I did not recontract my line last year!

CCO: Yes, Miss Lim, according to our record, you walked into the Hello! shop at Tampines Mall and recontracted your line.

me: What phone did I get?

CCO: It was a sony ericsson.

me: Yes, I did walk into the Hello! shop at Tampines Mall and got my sony ericsson phone, but that was two years ago! The phone was spoilt around last year this time when I was travelling, so how could I have done the recontract then?

CCO: Miss Lim, our record shows that you recontracted your line last year.

me: I’m very sure that I did not! Can you check your records thoroughly?

CCO: Miss Lim, our record shows that you walked into the Hello! shop at Tampines Mall and recontracted your line last year.

me: And I’m telling you I did not! My phone was already spoilt last year, how could I have recontracted?

CCO: Miss Lim, our record shows that you recontracted last year. But it’s ok, it’s been one year already, so you can recontract again now.

me: No! This is not about me being able to recontract now. I did not recontract last year and I want to make this clear.

CCO: Miss Lim, our record shows that you recontracted last year…..


And then the line dropped. And I was boiling.


Pet peeve: Do not accuse me of doing something I did not do, especially if you are a bl**dy CCO.


So I called back, and got another CCO. A male this time. I explained my situation and he checked the system again and confirmed that I was correct– the last contract was signed in 2008, TWO years ago.


CCO (male): Sorry Ma’am, sometimes our system hangs, and we have to click onto another tab to see the record. Maybe the CCO that you’ve just spoken to is new, and she doesn’t know that.


Right… and so the consequences of bad staff training should be borne by consumers who PAY for your services?


After I venting my frustations on the poor CCO, I proceeded to ask for phone vouchers. To which I got an even more ridiculous response:


CCO: Sorry Ma’am, but the department issuing vouchers is out. And our department cannot issue vouchers. But I can waive off two months subscription off your current price plan.


me: But I want to buy a new phone, and I would like the voucher to offset the cost of the phone!


CCO: Sorry Ma’am, we also don’t know when the department will be back, because they’re helping with the launch of the iphone 4. How about I give you maximum three months waiver on your subscription?


WTF? iPhone 4 comes to town, and THE biggest telco doesn’t have even ONE staff to issue phone vouchers?


I’m impressed, StinkTel.

Read Full Post »


One of my favourite pics from the weekend past. Taken at P. Ubin.


rays through the foliage

Read Full Post »