Noticed the Haagen Dazs signage had gone missing the other day I went to De Garden. Someone told me that they are renovating, rather than closed as I initially thought. I found it odd that they would take the signage away though if that was the case.
But later heard that Haagen Dazs has completely pulled out from Ipoh. They didn’t relocate to Ipoh Parade, which again turned out to be fake news. My wife actually brought the children to Ipoh Parade hoping to find Haagen Dazs there after someone told her they have moved there! It is unbelievable what some people can come up with.
We are very disappointed that Haagen Dazs decided to pull out from Ipoh, or in fact the whole of Perak. We love the Haagen Dazs ice cream. Much preferred over Inside Scoop also located in De Garden. No comparison for us to be honest, in terms of the quality and also the blend of taste their ice cream. We can keep eating and eating and eating..
When we were in KL, we brought our children to their outlet too. But turns out that the one in Bukit Bintang, by the roadside, is no longer there either. We went to the one in Mid Valley shopping mall. We used to be a member, and thought we are still a member. But for some reasons after they closed down the outlet in Ipoh, they took out members associated to that outlet from their system too!
Can’t believe a city like Ipoh could not sustain a Haagen Dazs outlet. They had been around in De Garden for so many years. But to be honest their business did seem to have dwindled, and there is more competition in the form of Inside Scoop as well within De Garden itself. But at least they should have just moved to another location, rather than completely closing the only outlet in Ipoh! Argh!!
Got very nervous yesterday trying to login for RHB online banking. Googled for “RHB login”, which many people do because the exact URL is difficult to remember, clicked on RHB Online Banking (see screenshot below) and I was presented with a login page.
All very good, except that when I put in my username, the wrong secret word appeared! So does it mean I have landed on a phishing page, which I have been repeatedly warned by banks about such risk before?! For a moment I thought these scammers have taken over my browser! You see, I’m not the alone person using my PC at home. Who knows what other members of my family might have done that could lead to my browser getting compromised? So I went on to click for more information about the site URL. And it showed that I was indeed connected to the legitimate RHB banking site, owned by RHB Bank KL. So what was going on? I was still presented with the same wrong secret word however many times I tried.
Then I remember that I have logon from rhb.com.my before. Used Google search and found this URL instead – https://logon.rhb.com.my. Again I was presented with a login page (see below or click to enlarge), that looked almost exactly the same as the one at https://rhbnow.rhbgroup.com/kh/ which I initially landed on. When I put in my username, the secret word I got was correct this time.
I nearly wanted to report this to RHB. Clicked on the call button, to then realise that this damn page actually is for RHB bank users in Cambodia (see below or click to enlarge)!
It seems that RHB is trying to merge their sites to be all under rhbgroup.com. It is a logical idea, rather than having to keep maintaining different domain names for RHB in different countries. But trouble is, RHB has done poor job in linking the login page for users to logon to. I have no idea how I can be led to the Cambodia RHB login page. They need to sort this out quickly, otherwise they are bound to receive many calls about their “phishing page” lol.
Bubble tea is making a come back. So many bubble tea shops popping up even in a sleeping town like Ipoh. I suppose the nation do like milk tea, whether it is the traditional teh tarik or the trendy milk tea with various new ingredients added to it.
But one thing I notice that is getting from bad to worse is the plastic used for bubble tea. I have enquired with a bubble milk tea supplier before about serving the drink in our shop. I wasn’t already very impressed with the use plastic cups, and the sealed plastic lid, for the drink at the time. That was a couple of years ago. The supplier told us that it is actually very energy efficient using this type of plastic cups, which is made of Polypropylene (PP), also known as PP cups. It does not take much oil or hydrocarbon to make one as it is targeted for single use anyway, not for recycling. Energy efficient in the sense that you don’t need to wash, since it is single use, unlike mugs or cups which requires energy from labour workers to wash them after use. These are the cups still being used by bubble tea chains like Chatime and Tealive. The cups are a bit soft or flimsy to hold on to, especially when the cup is full, but not a problem, people have been drinking from this kind of cups with no issue.
Here comes the latest trend, bubble tea is becoming more upmarket. So not only that new ingredients are introduced to the drink itself, with thick brown sugar, cheese, and what not. The drink needs to look the part too! People like to take photos of bubble tea they drink and post them on social media! So the drinks are now placed in a firmer, sturdier type of plastic, called PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) plastic, because people like to seen holding a more elegant cup of drink.
People can recycle this kind of plastic cups. But let’s be honest, that’s not what these customers of bubble tea do. They will just chuck the cups away as soon as they finish the drinks. So we have this drive by franchises like McDonald’s and Starbucks, and government initiatives, to discourage and/or to ban use of straws. Then we have this bunch of opportunists driving the latest craze with yet more plastic waste. I am aware that not all such trendy bubble milk tea chain or shops use PET plastic cups. But consumers need to be more aware of this plastic issues. I would suggest them to bring their own cup! For example Starbucks give discount to customers who bring their own mugs. Don’t see why these bubble tea shops can’t offer an equivalent initiative!
Frustration! I have been checking my Maybank account for the past few days, because I have had a cheque deposited to my bank account, and I need the money. Banked in on Thursday, before 4pm. Everywhere on Maybank website it states the cheque will be cleared by the next business day if the cheque is deposited before 4pm. I was expecting money to appear on Friday, night. But nope. Perhaps my was deposited too close to 4pm. And their clock was rubbish. Gave them benefit of a doubt. But Thaipusam on Monday. So latest by Tuesday, surely. Nope, perhaps it really does bloody take 3 working days!
Okay it is Wednesday today. Called them up. So there was no cheque floating in my account, at all. BTW this does not appear on their Maybank mobile app. Only desktop’s version of Maybank2u will it show. The customer service rep told me to call the local branch instead. Telling me that most likely the cheque was rejected. Okay called up my local branch. They didn’t know why too, and the cheque was physically not at the branch, because all cheques deposited into an ATM are sent to KL for processing. When a cheque is rejected, it will get sent back to the branch. So my cheque was caught out between KL and Ipoh and excitingly nobody knows why! I called up the main customer helpline, again, to ask for a number where I could find out the status of my cheque, in this case the KL cheque processing department. Called the number (03-20747956) nobody answered. Called the main helpline again, and was given three more numbers – 03-20748042, 03-20747338 and 03-20747068. Bloody hell, all four numbers, including the one was given earlier, no answer whatsoever. Maybank seriously screwed up here, even their people don’t know their numbers don’t work anyway.
Okay the branch called back, I was told the cheque was back at the branch. The reason the cheque was rejected because my account number was not written on the back of the cheque. So they did not know which account to bank the cheque into. Alright, before you shoot me for silly mistake like this, I have never written any bank account number on cheques when I deposit cheque at Public Bank ATMs. I thought the reason we are required to key in a bank account number at the ATM machine is so the ATM will make a note of which account to bank the cheque in to. This is what the Public Bank ATM does. But not Maybank’s. In fact keying in a bank account number when you deposit a cheque at Maybank ATMs is just to syiok sendiri. It is just for your own record. Maybank don’t care if you key in a wrong account number. Because they don’t use information that you key in anyway. They might as well let customers drop their cheques into a box like ATM machines, like RHB bank, that do not require customers to do this redundant step of keying in an account number. I am shocked, seriously, at how poorly designed Maybank’s cheque depositing machines are. And criminally the poor design misled customers like me into thinking that cheques can be deposited the same way as depositing cheques at Public Bank’s ATMs. Do you think Maybank know how poor their cheques processing service is when compared to other banks (Public Bank and RHB Bank are already mentioned above)?
This year is going to be a lousy year yet again. The only consolation I found today is, based on the business to date this year, it is no worse than last year’s! I find this really incredible, because I thought I have not seen a worse January. Guess my memory is certainly not getting any better. Nobody I talked to seem to be particularly upbeat about the prospect of this year. Those who get to keep their job should be grateful. Those in business, it is going to be a tough year ahead. Will either have to tough it out, outmuscle competitors, or pack up the business. The upcoming Chinese New Year might be a gloomy one this year..
Public Bank, though very good with their customer service and support at their branches, is absolutely rubbish at telephone helpline. Googled a free phone number for their customer service 1800 22 5555, but no one answers the phone. Phoned another number, a national number, 03-21795000, it is just an automated answering machine that you can only check for bank account information. Tried another number, 03-21799999, a PBe customer support helpline, just to try my luck on my query about QR code for business. Nope the lad thought I should phone up the “customer service”, 03-21766000. Alright, fair enough. But no one bloody answers the phone again. What’s wrong with Public Bank??!
This is the worst year for our business so far. Over the years the second half of the year was the half that would pull our numbers out from the red. But this year it is so weak that it looks increasingly likely that it would not be enough barred a miracle. This bloody yoyo between GST and SST version 2 didn’t help. In fact I have feeling that our business would be slightly better off if GST remained in place. That Minister of Finance aka Lim Guan Eng is doing nothing of the sort that will boost the consumer confidence. He is just very good in blowing out bad news after bad news in the name of making the previous government, or in particular Najib, looks bad. He’s certainly not the brightest bulb in the ruling coalition, but hey he somehow manages to climb up the ranks, probably with no little help from his father Lim Kit Siang.
Anyway, it’s the 1st of September, the day when SST version 2 commences. Our business won’t have to charge a 6% service tax, because LGE made a U-turn after much complaints from F&B businesses. The threshold was set to be RM500k revenue a year before a business needs to charge the 6% service tax. Then it was revived to RM1 million. And yesterday, or just a few days ago, the threshold was further revised to RM1.5 million. Big deal. The threshold for the previous SST, before GST was implemented, was bloody RM3 million! There will be another round of price increase you better believe it.
Very often Chinese restaurants will jack up their prices, slightly, to cover their increased cost during Chinese New Year. But this particular restaurant, 1919, located in Medan Ipoh, seems to have taken it to another level. Here are photos taken by a customer which I came across on Facebook (FB link here).
They went on the fourth day of CNY, according to the bill posted. They were given a special menu, with prices too, but without indication on the portion size. Basically only one price for each dish, no small, medium or large size. The prices looked expensive, on paper, but what they didn’t expect was the portion size for each dish was way too little for that kind of price. The only dish that at least seemed reasonably priced was the fried rice at RM18.90. The Foo Yoong Egg at RM33.90 was a bloody ripped off. And the vegetables too at RM38.90! They probably tripled their normal price just because it is CNY. Mind you they are not charging at these prices on just the first day or second day of CNY. I believe they are probably charging at these prices throughout CNY, 15 days plus a few days before too! No idea how they can justify these prices, but hey what can you do? They have plenty of loyal customers. But what I don’t like is such unscrupulous practices is really giving Ipoh a bad name. And this will affect the tourism business as Ipoh may then be perceived as a place where restaurants simply slaughter tourists with unreal prices if you are not careful.
The following receipt was posted by another customer who went on the fifth day of CNY.
So if you do not like the idea of getting slaughtered during CNY avoid 1919 Restaurant at all cost.
I am so going to flame Digi for allowing services like Viu, which is a video content provider, to appear so easily on customer’s bill. To start with, I did not knowingly subscribe to Viu, which I had no idea what it is about until I checked my monthly bill. Because the amount I need to pay for my “all you can eat” type postpaid plan should be the same every month, so I was alarmed why I needed to pay slightly more end of last month. Then I found this item called “Viu subscription” under my Mobile Services section on my bill. I went to my Digi app, but could not locate this subscription. Phoned up Digi customer helpline today and I was kept in a loop after I chose English language. For some reasons the call just wouldn’t progress past this step to get to a customer representative. So went back to my Digi app, and tried Live Chat instead. Waited over 15 mins for an agent, but then I was told that she cannot unsubscribe me from the Viu subscription. I was told I can email email@example.com or call this number 03-22422991 to unsubscribe. So I asked if she can bar third party services from ever getting subscribed to my mobile phone account in future and she said she can’t do that. Digi has become such a pimp hooking up customers to whores but is unable to stop billing customers even if they don’t want any whore in future ever again. Digi is very brave. Please continue to upset more customers. It will sure backfire on them. I still have no idea how I got this Viu subscription. Perhaps it is one of those SMS sent out by Digi with a link which I might have accidentally clicked on. But still I do not believe customers should so easily be hooked to such a monthly subscription, and it is on auto-renewal basis every month too whether or not you use the Viu service! I’ve emailed Viu using the email address I have been given by Digi above. Will see if they will refund me my RM5. Digi seems to disclaim any responsibility even though I actually settled the bill with Digi, not Viu. This is such a scam. Happened before in the UK with similar services stealthily billed to customers without them knowing how it happened, e.g. free trial of services for one month when customers take up a new contract with the mobile phone service providers but are then charged every month after the free trial period etc. But that was ten, fifteeen years ago. There really is no excuse. Digi is basically trying to scam its subscribers by partnering with such services and then put on teflon shoulder and put the blame back on subscribers for not being careful enough. Will update again tomorrow if I hear more from Viu. I need to know how to unsubscribe Viu quickly so I won’t be charged RM5 every month by Digi, and whether I can get a refund for last month’s subscription which I did not use!
Turns out that if you manage to speak to a Digi customer representative on the phone, they can unsubscribe you from the Viu service, and they can do a refund on the monthly charge too! This is so different from the answers I was given by the Live Chat agent. There seems to be a serious gap in what the Live Chat agent can do compared to a customer rep on the phone. Think I will give Live Chat a miss from now on. And lastly remember to watch out for your Digi bill!
Update 8/9/2017: Received a text message today telling me that the Viu subscription has been renewed! This is despite me having made complaints to both Digi and Viu. You see, once Viu sneaked into your bill, and on auto-renewal, it seems very difficult to get it removed! Now I have to make a call to Digi, again, to get them to take this subscription off my next bill. This is so bloody annoying!
Bloody hell, following my move to cut energy consumption by getting my daughter to sleep in the same room as us, in essence reducing the number of air cond running at night from two to one, this is what I got:
In terms of kWh, the reduction was only 27kWh, compared to last month’s reading! WTF, I was certainly expecting a lot more than that! Basically getting into all this hassle of moving my daughter to sleep with us only save us a meagre RM15 a month!
Okay we accept that we are not using the latest inverter air cond, which can cut down on energy usage over regular air cond by (up to?) 50%, in our master bedroom. And the air cond in my daughter’s room is more energy efficient than the air cond in our room. But still this is so bloody demoralising. So much so that we checked the TNB rates per KWh, just in case. But they haven’t risen over the past few months! So we have asked the air cond service guy to come service our air cond today, to ensure that our air cond is not running sub-optimally. We’ll see how the energy usage is like next month. In fact, to think about it, I can check the meter reading tomorrow to see if there’s any improvement, considering that on average we are using about 30kWh a day based on this latest bill. Will keep you lot up to date.