Category Archives: Technology

Beware of Viu and Digi

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 ifoundanissue@vuclip.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!

Update 6/9/2017:

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!

P1 is another rubbish service provider

Received an email from P1 about a week ago telling me that they are going to discontinue their WiMAX offering. Essentially the modem that I am using will no longer work by 5th September. And I will need to return the modem and settle all outstanding charges before I can completely terminate the P1 account. I really thought P1 was packing shop, as the email also mentioned they are now in the hands of TM. To initiate the termination process I also need to fill up their online support form.

If you click on the link above, you will see that it is just a generic customer care form. And I will need to fill in quite a bit of information. Can they not create a dedicated form to facilitate the termination process? No, they prefer to make it complicated for their existing customers. Anyway I decided to switch to ADSL service as P1 was getting worse. I have been with them for three years. Lately, I found that when I make a call, for some reasons even if I had already hung up the phone, it remained in an active state. Meaning, I could not make a call out again, not until the state of the call changes. To expedite things, I normally just reboot the modem. And you know what, I have filled up one of these online support forms before, to complain about this problem, and I heard nothing from them. So do you think I can trust it when it comes to terminating my account?

So brought my modem to a branch, thinking that I could just terminate the account there and then. But was told that I need to bring the cordless phone and LAN cable too. Anyway I was required to make a call to P1 regardless, the staff at the branch could not terminate the account even if I brought all the bells and whistles. After initiating the termination process, I will need to wait for an SMS and/or email from P1 telling me my next steps. Should I not receive an SMS or email from them within three days, I can bring the equipment to the branch to complete the termination process. When I asked the rep on the phone what exactly do I need to bring to complete the termination process, he only told me about the modem, and could not mention anything more.

Okay got both the SMS and email the next day. Brought the P1 modem, power adapter, a phone cable, a LAN cable and Motorola cordless phone (together with the base) to the branch, thinking that I should be terminate my account this time. Then the girl at the branch found that there was no rechargeable battery in the cordless phone. Brilliant, I have been with P1 for over 3 years, I have thrown the original rechargeable batteries away, I explained. But regardless it is a requirement. Fxxk why did they not list down all the things, including the rechargeable batteries, that I need to bring back? If I am a new customer, then I might still be able to remember everything that comes in the box. But I have been with them for three fxxking years. Even their customer reps couldn’t tell me top of their head what needs to be returned, yet they expect customers to know exactly what to bring back. You see, another bunch of time wasters.

Public Bank SecureSign device how-to

Finally got our SecureSign device from Public Bank for online business e-banking. Looks similar to HSBC’s security token:
SecureSign PBB
However the way it is used is very different from HSBC’s. There are two stages in carrying out an online transaction. The logic behind is there may be more than one person who can access the business bank account (logging into the account does not require the SecureSign device). But not all of them have the authority to carry out online transactions. So the first stage involves creating transactions, e.g. to pay for utility bills. Subsequently, the person with SecureSign device will approve these transactions, presumably one by one (haven’t tried this out yet).

In the first stage, I made payment in a similar way to how I was accustomed to. But when I was expecting to key in a secure code from the SecureSign device before I confirm a transaction, I managed to confirm without one. But the transaction was then put under “Pending” status.

In the second stage, I needed to click on the “Transaction Approval” tab to proceed:
Transaction_Approval_PBB
On the left hand column, there were “Maker Transaction Status” and “Authorizer Transaction Status”. I could view pending transaction under “Maker Transaction Status” or “Authorizer Transaction Status”. To authorise transactions, I needed to click on “Authorizer Transaction Status”, followed by “Approve/Reject Transaction”. There I was required to search for the transaction to approve, which in my case was just one pending. Here came the unintuitive bit, after clicking on the transaction that I wanted to approve. I was required to key in the secure code. The secure code was to be generated from the SecureSign device. However it wasn’t entirely clear from the Quick Guide that came with the SecureSign device how it could be generated:
SecureSign Quick Guide

First, I keyed in the PIN number into the SecureSign device when prompted. Then I pressed the “1” or “Sign” button on the device, before keying in the first set of data. This first set of data was actually the first line of numbers on-screen in red. After keying in the numbers followed by “OK” on the device, I keyed in the second line of numbers in red (it was the amount figure, but remember to omit the decimal dot) followed by “OK”. Then only the secure code appeared, which I entered on-screen to approve the transaction.

Now do you understand how the SecureSign device facilitates online business transactions for Public Bank?

Updated on 4/12/2015:
Just found out today that if your pending transaction is not authorised within 7 days, the transaction will vanish by itself. Yes, vanish, because it will not show up anywhere, even if you try to search for it. It is not rejected nor deleted. It will disappear from you, or even the Public Bank staff. Initially I thought I can just keep creating transactions, let them stay pending, until I authorise them at a later date closer to actual payment due date for my bills. The reason I did that because Public Bank do not allow transactions to executed on a future date. Absolutely rubbish. Maybank can do that. And how difficult can it be to keep a record of expired (pending) transactions, so that I don’t have to dig out transaction details again to make the payment. Basically their commercial online payment system is just not very well thought out to me. It is appropriate to describe it as rubbish.

Updated on 1/2/2016:
If you damage the device, it will cost you RM50 (plus GST) to replace. Don’t put it in your pocket, especially if your jeans is tight, like mine, with lots of things inside too, as mine cracked. Replacement does not take long, I got mine replaced in 2-3 days time.

Updated on 16/6/2017:


One and a half year since I wrote this how-to and their online portal is still showing up such amateurish message.. Basically this shows up when there is no more transaction to approve or reject when I clicked on “Approve/Reject Transaction”. It is NOT an error if there is no transaction to show here! Before this online portal goes live Public Bank should have inspected it thoroughly, every permutations, to weed out all the loose ends. Users are not interested in software error messages copied straight from the backend. Very poor, embarrassing actually, considering that Public Bank is the second largest bank in Malaysia. 

Public Bank’s security device for e-banking is finally free

When I applied for my business account with Public Bank two and a half years ago, I was told that we can only view our business bank account online. We can’t do any electronic transactions, that involve making payments for example. If we want to be able to make payments, we need to apply for a security device, a.k.a. MSC token I believe, which costs RM220. If I remember correctly, we need to pay a monthly or annual fee for the “privilege”! Rubbish I know, but we didn’t know it was this rubbish until we had opened the account. We didn’t bother to open another bank account, which we had considered, e.g. Maybank, because it can be rather tedious. So we paid KWSP, SOCSO, and whatnot over the counter or by cash. Had to endure queueing in the bank, many times, for long period of time too often.

Today when I tried to pay GST due for this quarter, via the customs’ portal, I thought I could pay via FPX, an online payment gateway, as I was able to proceed after having entered our Public Bank login credentials. But when it came to the final step, of executing the payment, it gave me a “Transaction unsuccessful” error. I was told to contact my merchant bank. Phoned up Public Bank’s Internet banking department, told the guy about the error. At the time I didn’t note down the precise error message. But the guy kept telling me that I should be able to make payment to the customs, even though I explained to him that I haven’t got the security device. But I already paid our GST at RHB Bank over the counter (Public Bank don’t accept GST payment over the counter, shocking!), so couldn’t try out paying online from Public Bank’s e-Banking portal as suggested. Half believing that guy, I hanged up the phone and went on to try paying one of our company’s utility bill. But again transaction unsuccessful. The precise error message is “No rule for transaction”. Armed with this error message, phoned them up again to grill them. This time the lady who answered the phone was able to explain to me that I need the security device. And it is free, I only need to apply for one from my home branch. Great! Why didn’t they make announcement, say via letter or something, that the security device is free? If you look up on the MSC token (see link above) on their website, it is still written there that you need to pay RM220. For such a big bank in Malaysia, they do seem very poorly run. Telephone support are not consistently trained, website not up to date, poor communication with customers on available products, only playing catch up when other banks are well ahead on the e-banking front, and pushing customers to other banks to pay for GST!

To be honest the banking industry in the UK is a lot more competitive than in Malaysia, and many years ahead. Seems that the owner and shareholders of Public Bank are just happy to rake in profit without giving much return to their customers since competition here is not as fierce. Rubbish isn’t it?

Increased battery discharge when stationary

It’s almost a year since I got my BMW (F30). Been getting the following error message on the display every now and then.
Bimmer error message
Normally the blower fan kicks in first, whether the car is locked or not, before the error message appears when I start the car. Asked the Ipoh dealer before but they didnt seem to know anything about it apart from asking me to send the car in for observation. Lately I found out from Internet forum that I am not the only car owner suffering from this problem. Straight away rang the dealer to enquire. But haven’t sent the car over yet due to various commitments. Here is where I found out that others are having the same problem:
http://www.bmwclubmalaysia.com/newforums/index.php?/topic/37576-f30-increased-battery-discharge-message/

How’s prioritisation implemented in 802.1Q capabled devices?

It is incredibly difficult to find out whether prioritisation is handled if a NIC is 802.1Q capabled. And if yes, how? All I manage to find out from various literature is that the 802.1Q header supports setting Priority Code Point (PCP), which is made up of 3 bits. But not much is mentioned on whether prioritisation is actually done, end-to-end which I’m interested in. I would imagine that if the MAC supports prioritisation, then there must be some form of mechanisms to prioritise, whether it be multiple queues or what have you. WLAN 802.11e NICs have four queues implemented in hardware. However nothing is mentioned on NICs that support 802.1Q. I know VLAN works fine with just single queue. But I would like to find out how prioritisation is meant to work in 802.1Q!If there is not multiple queues in hardware, guess the stack needs to do something on prioritisation according to the code points. I know priority mappings can be done from IP layer (DiffServ Code Point) to WLAN 802.11e MAC. I guess the same needs to be done too if we want to realise traffic prioritisation. Perhaps it’s time to look into the source code of the Linux stack and see if prioritisation is done there. Product’s information from vendors is always a pain to locate, and always very vague.

Bloody Google is getting worse!

What used to work suddenly starts to keep crashing my Safari, as well as my iOS on my iPad! Web front-ends are trying to do more and more nowadays. What used to be simple static HTML web pages get so sophisticated that they can run various stuff on your web browser. I must say that I’m not a big fan of heavy front-ends. And yet Google seems very keen to lead us to run everything on web browsers. Things get so clunky that it is little wonder GMail starts crashing my iPad. God knows what they have done lately. And Eric Schmidt even foresees that Google will not only “answer” your queries, but also tell you what to do next! Good…

Quidco does work for iPad ordered for collection in-store!

It’s been a while since I last checked on my Quidco account. Guess I wasn’t optimistic about getting any cashback from the iPad we bought from PC World two months ago, although this offer was advertised on the Quidco website. Because we ordered the iPad online, but chose to collect in-store, which means paying for the iPad in-store as well. So we weren’t sure if Quidco will be able to track the completed transaction. I mean I haven’t yet received the 3% cashback too, but at least the transaction is validated on my Quidco account. The validation process required that I provide some sort of transaction number printed on the receipt I received after making the payment at the store. So there you go, you can get some savings even on Apple’s products!

What a con offer from BT!

Received a letter through our letter box today about a Summer Deal offer from BT. Thought it’s really cheap, £15.99 a month for BT Total Broadband, plus unlimited UK landline calls. And it’s free for the first three months of service. But it is only after looking at the small prints more carefully, and repeatedly, when I realise that this £15.99 actually does not bloody include the line rental, which is currently about £10 a month! How is it such an exciting deal I wonder, almost in disbelief that they actually have the guts to send out such weak marketing offers.You see, I’m currently paying only £7.50 for my broadband with O2, as I’m also their mobile phone customer. Yes, I’m only getting up to 8Mbps, as opposed to up to 20Mbps. But I don’t have a usage cap of 10GBytes per month! For these I’ll have to shell out almost twice what I’m currently paying to go with BT. How silly does that sound? And what I don’t like about BT is it seems that they deliberately try to make their offers sound better than they actually are. Wasted my time having to look into the small prints to get a full view of what the offer actually meant. So not impressed with these marketing people, and BT!

Liquid ban is flawed at KLIA too!

Reading the blog post by Bruce about liquid ban flaws at Schiphol, Amsterdam, reminds me of the same style of security system being used at Kualu Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), Malaysia too! Basically KLIA also allows passengers with printed boarding pass to go to the duty-free shopping area, which is located at the satellite building, without having to go through any security checks, yet.KLIA LayoutThe passengers will only be checked when they want to enter the waiting lounge of their respective gate. Because the airport allows passengers to buy duty-free goods there, the security personnels will have to allow passengers to bring lots of liquids up the plane as well. There lies the flaw, where passengers can potentially exchange the liquids inside the bottles of liquids they bought at the airport with those they brought in from outside the airport. I could not remember whether bottles of liquids bought at KLIA are sealed. But it does not matter. Passengers can still get pass this by doing what the reporter did as described in the above blog post.I remember asking questions some time ago about not having central security checks before allowing passengers to enter an airport. It makes sense to distribute security checks to gates as passengers then do not have to queue together with passengers of other planes, thus potentially shortening queueing time. But it does bring questions to my mind about whether this is a good way to secure an airport. To me terrorists can bomb the airport relatively easily even though they may not be able to bring liquid explosives up the plane. But now it seems that the terrorists may be able to bring large amount of liquid explosives up the plane as well!