Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Pandu Cermat

Ah Finally!

We can now make good use of these fancy cameraphone gizmos to show how horrible malaysian drivers can be.

This new website called Pandu Cermat has got an interesting area where users can upload their images online and comment on the driving prowess of malaysian road bullies, speed demons and parking idiots.

Hall of Shame


Emergency Lane Abuser


Speeding Tanker


Whats great is that users are encouraged to publish the offending car registration numbers. Now if only those are entered in a database for easy access for JPJ to summons.

yk.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Firefly



Ah, after finding time for over a month, my wife and I finally got to watch Firefly, the 'complete' series. Its complete because there is only 1 series, as the show got cancelled midway through its run. Unjustly so.

The first episode started of slow, and theres alot of confusion in what the show is about. The pace picks up from episode 3 onwards as it explores the 9 characters lives set in space and outer worlds. The premise is that mankind does not meet any aliens after exploring space for over 500 years, and have set up colonies in other worlds. However, the further they travel away from the hi-tech core worlds, the lower the technology is available to people, and thus the 'back-in-time' effect of these civilisations. Thus the space opera spaghetti western genre.

I thought it was stupid at first, and this concept is stretched in the series abit, but the idea kind of grows on you, and after a while it gives the show a rather unique feel. So it works out quite well.

The stories were exceptionally well told, clever editing, good flashbacks as necessary and highly detailed sets. It was a fantastic production. Unfortunately Fox Networks cut the series midway, so so far, theres no indication of a second season. There was a huge fanbase which wrote in to urge Fox to continue, but ...

However there is a movie coming up (September 30th 2005 or so), which I will definitely be watching! Serenity...

The best episode for me was the last one, Objects in Space which featured a character who was both scary and interesting. He was Jubal Early, a bounty hunter. Good stuff.

Jubal Early


Here is the fansite which would explain this phenomenon better:
Firefly Fans

yk.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Software Patents in the EU

Looks like the guys at the EU arent stupid at all. An overwhelming majority (648 - 14) voted against software patents yesterday, and I think many people WORLDWIDE breathed a sigh of relief. This means that just because software patents are legal in the US, it doesnt mean that the entire world has to follow suite.

I think that software patents are so easily open to abuse, and software is adequately protected as Intellectual Property under copyright. As it has done so since the first bit of source code was written.

The strange thing is, the abuse seems to be hitting the big boys first, and ironically its the big boys who want software patents to be legal worldwide.
I guess they just think its a small price to pay to weather the initial gold diggers aiming for the big targets, for future world domination or something.

Unfortunately I have a feeling that more and more people in the US (or places where software patents are legal) would jump on the IP litigation bandwagon for the big payback by patenting something and hitting the big boys for a fast buck. It will be relentless.

Here are some, just on Microsoft (best target: big payoff, good precedent)
Excel Access converison
Dynamic TCP Offload
Forgent JPEG
AutoPlay

and the list just goes on....

Its real scary because once these people win their patent fights, they get to sue other companies to "exploit and maximise their returns on their investments in intellectual property," so that eventually everyone in the world who touches a computer pays them something.

Not completely unrelated I was just reading this article called Art and Computer Programming which interviews the best and brightest programmers on this planet to get their views on their craft. I too feel that programming is not just a process of churning out code; there's far more to it than that.

And interestingly enough, all Artists are happy to protect their work with copyright.

yk.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

TMNet Horror 1.14.2 - Egads! Its Vads!

OK, Ive just took some time to do abit of research on why my customer experience has been so BAD with TMNet. I found this press release:

Bernama: 21st July 2004
TM Net Continues Investments To Improve Customer Service With VADS

I couldnt help but shake my head when I read these words:
In a statement Wednesday, TM Net chief executive officer (CEO), Datuk Baharum Salleh said, outsourcing the contact centre was one of the company's ongoing efforts to enhance customer support and increase customer satisfaction.

"We believe that by better understanding customer needs and maximising on the capabilities of the contact entre, TM Net will be in a better position to enhance the quality of customer service and ultimately giving greater value for service to customers," he added.

Enhance Quality? 7 month ordeal? bwahaha.
It gets better:
VADS' acting CEO, Dennis Koh said over 150 customer service representatives (CSRs) are employed to handle Tmnet Streamyx subscriber calls.

The service is supported by internationally recognised customer management processes which involve a combination of progressive methods and strategic planning.

"We have a dedicated quality team listening in on calls to ensure quality assurance guidelines are being practised and processes being followed. All CSRs are progressively trained in-house to ensure their performance meets the ever changing customer expectations", he added.

Supported by the latest multi-channel communication technology solution, VADS can now enhance TM Net's support by providing its front-liners with real-time information which in turn equals better customer service.

150 Service Reps!!! No wonder there is a never ending change in reps I deal with. Dont they know that Rule #3 of Customer Service states that "Customer wants to deal with one person only and HATES being passed around"? So much for 'QA guidelines' being practised.

Why would the front liners need 'real-time' information when they react in 'bullet-time'? 2days => 2 months!
The multi-channel communication technology solution does not show itself when I call and email them, its always the same... 'Who are you? What do you want?'

Its so sad its almost funny.

Can anyone help me by providing the emails of either CEOs (TMNet or VADS)?
Cos they really need to work on what they preach.

yk.

More tmnet gripes here:
complaints.com.my - too many to count.
screenshots: tmnet broadband - read the comments
screenshots: Streamyx has more customer focus - good review - looks like I will CC these guys in the future!

TMNet Horror 1.14 - Explanation again?

And Here's my reply to them. This is getting very tedious.
I wonder why they can't fix the Service Rep?
After All, they append a Siebel Cust Reference to each email....


From: Yoon Kit Yong
To: TM Net Customer Care Support
Cc: yoonkit@streamyx.com, shahrir@cfm.org.my, fomca@fomca.org.my, suganthi@cfm.org.my
Date: Jul 5, 2005 12:04 PM
Subject: Re: Streamyx

Hello Noor Aziean,

Yet another Customer Service Rep?
Can I please deal with just one person so that I can hold someone accountable?
Where are your supervisors email CC'ed as requested in my previous email?

> We refer to query on adjustment dispute and upon checking in our systems,
> we found that the adjustment of RM422.71 are valid.
> Please note that, there are system errors on your adjustment
> that doubled your adjustment amount (RM845.42).
> However, we already deducted the adjustment amount of RM422.71
> and the actual amount now becomes RM422.71.

Sigh... And I thought that you guys have come to your
senses and realised the inconvenience you have put me through
by rebating me an appropriate amount.

Its not a nice thing to remove the rebates.

> Kindly note that, on your first dispute,
> your have disputed for amount of RM422.71 and we have
> did the adjustment for that amount.

My dispute is not just the RM 422.71. If you were to see my original
complaint at

TMNet Horrors 1.0 - Saga Begins

It was just for the month of December.
I could not view the usage for November,
as I kept getting errors from your system.
Neither could/can I view the usage for January.

Your billing system still has some 'integrity' errors,
and that does not inspire any confidence in the
amounts your esteemed company is charging its clients!

Fortunately I have documented all your unecessary charges,
so you cannot change the figures as what you have done so far.

I have already explained to your colleagues in 'Customer Care'
about the overcharging amount, back in Feb05:

TMNet Horrors 1.4 - Its like reasoning with imbeciles

Here is why you need to rebate the amount:

TMNet Horrors 1.8 - Victory has a bitter aftertaste

>> 1) The 422.71 which you are reimbursing me is only the December bill.
>> 2) In November 2004, there is an overcharge of RM30.13
>> 3) In January 2005 there is also an overcharge of RM177.21
>> 4) although I paid for March access for RM44,
>> I could not log in because my account was suspended over no fault of mine.
>> 5) There seems to be a RM63 extra charge in September,
>> but I cannot confirm because your accounts
>> at tmbill.tm.net.my doesnt go back that far.
>> Can you please check that its because I didnt pay my 44 subscription
>> or because of aditional charges?
>> 6) Please let us not mention the inconvenience caused over the past 4 months.

Change (6) To 7 months now!
There has been no response for (5); the charges for September.
Add April RM44 for service interruption.

>> So can you consider rebating me a total of at least RM674.05
>> as that is the total amount of money demanded by your
>> accounting system which you have identified with a system error?

Its obvious that there is a system error, as your colleagues have indicated:

"upon further checking with the related department,
we found that there was a system error."
Fathihatul Diyana
Customer Care Support, CRM
TMNet Horrors 1.7 - Victory?

> To view the details of this adjustment,
> kindly visit our on-line billing website at https://tmbill.tm.net.my.
> Please note that, the username and password to login this website
> is same as your Streamyx account.

Yes, Im aware of that facility as it is because of this I managed
to catch the extreme usage in December. Unfortunately not so for
November nor January as this *DOES NOT WORK!*
Your system is down! It States:


The System has encountered some data integrity errors

Please contact the System Administrator and pass this Exception Message:
ERR_STORAGE


Indeed, your system sure has some integrity errors.
1) The amount charged to me is incorrect,
2) Your company doesnt have the integrity to service their customers properly.

> We apologise for the inconvenience caused you have encountered.

You and your colleagues have been apologizing insincerely for over
7 months. Please stop apologizing and start getting things solved!

> We hope the above reverts to your query.
> Should you require any further assistance,
> please feel free to contact us at streamyx@tm.net.my
> or call us at 1-300-88-9515 (from 8:00 am to 12:00 am ~ daily).
> Thank you for being our valued customer.

It obviously doesnt 'revert' my query yet again.
I have stated my 'queries' over and over again.
This is the 8th correspondance I am making over a
7 months period! You would have thought that this
matter would have been settled by now!!!

Please make it so.

yk.

===== Appendix ====

Here are my usage over the months in question,
Please indicate to me the usage for the months of Sept, Nov and Jan
for my records.
With this we can figure out the true quantum of my 'dispute',
and settle this matter once and for all.


September 2004: *Unknown Usage* (Please detail)

November 2004: *Unknown Usage* (was billed) RM 30.13

December 2004: 768hrs @ RM442.41

January 2005: *Unknown Usage* (was billed) RM 177.21

March 2005 Usage: 7hrs * Service interrupted !! * (Even with
subscription paid)
25-Feb-2005 01:02:08 , Fri erxklj02-home 01:12:58 RM 0.00
25-Feb-2005 02:15:17 , Fri erxklj02-home 00:00:21 RM 0.00
26-Feb-2005 02:11:40 , Sat erxklj02-home 00:19:18 RM 0.00
27-Feb-2005 01:03:02 , Sun erxklj02-home 00:21:10 RM 0.00
27-Feb-2005 01:31:29 , Sun erxklj02-home 00:57:11 RM 0.00
01-Mar-2005 22:12:24 , Tue erxklj02-home 00:44:23 RM 0.00
02-Mar-2005 00:35:23 , Wed erxklj02-home 00:44:59 RM 0.00
05-Mar-2005 12:43:23 , Sat erxklj02-home 00:11:19 RM 0.00
05-Mar-2005 12:57:50 , Sat erxklj02-home 00:00:47 RM 0.00
05-Mar-2005 12:58:49 , Sat erxklj02-home 00:01:27 RM 0.00
08-Mar-2005 01:02:32 , Tue erxklj02-home 00:20:14 RM 0.00
08-Mar-2005 01:22:57 , Tue erxklj02-home 00:21:10 RM 0.00
08-Mar-2005 03:14:40 , Tue erxklj02-home 00:13:41 RM 0.00
08-Mar-2005 03:28:51 , Tue erxklj02-home 00:09:53 RM 0.00
09-Mar-2005 00:10:32 , Wed erxklj02-home 00:42:00 RM 0.00
09-Mar-2005 01:01:17 , Wed erxklj02-home 00:05:07 RM 0.00
09-Mar-2005 01:07:32 , Wed erxklj02-home 00:07:52 RM 0.00
10-Mar-2005 01:12:05 , Thu erxklj02-home 00:15:23 RM 0.00
10-Mar-2005 01:28:15 , Thu erxklj02-home 00:03:46 RM 0.00
12-Mar-2005 15:23:13 , Sat erxklj02-home 00:26:32 RM 0.00
12-Mar-2005 15:50:40 , Sat erxklj02-home 00:01:35 RM 0.00
- Total 07:21:06 RM 0.00

April Usage: 9hrs * Service Interrupted * (Even with subscription paid)
07-Apr-2005 01:48:40 , Thu erxklj02-home 01:02:06 RM 0.00
07-Apr-2005 03:01:01 , Thu erxklj02-home 00:00:11 RM 0.00
10-Apr-2005 01:43:41 , Sun erxklj02-home 01:13:29 RM 0.00
10-Apr-2005 02:57:33 , Sun erxklj02-home 00:03:35 RM 0.00
10-Apr-2005 17:42:12 , Sun erxklj02-home 00:08:49 RM 0.00
10-Apr-2005 18:06:29 , Sun erxklj02-home 00:05:26 RM 0.00
10-Apr-2005 18:36:59 , Sun erxklj02-home 00:05:15 RM 0.00
10-Apr-2005 18:42:29 , Sun erxklj02-home 00:05:27 RM 0.00
15-Apr-2005 20:28:09 , Fri erxklj02-home 01:58:37 RM 0.00
15-Apr-2005 22:47:41 , Fri erxklj02-home 00:20:14 RM 0.00
15-Apr-2005 23:10:45 , Fri erxklj02-home 00:14:07 RM 0.00
15-Apr-2005 23:25:35 , Fri erxklj02-home 02:12:21 RM 0.00
16-Apr-2005 12:54:27 , Sat erxklj02-home 01:18:52 RM 0.00
19-Apr-2005 02:04:24 , Tue erxklj02-home 00:51:29 RM 0.00
- Total 09:39:58 RM 0.00
==== End of Appendix =====

*sigh*

Sunday, July 03, 2005

TMNet Horror 1.13 - No rebate for you!

Hey, a reply! Less than a month! Im impressed!
Maybe now 2 days == 2 weeks!


From: TM Net Customer Care Support
To: yoonkit@gmail.com, yoonkit@streamyx.com
Cc: shahrir@cfm.org.my, fomca@fomca.org.my, suganthi@cfm.org.my
Date: Jul 3, 2005 9:05 AM
Subject: Re: Streamyx

Dear Mr. Yong,

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.

We refer to query on adjustment dispute and upon checking in our systems,
we found that the adjustment of RM422.71 are valid.
Please note that, there are system errors on your adjustment
that doubled your adjustment amount (RM845.42).
However, we already deducted the adjustment amount of RM422.71
and the actual amount now becomes RM422.71.

Kindly note that, on your first dispute,
your have disputed for amount of RM422.71 and we have
did the adjustment for that amount.
To view the details of this adjustment,
kindly visit our on-line billing website at https://tmbill.tm.net.my.
Please note that, the username and password to login this website
is same as your Streamyx account.
We apologise for the inconvenience caused you have encountered.

We hope the above reverts to your query.
Should you require any further assistance,
please feel free to contact us at streamyx@tm.net.my
or call us at 1-300-88-9515 (from 8:00 am to 12:00 am ~ daily).
Thank you for being our valued customer.


Regards,
Noor Aziean
Customer Care Support, CRM
TM Net Sdn. Bhd.


Ah, yet another change in staff...
the attrition rate must be quite high.