Tag Archives: Indonesia

They closed down all the 711s in Indonesia

15 Jul

I flew back to Indonesia Tuesday night. Before that, I had to drop Blitzy off to the vet because she was scheduled to be spayed that evening. She had been diagnosed with pyometra days before, so it was decided that she will get fixed to prevent re-occurence of the infection.

My mom will be picking her up from the vet’s later this afternoon.

I came back one day before our two-day conference, which ended yesterday. I had booked a suite at the usual place in Menteng. I invited a friend to come with me and we will be going back to Semarang on Sunday.

This morning we went out to buy breakfast at the 711 across the street. It was closed. We went up instead and found an open Bakmi GM branch. I googled if there were other 711s close by and I was shocked to see that all the branches were listed as permanently closed. I looked it up and found a wiki entry that the 711s in Indonesia had all closed because of a failed acquisition. So sad.

So far, very relayed except for some annoyances at work. This year is going to be very interesting because of certain personalities. Lol. But anyway, I hope that this year will be much better than the last. I have a favourite class and this is their senior year. I intend to do all I can to ensure that they will get the best results for their external exams… I just hope that said personalities will not be an impediment to that. Hah.

I have more preparations this year, although I still have the same number of assigned teaching units. Somehow I am eager to start already. Somehow.

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PLDT: Where the least efficient way of upgrading internet services is via the online application system. 

29 Mar

I don’t want this blog to be a repository of my gripes. However, even something as basic as getting a decent internet connection is so fraught with frustrating wrangling that one cannot help but compare how shitty services are in the Philippines and this is why we can’t ever aspire for better things as we are getting left behind by our Southeast Asian neighbors. 

Anyway, I was gonna write/gripe/complain about internet services. Just a background: I live in a small town in Cavite, where the only service available was with Smart. We subsribed to a Canopy internet connection. It was slow and shitty, but one gets used to it. Years later, Smart merged with PLDT and our Canopy connetion was  upgraded without my consent to PLDT Ultera, which is an LTE connection. Now, it was (a bit) faster but it came with a very unpalatable catch: there is a 30-gigabyte data cap. I’d understand if it were for mobile data, but home wi-fi? It’s ridiculous and mind-blowing. Okay, not so much because you can top it up for a pretty penny, but you can only do it twice every billing cycle, for a grand maximum of 50 gb per month. Once you use it up, maybe you’ll be better off imagining like it’s the early 90s and there is no internet and the blackouts stretch for hours every night. Anyway, believe me, I’ve come to that point where I was totally cut off because the quota was maxed out and due to my house’s location in the boondocks, I couldn’t even use mobile data. I called customer service to ask if I can somehow get connected again and they said no, I have to wait for the next billing cycle. 

And then all of a sudden the Canopy connection didn’t seem so bad anymore. 

Anyway, a family with multiple mobile devices and a Netflix subscription cannot live on 50gb alone. Even by myself I cannot do that. So I opted to upgrade to another subscription, Plan 1299 which comes with a landline and no data caps. I go home to the Philippines usually only one to three weeks at a time, and I get so lazy going anywhere, so I took advantage of PLDT’s online application system. I filled up the forms, uploaded the necessary documents, and even left money in case (wishful thinking) the phone and new connection gets installed. After all, they said they’ll get back to me in a few days, maximum a week. That was December 27, 2016. At midnight, March 28, 2017, after several emails asking for updates, a representative got back to me writing that due to prolonged process or aging for more than 30 days (are they talking about cheese???), my application had been cancelled and that I should just apply again. What the fuck, really, it took them three months and another nagging email from me this morning to tell me that? 

Okay, I just wrote another grumpy email in response just now (foregoing the expletives). The thing is, I have no choice. I can get myself red in the face complaining but in the end, I am a trapped customer. The duopoly of PLDT-Smart and Globe has ensured that me and my ilk are well and truly fucked and there is nothing we can do about it because they got rid of all the competition. I have no choice but to apply again. And perhaps when they feel like it, make me wait and tell me to fuck off months later. 

In terms of reliable internet connection, anywhere else is better. Indonesia has many companies offering the same service that it is very easy to just switch to another provider if you are dissatisfied with the one you have currently. I have a 4G subscription with Indosat: a 5GB mobile data package for 30 days that costs me less than the equivalent of PhP 200. For comparison, in the Philippines I use Globe GoSakto50 for 1GB and it lasts only three days…. I don’t even get to use it all up because the connection is very often spotty that something like ordering a Grab or watching a video on YouTube without it buffering is near impossible. And then there are no such things as two-year locked in contracts for home connections in Indonesia. Grass is greener on the other side, but in this case it is very true. The lack of a decent internet connection is a source of immense frustration when I come home, among other things lol. It sucks so much. 

Uggggh.

20 Oct

When you wake up at 2 AM from the unbearable heat due to the power being cut off because you ran out of credit for prepaid electricity. 

Thank god for online banking.

Pa(i)nin the ass

15 Oct

Today is a sunny Saturday. I have just discovered that Panin has locked me out of my own bank account and that there is no way that I can do any transaction (whether online, POS or ATM) until I show up at the branch where the account was opened to get it re-activated again. 

I had used my Panin debit MasterCard a couple of times while I was in Singapore. Only a couple of times because their transaction limits were baffling and inconvenient. My humble BCA card (basic with only Cirrus and Maestro) was more flexible in that I was able to withdraw much more money for mindless spending. 

Anyway, it only occured to me that there was something wrong with my Panin account when I tried topping up my pulsa today. I totally thought that my failed POS payment at Gelael using the card last Monday was a fluke (I got saved from embarrassment once again by my BCA card). So I called their contact centre and got served the awful truth: I have money but I cannot get to it until after the weekend. 

They should have at least informed me beforehand that they were locking out my account for my own security, right? Instead I had to find it out on my own, on a weekend, at least one week after the fact. Maybe it was deactivated when I was still in Singapore. Who knows. 

Anyway, I sent a lengthy email to communicate to them in nicer words what a pain in the ass this all is. Let’s see if anyone even reads it.