“Sale” shopping at SM?

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Last night, I made my usual Sunday night grocery where I usually buy some items that I stock for consumption in the office for the coming week. These consist of fruits, milk, or whatever I deem “healthy” without sacrificing taste and satisfaction eating them. One of the foods I consider “healthy”  is a can of tuna flakes in oil which I eat for lunch (sometimes but not all the times) mixed with a cup of rice.

Of course, to prepare this, I need a can opener which I don’t have but I have colleagues that own one and I borrow it from them. On situations when I feel like eating tuna and they left early for lunch, either I’ll wait for them or get another lunch instead. To skip the instances waiting for them, I planned to get myself my own can opener. When I reached the “Kitchen” area in SM Hypermarket, I was surprised to see that there’s a “discount” on regular items. The average consumer would read and understand the display (as shown above) – 20% off the tag price on regular items. Did it mention selected items? No, so the average Juan or Maria will assume everything considered as “Home” items are on sale as long as it is regular priced. Prior placing the item in my shopping basket, I reconfirmed to one of the store guys if the item is included and as he read the same display, he mentioned “Opo sir. Wala namang nakalagay na selected items kaya kasama po yan”. (Yes sir. There’s none indicated that the sale is for selected items only so it is included).  To be safe, I took a picture of the ad with my mobile phone as “proof” that the item that I got is on sale.

Continue reading ““Sale” shopping at SM?”

Friendster’s Official Statement on Downtime

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Luckily, a schoolmate of mine (though of a younger batch), who works for Friendster Philippines has posted in our internal Yahoo Groups the official statement of Friendster regarding the “missing” friends issue (and the other issues related with it):

There have been text messages going around in PH, saying that there was a virus that wiped out the accounts in our database, and thus causing people’s friends to be lost.

To help address our users’ concerns, here are some FAQs:

1) What happened to my friends?

  • Currently, the number of friends in the friends list is being displayed incorrectly.

2) Are my friends lost permanently?

  • No. The data for all friend connections is intact and is not lost.

3) When can this be fixed?

  • Friendster is currently working on this problem and we hope to have this fixed within 24 hours.

4) Can I still add friends while the problem has not yet been fixed?

  • Yes, users can still add new friends and use other features of the site.

5) What caused this problem?

  • Friendster’s data center lost power, and as a result, the memory caching of data was affected. Since Friendster has 85M users, the cache is taking a considerable amount of time to build. Once the cache has been completely built, all friends will re-appear.


<Name Withheld>
Performance Engineer
Friendster Inc.

So there it goes. Hope it will get fixed soon. Nope, I haven’t checked my Friendster yet – I’m still working my arse off in the office. 😛 Eventhough, even if my “list” isn’t rebuilt yet, I already know at least 1 contact who was “lost” and unfortunately, she’s not just a contact but my first degree cousin. 😦

Friendster Got Screwed

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Friendster had a suuuppperrrr loooonnggggg “Scheduled Maintenance” which ended last night. Unfortunately, the promise of providing “better” service was more of marketing spiel/euphemism of something that didn’t look good.

Not that I am addicted to social networking sites but I primarily have a Friendster account open only to my contacts – those people that I really know and not just about someone who would like to hook up and pose as “friends”. I used to have 506 friends but I “lost” 22 of them making my current friends counter to 484. I also hear other my other contacts saying that some of their friends’ profiles went private even if the profile should be visible to them.

As a web developer myself and having worked on large traffic site (that is maintaining the Philippine Entertainment Portal), before, having a downtime longer than an hour has a large impact on the audience especially on the visitor’s impression on how the site lives up to their primary function.

Oh well, Friendster do really get screwed big time. I’m irked but is there something that I can do to revert the situation? Nah. Bad, bad, bad Friendster.

Kudos Canon Philippines!

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During my previous trip to Hong Kong, my lens malfunctioned and the camera displays an Error 99. According to various sources in the internet, an Error 99 is a generic error displayed when the real problem isn’t identified by the body. Furthermore, local photography forums tell that Error 99 could be an error between the contacts of the lens and of the body.

Prior my trip, I had 2 of my lenses and my 400D cleaned by Canon since I want to take advantage of the free cleaning while my lenses are still under warranty. I was able to get my items in less than 2 weeks thinking the things would be good to go. However, things didn’t go well as expected as when I was in Ocean Park, I continuously get this frikkin Error 99 and I thought that this is just a battery problem. Upon reaching back in the Philippines, I opened an extra original Canon battery for my 400D to test if the problem would go away but to my dismay, it persisted.

I had my unit returned to the service center where I have it cleaned and reported back the error that it gives me. I explained to them the problem that I am experiencing and I asked them for an explanation for the status indicated in the report that they have given me (for the 2 lenses) but their explanation isn’t acceptable. While they accepted my unit again for check-up, I followed-up my unit days after, and the status of my lens was they are still waiting for the delivery of the part needed to be replaced.

Continue reading “Kudos Canon Philippines!”

Reunited

Perhaps I am lucky, or maybe my officemate was just right on what to do with my issue with Cebu Pacific. My previous entry tells about the wait that I have to endure for Cebu Pacific to make some action with my concern. To give a refresh, I went to Hong Kong last September 27 and I wasn’t able to claim my tripod outright when I arrived there. Upon my return, I filed a loss report of my tripod and the supervisor then assured me that they’ll contact me once they get news of my tripod. I thought it would be an exercise in futile, I filed a second “complaint” via their customer feedback form in their site last October 3 and as the confirmation message tells, I need to give them seven (7) days to wait for their feedback.

Seven days from the day I submitted this second complaint (10 October 2008) I heard nothing from Cebu Pacific and I didn’t bother to make a follow-up via their call center since I don’t have enough time to wait endlessly for someone to talk to me sensibly with regards to my complaint.  When I was cleaning up my phonebook with messages, I noticed that I received an SMS from Cebu Pacific last 13 October 2008  informing that my tripod was already available for claiming. Typically, I just open messages from senders that’s not in my phonebook list but not thoroughly reading it and given what was written in that text message, I immediately called the number and they told me that I should just go to the arrival area of Terminal 3 and claim my tripod there.

Last Thursday, 16 October 2008, I went to Terminal 3 to claim my tripod and to my dismay, I got the tripod but it is “broken”. Broken in the sense that the upper part of the tripod was detached to the main tripod body which shouldn’t be the case. I was quite alarmed since in the first place, I ensure that whenever I travel, the tripod should have the “FRAGILE” mark but this sticker was missing when I claimed the item. Morever, a part of the tripod case was torn and it puzzles me if this is the way Cebu Pacific handle fragile items. If this is the case, then I think for Cebu Pacific to further save on operating costs, they shouldn’t be producing anymore fragile stickers if they treat fragile items similar to regular checked-in items. Isn’t it the reason why the tripod was gate-intercepted was to not pass through the conveyor because it is FRAGILE? If you would see the image above, the tripod was flown from Hong Kong to Manila last 13 October 2008, the same day that Cebu Pacific reported the missing item to me that it is now available for claiming. Aside from the missing sticker, there’s no indication on the tripod on what day it arrived in Hong Kong.

I went home to video the unpacking process of the tripod and the extent of the damage, aside from the torn case and detached tripod head were the rusty tripod screw (the one that connects the tripod to the camera) and the dusty tripod head. I asked the attendants at the arrival area of Cebu Pacific on what was the reason why the tripod didn’t arrive with me and after I told them the process of how it got “lost”, they simply mentioned, “sir, baka hindi naisakay” – the same exact reason I was thinking. Investigating further I saw in the site of Cebu Pacific on the “Baggage Section” the following:

8.4 Checked Baggage
Upon your delivery to us of any Baggage to be checked and provided that, for security reasons, you acknowledge to us that you personally packed the Baggage and know the contents thereof, we shall accept the same and issue a Baggage Tag for each piece of Checked Baggage. Checked Baggage must have your name or other personal identification affixed securely to it. Checked Baggage will be carried on the same aircraft as you unless we decide for safety, security or operational reasons to carry it on another flight. If your Checked Baggage is carried on a subsequent flight we will deliver the same to you within a reasonable time from the arrival of that flight unless applicable law requires you to be present for Customs clearance. (emphasis mine – superpatrick)

Safe to say that the tripod was indeed sent to Hong Kong but not on the same flight that I took going there. Since we went to Macau on our first day, most probably the tripod may have reached Baggage Enquiry counter 1 in Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) but no one would be able to claim it since it is logical to think that passengers will assume that their baggages/items came with them on the same flight that they took. Perhaps the manifestation of the provision mentioned above was the one experienced by the sister of my neighbor who now works in Singapore. HKIA was even generous enough to provide feedback regarding concern on the tripod even if it’s not their responsibility. They have responded twice to my concern and I am  thankful for their concern.

Now I got my tripod, I was able to repair it and now it performs back to “normal”. I haven’t tested my tripod fully but right now, I am thankful that I’m a bit “lucky” in terms of getting back what I need from Cebu Pacific. A lot of horror stories about Cebu Pacific are circulating around the internet and I hope Cebu Pacific, despite being a budget airline, is not giving deaf ear and blind eyes to the issues that surround their business.

If budget permits, I’ll fly next time with PAL (if only my pocket allows me to).

Still Waiting

Thanks for the concern that you guys have given to me with regards to my issue with Cebu Pacific. Hong Kong International Airport Customer Relations has answered my query and their answer is found in the image below (for transparency purposes).

In short, HKIA tells me that all baggages are of the airline’s responsibility and they have no control over it. I already filed a separate feedback/complaint to them and to be fair with them, I’ll give them 10 business days to act on it. That time I think is enough for them to contact me for any updates on whatever thing/things they are doing or following up regarding my concern. Inasmuch as I want to be a reactionary person on what happened to my tripod, I am giving them due time to process my complaint. After all, it is not my fault why the tripod was lost and perhaps their possible shitty explanation of not getting a travel insurance is a big no-no for me for their incompetence.

Just to give everyone a view of the tag of the tripod I used to have that Cebu Pacific “lost” while in their custody.

And I am still waiting for the reply. It’s been 2 business days passed since I first lodged a complaint to them and still no lead or feedback yet.