Singtel & Nokia N8

Singtel is really really giving me a lot of grief.  I would’ve switched to another telco immediately, save for the fact the Nokia N8 that I want is currently only being sold by Singtel.  Argh.  Anyway, I sent an e-mail to Mr Allen Lew of Singtel.  My e-mail is reproduced below.  I hope Singtel can give me a reasonable explanation.


Subject: Why Won’t Singtel Communicate Internally?

Dear Mr Lew,

Since receiving two e-mails from Singtel on Friday regarding the availability of the Nokia N8 at, I have been trying to recontract and purchase the Nokia N8 – unfortunately without success.

Following the link in the first e-mail I received, I was brought to a page where I could buy the N8, but there was no option for me to recontract my line.

Following the link in the second e-mail I received, I was brought to another page which had the recontract option, but when I tried to recontract, I was prompted with an error message and told to call 1688.

So I called 1688.  I waited 10-15 minutes to speak to a helpdesk agent, who insisted there was no such model as the Nokia N8.  After I told her I received an e-mail from Singtel regarding the model, she then said she had to transfer me to the "Recontract Team" because her department does not handle customers under the Mio plan.

After waiting another 5 minutes, someone called Fiona answered the transferred call.  After repeating my request to recontract with a handset purchase, Fiona also advised that there was no such model.  So I had to repeat my story about receiving the e-mail from Singtel, etc etc.  Fiona then said she was unable to help me and that she "did not understand why the Mobile Team transferred my call to the Sales Team".  She said she had to contact the Web Team to find out about this and thus we ended the call.

Someone from Singtel called me again yesterday (30 Oct 2010) to ask me what colour I wanted.  The helpdesk agent said (I quote), "They only sent me an e-mail to ask me what colour".  I was in JB when I received this really cryptic call and I say cryptic because the helpdesk agent did not introduce herself, did not give any background to her question and did not explain who is the "they" she mentioned.  After I replied that I wanted "white", the call ended without any conclusion.

As I am really really hoping to get the Nokia N8 before I fly to Japan on Thurs (4 Nov), I made yet another call to 1688 today.  I asked the helpdesk agent, Aasha, if the N8 is available at any Hello!Shop as I would be happy to take time to go down and queue up at the store to recontract and get the phone.  Unfortunately, Aasha informed me that the phone will not arrive at stores till 5 Nov.  I then asked if I could somehow buy the phone online, and pick it up at the store?  She said no, because the Web Team and the Counter Staff are from different departments and such arrangements cannot be made.  Once again, I had to end the call since it was really getting nowhere.

Shortly after, I decided that perhaps I could use my mom’s mobile line, that is under my name, to do the recontract and purchase the phone.  I thus made yet another call to 1688 and spoke to someone called Selena.  As my mom’s mobile line is no longer under any contract, I asked Selena if Singtel would be willing to give me any vouchers as part of the recontract offer.  Selena then told me that I had to speak to the Customer Retention Department about this, though they have ceased the giving of vouchers since 9 Oct.  She asked me to call 1688 again on Mon as the Customer Retention Dept staff did not work weekends.  I asked Selena if it was possible for her to get them to call me back instead since it takes very very long to get through 1688.  Selena said that was not possible, because the Customer Retention Dept does not call customers back.  This really takes the cake.  The Customer Retention Dept does not call customers back?!  That says a lot about Singtel’s sincerity in retaining customers doesn’t it?

Mr Lew, I know you are a busy man but I was hoping if you could take a bit of time to look into this:

1.  Singtel consolidated all the helplines into 1688 so as to simplify the process for customers who need to speak to Singtel.  However, it seems that your various departments, be it the Mobile Team, the Sales/Recontract Team and your Web Team have significant difficulty communicating with one another.  Surely, it does not reflect well on Singtel when your agents make comments like, "I do not know why your call was transferred to me".  Am I supposed to apologise for being transferred from one department to another?  Does Singtel think that customers enjoy being transferred?

2.  In addition, shouldn’t there be internal training of new handsets / products that are launched?  It sounds really odd to me that the Web Team can launch a phone, but all the other departments have no idea such a phone exists.

3.  Being a Mio Bundle customer (I have 2 mobile lines, 2 land lines, Mio TV and Singnet Broadband under my name), I would have thought I am a relatively valued customer given the myriad of Singtel services I use.  However, your recontract policies and restrictions have penalised me for being a Mio customer.  Had I just had one mobile line with Singtel, I would not have to suffer all the inconveniences stated above.  Shouldn’t Singtel do something to reward customers rather than penalise them?

4.  Lastly, when a staff says something like, "The Customer Retention Dept does not call customers back", should I pin this down to poor customer service training, or is this a true reflection of Singtel’s mentality? 

I look forward to your reply.


Looking Back, Looking Forward

Haven’t blogged for so long because my boss went on a 2-week Japan holiday.  Nearly died trying to cover all the deals that seemed to flood in.  The minute my boss came back, I took leave to just nua.  After that, I got busy preparing for my own Japan trip.  Hehehe. 

Here’s what I did…

1. Hair Cut!!


To ensure that I earned the right to walk next to Booze Queen in Japan, I went to cut my hair.  In fact, I got it cut not once, but thrice!

I showed the stylist a pic of what I wanted.  It was risky – ‘cos the style I wanted required waves at the back and my chin length hair was a little short for it.  Nonetheless, he decided to take up the challenge and thus my hair got permed, then trimmed.

Unfortunately, it totally didn’t come out the way I wanted.  So I decided to chop it all off, and go with this 2nd choice of hairstyle (which I also had a pic of).  I didn’t leave the salon till 11:15pm that night!  Heh.  Poor stylist.

Anyway, that was last week.  I visited the salon again 2 days ago, with the intention of colouring my hair.  The stylist was however, rather traumatised that the curls he did for me all straightened.  So he insisted on perming and cutting – again!  What was supposed to be a 2.5-hr perm & cut, stretched to 4hrs!  The pic above was taken by Azure when she arrived at the salon for her hair appointment!


2. Winter Wear

The last time I travelled during winter was way back in 1995 and I used a winter jacket borrowed from my mom’s friend then.  The hunt for winter clothing thus started.


I initially couldn’t decide to buy a trenchcoat like jacket, or a leather jacket, but chose the latter since I figured it would go with both boots and sneakers.  Bought the above from Mango at an obscene price and earned myself membership rights at Mango at the same time.


I was also very tempted by this white down jacket from Uniqlo.  It’s sooo light!!  Only 200g!  And you can fold it into this small bag so it’s extremely space efficient. 


Here’s a pic of me trying it on for size.  Was dissuaded from buying by Booze Queen since I probably can get it at a cheaper price in Japan.  Heh.  Cute hor?

Uniqlo also has a range of inner wear with their “heat tech” technology that’s supposed to keep you nice & warm.  I bought a black scoop neck long sleeve top, as well as the polka dotted turtleneck top.  Here’re more pics of me cam-whoring.




I also bought nice & warm knitted socks from Uniqlo.  Am a little worried about my feet cramping in Japan – they tend to cramp if I have to stand for more than an hour, or if it’s too cold.  Given that I’m likely to stand more than 1hr in cold weather in Japan, I’m… quite screwed.

I also liked this beret from Uniqlo but decided that I can get it in Japan.


If my ears get too cold, I have these cute furry ear muffs borrowed from Booze Queen.  Hehe.

I also bought heat tech leggings but didn’t really like them – ended up giving them to my mom who’s also going to Hokkaido the same time as me!  Hehe… but she’s going with a tour group whereas I’m going with Iceman, Azure, Ms Trenchcoat & Booze Queen (only for Tokyo leg).

I’m so looking forward to the trip.  Hehehehe.  I will, however, miss Twitter and Weibo terribly.  Sigh.

Ok.  I gotta get back to doing my policy wording now.  Ciao!!

The Need to Nua

Cliche reports will always paint a scene where the husband is back home after a long day at work and just wants to laze in front of the TV, but the wife wants to chat and yaks non-stop.  I say that’s cliche ‘cos I definitely understand the need to nua.

There’s nothing better for me than to spend a weekend sleeping & watching TV, and not have to get out of the house at all.  2-3 hours of such nua-ing is definitely NOT enough.  Ideally, an entire day should be devoted to it.  If I don’t get to spend at least 5-6 hours nua-ing, I’ll feel as though the weekend just slipped away and I’ll have a huge urge to take leave on Mon because I was cheated of the weekend.

My cellgroup wanted to have an outing this weekend.  I thought long and hard & voted for it to be on Sun.  The majority, however, decided that Sat would be better, which works out fine since I actually forgot I was supposed to meet up with Azure and others to discuss / finalise our Japan trip on Sun.  The problem then is, if I were to go out today (Sat), then spend Sun morning in church, Sun afternoon at Azure’s place and Sun night having dinner with my dad (my mom went China for holiday), I’ll not have any part of the weekend to myself again!  Although I’m on leave on Mon, I’ve gotta wake up early ‘cos Singnet’s sending a technician down to check on my Internet connection problems.  After that I haven’t decided whether to go to Cityhall area or Orchard area to look for a winter jacket for my Japan trip. 

I find it difficult to explain to others why I need to nua.  Why I need to just switch off my brain and laze in front of the TV.  I am unable to verbalise why this “me time” is so important, especially if it’s been a busy week at work.  I tried to analyse it in a logical way and the only thing I could think of was perhaps I interact too much with people during the week – like the past week, when my phones (office & handphone) were ringing every 15 minutes, clients were calling, underwriters were calling, or I had to call underwriters to broker deals after clients’ calls.  I also had a number of meetings to attend… all of which resulted in me only being able to clear work / e-mails after 7pm. 

And the most important thing is?  I don’t want to change this.  I think I have a right to do work which I enjoy, and to spend my weekends nua-ing.  I don’t like the pressure to meet up with friends just to meet other people’s expectations.  I believe I have a right to choose how I want to spend my time.  Even if it’s wasting hours in front of the TV, the fact that I’m exercising my choice and doing what I feel like doing – that makes me very happy.  Shiok is the word. 

So I’ve decided to skip the afternoon outing with my cellgroup today.  I just want to be by myself.  I’m going see if there’s any cereal to eat, then I’m going to watch TV for a few hours.  I will be joining them at some cafe tonight ‘cos my husband said he won’t get to see me the whole of today otherwise… which means I still won’t get an entire day of nua-ing.  *Shrugs*.  Maybe I’ll take leave again next week to make up for it… but that means I might end up running out of leave and not be able to join my cellgroup on a mission trip end of this year. 

Sometimes I feel a little bad for wanting 1 whole day per week to myself.  It’s not as though I’m some anti-social hermit but it would be great to just chill out by myself.  Just 1 day.  After all, if time is the most precious commodity we have, why can’t I spend it on myself? 

Singnet Mio Woes

I’m once again forced to blog using my hp cos my Singnet Broadband connection is so farked up that I can’t load any websites at all. I’ve sent 2 complaint e-mails to Singnet and someone from the helpdesk did try to contact me the last 2 days, but i was unable to answer their calls – it’s hard when I have client calls coming in every 15min and numerous meetings to attend.

In any case, I don’t see how “troubleshooting” over the phone can help. I’m very sure my modem is set up correctly, after all, I was 1/4 of the pioneer Singnet Broadband helpdesk. Really don’t need any smart alecky agents from the outsourced helpdesk trying to teach me what to do.

That said, I’ve sent 2 e-mails to Singnet helpdesk to ask them to tell me over e-mail what sort of tests they want me to do. In my latest e-mail, I stated clearly that I’m more than familiar with Singnet and thus I guarantee my broadband problems isn’t anything to do with my connection settings. I hope they take me seriously… it’s for their own good.

Guess I’ll go watch some TV since my vision’s getting blurry from staring at my tiny hp screen for too long. Sigh. Hope the Nokia N8 comes out soon. i really could do with a bigger hp screen.

Posted by Wordmobi

Manila 2010

Realised I never got down to posting about my Manila trip this year.  This is very likely to be my last business trip to Manila as I will be handing the 2 Filipino accounts I handle over to another unit within my company.  Yeap.  双手奉上.  I’m not going into the details since I have photos of myself on this blog, least to say that it’s not something I necessarily agree with.

In any case, I’ve always enjoyed going Manila.  Though it’s not the safest place on earth and the air can be quite bad, the service is good and the hotels I get to stay in are always excellent.  Of course, my favourite part of the trip is always to eat the oysters at Via Mare!!  I think I made a mistake in my last blog post… I mentioned Via Mare is at Greenbelt 4 but it should be at Greenbelt 3… not too far away…



I stayed at The Peninsula this time.  Yup – that’s the hotel where the army tanks rammed into the lobby a couple of years ago when some poor army general tried to stage a coup but it flopped badly due to lack of support – the one where the general was later seen crying on TV when he surrendered.  *Sigh*. 



Staying at The Peninsula is more of a prestige thing I’m told because of its magnificent history.  I, however, felt that the rooms were a little old and small.  My favourite hotel remains the Shangri La Makati, which is just across the road from Peninsula.  The food at the Peninsula is great though.




I ordered room service the night I arrived (reached the hotel after 9pm).  It may not look that great in the pic but the club sandwich was heavenly!!  The layers of ham and bacon and egg… oooh… I can salivate just looking at the photo.  The fries that came with it were also the best fries I’ve ever eaten in my life!  They remained really crispy even after they turned cold.  So damn good!



Even the sauces that came with the club sandwich looked so cute.  The ketchup is still in my kitchen cupboard.  Haha.



I only managed to visit my favourite restaurant in Manila once on this trip.  But it’s ok.  I made sure I gorged on the oysters.  Just look at the pic above.  They’re absolutely the freshest, best, most yummilicious (yes, I just made that up) oysters I’ve ever tried.  No oysters in Singapore can compare.



The baked platter was equally scrumptious.  5 different flavours.  *Drool*.



This is the French Onion soup.  Sorry if the pics are a little whitish – took them with my hp camera and I’m too lazy to edit the pics.  Hehe.



And to round up the fantastic meal, nothing better than a San Miguel light!  Woot!


Ok.  Iceman just bought lunch back for me… so gotta go makan now.  I’ll miss the oysters…

Calories Worth Putting On

The number of food pics I have in my handphone is amazing.  Either I eat damn a lot or I take a lot of photos of the food I do eat, or both.

Ramen Culture at Icon Village


Ramen Culture opened up recently at Icon.  Booze Queen and I visited them on the first day of their opening.  While I felt that the food was ok, the service was disastrous – the service staff were lost and didn’t know what to do.  Coupled with a mini explosion in the kitchen (some pot exploded – we were seated at the counter and heard the BOOM and the glass shattering).  We gave them a about 2 months to sort things out and revisited a couple of weeks ago.  The pic above was taken on our 2nd visit. 

On the left is Booze Queen’s black pig ramen (sorry, can’t rem. the Japanese name for it).  On the right is my tonkatsu ramen.  Not sure why my bowl was so huge… but both were really yummy so that was calories worth injesting. 


NYDC at Tampines One

Iceman & I spend quite a few of lot of our weekends at Tampines ‘cos it’s near where we stay.  Parking’s also a lot cheaper in the east than in town!!  Below are some pics taken from NYDC.


Meatballs baked rice.  Was pretty yummy from what I recall.



This was previously known as the Posh Spice Baked Rice.  It has since been given a more humble name, Mushroom & Ham baked rice (or something very similar).  Despite its much simpler name, it still remains good.  I like the creamy cheese sauce found beneath the layer of grilled cheese on top.  The cream helps the rice stay moist (baked rice has a tendency of hardening after its cooled down) and the ham & mushrooms are a delectable pairing.



These are the mushroom bites.  I’ve always loved mushrooms though I didn’t think this appetizer was that fantastic.



Ah… what’s a visit to NYDC w/o eating their mudpie?  I really can’t recall the fancy name of this mudpie (Granny’s something) but it was a mix of hazelnut and vanilla ice-cream.  Totally delicious!!


Hmm… that’s enough food pics for today.  Haha.  Time to move onto my next post!!


Came across this in an e-mail recently:

“Their main products are day-old chicks and sold them to other chicken farms.  The annual production is about 150 million day old broilers”.

The line “150 million day old broilers” sounds so cruel to me.


Maybe I should stop eating chicken like my dad.


See the little chicks… so cute.  Then they end up in the frying wok. 🙁