Thought of the day

I thank whatever gods may be / For my unconquerable soul. / I am the master of my fate / I am the captain of my soul. ~William Ernest Henley, Invictus

Government's promises are like the Ringgit, they depreciate with time.

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Tale of Two Cities: Broadband

Life is hard in Bolehland, not just monetarily.

I moved in to my fabulous mansion last December, got married, settled down for a while and decided to apply for broadband internet access, a necessity for each and every household in this era of information technology.

So I dropped by a TMpoint outlet (since the cable broadband service is monopolized by TMNET) one sunny morning only to hear the receptionist say, "Sorry lah, your housing area still do not have the "port", so you cannot apply now. But you can register with us, once we accumulate about 10 applicants, then we will set up a "port", then you can come and apply again."

"So how long do I need to wait for the "port" to be set up?"

"Not sure, maybe 3 months later."

Biasalah. This is the way things are run in Bolehland, and all Bolehlanders are used to it. So I registered.

In mid March this year, we saw a TM booth at our park and residents lined up to apply for broadband internet access. It seemed the port was set up. So I quickly joined the queue and when it was my turn, the sales lady named Jana asked if I had registered with any TMpoint outlet earlier.

"Yes, I registered 3 months back."

Jana flipped through her list and found my name.

"Do you want to apply with another name?" she asked.

Puzzled, "Why? Anything wrong with my name?"

"Oh no. You registered before the "port" was set up in this area, so now if you insist to apply with your name, you will need to wait for another 3 months before we can proceed with the installation. But if you apply via another name, you will get your internet access within a week." Jana explained patiently.

"WTF, what happened to "first come first serve basis"?" I thought. "Ok, let's use my wife's name then."

Forms filled, contractor to come on immediate Saturday, which to my expectation and dismay, he didn't show up and when I called, he told me he was on leave. Unwilling to wait for another week, I asked the contractor to come on Monday.

"What time can you come?"

"Depends lar. Maybe 11am to 5pm."

There was nothing I can do but to succumb to him because the government-linked giant telco only outsource jobs to certain ethnic group which unfortunately happens to be indolent.

He arrived at 2pm on Monday, just to installed and activate my phone line.

"What about my internet access?" I asked.

"Oh, you have to wait 3 more days before you can activate your broadband. Another contractor is suppose to handle this. My job is just to activate the phone line. Please pay me RM50, thank you."

I had waited 3 months, don't mind waiting 3 days more.

Again, the other contractor (from the slothful clan) promised to come on Saturday and failed to turn up, as usual. Yes, sudah biasa.

"Are you coming today?"

"Oh, today cannot!"

"But you promised to come today, didn't you?"

"Cannot lar, I am in KL now. Today I am on leave. Why not I come to your house on Monday night, 8pm?"

"Monday night is good. Please fulfill your promise."

We returned early from work on Monday and the contractor turned up as promised. He inserted the the cable, turned on the modem and was silent for a while.

"The light is not on." he referrred to the LED for the ADSL signal. "The TM guys didn't jump the cable properly. Well, there is nothing I can do now, just need to come back another day."

Another day? Unbelievable!


Sorry to bore you guys with this longwinded tale.

It will be a different story in Lion City, where I just walk into any Starhub outlet, fill up the forms and the sales person will hand me the modem, "Just connect to the TV cable socket and you can access the internet after 24 hours."


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