Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Become aware of Medical Costs in Singapore

Become aware ! ..sounds like a yogi giving an advise. But this is something based on my experience so far. One must be aware of the costs involved whenever going for medical consultation in Singapore. When we are new in a country, we are not aware of how the charges are made up!. Let see this real life example :

I had been to a hospital here for medical consultation. My first visit to this hospital was 8 months back. Now when I went there again this time, I had changed the Dr. for some reason(basically I wanted to get second opinion and I was not convinced the way Dr. treated me last time). So when I was billed this time, the cashier gave me bill of $97 as against $75 for a patient for subsequent visit !. As I was aware of this fact as written there on the reception. I asked her why I am charged for $97 being a subsequent visitor to the same hospital. She said it is because I changed the Dr. :) ...I mentioned her very assertively that what difference does it make as it is still the same hospital .. She resisted a bit but eventually changed the bill to $75.

I was surprised to see this kind behavior from a reputed hospital.

Refer to : Saving on cost of Medical consultation in Singapore

Friday, April 18, 2008

Online Mutual Funds ...Customer service !

Today I receive a email from Timesofmoney saying that they are disabling the BUY option until further notice to enhance customer experience . The notice is given on 18th April 2008 . So now people who are using this service are stuck to go via the offline method the website offers ! ...

In this online world, I don't know how can a I company do this to their customers. They could have easily develop the enhancement(we as a customer don't what are the enhancements!) in parallel and do the switch when ready. This is a normal practice.

To me till date ICICIDirect seems to be the best in providing online mutual fund transactions. Their site provides access to all funds. There are many players in this online mutual fund portal business, but ICICI is one of the best in my opinion.

Lets see when this enhanced version of Timesofmoney.com comes LIVE !

Happy Investing !

Friday, April 04, 2008

Subscribing to mio TV from Singtel, ready for rough ride!

My last post was about savings on home entertainment. Well savings comes with a cost too!. I subscribed to mio TV recently and I am experiencing something which is never expected from technology solution like this. Well the reception quality of mio TV is good. One day i switched off the mio TV HD Box. After switching on it is not showing me TV Channels any more. It takes around 25 minutes to reset the HD box. It shows 1 Gear symbol first & then 2 gear symbols with some progress bar, but finally it shows red X and no TV channels :(

I called the mio TV helpdesk. The first thing he mentioned me is that I should try HARD reset of mio TV box. I did that too by pressing Power+Ok+down arrow button together. It did the same thing, again some progress bar, but nothing good after that. The Internet is working fine as well as the telephone line.

So I called the helpdesk again. This time he said that he needs to send an technician to my home to check the line. Also the appointment of the line man would be after 4 days :(. Wow ..what a technology.They don't know what's happening and most of the time they replace the HD box itself to correct the issue. This is not at all acceptable service level from a company selling technology solution like IPTV. One more thing, the help desk is immediately offering me the waiver for days when the mio TV is OFF. So that clearly means that they know this is a known issue.

Finally the technician arrived after 3 days. He is again doing the same reset procedure to understand the issue. This clearly shows the lack of technology know how with the support personnels. He is also calling the help desk to do some reset at their end.

So before you go for mio TV. Understand that this is a new service and could have teething problems like these. Be ready to expect some issues and do not switch off the HD box ever :)

I writing this post while the singtel technician is still at my place and the problem is still not resolved. I will update the post again about the outcome of the visit and waste of my 1 hour.


Finally the mio TV is working fine as earlier. But in the process I lost 10 days of watching TV & they replaced 4 HD Boxes to get everything right :). Every time the technician came he wasted 2 hours of my time in running diagnostics on router & resetting HD Box. Also spent 30 minutes chatting with his fellows on backend support to pretend to do something!.

So next time you have issues with mio TV, make sure that it is not showing you progress bar or 1/2 gears on the screen and then red X at the end. If that happens it is most probably an issue with the HD box & get replacement immediatly rather than waiting long to diagnose it on your side and backend side :)

btw ..I could be wrong here in my judgment ..but hope this helps you next time you face any issue with mio TV!