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Vol II: The Mis-Adventure Continues
Funny stories, witty encounters and serious reflections from Malaysia as experienced by a vegetarian struggling to understand the world.

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Friday, June 01, 2007

The Maxis 017 experience

As my foreign visitors will be here for the next few weeks, the company (decided) thought that it would be easier and also cheaper for them to have a local mobile number. So off I went this afternoon to get them a Maxis number. Having been a Maxis user for more than 5 years now, I have to say that even though I’ve had some bad billing experience with them, they have never failed to solve the problems and made me feel happy again.

With so many tourists coming to visit our lovely Malaysia (after all, its Visit Malaysia Year 2007), I would have thought that the policies and procedures we have in place would only serve to make our visitors confortable. If we want the tourists to spend a few weeks here, they must feel at home and be able to easiely call back to their family, right? Getting a prepaid/ disposable mobile number should as easy as buying bread from 7-11 (unless its Gardenia bread – 7-11 dun sell them), right?

Yes, its not really difficult buying a prepaid number. But its super difficult trying to get it activated. Some joker somewhere must have thought its fun to let our visitors go through all the hassle like I did. This is what I had to go through:

1. Look for a shop that still sells prepaid starter pack. I had to try at least 5 shops before I finally found one.

2. Choose a number. It is actually amazing how many nice numbers are available at the price of rm8.80.

3. Complete a stupid form and show proof to the vendor that I are who I claim to be in the form – show IC to the vendor. Tourists would need to provide their passport as proof of identity. Yes, you can’t buy on behalf of your friend.

4. Vendor will then tell you that the line will be activated in 1 hour’s time. So after one hour and the line was not activated, I started to panic. We’re trying to give our foreign visitors a good impression of Malaysia and this is not good – especially after their 2 days in a Proton Wira. And there’s no way to call the vendor since its one of those small shops with no phones – and this is a shop selling mobile starter packs!

5. Tried to activate the line again after another 1 hour. Manual says that it will automatically be activated after I make my first call using the new number. But each time I try to make a call, a stupid automated voice will tell me that the number cannot be activated until I have registered it.

6. Called Maxis Customer Service hotline. They told me its bullsh1t – activation is only 1 hour if I personally walk into a Maxis Service Centre. Maxis Customer Service also told me that activation via vendor may take up to THREE days. I explained the situation to Maxis but this time, they were more of Customer Dis-service than anything else. To think I have been a Maxis user for so long and it is still so bl00dy difficult to register the line under my name! How ironic when you think about it... I can have a supplementary line activated and sent to my house by just calling Maxis Customer Service hotline but I cannot register a prepaid number?! They expect a tourist to know where their service centres are located?! Any tourist staying in Malaysia for a week or less is better off just using their roaming service. Dont bother about public phones, it’s been many years since I have seen one that works. Public phone booths are actually meant more as a one man shelter from rain.

I know... The Telcos will just blame this on the goverment and say its the law. So... How?

In the end, I was not too sure if the number got activated. I gave the sim card to my foreign visitors and told them that the line should work. Otherwise, they can continue to use their roaming services. Oh ya... They are planning to visit Singapore this weekend. I’m not stopping them.

So much for Visit Malaysia Year 2007.

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Please leave your comments. There are 3 comment(s).

On 6/05/2007 10:40:00 AM Blogger Taikor said:
Oh dear... I'm sure you were really in difficult time.

Actually, I've long know that our country is not fully prepared for tourism. Only certain tourist spots are and some mechanisms and procedures are relaxed and improved in those places.

Just ask our Singaporean and Thai neighbours. They will tell you in full details.
On 6/06/2007 09:25:00 AM Blogger adriantai said:
yalor... sometimes i just feel like all these campaigns are very half-hearted.
On 6/13/2007 04:46:00 PM Blogger naeboo~ said:
eeeyer... hate maxis!! so much probs with them last time now i ban them. digi soooooooooooooooo much better!!!
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