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Monday, July 2, 2018

Paypal: Hijacked?

I have been using paypal since 2005. Until recently (had it been months?), it had been very safe, very easy to use, and very efficient.

What's going on?

1.  It now asks new users whether they are sellers or buyers (seems, you cannot be both).
Fine. If you are an old user, beware of changing your bank details, you'll be doomed!
2. Then, if you are a seller, your account automatically requires your own bank-registered business name. It automatically assumes (and insists!) that your bank account, even if you state while registering your details that it is a personal account and AFTER you input your name, that it is named AFTER your business account.
3. If you cannot properly place a bank account, you have limitations like withdrawing (you cannot even withdraw from your credit card, I understand).
4. But assuming you already inputed properly your bank details and withdraw, you will learn that the transaction was reversed. Because paypal used a business name instead of your inputed personal name.
5. Or it is reversed because it is automatically a checking (current) account.
6. And after all the delays and mistakes, you are charged about US$5 for the reversion. This is thick!
7. You pay for a mistake that paypal insists & committed!

Dispute a paypal mistake & you get this!

Then,

1. You cannot dispute that mistake.
2. Because paypal will only give you one option in their "resolution center" which is "report an unauthorized activity" - which is FALSE, of course, because you made that activity.
3. But you are forced to click only one button, because the other option is to send them a message, which was NEVER read at all.
4. But if you opt to send a message instead, you get a reply on your email stating how to use paypal (using JUST keywords on your message), which you already knew because you read/saw how in their website already. Well, they ask you to email back in case the issue is not resolved.
5. So, you email back.
6. And still you have robotic customer service representatives (CSR) answering you other things instead of helping you resolve the problem (like correcting your account details).
7. BUT apparently, the number or all numbers being sent to the CSR are censored!

Worse

1. If you clicked those questions AFTER "report an unauthorized activity", you are doomed!
2. OK, so, if you click a paypal transaction (charged for penalty) for dispute under the Resolution Center, they will automatically block your account, and you can only resolve the issue by calling their Nebraska phone at +1 402 9352050.
3. You will be answered by an AI machine, which does NOT recognize numbers by voice or by keypad. So, you get to repeat inputing the same number over and over again until you meet your call limits (subscription if you do not have a postpaid phone). And then it will insist it does not recognize your number, so, you input the number you used in your paypal account, but as I said, could it really be communicating with your phone? They don't seem to be from the same planet!!!
4. SO, you buy another call load for your phone.
5. And do the process again and again (today, it will be my 12th time to call). Now, my Globe IDD wants to compete, it keeps being cut!!!
6. At other times, the AI lets you go through, and then, the other challenge kicks in - a recorded  message that is so -  coming from the earth's abyss itself, you can hardly recognize a word it is saying... (I must need a hypersonic hearing aid already!)
7. Then, if you are lucky, there's a CSR to answer your call (hallelluia!!!)
8. So, she will get your cryptic email address (he or she will have a difficulty understanding it, of course!), so you get stuck a few minutes just trying to figure out what the hell is your email address!
9. And when you finally were able to send through the message you are trying to send through, breathe.
10. The CSR will send you a verification code... Or was it an email link? No, first, a verification code to your email, before she gives you an email link to finally restore your account!
11. Well, hold that hallelluia! Because if you do not have a kingdom-come-call-limitations, your load just expired! (OK, mine).
12. Go back to 1. Whichever "1 "you want. Up there.
calls at paypal taking about 10 minutes... before you can actually speak to a live human.

The many call logs which paypal insists I upload to their website AFTER I log-in (they have blocked me, how can I log in?)


So Paypal, you win. I'll try to start finding other options now, go check out those other payment systems, maybe, they have not been hijacked yet! And, yes, I'll stop telling everyone to use paypal. I can't afford more angry looks. (I've more than enough for myself already).

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Find Out if You are Internet Ignorant

Are you one of them?

Ipsos, a market research group, published that the Philippines, with 29% of its population being users of internet, are on the top 3 of the most innacurate users in the world of the 38 countries they bothered to learn about. Anyway, other posts claim about 60 million Filipinos use the internet, but mainly, or majority of them uses only social media, dominated probably by FaceBook (had Friendster been maintained fairly well, I doubt if FaceBook will be as popular as it is now).

There are no studies yet undertaken how to determine if a user is internet ignorant or not. However, there are already posts online that internet, or social media, is making (Filipino) users ignorant.  How can we know of this?

Answer the following questions with YES or NO to determine if you are internet ignorant or not:
1. "Search" in FaceBook is helpful to find factual information.
2. At least half (50%) of what friends share on social media are reliable or truth.
3. Wikipedia is a leak.
4. Rappler news are objective.
5. YouTube is all about funny videos.
6. 9gag is more reliable than Fox News.
7. Chrome is an advertising tool.
8. Google search used to be reliable. Not anymore.
9. FaceBook is an advertising tool.
10. Everything in this list is debatable.

Comment in this blog post your email and answers if you want to know whether or not you are internet ignorant. Thank you for taking the time to learn.

Friday, October 20, 2017

In Denial, and the Beholden Media

by M. Tadeja

Since President Rodrigo R. Duterte took office, or even before it, there had been a lot of naysayers, considering that information nowadays is cheap and fast. I was one of them. Was.

There are two things I noted for not trusting the presidency early on:
1. Constitutional bodies like COA, CSC, and COMELEC are ineffective, if not so corrupt.
2. Duterte pledged to wage war against criminality. So much like all other government agencies that hire and promote by virtue to nepotism, we have an inept police.

Nevertheless, the Constitution says we have a President. The least we can do is respect him and give him a chance. There was a one time that I voted for president, and I voted for her again the second time although I am fully aware she will not win this time. All else, I knew were useless and futile.

From the start, too, Duterte doubted he will ever work well with the Philippine media. Members of Philippine media have a somewhat distorted orientation about their freedoms and rights (if they are even aware of it at all), and a feigned ignorance of admiting they work for a business. (I am sour-graping, mainstream media never wanted me! I am a reject! Satisfied? Now, let's proceed.)

But to explain this anti-Duterte stance of mainstream Philippine media, let us disect the background of the mainstream Philippine media:
1. ABS-CBN is owned by the Lopezes. Formerly listed as owned by Benpress Holdings, it has a bleak history of massive debts and should be answerable to taxpayers of this country, and investors in other countries. And if you so care want some juicy conspiracy theory bits, here.
http://opinion.inquirer.net/16769/dbp-wrote-off-p1-6b-in-loans-to-lopez-group

http://scion-tradeon.blogspot.com/2013/01/lopez-holdings-corporation-lpz.html

 2. Philippine Daily Inquirer. This is formerly a newspaper with fearless news and balanced views. It has turned into a social oligarch magazine, with news and some opinions on the side.
3. Rappler's Raissa Robles.  Robles will write as she sees fit, personal or otherwise. Pnoy has won her favor, and she won't admit it, but that is how I see it.
4. As for the rest, they are still wrapped up in their comfort zones, never heard "p#+@^&mo" in their short lives, and never been mentally challenged in their professional and personal relations, so, let the snowflakes cry.

As for the Dutertards, they plodReality is a war. We don't really know when we'll get hit.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Red Ribbon Mamon & Smart Perks

Let us set aside the seemingly highway robbery wireless / pocket wi-fi services we are currently experiencing at the moment and focus on "rewards".

Globe provides very timely rewards, in fact, you can get your SMS / call rewards even if you ran out of pre-paid loads.

Meanwhile at Smart...

I have several Smart numbers I use for wi-fi and phone services that at one time, I enrolled them to Smart perks. "Being Smart has its perks."

In February, I redeemed a Red Ribbon mamon (5 pieces) for - if I recall it right, 145 points. I received a message or a prompt that I will be updated of its status in the next 24 hours.

I never received the update.

In June 1, 2017. I called up the Smart hotline dedicatedly to inquire on this perks. I was able to talk to Deps. She checked on my record and while my account is open and I can see I've only got some 90 points left on my perks, she told me that she is sorry for the inconvenience or something like that. Gahd. You like the word: inconvenience. She told me that the points were returned. And lo! I have 200+ points back on my perks.

She asked me if I would like to try redeeming another, and I said yes, and on her end, she assisted me to redeem - calls for 100 points.

I got an SMS telling me a manager or something similar in status, will approve of the redeemed perks and that I will be updated in a while. It is June 4 and I never got an update.

Smart, you are sooo smart.

You meter our wifi usage at sky-high rates without us having an idea how, as if people in the Philippines earn shrewdly as much as you people at Smart. Cruel, if you ask me. And you have these perks that is what we can aptly call "paasa."

You're soooo smart!

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Invisible Force: A book review

I am not really into book reviews... first off, because someone (or a bunch) out there has already placed it in better words and perspective more than I could ever attempt, got the right platform or fund to promote, and back it up for a specific period of time. And I'd just be another second-third-rate ranter with nothing new to offer.

But I'll honestly review this out of a need and personal commitment, as objectively as possible.


The e-book is quite brief at just 112 pages, packed with lots of quirky quotes such as that of the opener from Why the LuckyStiff, some others, and pop-rock lyrics from the Boss, The Doors, Nirvana, to Lenka! There are allusions to Robert Ludlum beginning from the main character Alex Howell (combo of Alexander Conklin from the Bourne Trilogy and Peter Howell from the Covert One series) to the giant business greed, a secret agency within a secret agency and global hopping off of the agent/s. It was notable, too, that two of the leading characters were rockstar-wannabes, indicative of an era when every gasoline boy (who graduated in college), and office staff were into alternative rock band thing.
It also hit on the most active third world facebook users. Probably based on its clown senators that plagiarize.

The presentation of some of the main characters seem wanting - could be because succeeding parts will provide a deeper exploration of these characters? We can only speculate. But after a couple of chuckles, and the temporary satisfaction of good winning over evil in  the reality-based fiction (by the way, it presents factual natural calamities as a manipulation of MNCs), we hope with fingers crossed that it is just fiction and ask, when's that next series coming out?

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Woe Smart!

So, I have an ongoing love-hate relationship with Smart Communications. For the longest period, I have used several of its services - longest mobile phone service, longest internet service, smart money card, and - here I am testing its capabilities again...

I have a Smart prepaid pocket wifi that I use in emergencies. Like during travel and I need to work or keep in touch for work reasons.

And now, I want to load my pocket wifi using online payment system (hey, the Smart money beats the rest of the communication companies on this!) - but BPI was the first to offer this.

And I get this error message. 


Take  closer look:
So, I click on the Help / Support.
Does not work either.

Product development is good and fast at Smart. But development does not sync with their web developers' capabilities...

Smart, you've been dumbed....

Monday, September 5, 2016

P#%^ng!na, OMG! and the other Exclamations

The "news" quoting the seemingly barbaric Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte as saying "son of a bitch" to Obama is one of the biggest lies and a literal "out of context" reporting ever done most recently, this time by Associated Press writer Teresa Cerojano in Manila, Philippines.
I have never been a fan of PDut as the stand of this blog has always been the same - personal, and what is fair and just on the beholder. But there is a high probability that the reporter is a half-breed, non-Filipino in a sense that she cannot distinguish a so-called Pinoy expression from a true-blue cuss word. This is sad. We have for a time since the latest presidential campaigns of this country been hearing a lot of invectives, most of the time senseless, and foul words from Duterte, and we should be immune by the time he won. Sometimes, we give to a man because he won in an election fair and square (a rarity in this country managed by oligarchs and their minions at COMELEC), and this should be one of those times.

The bigger faults that I can see about the President or his leadership at the moment are:
1. the lack of simultaneous tracking of corruption in government (what's up with Napoles and her senators/congressmen minions?). And Napoles is only a choco chip at the top of the icing!
2. the lack of intensive training provided for the police and armed forces if they are expected to win the war against drugs (like I already pointed out in social media, they are not even aware of the Miranda warning).  We have nincompoops in the armed forces and they are NOT reliable enough to wage war against crime when the majority of Filipinos believe they - the police from top to bottom - are 90% involved in all those crimes from drugs to jueteng, illegal gambling, carnapping, robbery, and many others!
3. the lack of fair chance for better-qualified individuals to take a post in critical government jobs.

For the meantime , the media should stop altogether covering PDut if they cannot distinguish a mere side comment from official policy.