Thursday, September 17, 2020

Our 1st Successful Sale on Facebook

14 September 2020

This afternoon we sold an item (bicycle) on Facebook for the very 1st time.   We only agreed to see 2 people this afternoon.  1st person didn't come, called the meeting off last minute and said her neighbor was selling their bicycle to them.   I called the 2nd person.   He came, looked at it, liked it and paid.   It was quick and easy.

We posted the bicycle for sale yesterday on a few selling places on Facebook.  20 people enquired about the bicycle.  One person offered $120, another $100 and another $70.    One asked what was our best offer?   If nobody is willing to pay $125 for it, we intend to donate to our church's annual fundraising sale.   This year there was no sale because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We ordered the Schwinn Connection S5926WM Hybrid bicycle from on the 21 August 2016.  We paid $216.52 (incl. of tax).

Disappointedly, Mike's 1st ride on the 27 August 2016, after only 2 miles,  on a paved path in a park, the hind tyre tube popped!

Had the tube changed, on the 2 September 2016, at a Walmart supercenter  but was not happy that we have to pay for the 700C tube, even though it is like $4.21 (incl. of $0.33 tax)

Emailed and voiced our disappointment of what happened only after only 2 miles of riding.    So they refunded us $19.90 on the 5 October 2016.   They knew how to make their customers happy.

We have no problems after that.   It was a beautiful bicycle.  Sadly, Mike only rode it less than 5 times during these 4 years, probably just 3 times, if I remembered correctly.  He had hoped to get back to riding when his health conditions enable him to, but it didn't.  It was in the past month that he decided a tricycle would be safer for him and so he finally decided to sell it.  I would have ridden it long ago if I was tall enough for it.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Wrong Straight Talk Service Cards

It has been over 2 years since I made that costly mistake.   It was not like 100s of $, but $65.40 (inclusive of $5.40 tax) was a lot for us.  And to date, I am still hoping the Company would refund me or give me some kind of  compensation.  Maybe at least one free service plan.   I am now writing this to tell myself that this is a gone case.

Back on the 26 May 2018, my husband waited in his truck while I went into Walmart Electronics Department and looked for Straight Talk Service Cards.   I probably would have taken my time to look carefully at the 2 x $30 cards before I purchased them.   I was in a rush because I didn't want my husband to wait too long.  Back home, I only realised my mistake when I failed to reload them to our 2 cell phones.   The cards that I bought were for home phones.   What I needed was for cell phones.   My eyes must be blinded.  Both home phones and cell phones cards are green color.  However, the house phone cards have black colour on it while the cell phone cards have red colour on top of the green cards, respectively.

$30 Home Phone Cards

$30 Cell Phones Cards

Walmart couldn't take them back because I have scratched and revealed the PINs.  Straight Talk representative said they could not do anything.   I tried to sell , offering BOGO, to no avail.  The public most likely think I was a fraud.

So I decided to keep them.  I thought maybe we would change our local communication home phone to the Straight Talk home phone and then I could use those 2 home phone plans that I had wrongly bought.

2 years later, this year, around 17 June 2020, I tried to sell again, to no avail.   To throw away is a waste because the PINs have not been used yet.   So on the 24 June 2020, I wrote (snail mailed) to Straight Talk Company, suggesting that maybe their system could use the PINs for customers who were renewing the home phone subscriptions automatically.   I didn't ask for any compensation.   I did say we have been their loyal customers since 2011.

Less than a month after my letter to Straight Talk Company, 15 July 2020, a representative tried to reach us.   He tried to call me on my phone.  The call center, 800-353-1842, was listed as possible spam, on my phone.   I couldn't hear the message clearly.   Instead of touching the loudspeaker, I touched the delete.  I read somewhere later that I could recovered the deleted voice message but I didn't know how then.    An agent, by the name of Dominic, said he is available from 2-10 pm ET but I couldn't catch the number he indicated to call him back.

He then tried to call Mike, who couldn't talk to the agent, as he was on kidney dialysis and the place was noisy with all the machines here and there.

I tried to call the Call Center, 800-353-1842, who have no idea who had called us.   So I wrote another snail mail on the 16 July 2020, asking if they can contact me on my cell phone again, text me a message or email me.

No response from them and so I wrote my 3rd snail mail to them on the 31 August 2020, referring to my previous 2 snail mails and asking if there is anything they could do for us.

Maybe this is meant to be another lesson for me to slow down and not to take things for granted.    I hate throwing away money, especially through my own mistake and consequence.

28 November 2020

I am very pleased with their patience, response and professionalism in dealing with my case.   

On the 4 October 2020, a CSR called.  A refund ticket for $60 of the 2 Home Phone cards (that were apparently never been used) was issued and forwarded to the management for approval.

On the 6 October 2020, a CSR called.  Instead of monetary refund, one $30 plan was credited to our phone.

I had to call on the 20 October, 21 October and 16 November, with regards to some issue with the crediting of  the second $30 plan.

On the 17 November 2020, I had to talk to 4 persons before the situation was solved.   The 4th CSR successfully credited the second $30 plan to our phone.

It took almost 5 months, from the date of my 1st letter (24 June 2020) to the date when the case is finally closed (17 November 2020).  I didn't expect them to go any faster.   I am very glad they accepted my mistake and were kind to refund me.

Monday, August 31, 2020

12 Days of No Wifi

What do you do if you do not have wifi subscription at home, and your wifi modem does not work after a thunderstorm?    Not a good experience at all, especially if your cell phone plan is first 3GB up to 4G LTE speed then 2G, even though it is unlimited data.  You don't know when the wifi will be restored and so you don't dare to use too much internet.  You can't watch videos with 2G!

It happened to us.  Thunderstorm on the 10 July 2020 and then no wifi until the 22 July 2020.

After the thunderstorm on the 10 July 2020, I reported to an Agent that my wifi modem was dead.  The Agent trouble-shooted and confirmed that my wifi modem was dead because no light came on when I plugged it into another electrical outlet.  A ticket was issued and I collected a replacement wifi modem from their store that same afternoon.  This was our 3rd modem.

We had the 1st modem since September 2015.  It was a Ubee model and it survived all the thunderstorms.  We changed it because an Agent told us the system called for a modem upgrade.  I had called the Agent complaining about the internet connection fluctuations.  Another possible reason was the increase in the usage of internet at home during this COVID-19 pandemic time.

The 2nd modem, that were recommended to us was a Panoramic wifi gateway.  It was very disappointing that this new Panoramic wifi was not as tough as the 1st Ubee modem.  The 1st Ubee had served us for 5 years!

And now this 3rd modem was also a Panoramic modem.  I would be mad if this modem need to be replaced, due some kind of technical flaws.  I guess we cannot take any thing for granted.  We will see how good this new professed to be good reliable equipment.

So back to the thunderstorm.

The 3rd modem lighted up when connected to the original electrical outlet, signifying the modem was working.  However there was no wifi signal.

So I contacted an Agent.  A work ticket was issued for a technician to come out to our home on the 12 July 2020 between 10 am - 12 pm.

12 July 2020.  The technician came.  He said he changed some cable or wire in the cable box on the outside wall.  He also found out that their communication equipment, on the utility pole, need to be attended to.  It had to be dealt by a field technician.  He was a home technician.  He issued a work ticket.

13 July 2020.  Contacted an Agent who said the case now rest in the hands of the Operations Field.

14 July and 17 July 2020.  Texted Agents.  Both said the target fix date was 19 July 2020.

19 July 2020.  No technician appeared.  Texted an Agent who reported there was no work ticket on file!  We had no idea why there was no information of the fix date of 19 July 2020 in the system as well.  We had no idea what was going on.  It was a frustrating moment.

20 July 2020.  I decided to let Mike take over.  He called the office and spoke to a representative, who generated a work ticket for a technician to come tomorrow, 21 July 2020.

21 July 2020.  A technician came, who insisted, as part of the diagnostic procedure, to come into the house to check the wifi modem, the internet and whatever.  We told him for the past days, all the Agents that we contacted had already troubleshooted remotely and we already knew that the wifi modem was not receiving signal.  We told him that the 1st technician who came on the 12 July 2020 didn't insist to come in because of the COVID-19 and that he could check from the outside.

So this 20 July 2020 technician came in and then he went outside.  I must have missed seeing if he had checked the cable box on the outside wall but I did saw him climbing a ladder at the utility pole.  Next thing we knew, he called Michael on the phone and said he couldn't solve the problem.  What a technician!  Don't even have the courtesy of reporting, to us face to face, what he found was the problem.

After the technician left, Mike called the office and spoke to someone, supposedly a Field Operations Supervisor, who generated a work ticket for another technician to come out tomorrow (22 July 2020) between 10 am - 12 pm.

22 July 2020.  Finally, an Operations Field Technician came.  Even though we were discouraged initially when he said he couldn't promise that he could restore the internet connection, I appreciate him for his humbleness.  Right then, we didn't know if the situation called for more than just fixing the box on the utility pole.  Anyway, this young sweet technician rang our front door, about half an hour later, happily announced that he had changed some wire in the box, and got back the phone and internet signal.

Some wires in the telecommunication box on the utility pole was replaced.  It was already diagnosed, on the 1st day of service by the Home Technician, that the box needed to be attended to.  Yet it took the Company 10 days to get to the right people to get the job done.  Very disappointing process.

That telecommunications box was struck by the thunderstorm on the 10 July 2020.  The neighbors whose source of internet signal derived from this box were affected as well.  I wondered if they were more patient than I was.

Anyway, I am glad the wifi modem is running now.  I am happy I can watch movies again.

I forgot to add that the Company is good.  They gave credit to my account for the 12 days of no internet and phone services.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

The Lord Calls (7)

Mike picked a closed name tag from the Christmas giving tree in the church foyer on the 9 December 2019.   After clearing with the Bishopric, he gave me the tag, now revealed with the name of Joan Murray.   We have no idea who she was.

Heavenly Father must have wanted me to fellowship with her.   Found out she was in her early 80's and living alone.  I was excited to learn that she lived in the same neighborhood because that would allow me to visit her easily.    I brought some cookies and knocked on her door on the 15 December 2019.    It was my first visit to her.   I am glad that I was able to visit with her as well in the next 5 months or so.

I wasn't in the area during the week when Sister Murray passed away on the 26 September 2019.   However, I am glad I was able to attend her funeral on the 1 October.

Rest in peace, Sister Murray.  It has been a pleasure knowing you.  We have fun visiting.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

The Lord Calls (6)

May 2020

Staying at home and trying to keep myself occupied, during the COVID-19 pandemic, has led me to searching out friends, whom I have not seen for years.  There is joy when you find and reconnect.   I am saddened when I learnt that they have passed away.   I am more saddened if  it happened just a week or two before I found them.   If only I had call her number earlier.

Thanks to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, I am comforted that my friends have gone to the spiritual world and there is the hope of meeting again in the next world.    I have no pictures of the following friends, but they will not be forgotten.

Nancy Vera Pennington Phelps and I had spoken and messaged each other in April 2019.   We lived in different states.  We had planned to meet, during a visit to her city, but due to unforeseen circumstances, the visit was cancelled. Neither of us made contact after that.  We were both busy with our own lives.   The desire to call her came this year.    I think I called her number around the 23-May-2020.    Her son answered her phone.    On the 27-May-2020, I learnt from her son that Sister Phelps had passed away on the 14-May-2020.

I wished we had met last year.   I wished I had called her between April 2019 and May 2020.

Sister Phelps was once my Visiting (Ministering) Sister.   She had been there when I needed help.   She helped me clean the house the morning I was moving to another city.   And the last friend to see me off from my home.

Sister Martha Louise Johnson was my angel.   Because I didn't have my own vehicle, she had volunteered to take me to work and back from work, even when it was like almost midnight at the end of my shift.  She also volunteered to take me to my medical appointments.   I learnt of her passing (24-March-2019) when I reconnected to another Sister on the 24-May-2020).

Shirley Brown was a sweet little lady whom I had the pleasure to work with, for 18 months.   She was always good to me.    She gave me some money as a parting gift when I left the company and moved to another state.   She told me I am welcome to stay with her if I have no place to go.    It is very humbling to hear that kind of gesture and love from people.   I only knew of her passing on the 12-January-2017 through another colleague of ours.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

The Lord Calls (5)

2 days ago, while looking at old pictures, going down the memory lane and reminiscing, my thoughts went to a friendly young man, who I am thankful for.   If it was not for this young friendly gentleman-photographer, I wouldn't have those old pictures.  I knew he worked for a newspaper.   That was in 1971 when I was in Form V.   We never met after that.

I could even remember his name, Alfred Lee.    After 48 years of not being in contact, I wanted to find him and thank him again for the pictures.   It must be that I am older now and have more time to reflect on the past.   So I looked him up on the worldwide popular social network, Facebook.   I found  Alfred Ak Lee.    This Facebook guy is fatter and having not seen him for 48 years, I was not sure he is the Alfred Lee of 1971.   However Alfred Ak Lee is a photographer and there was a picture of him when he was younger that looks like Alfred Lee of 1971.    So I requested friendship.  I wrote him a private message asking him if he was the Alfred Lee of 1971.   2 days, no reply and I wonder.   His last public posting was in May 2018.  His profile pictures is of a photographer and so it is odd that he is not posting any pictures since May 2018.

I don't know why I continue to search for him.   I read an article from of a Alfred Lee that died of cancer on the 26 July 2018.   And I saw a resemblance of the Alfred Lee of 1971 in the picture that they posted in the article.   I felt that this is the Alfred Lee that I was looking for because of what they wrote about him.

However, I didn't want to take it for granted that the Alfred Lee who passed away is the Alfred Lee of 1971.    So I messaged the only FB mutual friend of Alfred Ak Lee and myself, to check if Alfred Ak Lee had passed away.   Our mutual friend didn't know.   That is odd.   I guess sometimes there are FB friends that we hardly keep up with, like in this case.

I wonder who I could ask.   I asked a former classmate, whom I thought would know.   Nope.    A former schoolmate came into my mind.   He had worked as a Municipal Counselor so he definitely would know.    And yes, bingo, he confirmed that the Alfred Lee of 1971, was the Alfred Lee that had died last year.  I didn't know his full name (Alfred Lee Kim Lung) until I read the article of his passing.

I am sorry, Alfred Lee, that I was too late in thanking you again for taking pictures of some of our school activities.   I know I have thank you in 1971 but I felt like thanking you again.

The Lord Calls (4)

I knew Agatha Wong when we worked together at the Miri/Bintulu Project in 1973-74.   Sweet lady.   She operated a stall at the Tamu Muhibbah before she ventured into tailoring business.   I would take my clothes to her when I needed help with some sewing work.

Time passed and it was only around Chinese New Year 2019 when I wondered why she didn't reply my messages.   Found out that she had passed away on Christmas Day 2018, from colon cancer.   Last I saw her was in 21 April 2016.   Another friend gone.   She will be missed.
Last picture with Agatha Wong.  18-September-2014.

Friday, July 06, 2018

Displinary Warning Letter (2)

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Received a disciplinary warning letter for the second time, from the same employer, exactly 4 years apart! First time was on the 5 July 2014. And it was 5 July 2018 today. The difference is store and state.

On the 5 July 2014, it was a $60+ check, with the signature missing. I was the cashier so technically I was accountable for the mistake but I felt I was not to be blamed entirely. I wasn’t the one who received the check from the customer. Checks are electronically accepted by the computer, machine printed “void” and returned to customers. Because the checks were returned to them, we usually tell them that they need not sign them. In this incident, the customer’s check was not accepted so the signature is a must. With the signature, we can't deposit the check into the bank account.

I had called the Assistant Manager who also couldn’t get the check electronically read, so he called the Store Manager, who keyed in the check number manually into the machine. Store Manager put the customer’s check into my till, but forgot to ask the customer to sign. I was pleased to learn some days later that another Assistant Manager had contacted the customer and had the check signed. On the end of that incident's shift, we were not able to reach the customer.

Today, 5 July 2018, I confessed that it is my fault and carelessness as a cashier. I have mistaken a $20 for a $100 bill. I cannot excused myself that it was an old $20 version bill because I have rceived that version many times. I thought myself an efficient cashier but today I am not. I will be with the Company for almost 5 years. I don’t know what happened to my eyes and mind today. I have given free $80 cash back to a customer! I realized my mistake when I was organizing and stacking up the $20 bills. I remembered a “$100” bill but it was not among my bills in my till. 4 years ago, I said I will continue working hard for my employer, be the best cashier that my employer and customers will remember. I said that again today. I want to add that with God’s guidance and blessing.

I was so disappointed with myself. I was also upset of people’s dishonesty. I remembered it was a lady, probably in her 40’s. I strongly believe that ALL customers know what they pay their purchase with. They definitely would voice out if the change is under. There were and I believe honest customers who would voice out if the change is over. In everything there is an opposition. So with the honest, there is the dishonest. In my case today, I have encountered an dishonest person, who knew what she had paid me but chosen not to voice out the over change and chosen to walk out of the store with the extra $80 cash that I have wrongly given back. I prayed to God to instill a conscience in this lady, to return the extra $80. The amount would NOT make the Company poor, but it had shaken my self-confidence in my ability as a cashier.