8th anniversary

Down with sorethroat, cough and phlegm. Not serious but haven't gone away since Friday :(

But that's not going to stop us from celebrating our 8th anniversary tonight :) We'll have nice dinner at a Japanese restaurant.

I love you very much, Ban. Muacccckkkkkk!

Debut of smartphone: Part 2

From this list, I narrowed it down to Samsung Galaxy J1 Ace or J2. Although Vivo Y25 is slightly smaller than J1 Ace, it's not availabel on Lazada or Lelong. Also, My sister and Ban had no problem with Samsung after-sales service at their service centres.

Along the way, I did get sidetrack by even smaller phones such as Samsung mini series but the specs were too low for my liking.

Initially, I was gunning for J2 because it was the lightest and had the largest screen-to-body ratio. What made me hesitate was the price difference: more than 70%. To make matter worse, it is no longer in production and so it was so difficult to find anyone selling it. Its Prime version was significantly bulkier and and about 22% heavier!

Later I realised, and confirmed, that Ban's phone is the older version of J1 Ace. He has no problem playing games on it and its battery is ok for his usage. His only problem is memory space but that too it's only a small problem because he rarely takes photos or videos.

I discovered that there are several models of J1 Ace. Based on 4G, RAM and memory specs, I aimed for either model J110M or J111F. Problem is that not many sellers quoted the model number and so I needed to do some cross-checking. In the end, I ordered "Samsung Galaxy J1 Ace VE 8GB (Black)" with near certainty that its model number is J111F ... and thank goodness I was correct! Not only that, the Android version was the upgraded version of what I had expected. Yay!

Next up: sim card & plan.

Barred outgoing calls: Part 3

So, yes, I called them once again when they didn't call me like they said they would. I once again explained the problem to the officer: it existed since May; gotten new sim card; gotten 4G smartphone.

She suggested that I try the alternate way of making calls while roaming i.e. *161*, instead of using +. I pointed out that that didn't work back in May but then quickly added that maybe because my phone wasn't at least 3G enabled. So she encouraged me to try this.

Lo behold! It worked! Called one Malaysia mobile phone, one Singapore landline and one Singapore mobile phone. Although it's more troublesome than using + way, I'm contented to just leave it as it is. Finally, I get to use my rarely-used credit once more. Yay!

Debut of smartphone: Part 1

I believed I was the only one in my family and among my friends still using a normal phone. There was simply no reasons for me to switch because I don't use internet on my phone. Ban would have continued using his normal phone if it wasn't spoiled. His current phone was a gift from a bank obtained by his mum.

Over the last year or so, there were some problems with my normal phone. The manual locking didn't work. Hence, I needed to swipe to unlock and select "lock" from the menu to lock it. Then sometimes the swiping didn't work either. I had to get Ban to call me and then it would work again.

Then there was that issue with my Singapore sim card, which means I definitely need at least a 3G phone.

In the meantime, I discovered how useful Google Maps and Waze are on smartphones.

Hence, with all these considerations, I decided to hunt for a suitable smartphone: one that allows me to call and text and occasionally use the navigation software.

After some research, I later added these criteria:

  • dual sim cards, so that I don't need 2 phones any more
  • small
  • light
  • 4G LTE (don't want my phone to be obsolete soon)
  • cheap
  • accessible service centres
Inevitably, I looked at entry level smartphones. Gleaning from the internet and friends, I've come up with this list:

  • Samsung J range
    • Samsung Galaxy J1 Ace (130.1 x 67.6 x 9.5)
    • Samsung Galaxy J1 2016 (132.6 x 69.3 x 8.9)
    • Samsung Galaxy J2 (136.5 x 69 x 8.4)
    • Samsung Galaxy J3 (142.3 x 71 x 7.9)
  • Huawei Y5 2017 (143.8 x 72 x 8.4)
  • Vivo Y25 (130.70 x 66.40 x 9.20)
  • Oppo Neo 5 (as ex as Samsung)

Barred outgoing calls: Part 2

Oh yes, the saga continues. My friend and his partner helped me to get replacement sim card from a Starhub centre in Singapore. According to a Starhub officer there, my line was active and I just needed to change my phone (as suspected). They kindly waived the replacement fee because my friend came all the way from Malaysia. Yay!

In the meantime, I researched and got myself a 4G smartphone (more on this in another post) and it can accommodate 2 sim cards (yay!). I called using the new Starhub sim card and ... it was the same issue! "Your outgoing calls have been barred" or "Your outgoing calls have been temporarily deactivated". I can still receive calls though.

Spoke with 3 different Starhub customer service officers and tried
(1) Switching on and off the phone
(2) Taking out the sim card for a few minutes and reinserting it back
(3) Cancelling call barring
(4) <I forgot what this is hahaha>

The last officer jotted down details and said she would liaise with the technical team. She was supposed to get back to me ... yesterday :(

Looks like I need to hassle them once again. I hope they don't again ask me to go to Singapore.

To heal or not to heal

While playing as a Life Cleric in a 5e D&D session:

Rogue: Ummm I think I need healing.
Sorceror: I need healing!
Me: Hmmmm how much missing hp from half your max hp?
Me: Oh, only 8hp. Ok, guys, lose 2 more hp and I'll heal.
Rogue: What?! I stab myself!
Sorceror: @#$$%%^ I'll remember this!
Me: Oh, relax guys. You won't die. I'll bring you back up.
Rogue & Sorceror: @!#$#@$%
Bard: Hahahaha.
Paladin: *facepalm*

Lol, I think they don't know that they just fall unconscious (to 0hp), rather than die straightaway. I can sort of "resurrect" them at the same time later.

In the end, I did it anyway. Next time I should probably should explain better my strategy hahaha.

Great Eastern Life

One day, my dad requested me to ask GE Life the current sum assured of his life insurance policy and the claim process in the event of his death for my mum to claim (she was the beneficiary). I tried calling but to no avail and so I e-mailed them instead. In it, to incentivise them to reply soonest, I mentioned that my dad had stage 4 cancer and so was anxious to get the answers to these questions.

More than a month later, they responded with an apology for the late reply. As expected, they declined to disclose the sum assured via e-mail. They gave me links to claim processes of various claims. To our surprise, the next day, my dad received a call from HQ alerting him that his policy had a rider to claim for critical illness and although it had expired, he could still claim because the diagnosis of cancer was made before the expiry date.

We were pleasantly surprised. We totally forgot about the rider (I later confirmed its existence by checking the policy document) and the insurance company could just keep quiet about it. 

For further assurance, before we started getting forms and documents to claim the critical illness benefits, I called the customer service hotline. As it was close to closing time, the officer couldn't get hold of the claims department in time and so promised to get back to me the next day. It turned out that the claims department misunderstood her question and later, after some clarification (with information I provided), the department also confirmed that we could file for claim.

I read the policy document and discovered that there was yet another way the insurance company could decline payment: we were supposed to file for claim "as soon as reasonable" (something like that). I didn't think 6 months was reasonable.

So after filling multiple forms, getting them filled (including one by the oncologist), photocopied supporting documents, we went to GE Life office on Penang island. The officer there did point out that the rider had expired but we informed her what we were told by the officers on phone and so she accepted the documents and said, if successful, payment would be made in 3 weeks. It took just about 2 weeks.

My family and I are impressed by GE Life's conduct in this matter. Thank you!