Why does Paypal even bother with a call center?

I made a double authorisation with Southwest Airlines today. Their website kept telling to try again because of an undefined error. So I did until my fingers got really tired.

Of course I called their reservations line and had a shock. I made 9 reservations. 2 via Paypal. None was successful.

The staff at SWA was really nice. 15 minutes later, I was booked on my flight and ready to fly.

Then I realised one thing. Paypal deducted my money from the 2 transactions that did not go through and placed the transactions as pending.

The answer that the Paypal website gave to this question “Why is the order status pending?” was “The status of an order is pending until it expires, is completed or has been canceled.” Is that an answer?

I decided to call Paypal. They have this nice little “Call Us” button somewhere on their website which intelligently gave me a Singapore number.

I dialed that number. The machine picked up the call, gave me a warning that my call is being recorded for ‘training’ purposes before it kept me waiting for 20 minutes. Then a guy called “Kirk” or something picked up the call.

I told him my predicament. He said I have 2 options. One is to wait for the transaction to void itself after it expires in one month.  The second one is to contact Southwest Airlines. What kind of an option is that? I waited 20 minutes for the a non answer!

I asked Kirk if he is sure that there are no other options. His reply was, “There are no other buttons that I can click here.” Okay, great. This guy is a genius!

I grilled him a few more times hoping against all hope that he could come up with a more helpful solution. I wonder why I even tried.

Not wanting to let Paypal earn any interest out of me, I decided to choose the second option. Since SWA mentioned that I should contact Paypal when I voiced this up while making my reservation, I figured SWA staff probably don’t know how Paypal really works. So I asked Kirk to give me a contact in SWA that can help. He told me to go to the website and check.

Seriously Paypal, I think I just found a way for you to cut cost. Close down your call center. It is crap.

Serangoon Gardens dorm may begin operations in August

Yup, it is finally happening. The DORM is gonna come up.

While I was keeping my fingers crossed that the shitty economic conditions will convince the powers that be to scrap this whole stupid idea, I guess it is a little too late to back track now ya?

I mean everyday, we are being greeted with news of layoffs so where to find people to stay?

Maybe it will be completed in time for jobless Singaporeans who can’t afford to rent a room.

Or perhaps this will be the low end version of the Singapore Flyer. Next thing you’ll probably see are advertisements asking you to SMS to a particular number and you might get a free stay in the newly commissioned and infamous Serangoon Dormitory.

Singapore Reserves = Goose? I sense danger.

Budget time is always interesting time. It is even more interesting in times of economic uncertainty. People start to say stupid and sometimes dangerous things in parliament.

Here’s a dangerous term: Our goose that lays golden eggs.

“Lim Wee Kiak, MP for Sembawang GRC, said: “Our reserves and investments must have also taken a hit and decreased just like all asset classes in the global market. How much of our reserves is left after the spending on these two programmes? Can the Finance Minister assure the House that our goose that lays golden eggs year after year will continue to do so after this withdrawal and after this financial shock?”
– Channel News Asia

It is very dangerous for a member of parliament (or anybody else) to see our reserves and investments as a goose that lays golden eggs.

Unless your name is Jack, and you have a pouch of magic beans, such geese do not exist. It implies that he thinks our reserves accumulated over the years without any effort required and are easy money.

We keep a very strong team of people (I hope lah) to manage our wealth. Pay them shit loads of money to maximise returns. If it was a goose, we only need poultry feed to maintain our reserves. If our reserves are equated to a goose, then there is no need for the GIC or Temasek Holdings and in maintaining their head counts. We just need ol’Macdonald and his farm.

It is dangerous when people in parliament think our reserves, accumlated over a generation can be equated to a goose.

Dickson Tan Yong Wen – Definitely Man of the Year.

This is one dude that takes the cake in Year 2008 lor! Kena cane extra three more by gahmen, then sue gahmen. Guess what? He actually got some money out of the gahmen lor! How many Singaporeans can actually make that claim?

Guess what? He had to get caught for the same criminal activity.

Either loansharking damn ho2 tang3 or the gahmen’s undisclosed sum of money is really peanuts.

I guess if he kena sentence to the cane again, can try to ask the gahmen to contra lah… then pay back the undisclosed sum of moolah that he got.

Whatever the case, I think nobody in the near future is going to top his achievement. Quick! Go get his autograph!