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Of blogging phases and card companies’ conspiracy

November 18, 2011

I’ve realised two things. One, I am thoroughly convinced that at the moment I have reached the second phase of blogging. No, it’s not the phase where I become better at it. It’s actually the phase where the entries get increasingly less and the length of time between entries grow. Earlier on, it was daily. I would always find subjects to write about. At the risk of tooting my own horn, I got to the level of being prolific. I regularly record my observations in my mobile phones at any time of the day and writing about them when I get home, usually past midnight. Now I don’t do the recording quite as often. I see and notice things but somehow managed not to record them.

That is why I believe I am reaching that phase. I remembered earlier on I thought I may not be able to sustain the interest in blogging and that the effort would in time, wane. I still feel like recording my thoughts and observations somewhere though. So you may have to bear with me for some time more.

OK, on to more interesting matters. The second thing I’ve realised is there is a conspiracy against me by two card-issuing companies. The first is Touch and Go. A few Sundays ago as always I made my way back to JB. At the Sungai Besi toll my Touch and Go card was rejected. The notification given was “Kad Tidak Sah” or invalid card. Now, this has happened to me once before. According to the lady at the toll plaza, every card is supposed to be replaced with the new “Plusmiles” card and that I should change mine immediately, any balance to be credited into the new card of course. So I continued with my journey holding on to what was said to me.

I'm not going to let you go scot free with this! *image courtesy of Google.

The next day after work I immediately went to the Touch and Go office near my house to replace the faulty card. To my surprise I was told that the replacement was not necessary. In fact my card would only expire in 2015. My card was reactivated and is supposed to be valid again. Which was true. I used the card normally from then on. So now I question the consistency of policy. I wonder if anybody else faced the same thing. But the story did not end there. Last Sunday the same thing happened. I got the same “Kad Tidak Sah” remark. I validated the card at the next toll plaza in JB (I know the trick already).

But the issue now is, what is the guarantee that I wouldn’t have to repeatedly validate the card? No guarantees absolutely. You may say take the easy route and replace the card already. But no, I’m not going to do that. I’ll keep on using my present card to spite Touch and Go. After all, it’s valid up to 2015 isn’t it? I’ll just carry on to show the inconsistency in their policy. The card is valid!

Never thought you'd sink so low to the extent of conspirating with Touch and Go! *image courtesy of Google.

The second card company is American Express. I stopped at the Seremban Rest Area last Sunday for some fuel. Take note guys – Amex cards are not accepted by Petronas and BHP (who uses BHP fuel anyway?). That’s why I use Shell (apart from being duped by the ruse that Ferrari F1 cars use Shell fuel). Lo and behold, my card was rejected. Knowing that I just recently paid my credit card bill, I was dumbfounded. Being rejected at Petronas is fine. But not at Shell. Got to have some of that Ferrari-engineered fuel (listen to the fool speak). So I call Amex’s customer service. Which is super efficient. Never had any complaints about them.

I was then informed that my card was temporarily blocked. Why? Because I made a purchase on iTunes for my iPad. According to the customer service guy, my card registered a debit of RM3.13, which was considered suspicious. I have two questions for you, Amex. Firstly, when my card was debited, surely you’d know who made the debit. In this case, it’s Apple, the multi billion dollar company. You mean you don’t recognise debits by Apple? Second question. There must be a few hundred million people using Apple products who purchase applications from iTunes. Let’s give a conservative figure of 100 million, 10 million of whom are holders of Amex cards.

So you mean to say you temporarily block 10 million cards? Which is almost impossible. Unless in my case, they’re in cohorts with Touch and Go. Damn you card companies. Would I forsake them cards? No way. Oh, and Malaysia beat Indonesia last night in the Sea Games football competition. Well done!



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