BPI in a hurry to switch its clients to the new online and/or mobile platforms

I received an email from BPI today detailing how their old platforms, for mobile and online. will stop working by the following timelines:

Current (old) Platforms Current (old) platforms no longer accessible by
BPI Mobile app December 1, 2018
BPI Online Banking January 11, 2019

The new platforms may have some more security features, that’s why? But why rush your clients when STILL, you can’t do investing transactions in the new platforms? Are they even aware of that? That there’s no way you can add to your Mutual Fund or UITF accounts using the new platforms? At least that’s STILL my observation when using the new BPI online platform.

Web Hosting

So, let me just rant a little.

Aren’t there really a cheap but reliable web hosting anymore? I understand that hosting costs (especially maintenance costs) would have gone up from all these years. But I’m sure these web hosting providers would have benefited from economies of scale. Plus, hardware prices would have dropped dramatically from say 15 years ago.

But web hosting prices are going up nevertheless. Take A Small Orange for example. It used to be my favorite — it used to have a $25 per year starter plan. Now, plans start at $5.92 per month, and the regular plan at $8 per month.

Yes, you get what you pay for. But I’m not keeping a busy website anyway, just trying to maintain a “not so dormant” but a “special to me” website.

Interest Charges on GCredit

I have recently been approved for GCredit, with a credit limit of Php2,000. I thought that GCredit works like a credit card, wherein for as long as you pay for your purchases on or before the due date, you will not be charged any interests and/or penalties.

Apparently, that is not the case. For as soon as you borrow money when you use your GCredit to pay for purchases via QR or paying bills, you are automatically charged 5% pro-rated over 30 days until the day you settle your borrowing with your GCash balance.

For example, if you paid P500 using your GCredit on October 11, and eventually settled that purchase on October 16, that’s 5 days worth of borrowing:

P500 x 5% x (5/30) = P4.16 interest.

For me, I’m allergic to interests (regardless of amount), so unless I’ll have no other choice, I’ll stay away from using GCredit.

Read here for more info, and check out GCredit’s terms and conditions.

Viber is the worst messaging app ever invented

Viber seems to come up with updates every week. But those don’t fix the things that badly need fixing. For one, they can’t still seem to fix and disable the notification badge for muted group conversations.

Another I noticed is, there are just some contacts, especially business contacts, that are just annoying and barrage you with market updates, that you just simply want to ignore instead of completely blocking the contact and maybe offend the person in the process. But you can’t do that in Viber! You can’t mute a direct conversation with a single contact.

What’s more? You can’t restore backups of messages if you’re switching to and from iOS and Android.

To all my contacts, please stop using Viber already. I recommend Whatsapp, Telegram or FB Messenger instead. If everyone could only agree, I would happily uninstall Viber from my phone, my desktop — everywhere!

Doing Business with BPI Credit Cards

I used to promote BPI Credit Cards to friends for the ease of doing business with them, especially when it comes to requesting for waiver of the annual fees. Well, at least, that’s how it used to be.

Recently, I haven’t had much transactions using my BPI credit card, thus I decided to have the card cancelled already. I have had enough already with too much trouble in calling their hotline yearly just to have to make wait for 10, 20 minutes or so, for the next available customer service representative. Add that to the fact that their cancellation process is more troublesome — you have to send them a written request. Who does that nowadays? In 2018?

Thus, from now on, I’m done talking to BPI Credit Cards. They’re not worth any business from me. More importantly, from now on, I’m not using any credit card that don’t have waived annual fees for life.

If Metrobank can offer “no annual fee for life”, why can’t others do too?

To credit card companies: I’m bringing you business, you shouldn’t bring me further trouble.

Sportech Car Cover review (not worth it!)

I bought a Sportech car cover at Handyman in the District Mall Dasmariñas on the 21st of January this year for PhP2,799. The purpose of the purchase was to protect my car from the sun’s UV rays and acid rain as it usually sits idle on the carport all day without any ceiling to cover it.

Given its price, I expected it to last at least a year before it needs replacement. O boy, how wrong was I? How I wish I read this blog post before the purchase.

Even before 3 months was up, it already showed wear and tear (literally!) I had to put duct tapes to keep it from tearing apart. Finally, after over 3 months, no duct tapes can keep the damn thing whole again.

Here’s a closer look of the roof part. Let’s take a closer look »

SmugMug acquires Flickr

USA Today reports:

Flickr has been snapped up by Silicon Valley photo-sharing and storage company SmugMug, USA TODAY has learned.

SmugMug CEO Don MacAskill told USA TODAY he’s committed to breathing new life into the faded social networking pioneer, which hosted photos and lively interactions long before it became trendy.

Whoa. This blog is old enough to have witnessed and experienced Flickr in its heyday. But now, I can’t even remember the last time I logged in into my Flickr account. (On that note, I can’t remember as well when I last used my Canon EOS 30D.) My latest photos in there were reposts from my Instagram.

Have we come to a point where we don’t care anymore who owns Flickr?

GCash vs. PayMaya – The battle for Philippine cashless mobile payment platform crown rages on

Globe’s Gcash and Smart’s PayMaya have both been aggressively marketing their platforms just to stay ahead of the competition. Customers benefit the most with the plethora of discounts, rebates and raffle promos being offered left and right. Fortunately for us consumers, it’s not a question of whether you should get aboard one platform over another. If you ask me, I’d say why not get both?

Let me list down my thoughts and observations in using both mobile payment systems. These are based on my personal experience, thus I’m mum about the features I don’t use. I’ll update this list as developments and/or improvements come to mind: Continue reading

Using Autosweep RFID in NLEX/SCTEx/CavitEx (Easytrip)

You may have already read it somewhere, that you may now use your Autosweep RFID in NLEX-SCTEX, Cavitex, according to DOTr. It may be a step towards DOTr’s Toll Interoperability Project, but if you look closer, it is still far from the ideal integration.

The Autosweep RFID tag is the tag you use to breeze through the Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) system at South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), Ayala Greenfield Toll Plaza, and Skyway. From this recent development, you may now use your Autosweep RFID tag at NLEX, SCTEX, and Cavitex, provided that you maintain a separate Easytrip account with them.

That means you may use the same tag but you should maintain two different accounts with the two different toll service providers. Two different accounts mean two different funding and monitoring of account balances. Its effect — very little!

This may be a step closer to DOTr’s goal of tollway interoperability, albeit very small. Can’t wait for the day of one tag/one account electronic toll collection between and among these tollway systems. And please, bring ETC to STAR Tollway soon!