Just life @ Ikano Power Centre

Just life has been in existent for some time in Ikano. However, since I am not the kind of “organic” person, I did not pay much attention to it. Just recently when I found that Cold Storage went on renovation, which caused it to have limited choices of vegetables on sale, I stepped into Just Life. I was amazed by the variety of vegetables that they have available, including those “rare” kind of vegetables that are not easily available in hypermarkets and even wet markets.

Given that these vegetables are organic, they are a bit pricier. I find that they usually offer it in bigger packaging, which is sufficiently enough for two to three persons. This comes out to be the similar portion of buying two packages of the same vegetable from the hypermarkets. I would also prefer Just Life because everything is price-tagged compared to the wet markets, where the latter (for dishonest stall owners) often “cheat” on pricing by not displaying the prices. The setback that I find is the vegetables easily turn yellowish when it comes to the third day of purchase, while if purchased from hypermarkets, it can last up till five days.

Most of the staff serving the customers is polite. They usually speak in Mandarin, and do give a feel/ impression of “vegetarianism”.  Also, they are “environmentalist” in the sense that they do not provide plastic bags (every day). So, you will need to carry a recycle bag along if you plan to make purchases from them. However, they can also loan you a bag for a price. For me, since I am not so environmentalist (because I believe this is more of a “bull shit”/ free advertisement that one can ride on while cutting cost on plastic bags), I find this a little troublesome that I need to remind myself to bring a bag along when I shop with them.

Yes, I will be back there (in fact every week) to stock up my fridge with vegetables, unless Cold Storage can provide better variety of vegetables.

PC Home @Kiosk K-F02, 1st Floor, Digital Mall, Section 14

My mother-in-law asked us to help her get a voice recorder for the purpose of recording songs (while people/ she sing). She showed us a sample of the voice recorder that she borrowed from her friend. So, this morning we went to Digital Mall at Section 14, PJ. First, we checked with All IT Hypermarket, whose sales assistant explained three choices (models) of recorders where they are priced RM 199, RM 299 and RM 349 respectively. He wasn’t really in the mode to “entertain” us.

Then, we went to first floor to check out. There were two stalls facing each other directly. One of them is PC Home. Why we choose to talk to the lady at the stall? – Because she approached us. She asked if we were looking for recorders. And, we started asking some questions – where two models were explained, one is RM 299 and the other is RM 399. She told us the difference is that RM 399 comes with mono and stereo, while RM 299 comes only with stereo. Being new to such things, we asked further about the difference, which was further explained. We also asked her about the colours available for both the models. Basically, the RM 299 model comes only in black colour while the RM 399 come in few different colours. She said that she can give some discount if we plan to take the higher priced model and free a 4gb memory card for the recorder. We thanked her for the explanation and would like to look around.

Puzzled with the difference in price, we went up to look again at All IT Hypermarket. From the glass door, we noticed that the one showed by the sales assistant and the lady are different, except for the RM 299 one. So, we double confirmed with mother-in-law on which she prefers to have and even mms her the photos. At last, she chooses the RM 399 recorder.

Given the earlier offer, we went back to PC Home. The business seems to be a family business. We further asked the colours available, and mother-in-law wanted a blue one. The lady showed us the blue recorder and allowed me to take a picture of the blue recorder, which then make it possible for me to send the picture to mother-in-law. So, we confirmed taking the recorder that is priced at RM 399 but going out for RM 360 plus a 4gb memory card. The lady and her son (I think) were tickling to hear us say that it is not for us, but for our mum. The son then taught hubby how to use the recorder and inserted the memory card. After paying RM 360 for the recorder, he gave us the receipt and asked us to keep it, and said that “in case of any problem, do look for us with the receipt”.

Overall, PC Home gave us a pleasant customer service experience and has patience to explain to us.

Mon Liza Wedding Castle, SS2

We first came to know about Mon Liza in their road show in Midvalley in September 2010. We were kind of please with the sample photos. The package was explained by Wendy of Mon Liza.

We also looked at other bridal house packages. We did not immediately sign up for any package, as we were surveying. Seriously, in bridal fairs, you feel like a “market” in the sense, the bridal homes will market to you like nobody’s business (trying to pursue you to sit down at their booth to convince you). The competition is really high.

I even made some searches over the internet to see comments about the bridal houses. Overtime, we found that although it can be “cheaper” (it can go as low as RM 2,000) to sign up pre-wedding packages in bridal fairs – and some even entitled you to go places like Bali or Taiwan to take photos, in the end, one likely to fork out more. Logically, this is the case since there is no free lunch in the world.

In December 2010, we scouted around among the bridal houses in SS2. Due to their high competition, they do not allow their potential customers (most bridal houses) to take back the paper where they scribal the contents of the packages. So, our advice is always bring your note book and pen along.

Finally, we picked Mon Liza Wedding Castle, SS2 (after going home to think). We signed up the package RM 3,688 where our sales assistant is Elaine. [I won’t be jotting down the package here, as this is to respect their privacy. We got her writing the package details in black and white on the invoice. Also, it is always better to check it out yourself – kick your own ass from the desk and move on!] We also requested for family photos to be taken and was told that we have to buy the extra softcopies at their stated price – which is RM 20 per piece. We presume that the family photo’s softcopy is at RM 20 per piece as well. That’s why we have choose the RM 3,688 package rather than RM 3,988 package, as we already budgeted that we will buy extra copies. The difference with the two packages, if I am not mistaken, is the size of one of the albums and an extra photo frame. Payments are split into 30:30:30:10 – deposit: gown fitting: photo shooting: collect albums. To reflect our story account is genuine, our invoice number is 3399.

We also made the gown fitting appointment. The day before the gown fitting (somewhere in March 2011), Elaine called to remind us about it. It does reflect good customer service. Before we started out to choose the gowns, we choose our “themes”. At that time, choosing themes was not easy as we were given the actual albums, which were difficult to make comparison. (Recently, I noticed that they have come out with a brochure.) Elaine choose many gowns for me and she helped me put on each gown. Truthfully, I have never worn so many dresses before in a day. It is good to have many choices, but of course, the setback is it will be difficult to choose if you like more than the ones you are supposed to take. We also bought my Nu Bra (RM 50), which will be used on the shooting day from Mon Liza, as Elaine assisted it to put on it. [Yes, one will be truly naked in front of the sales assistant for the whole fitting session] Then, we set our shooting date and with faith, we left it to Elaine to choose our makeup artist and photographer.

Come the day before the shooting date, again, someone from Mon Liza called to remind us about the appointment. When we arrived at their studio (which is located in SS3), the makeup artist and assistant are already there; in fact, helping another couple to put on makeup. We came to know that our makeup artist is Mr One, who has a lot of sense of humour; while the assistant is Grace (also a makeup artist) who helped me put on the gown. Our photographer is Rain. We choose Taman Tun to take the photos as we wanted the nature feel and also do not want to travel too far. This really depends on your preferences.  So, it was outdoor and indoor photo shooting, the whole day. Our families came in the evening for the family shoots, which I think they truly enjoyed as well.

The next day, Elaine called us up to set appointment for viewing the photos, which was one to two months later. The time length of waiting, according to her, depends on how soon your actual wedding day is. If you want to view it as soon as possible, you need to stress it to her. Generally, it is quite pack on weekends.

On the selection day, which takes about half a day, we were told that they were having a promotion where if we select extra 50 softcopies, it will be RM900 (which is RM 18 per piece, instead of RM 20 per piece). However, these softcopies pricing does not include the family photo pricing. The rationale, according to them, is because there are more headcounts in a family photo (which we think is pure nonsense). So, they will be charging us RM 50 per piece of family photo. Not only that, to have the family photo softcopies, we are required to have one of the family photos framed up, which will incur us an additional charge. This was the only “trap” that we fell into? We have no choice since our families have made the time to come for the shoot and happily plus excitedly waiting for the photos. At the end, we choose 8 family photos, and forked out an additional RM 480 (we did not argue about this because we know that we have no say about this). So, the total extra softcopies cost us RM 1,380. So, if you are offered to take family photos and told about soft copies prices, do not assume that they all go on the same price. Always ask, don’t assume and get them state “black and white”, so that you have a preparation mindset and money.

As we were happy with the photos taken by Rain, we then decided to hire him as our actual day photographer. Together with another photographer, it cost us about RM 1,800, where we paid a 50% deposit on it.

We went for photo viewing (after it was designed in soft copies). It is good to be observant when viewing the pre-viewing. Things to note include – whether the sleeves are dirty, shoes are torn (you will just need to zoom into the photos one by one). Also, if you are not satisfied with the design, always voice up. This is what hubby did. He told our designer, Gino about some areas that he felt weird (some initial designs). We got Gino to change it on the spot and we were truly amazed by how she did it.

The next visit was the quality control. We were supposed to get our soft copies as well, but Gino was on leave. Hence, we couldn’t. They could have prepared in advance (by burning it into a CD) to avoid disappointment to their customers. All the photos are ok except for the biggest frame photo, where we noticed that the sharpness in the face area is not clear. Since Gino was not at the spot, Elaine called her another designer (guy) who gave us “rubbish” explanation. Also, (I think) since he wasn’t our graphic designer, he was “lazy” to entertain us and kept saying “don’t know” or we have to ask Gino. There wasn’t a remedy given, but keep denying the sharpness. Elaine resorted to “holding” the big photo before they frame it out. She said she will ask Gino to call us.

Thinking that we have spent an additional RM 3,180 (which is RM 1,380 + RM 1,800), we asked if we could get an additional 10 softcopies for free. All this while, we have been flexible to them – we are not choosy.  Also, we told Elaine that we did not “calculate” with her on how they have (over)charged us for the family photos, which was out of expectation. Coincidently, the boss (Irene) was there, and when Elaine denied us, I asked to speak to her boss, which she said “if everyone wants to speak to our boss, then our boss will have a hard time entertaining customers.” Then, I stressed it out that we are serious by looking at her. Next, she resorted to asking her manager’s help, who I am not mistaken, is Emily. Without knowing the actual details of our package and spending made, Emily immediately rejected our request. And, the most annoying thing that I heard was “we hope you can refer us your friends” when they did not have the spirit of goodwill (not even bother about a win-win situation, but more like they win-we lose). They made me lose my cool. Anger was running high and I did something obscene by showing her my middle finger.  And, we and they continue to sit there like nothing happen; nobody is doing anything. I only stared at them angrily (sorry, I was in bad mood that day). After some emotions running in the scene, Emily asked Elaine to write down what we have taken, and then, they went into their boss’s room to talk about it. About five to 10 minutes later, they came out from the room and Emily (with a smiling face) sat in front of hubby (and without looking at me) said that “knowing that you have supported us by buying photos and also booking Rain as photographer, we just called Rain (who will earn the commission from the additional photos you take) that he agreed to give you the 10 free softcopies.” So, at the end, we manage to get the 10 free softcopies but only can choose the photos another day.

What I don’t like is: why can’t they have the spirit of goodwill and create a win-win situation at the first place; instead would want to make us (or me) run high on emotions before they agree on it? It is not that we did not top up our package.  From this point of view, you can see how they are on the winning side (if they did not agree with the 10 free softcopies). And, I still do not believe that the total cost of additional photos taken will be given to Rain – but will be shared with the management, and the management will decide on this, and not the photographer. Maybe the sales assistant should be given some flexibility/ power to decide to give out something extra for the supportive customers, which make customers happy.

Good point: They did not curse back to me for showing them my anger, at least in front of me (but, not sure, at the back scene)

The process has not ended. Besides choosing the 10 free copies, we have to collect our album, do fitting for our actual day, car decoration and collect actual day gown – before I can make a total conclusion about their package and how satisfied we are. But, seriously, the last week’s incident has given us some bad impression.

Disclaimer: I have also cooled myself down (after few days) before writing on this so that I can give an unbiased view.

Tina Florist & Gifts at USJ SS15

Previously, I mentioned that we were looking for flowers for our ROM around SS2 and USJ SS15 . [White Rose Florist]

One of the florists that we went into was Tina Florist & Gift. We ended up not picking this florist because the lady, supposedly the owner, was kind of snobbish. She doubted our sincerity when we were enquiring for her flowers. In addition, the samples that she gave us were kind of “old styles”. And, the most unsatisfactorily thing that she said to us (her potential customer) when we informed her that our ROM is on a Monday was “I don’t open my shop on Sunday. If you want, you need to come on Saturday. To keep your flowers fresh, just put in the fridge.” To me, this is real bad customer service and I personally did not like the manner she speaks to us (in a manner similar to – looking down at us). Or, was she having a bad day or hormonal disorder? We left immediately after she handed us the name card and have no intention to revisit.

 

White Perfect Dental Surgery at Taman Connaught, Cheras

We came to know about this dentist more than five years ago, and it can be regarded as our “family dentist”. Most of our yearly scaling and tooth checking are done by Dr Chee, the primary dentist at the dental clinic. Dr Chee (lady dentist) is a very gentle and patience dentist, among some of those we have seen in years. Recently, she even helped me remove both my upper wisdom tooth (normal extraction).  If I am not mistaken, Dr Chee accepts quite a lot of trainee dentist/ nurse; therefore, you are likely to be served by few dentist/nurse during your treatment. This also makes the service/ treatment kind of efficient. It is better to book in advance for Dr Chee, especially on weekends –which are normally full. At times, you need to book two to three weeks in advance. And, the nurse would usually call you to confirm on the day before your appointment. I would say that they have good customer service. In addition, the prices charged are at affordable rates.

 

However, if you were to visit this dental clinic, it is advisable to go under Dr Chee, rather than the other dentist, which is Dr Ang (young lad). This is based on our bad experience where my hubby was referred/diagnosed “wrongly” and was sent to another clinic for a tooth ache; where at the end, the case was handled back by Dr Chee (after going the rounds of dental clinics). In short, we still trust and stick to Dr Chee as our family dentist after all these years.

K Care Shop at Damansara Utama

Recently I was at Damansara Utama for an appointment (Aug 22, 2011) and bumped into K Care Shop, which sells a variety of shampoos. And, it was having discounts up to 60%-70% (and so forth). Near the entrance, I spotted the brand of shampoos and conditioners, which I am currently using – which is Schwarzkopf Professional Malaysia. Coincidently, I needed to replenish my conditioner. So, I went into the shop to make a quick grab. I confirmed with the sales assistant if it was going on a discount, which was 60%. She told me that it is more worthy if I were to get the bigger sized conditioner. However, looking at the “jumbo” size of the shampoo, I declined (as I am not sure if it is wise to do so). She did not pursue me but allow me to look at the items in the shop by myself. I bought a hair clip as well.

Having not much time left, I went to the counter to make my payment. While I was waiting for the cashier to key in my items, I noticed that there were two other customers served by another sales assistant. The customers had a lot of queries about shampoos, conditioners and even high colors, which the assistant carefully explained. It was nice to see that the assistant was kind of patient with the customers, who first wanted one product and then switched to another.

I left before the two customers. From my observation, they do offer some advice to customers (but I can’t judge how effective/ sound the advice is, since I am not too familiar with these stuffs). Overall experience, I think they have good customer service. Will I get my products there again? Yes, if I am around there and I run out of shampoos and conditioners – and they are offering at discounts.

Follow up read: Here

One box of Yook Tho Yin Mooncakes (4 pieces) for RM 38

Generally, mooncakes have been getting expensive, year-by-year. And, it is rather shocking that this year’s (2011) mooncakes are as high as RM 16.50 (normal kind of mooncake), not to mention those that go on snow skins.

 

There were few mooncakes promotions over the discount sites. Finally, we spotted one from “Yook Tho Yin” from Groupon, which is also one of my mum’s favourite restaurants in Damansara Uptown. They were offering one box of mooncakes (4 pieces) for RM 38, which comes to about RM 9.50 per piece. So, hubby went into the site to “purchase” it (this is his first purchase from Groupon =P).

 

Few days later, the voucher was ready (Groupon voucher #3967271741). I wanted to check on their quality of service, so I made the call for booking instead. A lady answered the phone.  I told her I bought a voucher from Groupon and want to make booking for my mooncakes, which will be collected on the coming Saturday. She told me that there is no need for booking, as there are mooncakes ready, and thus, I can come anytime (their opening hours) to collect it. I repeat after her just for confirmation and asked if I needed to print out the groupon voucher, which she said “yes”.

 

So, this morning (August 27) we went over to Yook Tho Yin to collect the mooncakes. After entering the restaurant, immediately, the staff called his boss, informing her that we bought groupon vouchers. The lady then showed us the mooncakes, which are readily stacked near the entrance. After making our choices, she immediately put it into a box, knife was given and packed into their paper bag. We gave her the printed voucher. When we wanted to leave, she immediately called back us back. She gave us the RM 13 cash voucher (which we have forgotten about it), which can be redeemed for mooncakes or restaurant delicacies. However, I noted that the voucher can only be redeemed for the next visit for food above RM 30 or 1 box of mooncake.

 

Overall experience is pleasant. We have no idea about the mooncakes taste, as it was bought as a gift to my parents.