Cheap roaming calls while overseas? (Flexiroam Giveaway!)

I’ve been blessed in 2011 to have travelled to many places throughout the year – Kota Kinabalu, Singapore, Penang, Hong Kong for a work trip, Malacca for my birthday trip and most recently, my first Euro trip to Venice, Rome and London.

IMG_2223
The hustle and bustle of the Hong Kong streets

As a “seasoned traveller”, my habit is to usually research on the best prepaid multisim telco provider in the destination I was planning to travel. Now there are two problems with that :

  1. I will not be able to receive incoming calls/texts to my Malaysia number (because I’ve swapped out the simcard).
  2. But, if I don’t get a local sim, then I’m faced with a second problem, the ROAMING CHARGES!

When I was in Hong Kong, I bought a local sim for my personal number but I still had to use my work number and keep it active. And of course, it being a weekday, I received calls from clients and the office regarding work. Calls which I had to keep short and sweet.

The damage?

mayroaming

Yes, RM18.90 for 4 MINUTES of calls. That amounts to RM4.61/minute! How crazy is that? Not to mention that the credit limit you set on your phone bill is not applicable when you’re overseas? That means that you will continue racking up bills even though your credit limit is say, RM100. (Note: this applies to Maxis as of May 2011. I’m not sure if its still the case at the time you’re reading this or for other telcos).

Well unluckily for me (coz I found out too late), but luckily for you, there’s a service to solve that problem!

FlexiRoam Logo

FlexiRoam (www.flexiroam.com) is a service that allows you to receive and make unlimited amount of calls to Malaysia without changing to a new international mobile number.

While you are overseas, calls made to your Malaysian mobile number will be forwarded by FlexiRoam to your foreign mobile SIM card which you can purchase locally at your destination country. This means Malaysian users do not need to inform their contacts of any new international mobile numbers.

Also, unlike services like Skype and the like *coughyeslifecough*, FlexiRoam does NOT require internet access, but leverages on the GSM network and is available in more than 200 countries such as China, Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong (!), Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, United Kingdom and India.

And how much is this service? A mere RM10 a DAY for UNLIMITED incoming/outgoing calls!

(Can you tell how unfortunate I feel for paying RM18 for 4 friggin minutes?)

Signing up is FREE! Which means you can sign up, login and explore what FlexiRoam has to offer before committing some moolah. They also have helpful tips on the countries you are travelling to, for instance, did you know that Prepaid SIMs are not widely avaiable in Japan? Yea, I read that from their FAQ.

Also their service is quite flexible based on where and when you are travelling, you can buy passes for the whole duration of your travel, or just 1-2 days when you need it.

Updates: Flexiroam is now available for Singaporean users for SGD10 per day!

======GIVEAWAY======

Now the best part!

FlexiRoam has generously offered to giveaway 10 x RM50 FlexiRoam credit to you, my dear readers. That’s FIVE whole days of unlimited calling while overseas! Call your loved ones while you’re away, call your best friends to make them jealous, call your clients to settle work, call your hotel to make arrangements, call whomever you want.

How to win? 

  1. Comment on this post with this slogan : I would like to travel to ________ (country name) with FlexiRoam because ________________.
  2. First Ten (10) people to comment will win :)

Just some usual terms & conditions 

  • The country name has to be a country that FlexiRoam supports.
  • Please make sure you put in the correct email so that I can contact you if you win. I will not, under any circumstances, make your email address available to third parties of any kind.
  • If you are a winner, you are required to sign up with FlexiRoam at http://www.flexiroam.com/signup and respond to my email with your account details so that FlexiRoam can credit RM50 into your account.
  • Failure to respond to my email by 12pm Wednesday, 4 January 2012 will forfeit your winnings
  • Judge’s decision is final

Good luck!

My two cents on the #NajibCNY issue and how they got your email (and SMS?)

A few days ago, a couple of people received and email from our Prime Minister @NajibRazak wishing them a happy Chinese New Year. Naturally, many were concerned on where he obtain their email addresses.

At first I thought it was sent to people/bloggers who signed up for his tea parties and dinners that he has organized to meet and greet his online friends. This was not the case. Neither was it sent out to people who registered to vote.

Amanz.my (full article in BM here) later reported that the email was obtained from “media prima database and others”. This information was in fact given by the CEO of Media Prima himself @FaridRidzuan stating “Congrats! Its from our media prima database and others. He just want to reach out to as many malaysian personally from now on! Please reply to him” (source).

It’s surprising how Malaysia’s leading media investment group who owns numerous tv stations, press and radio stations could blatantly ignore or forget about confidentiality and privacy issues. Not to mention that, on the Terms of Use page of TV3, it states the following :

  • Information Use
      • The Personal Information you provide will help our team deliver user support (including processing any complaints or enquiries) and for any other purpose related to the operation of our websites, its services and its advertising.
  • Passing on Your Data to Third Parties
    • We will not sell, lease or share your Personal Information except as set forth in this Privacy Notice.

Sadly…..

For some, its not a big issue. In fact, I came across my MrKay’s facebook posting where his friend was saying or implying that its not a big deal and that we were blowing it out of proportion. In fact, she said, and i quote “if you think emel is privacy and you dont think uninvited people can send it to you…stop using email..just use snailmail.”

mrkay

My response to this was was below:

“Adda, the issue here is not about him emailing the greetings. If he emailed it to all the people who signed up for something like the Tea Party then it’s understandable how he got your email.

In this case, it’s clearly stated that it was taken from the media prima and other databases. When you sign up for these sites, they usually have a disclaimer that your info is private and will be not shared to a 3rd party.

What if other info is also shared? Your phone number? Your mailing address? Would you like to receive spam SMSes? Or tons of letters? The other question is, who else has media prima shared this information to? Other companies? Other government bodies?

According to your logic of “takyah la Pakai email”, then why be online at all? No néed to FB, chat, surf. The thing is, we can’t. Coz that’s whr the future is. Also, isn’t it ironic that the govt is pushing for maximum Internet penetration in the country when they can’t guarantee the privacy of the data?

Please Try to think Beyond your little scope and think of the implications of what this information sharing means to you and the privacy of your data.”

p/s: Urgh, I hate this “you tak suka, you keluar” mentality

Edit : 01 Feb 2010

Some update for today. Apparently some people received an SMS with NajibCNY wishes as below:

Salam 1Malaysia. Selamat Tahun Baru Cina kepada semua rakyat Malaysia. Ikhlas dari Najib Razak & keluarga. najib@1malaysia.com.my

Screenshots below from @nicklwc and @ChelsiaNg

Apparently not every mobile user received it. I’m also not sure if there is any correlation between receiving the email & receiving the SMS. Some people who received the SMS did not receive the email or vice versa. (re: @hewyk @atreyustrange @hawkstah). Some people received both (re: @nicklwc @azrinarizz @wernshen @saldali707 @spectreoutreach).

What are your thoughts on this issue?

http://me.zestful.org/my-two-cents-on-the-najibcny-issue-and-how-they-got-your-email/

Goodbye 2010, Hello 2011!

Yep, its that year end post again. Reflections on 2010 and hopes and dreams for 2011.

2010 was truly a life changing year for me. It was the year that I met countless of people. It was the year I changed jobs. It was the year I did less of some things and more of others. It was a good year.

The Year of Tweetups

This year, it was the year that I went for a lot, and I do mean A LOT of tweetups. The problem for me about tweetups is having to remember whose face is connected to which twitter handle.

I must admit that until now I’m confused who some my twitter friends are (unless they put their faces on their display). Tip : That’s why I don’t address people often by name and why I make sure people like Khir, Khairul or Rara is somewhere nearby so I can ask who is who. LOL!

So I guess for the new year, one of the things I have got to do is learn to remember people’s name more.

The Year of New Jobs.

Its actually funny how I decided to change jobs. I wasn’t looking for a new job, no. I just happened to come across someone’s RT of an RT of an RT about this person looking for someone to do social media. And I thought, hmm, why not? Best part is, the interview had to be at lunch time smack dab in the middle of KL – in KLCC. So I had to take an LRT frm Bangsar to KLCC and back within my lunch break.

So to cut a long story short, I quit my job doing programming and designing (something I spent 4 years of my life obtaining a BSc Hons degree for) to do social media. As I like to tell people, how else would you get paid to Facebook or Tweet? (Of course that was before I found out the amount of planning BEFORE and the number of reports AFTER. LOL)

The Year of Discovery

I discovered that time really does heal things. Though it might take years, but it does heal. I also discovered that without my “posse” of Pam and Aree, I went out less :( That led to more at home time and more time to dabble in projects (particularly baking).  Also I am now lazy to “doll up” and go clubbing for some reason which then leads to less drinking. I suspect it has to do with lack of “kaki”. I actually wouldn’t mind a night of fun every once in a while instead of cooped up at home and work.

It was also the year of lots and lots of road trips! I finally went to Cameron and Bukit Tinggi. I also went up to Genting (meh). Also road trips to Penang, Melaka, Johor Bharu and even Singapore! I was supposed to write a post about my trip to Singapore and Universal Studios but..er….hehe.

Resolution of 2011 : Try to visit as many states in Semenanjung so that I can complete all the states in Malaysia.

The Year of Less and More

This was the year that ironically though I’m working with bloggers, I myself as a blogger has deteriorated due to lack of time. Which leads to less blogging and lower hits (boo!). Also towards the end of the year I’ve felt the need to be more private – hence two different twitter accounts and a private Facebook acc.

So yea, more blogging this year I hope?

Anyway, here are the Top Blogposts of 2010

  1. Malaysian Twitter Users put Rais Yatim on Trending topics #yorais (link) – This is actually quite funny. A bunch of Twitter-ers (namely bongkersz) started this yorais hashtag in retaliation to what he said about Malaysians shouldn’t be immersing themselves in Facebook and Twitter
  2. The Body Shop Malaysia 2010 Sale + price list (link) – It was the big sale for TBS and I managed to get a pricelist (and spent a bomb)
  3. Google Analytics Master Class (GAMC) Kuala Lumpur + Slides (link)– Google SEA organized a FREE class to teach us all about Google Analytics. I wrote a post about it and provided download links
  4. Full List of Academy Awards (Oscars) 2010 Winners and Nominees (link) – I guess this really needs no explanation :)
  5. Craft Brews Brewhouse and Restaurant Party (link) – Craft Brews invited us bloggers to sample their food and even gave us a mini brewery kit for us to try it out ourselves. Good food and good beer!
  6. Digi and Maxis iPhone 4 Comparison Chart (link) – I did an table of comparison between the plans and the pros and cons for both. I think many people found it useful.
  7. Artist Lineup for Arthur’s Day 2010 in Kuala Lumpur (link) – This was the list of all the awesome artists that came to KL! I was there that night but didn’t stay for long.
  8. Accident on Cheras-Kajang Highway (BHP Incident) (link) – This was a really sad story about how, due to red tape, help was not able to be given to someone in need.
  9. Twitter on ‘Men Carrying Handbags’ (link) – I did a quick survey on twitter asking friends what they thought about Men carrying handbags. I posted some of their reactions. What do you think?
  10. Mencari Tetek Janda? (link) – Do you read the Google Adwords advertising when you’re visiting websites or checking gmail? Here’s a funny one.

There you go, round up of 2010. Hope everyone parties safe tonight!

Happy New Year 2011!!

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