Monday, June 28, 2010

Floods in Singapore (Revisited)

On 16th June 2010, Orchard Road, Singapore's tourist and shopping district, in the midst of GSS (Great Singapore Sale) was flooded.

"SINGAPORE - Singapore must learn from the recent flooding episodes and upgrade its infrastructure and systems, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

However, he added, it's also not realistic to expect the country to be completely free of floods. To do so would require huge tracts of land to be put aside for huge monsoon drains which will be empty most of the time.

"The land is tied up, the infrastructure will cost a lot of money, and it's not worth it," he said."

An article on Today Online is very puzzling as I don't understand why it is not worth it for our #1 Shopping District -- Orchard Road to be flood free. Is it too much to ask?

It seems that there are many examples of flooding in Singapore in the past, and after the Marina Barrage was built, Orchard Road flooded. Was it a coincidence?

In this article -- Floods – are we prepared?

There are many examples raised on the floods that occurred in the near past which we can take into consideration if we have any ability to plan while designing the city.


In the land where politicians do not have to take any responsibilities, yet get all the credit, I have one suggestion: Live on high ground.

-- Iron Bowl.

Friday, June 25, 2010

New Accessory for iPhone 4.

So far I've seen many complains about the reception problem for the iPhone 4.

Some people tried to get reception and dropped the phone after using it for a few hours.

Well have no fear. All you need is a clear plastic hand, so that you can hold on to the hand holding the phone while you are making your call.

Calling this invention "Genius", many iPhone 4 users are already ordering this fantastic device to give them a hand to make calls.

"Gimme a Hand"

Stock is limited, and it comes in clear, white or black with movable digits. Some additional features may come with vibration mode and light function, which may be useful in many situations.

This is a must have if you are getting the iPhone 4.

-- Iron Bowl

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Fail Whale

Singapore Tops the world in Adoption of Social Media. However from the next few ads, it clearly shows that Singapore needs more Twitter awareness. Anyone trying to use the Fail Whale as an advertisement that does not involve fail, automatically FAIL. The Fail Whale graphic which appears whenever Twitter is overloaded.

The ads shows not only a failure to be creative, but also failure to use the right imagery.

In another words, the advertisement is an epic FAIL. SMRT Service in Singapore, kinda fail in many ways as well. So it is appropriate.

This is my favorite Fail Whale

-- Iron Bowl

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

False Pricing at Large Retail Chains

Over the week, I have been in the common retail chains in Singapore, Carrefour, Ikea, NTUC, Courts and Cold Storage. As the Great Singapore Sale (GSS) is on, many items were on sale. I ended up buying quite a bit of stuff, and when I reach home after a shopping day, I found out that many items bought that were on sale, were full price on the receipt.

For example, in Ikea, a candle was on sale at $3.90 (members price) but when I bought 10 candles, and many other things, I checked that I actually paid $4.90 for each of them. As I happen to pass by the next day, I brought the candles back, and asked them about the price discrepancy, and the customer service replied that the offer was only for "Black" candles, although the sign was placed among all the candles.

I managed to get a full refund after returning them, as I did not want to but them at full price.

At Carrefour, I bought Mushrooms, Pasta Sauce, Pasta, Cheese, and various meat on sale, and at check out, I luckily checked the price, and EVERYTHING that I thought was on sale, was not actually. The sales staff was rather poorly trained, and they requested me to go to the customer service and tell them as it was my fault for buying the products.

At Customer service, half the items were on sale, but the "Information" was not updated on their "System" and the other half was the same thing, but they were not actually on sale, I pointed out that their sale signs were misleading, and I did not want to shop there anymore, and finally managed to get a full refund. I was no longer interested in the sale.

At NTUC, I bought many items on sale as well, and checked the price at check out. The mushrooms were on sale at $1.95, but at the checkout, it was $4.15. Many other items were the same as well, and half of my items bought seemed to be mis-priced. NTUC did not even want to refund when I returned all them items as there seemed to be a big hassle in checking the price for each item, and the 4 main sale item I got had wrong prices. They had bad attitude and pretty much a no refund policy on items you just paid moments ago as the items are "perishable"

I had similar experience at Cold Storage, Courts and Popular Bookstore, however, the errors were minimal, and for popular bookstore, some writing pads were $1.95, and they charged me $2.05, but offered a 10% more discount because of some other deal going on, and the price was even lower than expected.

I mean are the consumers protected if there is false advertising? I had never checked the price of my purchases as I usually buy hundreds of dollars worth of groceries, and it is almost impossible to remember all the prices.

I am very disappointed in the level of service in the supermarkets and large retail chains, and their return policy. Except maybe Courts and Popular Bookstore which seemed no hassle, just a small form to fill.

-- Iron Bowl