Friday, 19 March 2010


"You feel today sir?" I look around accepting the proffered towel. The words bounce around in my heat dazed head. Who said them? Where did they come from? What do they mean?

I blink to try and arrange my thoughts, I hope this action at least buys me some time. The lights are on but nobody is at home just yet, the aircon in the foyer assaults me like a tsunami would if i stood before it along the shore. Without moving a hair on my head it's bashing the last bit of life out of me. The same life force that got me back here.

I have been on remote the past half an hour. My mind had shut down, overheated. My body was left out along the pavement somewhere. Somehow, something took control and through the maze of wrong side driving, bizarre traffic rules and the furnace that is day time in Siem Reap I got back to my hotel, my oasis.

I had been perched on the back of a small motorbike, my knees were up around my ears, thank goodness they can still go that far. This cool damp towel feels good on the back on my neck. What was it the girl had said? It didn't sound right, or did it. I rubbed the cool damp towel along the length of one arm and back down the other.

"Yes" It crocked out. Immediately I hated the way that sounded. Was it a question she asked or a statement? I wasn't sure. I rubbed my neck again with the towel using it to bide more time while life seeped back in through the cracks. I was aware of the staff looking at me there in the hotels entrance. The door men, the concierge, the receptionist, the two musicians across the expanse of the foyer who played music by rote and let their eyes dance around the foyer for amusement and especially the girl with the silver tray full of the cool damp towel. I didn't care, nothing mattered anymore I was back and I was just wallowing in the cool hotel foyer.

"Yes" I repeated, though this time with timbre and direction, "I feel everything today, thanks for asking"  I hand back the towel. I glance around the expanse of the foyer, I look at the girl with the silver tray of hand towels, I smile and move deeper into the hotel.

Cambodia is outside and I, for the moment, am safe in here.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Adding fuel to the fire.

So I am sitting here working away when the phone rings. Jakarta number I can tell by the 021 prefix. Low and behold it is a friendly person from AirAsia. After some pleasantries where, lets call her Anita, establishes my credentials I am informed that someone in KL has used my credit card details to book a ticket on tomorrows flight from KL to China twenty minutes ago. Was it me? Why are I laughing she asked. I gathered my composure and told her a funny thing happened in front of me at home, what else could I say?

I told her that I had not booked any flights today, although I had tried several times yesterday though. If she only knew!

She told me I had to ring the call centre and tell them that I hadn't purchased the ticket. I love the fact that I was talking to a woman in AirAisia and then I had to ring AirAsia. So I did. Then the girl I was speaking to, again that incredibly bad telephone line because they are trying to use Internet telephony in a country that has incredibly bad internet services. Argh! The irony really came home when the call centre girl put me on hold to talk to the Accounts girl, couldn't they have done this without me? I had already told the Accounts girl it wasn't me who booked anything. The call centre girl told me I should cancel my credit card because someone had all my details. I thanked her for that pertinent info and signed off.

Now is it me or is it slightly suspicious that the only time I have used my credit card in the past week was yesterday when I was trying to book a ticket on AirAsia and then today it's used to buy a ticket on their site. I want to know how come this other person was actually able to book, given my wasted hours yesterday. Lucky bugger.

The sad thing here is that my credit card is cancelled and I am now not able to book the tickets to Perth for my mom's birthday unless I get someone else to whack it on their credit card. Not happy!!

Just in finishing I rang my bank in Australia to cancel my card and I was put through to their call centre, in the Philippines, I surmise from the girls accent. Internet telephony, though reasonable quality. She told me that was the only transaction that they had used my card for... go figure.

Here are a couple of images I thought I should share...


Monday, 1 March 2010

Knock, knock? Oh that's my head against the wall! Afternoon,
I do not seem to be having much luck with your website. It use to be fantastic, never had an issue but this time, whew. Just wont work. Let me say here first that I have been a fan. Flown with you guys many times; to Siem Reap, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, KL, and a couple of weeks ago Perth. All good. You get what you pay for. I like it. The booking process has been mostly painless but then you go and unveil this "New & Improved" (your words,) website. Between you and me. I think that the site could have done with some Beta testing on the Mac platform.
FYI. I am using Mac OS 10.5.8 Firefox 3.5.8 and also Safari 4.0.4. As you can see, all up to date!

On the 27th Feb at around 4pm local time I tried to book a flight from Bali to Perth return for myself and my two kids. I went through all the different fields, chose meals, purchased the expensive seats in the front, Go insurance? Yeah why not. The works! It takes awhile getting all the info together and at last I entered in all my credit card details and hit submit... The processing image comes up. I am told not to hit the back button. I have e-purchased enough to know what to do. I sit and wait... ERROR!

Not what I was expecting, but no worries I can deal with that, it happens. The biggie here is that the error message told me NOT to rebook as I might end up with two bookings. eg two charges on my credit card. It told me to go to Check N Change. Which I did. However once the page finished loading I couldn't for the life of me navigate to check my booking. Seems that the buttons didn't load. I looked at the HTML Source and the code is there it's just not showing. I tried the same URL in Safari. Wouldn't load in there either. After some looking at this code and trial and error I found the link to the Booking Status Enquiry page clicked it and... that page doesn't load it's graphics either. So I am trying to see if I have been charged already and i have no way of doing it...

I fill out a contact form just like this one, enter in the Case No. as I have done here, all my other details and wrote a succinct run of events so as to help the programmers isolate the issues hit submit and went back to my life thinking that someone would get back to me Monday with an idea of what is going on.

Monday morning and I really do need to book these tickets. My two sons and I have to attend my moms 90th Birthday. This is the biggie. The whole family, I am one of 7 kids and we all have our own children, are all flying to Perth for it. I can not afford to miss it.

So even though i haven't heard from your company I bite the bullet and book online again today. I enter my details, I enter my two sons details, I choose seats, food, insurance and then all my credit card details again. I hit send and... ERROR. 12:40pm.

Hmm ok, I will ring customer service in Indonesia. I ring and its a real bad line. I have to go outside onto the upstairs balcony but I realize it's not with me. It is the internet telephony. We take ten minutes to go through my name by Phonetic Alphabet and my credit card number and we find there has been no charges against it today. Great. Or so I thought.Would I mind trying the internet booking again, sure I said.

We hang up and I go through the motions again. First the details of the 3 flying, the passport numbers, the expiry dates, the food, the seats, the insurance and then the credit card details. I hit submit, you know where this is going don't you? ERROR, 12:59pm.

I phone again and if I thought the first line was bad this one is a doozy. She keeps telling me she cant understand me. I put on a headset as i am using a mobile. Again we go through the phonetic alphabet that is my name. Again we go through the 16 digits of my credit card and again she confirms that no charge has been made against it. Would I care to try again to book it online? I am a sucker for punishment and say sure.

So off I go. I input the names, the passport numbers, the food requests, the seat requests, which are slowly diminishing as the ones I have chosen the last two times are no longer available!! I enter the credit card details, hover above the submit button and actually cross my fingers before depressing it. A dialogue box tells me it might take a minute or two and to not hit the back button. I remain well away from the keyboard as I have all day. I wait and pray... ERROR 1:20pm.

I phone for a third time and get a double header. My first male for the day and a reasonably good line. I explain to Alex, it doesn't sound all that Indonesian but that is how he identified himself when I asked. I explained all that had happened. He checked the card and no there was no recent activity. He offered to do the booking over the phone so we went through all the details verbally. Now I thought this was a long winded process online, but on the phone, this took ages. We get to the end and he says the price. It is over US$300 more than the online. He tells me that he can only do the Standard price not the discounted price. I had been suffering under the delusion that the price was the price with AirAsia. Apparently that is not the case. I ask him what I should do in this conundrum. He told me to book again after 3pm. That the problem would be fixed by then. I assumed that i am not the only one who is effected this way so thought fine I can do that.

At 4pm this afternoon I tried once more. Yes I gave it that extra hour. Sometimes that is the all important hour. Details entered thrice, food, insurance and the seating chosen, the seats that I had been reserving in my previous bookings had reappeared as being vacant again, I was buoyed by this information. I entered the rest of my details for me and my credit card. Once again crossed my fingers and hit submit.

I really shouldn't be so trusting should I. That's right I got ERROR once again, 4:06pm.

So now I am here filling out this contact email again. The Case Number above is the most recent one. I hope that someone will actually contact me. You know, actually let me know that the problem is being looked into.

I tried to see how I might book online using my smart phone. I clicked on The How To Book button on your front page. The link that opened was "Oops! The Page has taken flight" So when I say I am not having much luck with your website you can see it is an understatement.

I have posted the screen shots of the errors, the Manage My Booking page without navigation buttons and the Booking Status Enquiry page on Picasa Web Albums for you to view. Here is the URL

FYI I have also added this to my blog as a post. I thought some people out there might want to read it as well.

Please let me know.