Wednesday, October 23, 2013

STOP Buying Philippine Prudential Life Insurance Co. (PPLIC) Plans NOW!!!

WHY?!? I finally compiled some 2012/2013 news and opinions on Philippine Prudential Life Insurance Company (PPLIC). The latest is dated August 31, 2013.

Deceptive Marketing. I've seen this report a long time ago. Surprising how only Mr. Anthony Taberna was brave enough to do an expose on the Philippine Prudential Life Insurance Co.

The only thing I could find in GMA News Online is this (dated April 12, 2013)
“Philippine Prudential Life Insurance Company Inc. is financially sound, as it remains to be a stable and strongly capitalized company, duly-licensed by our government regulator, the Insurance Commission,” Philippine Prudential president and chief executive officer Gregorio Mercado said in an e-mailed statement.
ODD! Since they're still roaming the malls, surely ABS-CBN or XXX must have done a follow-up on it. But I couldn't find one.

I'm surprised that nothing popped out regarding the policy holders who filed administrative and criminal charges against PPLIC. You'd think there's a conspiracy going on. Of course, that's probably just my imagination going wild.

Stay away from this glass-paned place!
It just baffles me how this company has remained afloat even after the many complaints on their agents' ethics. Now, we hear that their license has been revoked.

How in the world are they still selling their "pre-need plans" in malls?!?

Okay, so perhaps they're talking about a different Philippine Prudential Life Insurance Co.

Then again, there's this. 
MANILA - (UPDATED 5:16 p.m.) About one hundred plan holders of Danvil Plans Inc trooped to the Inusrance Commission (IC) on Thursday, asking the regulator to revoke the license of Philippine Prudential Life Insurance Co for the sudden termination of the benefits of their paid-up policies. 
Oh, so they are talking about the same company. Unfortunately, this isn't about their intimidating tactics as stated by a lot of comments in our previous blog post called The Battle with PPLIC. This is about them abruptly terminating their plan holder's policies.

One of the more pressing concerns is that even with this heat, they continue to roam in malls promising their potential customers a good investment while Danvil planholders sue them for simply promising 30% as arranged by Philippined Prudential Life (different from Prudential Life).

As Mr. Satur Ocampo stated in Philstar News titled "Insurance, pre-need scam: A public-private partnership"
The planholders also questioned why the IC, while allowing their benefits to be terminated, had allowed PPLIC to continue to operate with license and sell its insurance and pre-need products. That’s duping the new and potential planholders, they said.
Furthermore, according to Satur Ocampo's Parallels: Pork barrel, insurance, pre-need scams, Emmanuel Dooc, Insurance Commissioner had already promised closely monitoring the firm since 2010... I still don't get why they've gotten this far as to mess with 4000 policy holder's plans under the "protector account" due to a "technicality clause".

As  Mr. Saturno is imploring expedited action from government officials, I am asking readers and plan holders to be very vigilant while passing through malls. The most recent comment in this blog was dated October 22, 2013. This means they still have their license to operate.

Learn the facts (No matter how limited they are) and READ YOUR POLICY! Do what Antionette did in her comment (as posted in our latest PPLIC blog post titled "Is PPLIC LABB PLUS refundable?Latest update on this blog link is dated Feb. 7, 2015.) Fight for your consumer rights and see how they react to it. This isn't about investing soundly anymore, nor is it an emotional rant on how we felt we were scammed. This is about big companies taking our hard-earned money, promising us financial stability and terminating it due to "technicalities" average consumers, like us, don't fully understand.

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Sunday, October 20, 2013

USB Device Not Found Solution with (Newbie Guide with Pics)

Picture this

-You've successfully downloaded a new custom rom for your android tablet. 

-You've got NVFlash and K1_JB_AOSP or CM9, CM10 and even CM10 v6.1. 

-You've successfully gotten your android device to APX mode which basically means pressing the Power, Volume Up and Volume Down buttons simultaneously for about 30 seconds more or less (as shown in the image below).

The IdeaPad K1 Android tablet in APX Mode.
Then, you attach it to the data cable where one end is on PC's your USB port. You click on flash-win.bat and nothing happens.

Clicking flash-win.bat to install new rom and no response.

-You take it up a notch and open the  "Command" or CMD window

-You see the message 'nvflash.exe' not recognized. You finally figured out that all you needed to do was make sure that your directory on the command window should coincide with where your nvflash.exe is (e.g. if you placed the custom rom's folder in C:\ then your command window should also show C:\(name of flash-win.bat folder)\>)

-You get it all right but are stuck with the dreaded "USB device not found" or "USB device not detected". 

What do you do? Scream and lash out!

Fortunately, there is a simpler solution to this problem. It's basically updating the APX drivers because, believe it or not, Windows 7 and even Windows XP will have the yellow triangle with exclamation point on APX as found in the Device Manager.

Brief Recap

1. Trying to install new rom in android tablet. No response after clicking flash-win.bat

2. Android tablet in APX mode is detected by PC (with bleep sound) but stuck with "USB device not found" when installing new rom.

3. Android tablet connects successfully when turned on, but isn't detected in APX.

4. Nvflash.exe is not recognized.

Note: Simple solution is to save android rom files in a single folder in drive C:\. When opening command window, type "cd .." (without clauses) until left with C:\> . Then type "cd (name of file folder)" to go directly to that directory. Example

C:\Users\Digitalbrew> cd ..
C:\Users> cd ..
C:\> cd K1Wifi_CM10_Flashable_v6.1

*Bold letters are what you're supposed to type.

5. NVflash.exe is NOW recognized. But new command window message after running flash-win.bat is 'USB device not found'.

6. Scream and lash out, frustrated with the world.

How to install missing APX drivers succesfully
Step 1: Download the APX drivers.

Step 2: Extract APX Driver files into your Desktop or C:\

Step 3: Put Android tablet (mine is an IdeaPad K1) on APX mode. Attach Android tablet cable to USB Port.

APX driver for Android custom rom installation.
Step 4: Device driver software was not successfully installed because it could not find APX drivers (not yet anyway).

Step 5: Click on Start. Right-click on Computer and go to Properties. Or go to Control Panel> System and Security> System then click on Device Manager. Locate "Other Devices" and Right-click on "APX". Select Update Driver Software...

Step 6. Click on "Browse my computer for driver software"

Step 7: Browse for the location where you saved it. I put it on Desktop (not my computer).

Halfway through installing the APX driver so your Android Tablet baby gets a Cyanogen Mod Rom.
Step 8: Install this driver software anyway.

NVIDIA USB Boot-recovery driver for Mobile devices successfully installed!
Step 9: Scream and lash out, but this time with happier feelings as you won't have more USB issues on installing Clockwork, Khanning or Krook's ROMs anymore (unless your computer or your usb is busted).

Although you might still get stuck in Formatting partition 12...
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Friday, October 4, 2013

What I Like and Hate about Being a Sun Cellular Postpaid Subscriber...

It's probably crazy for me to say this, especially when my last bill amounted to 1,600 php... something far from my anticipated 900 php (650 php originating from my original plan), but I do like Sun Cellular's Postpaid.

Anyway, let's get to the list of my pros and cons on being a Sun Postpaid subscriber based on my first hand experience.

1. Cheap. Getting a plan at 350 php where you have unlimited Sun to Sun calls and texts to other Sun users is simply advantageous to us. Most of us have sun lines so it figures that owning a Sun prepaid or postpaid line is too practical to miss out on.

Just imagine how much you can save when you can call your loved ones with their Sun-to-Sun Unlimited Calls.
2. Detailed Billing Statement. What's nice about Sun's billing statement is it's exact to the point, particularly on call minutes, the numbers you've called and the time you did it. Text, One Time Charges and Give-a-Loads are also included among your sun billing statement. I haven't experienced dealing with hidden charges with Sun before.

This is just part of a typical Sun Cellular billing statement. I like that every single call is logged, as well as, the number of text messages you've sent to the different networks.
I've been a Smart prepaid user ever since I've had my second phone (prior to this I was using Globe services). Prepaid was a lot safer. Then I decided to try Globe Postpaid (back then their cheapest plan included a Nokia 3315 at 800 pesos), after one of my bill ballooned to a whopping 2,500 php (without a trace of its details), I decided to keep daily logs of the number of text messages and calls I made. I listed them all.... 

Then I get another bill that surpassed my tracked usage (I was sure my bill wouldn't reach 1,000 php, but I still paid 2,800 pesos for it). It was crazy. I decided to terminate my plan because they themselves weren't able to give my any detailed explanations either.

3.  Sun Cellular's Loyalty Perks. One of the things I hate about renewing a contract is having to visit Sun Shops over and over again because they don't have the unit you want. Fortunately, if you belong in Sun's Loyalty, customers get to have their new Sun Cellular phone delivered at their doorstep.

It says warehouse inspected. So far, all units have been functioning well.
Note: We just had a couple of Nokia Asha 501's delivered to our house after calling their Loyalty line 1822. What I didn't like was that all their cases were in black... which I guess isn't a big deal.

4. Less Paperwork for Newbies.Most of my work is online. I don't have sufficient documents to prove how much I earn. Of course, I was confident I could pay 350 php/month. So what I did was take advantage of their Postpaid Line with Sim Only. After 8 months (out of 6, which was because I waited for a better phone), I got into Sun's Loyalty program and upgraded my plan to Sun Cellular's Regular Postpaid Plan 450. Now, I'm the proud owner of a robust MyPhone A919.

5. Customized Mobile Number. This is what sets Sun among the rest. I love that customers can select their own number. 

Disadvantages of Owning a Sun Postpaid Line

1. Some of their Agents are Unaware of the Sun Promos. Back when Sun had their Sun Group Plan 999 High and Low Deal, one of the shop agents insisted they didn't have it. We had to convince him to check the website. After confirming it existed, he asked us what unit we wanted. After telling him our preferences, he took out his log book saying the unit wasn't available, which brings me to my next issue.

Note: This goes for their customer agents. One of them, named Tony, told me there was no such thing as a High and Low Deal. After arguing with him that there was was, he finally looked it up and retracted his statement.

2. Unit Availability. I don't know why they always lack Nokia and Samsung units. They already know that most of their customers will always prefer these brands, yet months have passed and they still don't have it. So it doesn't matter if you put your name on the log book. There's a fat chance that you'll still end up with the unit they say they have available at the moment.

3. Getting a Hold of a Customer Service Representative can Take TOO LONG. Calling the Sun Hotline can be a chore. Sometimes, I could hear that annoying song in my head over and over again.  I guess this is because they have a lot of customers (which means that they have to increase their overhead).

4. Area of Coverage. Although Sun Cellular has gone a long way in terms of network coverage, there are still areas in the province where they have limited to zero signal.

Note: We've not yet experienced having a defective phone so I haven't had to deal with the trauma of returning one to them. Hopefully, all our units remain healthy and robust as they are now.

We have a single problem with the Nokia Asha 501. Sometimes, the person at the other line could not hear us when we call her and vice versa. It has happened 3 times already (within a span of 1 month).

Good or bad experiences are welcomed in this post. Please feel free to express your love or hate with your Sun Cellular Postpaid Subscription.

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