Monday, March 30, 2009

Who has control on PRICES?

Hi again.

The economy is not getting better. I have so far felt the heat when hearing close friend of friends losing their jobs. For us who is still having job, Alhamdulillah.
When we talk about economy both for us and for those who have lost their earning power, we then need to look at PRICES.
Who is really in control of this so called PRICES?
Some will say us, the consumers. Why because we dictates demands. Really?
Some will say them, the seller, whether they are individual or corporations. Because they dictate prices of their products or services.
To yet others they may say it is the government, whether federal or local. They have the control on price tag. Because there is such law that the government can impose control on price of certain product.
Let us look at this scenario:
I was at this one resort located somewhere between Kuala Lumpur and Melaka. I was there for the office family day event.
I drove all the way from the house to the resort. It took me about slightly more than an hour. I have to join the crowd from the office at one side of the resort. The first notice I saw was, parking at RM 4 per hour. Who set this rate? What justify this rate? Do I have a choice?
The resort management has actually took away my right and deprive me of choice to pay or not to pay! Come to think of it every where we go, there is no standard parking charges. Why? No body is powerful enough to imposed such standard! Where is the government and local authority?
I decided to skip joining the masses from my office. As I have not yet have my lunch, I decided to drop by at the club house for a pre-dinner snack. I ordered a cup of Teh Tarik and a plate of Cantonese Kueh Teow. The services was reasonably fast except there is a big gap between what I have ordered and what arrived. As I am allergic to sourness and citric fruits, I ordered the kueh teow without tomato and sprinkle of lime juice. Unfortunately either the chef is so diligently stick to standard that the kueh teow arrived as normal with tomato and sprinkle of lime juice. I have again to skip my snack and sacrifice my money and my right.
What is more surprising the price tag on this wine glass of teh tarik is RM 6. Who set the price? This teh tarik is definitely very special to carry such a price tag. Who is in control?
As a summary I feel nobody is protecting the consumers right. The government fail to control the seller and grant them full right to take away our right as the consumers.
What can we do?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Low cost airlines, REALLY?

Hi, it has been a while.
I would like to relate to you my experience with one of the low cost carrier in the country.
I was taking this flight from Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi. The flight was scheduled to fly at early morning. Two hours prior to the departure I checlked in for the flight.
At that early morning, the situation in the waiting / departure hall has been filed by long queue. A new phenomenon in this country whereby you see people diligently queing. What a relief for seeing the developed nation culture in the making.
Upon clearance for boarding, the door was opened and to my surprise the queue changed into a race. Back to the undeveloped nation attitude. Again chasing for KERUSI.
Upon take off, I notices why the rush in boarding. People were chasing for forward row of seats. The aircraft was half empty and only seats forward of the aircraft wing were filed up. Come to think of it no reason for rushing, even if it is full.
The cabin crew go around offering meals and goods for sale. Like the conventional airline except it is usually done after free meals service. Kind of taking a train ride in Indonesia, at very stop sellers rushing through to offer everything for sale from food to goods etc. Except this time it is more expensive even if compared to tourist price in the Indonisian train scenario.
Do you think it is fare for this company., very commercial but claiming to be low cost, put these 100 passengers or so in its aircraft cabin, take it off and stabilised at 25,000 feet in the air, and start forcing them to buy things at 4 to 5 times it normal price? The authority controlled disappeared. Or they have given their consents?
Where is the passenger's right? By flying so claimed low cost, they lose their right to have access to food and goods at the reasonable price?

About one hour later, conventional airline usually took 45 minutes, the aircraft descended at a very fast rate comparatively. It was a scary experience when the aircraft is actually diving nose down due to the front heavy aircraft. It went on until actually touched down. No sign of landing flare that I used to observed on conventional airline. I was made to understand such phenomenon is not safe due to aircraft structural limitation. Again by flying so called low cost, the passengers were deprived the right to safe flight?

I keep on calling the so called low cost airline, why? Because from my experience it is not really low cost rather just a lower cost airlines.

What do we do?