Saturday, December 17, 2011

Someone get me an internet connection

When I moved into my new place I didn't have any internet connection.  In the past, I've always shared the internet connection with whoever I lived with but lately people have become stingier and I've been told to "get my own friggin' internet"

I went with M1, but my story is probably similar to what would've happened if I tried Singtel or Starhub.  I was next in line but had to wait a full 30 minutes before it was my turn.  I asked if I could get a broadband contract and they asked for "proof of billing".... some kind of proof that I lived and worked in Singapore.  Fair enough.

A bank statement would have been acceptable but I hadn't changed my address yet and I didn't want to wait until my next balance statement.  I read on the M1 website that a proof of employment letter from your employer on employee stationary would be acceptable as well, so I waited a whole agonizing day without internet while HR produced the letter and then I went back to M1 and waited in line for another 20 minutes.

They told me "Sorry this letter doesn't have the official company chop"  And of course, I had no idea what the heck she was talking about and was about to give her a chop of my own--a karate chop to the back of the neck.  But apparently a chop is a stamp, coming from malay or something... go google it yourself.  ANYWAYZ, my employment pass was about to expire so they were afraid I'd sign up for a contract and then run away with the USB modem or something..    They needed proof that I was going to have my employment pass renewed despite the fact that the website only mentioned showing an employment letter from the employer on official company stationary.. It didn't say jack squat about a stupid chop.  Do they even want my business or not?

So I went back to the company and asked for a "chop", brought my tenancy agreement from my new address, my passport, employment pass, the in-principal approval letter for my employment pass, birth certificate, urine and stool samples, and $100 of bribe money in cash because I wasn't about to risk waiting in line for another 30 minutes for nothing.  Finally with all of this evidence (I felt like Matlock), they reluctantly gave me a broadband contract. HA!  TAKE THAT SUCKERS.  I went home and tried the USB modem in my Mac... and nothing.. the instructions said to install software from the CD-ROM provided..  and there was no CD-ROM there. ARGH, another day without internet..  then I went back one last time to ask for the CD-ROM to which they replied.. "you can download the mac software for your modem from the M1 website"


me: "You do realize I can't go to the website because I can't get on the internet?"
them: "oh yeahhhh...."
more awkward silence

The manager came with an ancient relic known as a CD-ROM, which they found buried under some dinosaur bones in the backroom.  I went home, installed the software from the CD and discovered that it wouldn't run on snow leopard and required me to install "rosetta" so I could use their obsolete software. There was no way that I was going to install rosetta just for some stupid usb modem software, so in the end, I went online from a windows pc, downloaded the latest mac software from the website, then transferred it to my mac and it finally worked.  

Now I've just got to watch my internet usage, because I'm only allowed 12 GB of upload/download each month... feels like the early AOL days when you were given a limited number of minutes to surf each month.  Now we're so used to unlimited internet it's crazy and unthinkable revert back to those barbaric times.  On the other hand, though, maybe this will be good, as it will force me to limit my internet usage and allow me to do more productive things, like play Wii.


  1. How is this for you? I had an internet connection with one of these companies for a while and I hated it. It was terrible. They ran every image that I downloaded through some kind of proxy and resized them.

  2. haven't notice any resizing of images so far, and the speed is ok..on windows it seems fine actually but on mac I'm getting frequent disconnects... so annoying.. you'd think with all the people who use macs in singapore that they'd pay more attention to whether their stuff works on mac or not.