Malaysia Airlines (MAS) may have scored a  viral hit with its 2017 Chinese New Year advertisement but a bad customer service experienced by a popular Malaysia blogging couple is becoming a social wet blanket to the airline's Lunar New Year party. 

Audrey, of, wrote how MAS "ruined" her family Chinese New Year by denying their 11.15am flight to Penang because it was "overbooked", even though they have tickets in hand.

The reason given by the counter staff was they checked-in too late even though Audrey and family was at the counter 90 minutes before the flight.

Wrote Audrey about her husband's conversation with the counter staff,
Staff: I’m sorry, you checked in too late.
Fatty: Huh what do you mean too late? We’re here 1.5 hours before the flight to check in.
Staff: Yea, because check in is open 48 hours before a flight…. Other people already checked in before you so there are no more seats.
Fatty: So? I’m not late to check in what. And I have my tickets!
Fatty happens to be the Timothy Tiah, the founder of Netcentric - parent company of the Nuffnang that rules the blogging advertising space in Asia.

Wrote Timothy,
I used to be a huge supporter of Malaysia Airlines. Like it’s always my first choice of airline even though their planes are getting old and even though there’s a safety stigma to it. I stuck with it through thick and thin.
Not anymore. Here’s why...
You can read more of his side of the story at

The cause of this was found that the 11.15am was overbooked and the counter staff had put passengers on this flight which was earlier cancelled.

Audrey and Timothy was lucky to be bloggers, as Audrey wrote MAS has responded and refunded her MAS Enrich points. The two bloggers shared they overhead other passengers may have been affected by this issue too. These passengers, however, may not be as lucky to get their refund that easily, and may have to tangle through a web of online forms and endless call centers "discussions".

The two blog posts by two very popular bloggers in Malaysia came at the time when MAS was being lauded with its 2017 Chinese New advertisement showing non-Chinese Malaysia speaking in fluent Mandarin and other popular Chinese dialects.

Wrote Yahoo News,

Facebook user, Kenny Teoh, said, “This is the BEST CNY advertisement of the year, and it doesn’t involve any Chinese! Bravo!”
Another user, Hisham Jahudi, said, “Fantastic effort by MAS. Perfectly clear message: cherishing the diversity in our people which is one of our nation’s greatest assets.”

The video may has been viewed 43,000 times with 990 shares as of the time of this writing, yet dismal customer service  experienced by customers can't hide the challenges Malaysian Airlines faces in keeping customers' trust, especially that of two very influential and popular bloggers.

Power to the blog!

One of the interesting things I learned working with a millennial is that they are have the Internet easy for them but this ease forgot how "difficult" life was back then.

Take hosting a video online.

Today, all you need is a smartphone, Internet connection, a Youtube account and viola, you can host a video online for the world to see.

As one who grew up in the dial-up generation, hosting a video back then was quite a challenge. You had to buy expensive video equipment and the video was to be captured on VHS video tape. Once the video was ready for to be shared, you had to convert VHS analogue to digital.That wasn't the end.

You had to consider the storage and bandwidth cost and the biggest challenge was that you have to handle codes to allow the video to be played.

You also had to consider how to disseminate your video.Today, you don't event have to worry about bandwidth or storage cost. Just upload onto Youtube, embed the given codes and you have your video on the web.Post the link on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or any other social media network and you get a channel to disseminate the video.

My 8 year son was impressed that his "Dan The Flying Man" video got like 2,000 views on Youtube.

The reason for writing this is that for those who grown up with dial-ups to Web2.0 to social networks, you tend to appreciate more how technology has made things easier.

For those who grew up with the technology presented to them, there is a tendency to take it for granted as it has become an every day tool.

My #giveit100 Challenges

I was inspired by the girl below to take up my own #giveit100 day challenge with both push-ups and a running routine that focuses on intensity rather than distance.

A 100 day challenge seems last daunting than a new year resolution. I don't know why but just renaming it a 100 day challenge seems something achievable than aiming to do it for a year.

Giveit100 Challenge 1 - 100 Days Of Push-ups

I found that the best time to do push-ups is before bedtime.

You are all ready for bed and your mind is quite relax. So why not do some push-ups before you sleep?

I started the push-ups routine on 2 Jan 2017 and I been doing it nightly for the past 10 days already. It began with 10 reps. On the 9th day, I was able to do 20.

Somehow the push-ups gradually encouraged me to do some sit-ups and leg raises before hitting the hay.

Guess when you completed the push-ups, your mind just tell you "Hey, why not some simple sit-ups and leg raises?" No harm adding another simple routine before bedtime as it will add just a few minutes to the total routine.

Giveit100 Challenge 2 - 100 Days Of Running

In 2016, I made a mistake of aim for distance rather than packing a faster run in less time. After awhile, long distance running to me became monotonous and time consuming. My record was a 10 km run. The run was about 90 mins plus but the time to get back made it a total of 3 hours.

Somehow, I lost interest and my weight and tummy came back in no time. I am one of those unfortunate many who can lose and gain weight very fast.

Now I have decided to do shorter but faster runs. I am currently looking to do 2km runs and gradually increasing it to 2.5km. At the same time, reducing the time taken to complete each round.

I have to admit I haven't been able to do it daily since 2nd January 2017, but I have been telling myself I need to complete 100 days. So it has been 5 days of running so far and I am feeling better than in 2016 already.

Giveit100 Challenge 3 - 100 Articles on Linkedin

I am also aiming to complete 100 articles on this social network and I do need to get my writing groove back.

Push-ups and running are for improving one physical health while writing articles help with the mental stimulation.

With this post, I should be at my fourth article for the year. So that means 96 to go. A countdown like this also makes the giveit100 challenge a gaming component to this mental exercise. One article written means the number goes down by one and it shows I am ever closer to zero.

There are 52 Mondays in 2017. We just had one Monday off for the New Year.

Look at the Public Holidays in 2017 for Singapore below and guess how many more Mondays do you need to work?

New Year’s Day 1 Jan 2017* Sunday

Chinese New Year 28 Jan 2017 Saturday 29 Jan 2017* Sunday

Good Friday 14 Apr 2017 Friday

Labour Day 1 May 2017 Monday

Vesak Day 10 May 2017 Wednesday

Hari Raya Puasa 25 Jun 2017* Sunday

National Day 9 Aug 2017 Wednesday

Hari Raya Haji 1 Sep 2017 Friday

Deepavali 18 Oct 2017 Wednesday

Christmas Day 25 Dec 2017 Monday

For Public Holidays on a Sunday, you will have a official day off on the following Monday. This takes away 4 Mondays which will leave you with 48 Mondays for 2017.

Assuming for holidays on Friday, you take leave on the following Monday and for holidays on Wednesday, you take leave on the Monday prior to the holiday, that is a total 5 Mondays to take away from. This leave you with 43 Mondays in 2017.

Say you have a bad habit of falling sick on a working Monday and you get medical leave for one Monday a month. This takes away 12 Mondays and you are left with 31 Mondays for 2017, almost a month of Mondays to endure.

Are you enduring Mondays because you just hate the day or you hate the job you have to go to on Monday?

You could leave your job for one that you are passionate with. If this isn't an option, maybe you could look at taking the first step to make Monday the best day of the week.

Make Monday your cheat day. Have a great breakfast or a great lunch.

Go plan to hit the gym before work, after work or during lunch hour.

Or you could look at Mondays with an objective to catch up with colleagues on the work to be done.

Given that I am mostly out of the week to make partners and customers, I see Mondays as the best day of the week for me to catch up with my colleagues, especially those in the IT department. Best day ever to let them know the challenges I face in the product or solution, or it would be best day for me to learn what improvements or fixes they have made to the product.

Don't let the Mondays pull you down and make it your best day ever.

I had a friend who recently took on a post as the PR manager for a company. One of his task was to revamp the website. He wasn't a web designer or knew anything about it, and, unfortunately, had to work with the agency that was previously hired by the ex-PR manager.
The problems started when the agency couldn't deliver some of the basic stuff on time. Faced with a tight deadline, he asked me if I could give him a crash course on Wordpress and help out with some Wordpress design for him over the weekend. He was generous with the offer.
I had no issue with helping him. During the weekend, I got this technophobic PR friend to get his hands dirty with Wordpress and learning to drag and drop the menus, change some text, By the end of the weekend, he was able to differentiate between a Page and a Post and a Theme.
However, he still had one problem. When he printed the website (yes, the boss was still old school and wanted to see printed versions of the website), the URLs would be printed next to the hyperlinked word or words.
He asked the agency for help and the agency said this will take 30 days man days to solve the issue, probably wanting to take advantage of my PR friend's "ignorance" to charge more hours for work to be done.
My PR friend showed me the issue and I instinctively guessed it could be some coding issue with the theme, even though I don't do Wordpress coding.
Give me a Wordpress theme and plugins and I could be learnt how to use it in less than an hour. Coding is like a foreign language to me.
Back to the problem of the URL being printed out. As they say, Google has all the answers (and your history), I did a quick Google search and found that there were others who also had the same issue with the themes.
In the developers blog, the simple solution was to remove a line or two of code to solve the issue. I emailed the solution to my PR friend and he forwarded it to the agency.

Viola! The issue was solved in less than an hour.

What pissed me off was how the agency tried to take advantage of my friend's ignorance to charge him extra. I don't think this is ethical. If you have a solution at hand and simple to solve, by all means, charge an hour or two, but for a month charge is ridiculous.

This is now how you build a relationship with your customers and that relationship could sour instantly if the customer finds out the truth.

Social Media Agencies also find me a pain to work with because I understand how it works and I detest some of the trickery to get quick results.

If you are in marketing or an entrepreneur who is looking at social and digital marketing, I suggest you do in depth study about it. Or maybe, get your hands dirty and try the tools out yourself.

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