November 5, 2013

KLIA Taxi - Scam or not?

I would like to alert travellers to an issue with taxi’s at KLIA.

The taxi system at KLIA is pretty confusing for most people unless you are a regular traveller to Malaysia and the very poorly design website doesn't offer any information regarding taxi services at the airport.

The main taxi company at KLIA who until recently held a monopoly is Airport Limo. This company provides a multi tired limo service by way of stating your destination, class of taxi and then purchasing a coupon for the journey.

The other system is what’s known as a city cab which is basically a standard meter taxi service which operates from level 1.

One of the frustrating problems with Airport Limo is the regular shortage of taxi’s especially at peak periods or owing to traffic congestion in KL. It is quite common for the coupon counter staff to tell you that there are no taxi’s or that there is a big queue.

I usually take a premier taxi which is between the budget and limo for a more comfortable ride and the fact that most of the drivers know the location of my condo.


The taxi coupons sold are valid for a month and owing to my weekly trips to and from Singapore I always have an option to use it another week if I change my mind and take the train or city cab.


Over the past few months I’ve noticed a trend whereby I’ve been told time and time again that there were no taxi’s and that I must get a limo or mini bus which costs significantly more than a premier taxi.

When I’m told that there are no taxi’s and I must get a limo/mini bus I simply request that they sell me a ticket. The counter staff look confused and usually don’t want to sell me one. When I firmly request a coupon the behaviour of the staff usually follows a similar pattern whereby a lot of time is spent on the radio chit chatting (about me) and generally ignoring me.

When I force the issue the staff act very sheepishly and begrudgingly sell me a coupon. Now the strange thing is that 9.9 times out of 10 when this happens I find little or no queue and at least several taxi’s available at the premier car area outside door 5.

The behavior of the staff and the fact that there isn’t usually more than one or two people queuing for the premiere taxi’s makes it appear that there is a scam taking place to rip off unfamiliar travellers. I have witnessed several other people encounter similar experiences at both the budget and premier services.

So is it a scam or are the unwelcoming counter staff simply out of touch with what is happening in the queue even though they have a radio?

The taxi service at the LCCT operated by a different company also tries this from time to time, however I haven’t found it quite so prevalent.

Perhaps it’s time raise a report to the authorities, not that SPAD will take any real action.

September 26, 2013

Beating the system at Tiger Airways

These days I often find that Tiger Airways are the cheapest for my Friday night commute back from Singapore . Like many others I have my own system and ways of doing things just like the commuters in UK who stand in the exact same spot every day when boarding their train.

Although Tiger are a budget airline they are generally pretty good provided the flight runs on time etc although there is one area that is a continued area that's often struggle – the check-in!

As with other airlines Tiger has implemented a series of common check in areas for several flights are once. Tiger’s has a fleet of A320 aircraft which hold approximately 180 passengers each. The check in system results in 100’s of people at each zone being served by only two or three counters, hence long and slow moving queues.

A little trick I picked up when the budget terminal was open was that 15-20 minutes before the flight closes the check in counter is moved to 1 or 2 of the ‘fight closing’ counters. Many of my fellow regular counters can be found hovering around the counter waiting for it to open because once its opened up to 70 people can be seen trying to extract themselves from the original check in zone and rushing to the special counters

Recently I arrived in good time only to find that the check-in area was completely full and overflowing for on every counter. Looking around I see and sense the anger and disappointment on many people’s faces as their joined a queue of 100’s of people.

Not overly happy and wanting to relax in the lounge but mindful of how the system works I went down to McDonald's and at exactly 20 minutes before the flight was due to close I headed back up. As I approached the late check-in counter the following appeared on the screen:
 Check in

In the minutes that followed chaos, confusion and a degree of panic  ensued as 60 people tried to relocate from the other queues and I pity the check-in agent who had to rush to check all disgruntled people in.

As for me a sense of satisfaction occurred that I once again played the system and made my commute relatively stress free.

March 2, 2013

iPhone Repairs in KL

Now if anybody is likely to drop something in our house then it’s usually me. Last Sunday the roles were reversed and my wife dropped her iPhone 4s onto a tilled floor. After realising what a silly thing it was to do and enduring some banter from myself, the phone was checked and although there was  visible damage, the phone was dead.

As usual when things go wrong the timing was less than perfect with myself due leave within the next few hours to catch a flight back to Singapore.

After searching the internet for iPhone repair companies we found an a nearby independent company called Iphone2Fix. After checking the website and Facebook page I tried to call them but the handphone went straight to voice mail. Undeterred I drove the short distance and gave them a personal call.  

The small shop was clean, organised and the 2 staff were friendly and professional. After checking the phone they found that it simply needed a full reboot and not being an iPhone user myself I had no idea how such procedures were executed.  

There are so many places in Malaysia were service is awful and the integrity of individuals is questionable that it was a pleasant surprise to find this place.  

I cannot vouch for the quality of any repairs but so far so good from what I've seen.

iPhone2Fix (Setapak)
No 2-9, PV128, Jalan Genting Klang,
Setapak, 53300 Kuala Lumpur.
Phone: +010 245 5160 (Mr. Neezam / Amran)

February 26, 2013

KFC Malaysia - Restricted Menu

KFC in Malaysia is hardly the greatest advertisement of the KFC brand.

The service is often poor due to the staff being being slow and just larking around with their colleagues. To compound the problem the staff have such short term memory loss that they typically are unable to remember more then one item for example they have to keep checking the counter to see what we ordered 1 Zinger burger err what next?... err a coke, what next? ... errr wedges, hence the reason for the queues.  Owing to press reports of past incidents of staff attacking customers who complain its probably best to just keep quiet.

In addition a big concern is the hygiene standard because many of their restaurants I visited had dirty tables and a floor that was full of dirty marks and dropped food. Unlike some fast food outlets, KFC Malaysia don't seem to prioritise cleaning and housekeeping.

During the CNY holiday I visited an outlet in Wangsa Maju and was disappointed to find that the menu had been restricted from 9-17 Feb.


I've never experienced KFC UK, Singapore or Thailand doing this to why do KFC Malaysia do this?

Yet another feather in their cap of bad service awards.

Ikea Restaurant in Malaysia

I recently got dragged to Ikea in Malaysia during the recent Chinese New Year holiday long holiday. As expected the store was quite busy but bearable.

One thing I've never understood is the attraction of their restaurant considering the abundance of good affordable food.

On the particular day that I visited the queue stretched the full length of the restaurant which has to be the longest I've seen there.



Now if the food was fantastic or very very cheap then I may just see the logic of queuing for hours but hello this is Ikea, hardly the gastronomic paradise of Malaysia.

I really don't get it so perhaps somebody could help explain this attraction to me?

I'm back!!

After a long unplanned break I’m back.

So what happened? Well several things actually, I’m involved with the management committee at my condo and run their blog amongst other things which took up a lot of my time and then when it came to this blog I seemed to get writers block or didn’t have the enthusiasm for some reason.

Whilst I don’t get a huge amount of site traffic it was interesting to see what people been reading whilst I was away. So far the top 3 posts are:
  1. Ayers Rock Butcher and Grill @ Wangsa Maju
  2. Steak Hut @ Suzi’s Corner, Ampang
  3. River View Seafood Restaurant @ Pasir Penambang, Kuala Selangor

I didn’t enjoy my last visit to Ayers Rock several years ago however owing to the interest I may be tempted to give it another try.

So from now on I will try and update the site on a more regular basis and have several posts planned.