Saturday, November 30, 2013

My Machines Service Centre Experience


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I’ve wanted to send my MacBook Pro to the Machines Service Center since last year but somehow I just never got to do it until 2 weeks ago. I purchased my MacBook in December 2011 and I think it deserves some ‘check-up’ or whatever. There’s nothing wrong really; in fact, I’m in love with this Mac very much. Fast, efficient and reliable.


But I guess all gadgets encounter some weakness or glitch somewhere. I enjoy editing photos and since I’ve taken blogging more seriously early this year, I’ve been using a photo editor program more frequently than before. When I got my MacBook, I purchased this editor program from iTunes called Pixelmator. Well, yeah, Photoshop would have been the best choice but I find it too expensive for my personal use. I’m not a graphic designer or professional photographer so I needed something not so expensive. Anyway, I am satisfied with the features of Pixelmator, which are comparable to Photoshop, but there are a few occasions when it suddenly exits the program without warning. It never happens in my other programs but I might have been ignoring the prompts to update the software. However, when I tried to update Pixelmator, I was prompted to update my Mac software first. I tried updating the Mac software but it was never completed so I knew I needed professional assistance from Mac.


And so one sunny morning, I drove to Mid Valley and walked to Northpoint Offices where a Machines Service Centre is located. It is quite easy to locate at the Ground Floor of Block B, Northpoint Offices, as it is brightly lit and it has see-through glass walls.


Machines has a pretty cool queuing system. Upon entry, you’ll be welcomed by iPads where you will type your name and you’ll get a virtual queue number.
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I also can’t help but notice these cute feedback or comments boxes by the wall. I find it simple but innovative and proactive in trying to get feedback from customers. Don’t you find a lot of other feedback boxes boring and traditional in a form of drop box with a phrase ‘comments/suggestions’ printed on it? And normally it is hidden somewhere, in a corner or an unnoticeable place? Machines feedback boxes look fun and they were very visible to visitors. And notice that they have 3 facial expressions that tell you they’re open to happy, sad and very sad feedback. Now, this is what I call ‘asking for feedback’.



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There were more than 10 customers inside the centre when I arrived. But I was quite surprised of the fast service. I was number 15 but it only took me 8 minutes to wait. The service guys were fast and I saw that customers walk out with their concerns settled.


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 See, number 14 and me being served at the same time.


I told the Machines IT staff about my concern and he immediately proceeded to updating my Mac software.


One of the things I appreciated about this visit to Machines was that I didn’t have to go through any checking of my details, no need to dig info about when or where did I buy my Mac, no nitty-gritty inquiries. They just quickly solve my Mac problem.


My baby getting his dose of updated Mac software…
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In a short while, the service center was deserted and quiet except for me and another guest. I was left behind because the software update has 4GB worth of data to download. No wonder I wasn’t able to do it myself. I guess my Internet at home wasn’t good enough.


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Check out the comfy chairs at Machines. Isn’t it wonderful to find a waiting area like this? I’ve been to a few customer service outlets including big players in other industries such as telecommunications. And so far (and I’m sure you’ve also noticed), most of them do not provide comfy chairs. They would have a few lounge chairs, sometimes without back support so it can be tiring to wait, especially when the service takes long.


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Machines also has a coffee machine for guests to have while waiting. Drinking water is also available.


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In front of the service team, there are a lot of stools for guests being served. Again, I think this is very good as it shows they welcome guests with friends or relatives who accompany them to visit. Comparing it to other brands, Machines does a great job in making people comfortable and welcome. This is something you won’t easily find in other technology-related industries.


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Oooh, and during my visit, they were having clearance sale for iPad 2 covers. Check out the eye-popping colors! And these are only at RM20 from normal price of RM109.


My software update was completed and I was happy to go back home with a more efficient MacBook. I’ve already updated my Pixelmator, which is now even better than before. No more sudden program exits.


I am thankful to the Machines team at Northpoint Offices. They were very efficient and helpful.


To sum it up, why did I enjoy my first visit to Machines Service Centre:
  • Cool queuing system via iPad and virtual number – no need to hold paper with number
  • Comfortable waiting chairs
  • Drinks available for everyone
  • Short waiting time
  • No long inquiries
  • Fast and efficient service
  • Problem solved



To find the nearest Machines outlet around you, click here

I had my MacBook Pro serviced at:
Machines Service Centre
B-G-2, Ground Floor, Northpoint Office, Mid Valley City
No. 1 Medan Syed Putra Utara, 59200 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel : (03) 2289 5388    Fax : (03) 2289 5389


Visit www.machines.com.my for more info and product details.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Spanish Food, Great Wines and a French Sommelier in Malaysia



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It’s a rare occasion to have the opportunity to dine and enjoy wine with a sommelier. So when this gem-of-a-chance came, I was thrilled to be part of something that I’ll truly treasure and enjoy.

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One lovely Thursday evening, I found myself treading the classy pavement along Bangsar Shopping Centre where my desire for good Spanish food and good wines brought me to The Pressroom. I was about to indulge into a delightful wine experience. 

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In this country, it is not easy to find wine experts even in wine shops. So for wine lovers who need to shop for wines and even for those who just need wine for an event or occasion, picking wines off the shelf can be challenging or even frightening.  Imagine yourself walking in to a shop full of walls and shelves of different types of wines, different countries, different regions, different winemakers, different vintages and, of course, price. Which one to pick? Most of the time, when you ask the staff around the wine shop, you also wouldn’t get much advice except for the price difference.


Let’s say you were brave enough to try something you haven’t tried before. If you don’t like the wine or if it’s corked, can you bring it back and change for a new one?


Great news to fellow wine lovers (or to those who are interested to discover more about wine)! Wine Talk, an online wine delivery service, makes wines easy. It provides easy access to different labels of wines from different countries, regions with different price ranges in just 1 wine shop online. What makes Wine Talk even better is that they have a French sommelier, David Stephan, who chooses the wines and who also provides wine advice to every wine lover, beginner or connoisseur.





For starters that evening, we were served with the first white wine of the night, Kiwi Walk Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand. This classic NZ wine is a very fresh & easy-to-drink wine, packed with great tropical aromas. Kiwi Walk is an addictively crisp & fresh wine, sourced from premium vineyards in Marlborough.







The second one, which later on turned out to be the ‘favorite of the night’, was Louis Guntrum ‘Royal Blue’ Riesling from Rheinhessen, Germany. The ‘Royal Blue’ is an off-dry wine, boasting some sugar and a very soft 9.5% alcohol level (this is a good clue to know if a Riesling is sweet or not; 12% & over: dry; 8-12%: off-dry; below 8%: sweet). It showcases an elegant and classical Riesling scent, paired with aromas of tropical fruits, with green apples and citrus, pineapple and melon. It has an excellent balance of sweetness and acidity. It can be enjoyed by itself as an aperitif, or with lightly spicy food, roasted duck or smoked meats. This is my personal pick for the night!

My mouth was watering when the dishes started coming.

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The third wine, which is also the most interesting in terms of color, was the Gérard Bertrand ‘Art De Vivre’ Grenache Rosé from Languedoc, France, costs RM60 per bottle. This Rosé wine is a perfect introduction to the classics of the region. Made from 100% Grenache, it shows a delightfully light color, lots of fruit flavors and a fresh and aromatic palate. Great for a wide range of dishes, from seafood, fish to Barbecue meats. I seriously think that this is great for weddings mainly because of its color, which somehow appears romantic and sweet.

The fourth wine was La Closerie des Lys Pinot Noir from Languedoc, France, costs RM58 per bottle. This Pinot Noir has an expressive nose of black cherry and spices with a beautiful attack; this is ample and fruity with a fresh final and delicate oak hints. Beautiful wine, serve it slightly chilled with some roast duck, or grilled lamb chops. I’m not a fan of red wines yet but this is something I can enjoy.


The fifth wine was Logan 'Apple Tree Flat' Shiraz from Mudgee, New South Wales, Australia, costs RM65 per bottle. This Shiraz shows a deep, rich red color, and a softer palate than regular Aussie Shiraz, with flavors of mixed berries and sweet spices. So if you aren’t into big, bold, juicy Shiraz, this will be your friend. If you like the big wines, you can still enjoy this wine. It won’t hurt you! A great match with classic roasted lamb or cheese platters.


The last wine was Finca Sobreño ‘Crianza’ from Toro, Spain, costs RM69.60 per bottle. It has a pretty bouquet of blueberry jam and raspberry that is well defined. The palate is well balanced, with a smooth, silky texture, crisp acidity and a citrus, fresh, primal finish. David recommends decanting for this wine before consumption.

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It was truly a wonderful experience to dine and enjoy wine together with a wine expert or sommelier. David guided us through each wine and gave a lot of helpful tips about each type. You’ll feel more ‘clever’ and familiar about the wines you’re drinking. David Stephan is a French sommelier who has been in Asia for 10 years now so his palate has been familiar to Asian cuisine aside from European. He enjoys the variety of food in Malaysia and finds excitement in exploring new dishes while enjoying them with wine.
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Wine Talk’s wines are personally selected and handpicked by David Stephan. With Wine Talk’s brand promise, GUARANTEED SATISFACTION, GUARANTEED PRICE, DELIVERED TO YOUR HOME, experiencing wines is now even more pleasurable. With GUARANTEED SATISFACTION, customers will get a new bottle if they don’t love the wine they received and notify us within 30 days of purchase. With GUARANTEED PRICE, customers will get refunded with the price difference if they find the wine cheaper in major super and hypermarkets in Peninsular Malaysia up to 14 days from the date of purchase.
Wine Talk makes wine fun, simple and easy.
Visit www.winetalk.com.my or call 1300 88 97 88 for more details and wine selections.






Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Watsons VIP Card has evolved to a Touch N Go Card!


When it comes to shopping for some basic products for hair, nails, body, feminine, health and pore care, Watsons is my best stop in the malls. Watsons has a wide selection of products that are suitable for daily needs and it’s very convenient to find Watsons boutiques in almost every shopping destination around the city and beyond.


Even in Philippines, I was already a big fan and a loyal member of Watsons. The convenience and variety of items ranging for almost everything a woman might need to take care of herself are just too good to resist. Where else can you find body lotions, nail polish, shampoo, feminine wash, vitamins, bandage, makeup, skincare, conditioners, sanitary pads, sweets and more in one place? Yep, I’ve been a fan for years.


Recently, I was delighted to discover an update in their membership program. The Watsons VIP card has now evolved into a Touch ‘N Go card! I was already a Watsons card member for the past 4 years so I presented the normal plastic card upon payment that day. The sales staff asked me if I wanted to upgrade to the new Touch ‘N Go card. It costs RM18 for new members and only RM6 for existing members; good deal so I upgraded! Although I already have a Touch ‘N Go card permanently placed on my Smart Tag device, I think it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a spare one in my wallet.
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The large print of the phrase ‘RM5,000 Reward Vouchers’ is a good catch. Who doesn’t love rewards or vouchers or both?
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Inside the membership pack, there are loads of vouchers ranging from discounts to cash vouchers to free items. Participating merchants include Bizzy Body, Celebrity Fitness, Dubu Dubu, Dunkin’ Donuts, Facial First, Sanrio Hello Kitty Town, Holiday Villa, Jelly Bunny, KFC, Kidzania, Lost World of Tambun Theme Park, Masculine, MPH, Muse by Watsons, Osim, Pancake House, Petrosains, Pizza Hut, Restyle, Sunway Lagoon, Sweet Chat, The Chicken Rice Shop, Watch Zone and Zalora.

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The leaflet has more discounts to enjoy at Watsons, from RM2 up to RM10 off on featured products.
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Does it function exactly as a Touch ‘N Go card? Yes! At the back, you’ll see the icons for all the transportation points as a normal Touch ‘N Go card and more: fast food, dining, theme park, movie, shopping, petrol and health care.
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What benefits do you get from the new Watsons VIP card?
  • Every RM1.00 spent earns 1 point.
  • 2x points on all Watsons Brand Products.
  • 5x points on your birthday month, valid for 1st purchase.
  • Use your points to pay for products in store. 200 points = RM1.
  • Monthly members price, bonus points and more.
  • Exclusive invites to sale activities, events and workshops.


And, of course, your Watsons VIP Card now with Touch ‘N Go features gives you the convenience for your travel needs, which is great for those who are always on the road or travelling by LRT.


Visit a Watsons boutique near you to get the new VIP Card. Go to www.vip.watsons.com.my,  email mywatsons@watsons.com.my or call 1 300 880 VIP (847) for more details.

The new Glow magazine is also out so this is a great time to visit a Watsons branch near you. Get the new issue at only RM3 if you’re a Watsons member.

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Look good and feel great with Watsons!
  
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