Monday, October 3, 2011

Vodafone Data Card - Rolling Back Action

I recently purchased a Vodafone Data Card 3G for Rs.1500. This data card allows you to access the internet through your computer. It plugs into the USB port of your computer. There are various data plans available. Since, I purchased this as a backup connection, I decided to opt for the Rs.100/month plan which gives me 200mb download.

Vodafone also provides a 15 day return policy so if you are not happy with the data card, they will refund the money. However, the customer rep who delivered the card said that it is very difficult to get a refund! Nonetheless, I had no choice since I have used Reliance and Tata data cards before and the customer service and speed is terrible.

After the card was delivered to my home, it takes 72 hours to be activated. Installation of the data card was smooth on my Windows 7 PC. But, there was a problem when I tried to install the data card on my laptop running Windows XP SP3. Just before the installtion would complete, I would get an error "Rolling Back Action" and the entire installtion would be reversed!! I called Vodafone customer helpline and was told to visit Vodafone store with my laptop and data card for help! Now, imagine if I had a problem with deskptop...How am I supposed to take my entire desktop machine to the store???

Anyway, after hours of painstaiking resarch, I solved the Rolling Back Action installation error as follows:

For the data card to install successfully, you need Wireless Zero Configuration and DHCP Client services started on your computer. Now, it turns out that some Windows computers don't automatically start these services when you turn on your computer hence the problem.

Go to Start>control panel> administrative tools> services> DHCP Client . Right click on DHCP Client and retstart this. Now go to panel> administrative tools> services> Wireless Zero Configuration.
On my computer, Wireless Zero Configuration was disabled. So, right click on Wireless Zero Configuration and click Properties. In "Startup type", disabled will be shown. Choose Manual and click OK. Then, right click on Wireless Zero Configuration and select Start. Now, install the data card again and it should work fine now.

Overall, I am pleased with the speed of the Vodafone data card. I am getting download speed of 1.67mbps! It connects smoothly to the internet - just plug the data card and click Connect. Apart from the installation issue, I would give a thumbs up to the Vodafone data card.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Boil Your Water Before You Drink!

I recently visited a doctor in India to receive a regular checkup; blood pressure, cholesterol level... During my checkup, I asked the doctor what is the most common illness she encounters and what is the cause of it. Surprisingly she told me that stomach pain, and diarrhea were the common complaints and most were caused by drinking unhygienic water. She asked me if I boil the water before I drink it. I said that I didn't need to boil the water since I use Aquaguard to filter my water. At that point she started laughing, and advised that filter systems such as Aquaguard do not always filter water properly. In fact, some of these systems wear out quickly, have faulty parts, and ultimately don't remove all the bacteria from the water!

The only way to make sure you are drinking pure water is to boil it the night before and store in the fridge after it cools down - even if that water comes from a water filter system! So next time, you drink water out of a water filter system, ask yourself "Can I be 100% sure that this water is pure and healthy?".

Sunday, September 16, 2007

BSNL Broadband - Heaven and Hell!

I recently got BSNL Dataone Broadband installed in my home after a 2 months wait. Yep 2 months! For those of you that may be interested, this is what I went through to get BSNL Broadband installed in Dehradun, Uttaranchal:

July Day 1: I went to the front counter at BSNL and waited in line for 15 minutes to receive a BSNL Dataone Broadband form.

Day 2: Completed the form and had all the necessary documentation attached including id (driver's license), personal photo, and telephone bill. When I went to the front desk to submit the form, I was told that I was at the wrong counter. Apparently, there is another counter inside the building that handles form submissions. After waiting for another 5 minutes, I was told that that I should see the Sub Divisional Officer (SDO) to make sure that my application was in correct order. It turned out that the SDO had gone on lunch and did not bother to come back.

Day 4: Visited the SDO with all my required documentation. I was shocked at how bad he was treating people. Basically, he was being rude to customers and trying his best to find faults with people's applications so that he wouldn't have to do any work! Well, after a 10 minute wait, he finally looked at my application. He glanced at it for 10 seconds and threw it away! He roared that my BSNL Broadband application form was outdated. I told him that the front desk gave it to me 3 days ago. But, he simply laughed and said that the front desk support staff don't have a clue about anything. I was handed a new application form to fill out and asked to come back tomorrow.

Day 6: The SDO was nowhere to be found. Apparently, he was gone on lunch for the past 2 hours. There was a huge line in front of his door and people were becoming very annoyed indeed. But, nothing could be done.

Day 7: Submitted the application to SDO and was approved. He asked me to go back down to the front desk and submit the application. All went well.

Day 15: No news about the Broadband installation. So, I went to the BSNL SDO office and asked him about the status of my application. He smirked that they had run out of modems! Apparently, they were trying to fix the situation and it would be resolved within the next 1 week.

Day 22: Still no news... Called the SDO numerous times on his phone but no one picked up the phone. So finally, I had to travel again to his office. He basically dismissed me as though he didn't care. Finally, he said that new modems had arrived and my connection would be installed in the next 1 week. Furthermore, he gave me the phone number of local SDO to talk to in future.

Day 29: Called my local SDO. He was polite but said that there was a huge line for internet connections and that the technicians who install the connections weren't doing their job properly. He apologized and said that it would be installed in the next 10 days.

August Day 10: Called the local SDO again. He gave me the number of the local technician and asked me to chase him up personally and get the connection installed!!!!

Day 12: After finally managing to track down the technician, he cliamed that in fact there was another person (Pandey) who installs internet connections. He gave me his phone number and asked me to contact him.

Day 13: Pandey said that he was busy at the moment and he would install the connection at my home in the next 1 week.

Day 20: Still no news about my Broadband connection. Called Pandey again and he finally agreed to come and install the connection. Buy guess what? No modem!!!! Yep, he said that I would have to go the local SDO and bring the modem.

Day 21: Went to the local SDO's office. He made it seem as though he was doing me a favor by giving me a modem. Took me to one side of the room, and demanded that I pay him Rs.500 bribe. He finally settled for Rs.300!!!

Day 22: After configuring the modem on my computer, there was a problem. So, I called the local SDO. He said that my connection had not been activated yet!! It would take another 2-3 days.

Day 26: Heaven!! Finally, my connection was activated and I could access the Internet after 2 long grueling months!

I am on a 256K unlimited download plan. The average speed is about 30kbps which is excellent for a 256K connection. However, every day there is at least 1 outage which means that broadband is unaccessible for about 1 hour! But hey, I can live with that for the moment given what I went through in the last 2 months!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Citibank Credit Card

I have a Bank of Baroda (BoB) Credit Card and I am quite happy with it. But, one thing I don't like about the BoB card is the lack of benefits and bonuses compared to the Citibank Credit Card.

The Citibank Credit card is one of the leading cards out there. What makes it so great is that Citibank has a number of associations with leading companies such as IndianOil, Hutch, and Jet Airways to offer various incentives on their credit cards.

I particularly like the IndianOil Citibank Credit Card. With most other credit cards, if you use them at petrol pumps then you have to pay an extra surcharge fee on each purchase. But if you use the IndianOil Citibank Credit Card, there is no surcharge and in fact, you earn Turbo Points for purchasing Petrol worth more than Rs.200 at Indian Oil Petrol Pumps! These Turbo Points can be redeemed later on for free petrol.

If free petrol doesn't excite you, then how about the Citibank MTV Credit card where you get discounts on popular hangouts such as discotheques, pool parlors, bowling alleys and entertainment arcades. You also earn Reward Points which can be redeemed for clothing and accessories!

There is also the Hutch Citibank Credit Card, and Jet Airways Citibank Credit Card. It seems like Citibank has taken the extra effort to provide incentives and bonuses to cater for the different needs of people. They have bothered to develop associations with leading companies so that the consumer can choose from a variety of credit cards according to his/her interests and also save money in the meantime.

Who knows maybe, I'll also apply for a Citibank Credit Card as well. I am always keen for free petrol!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Credit Card Tips

Since, I have written a lot about credit cards lately, I noticed that I haven't written about the type of factors you should consider when choosing a credit card. So, here are a few tips:

Grace Period:

A grace period is the time you have to pay your bills monthly before your credit card company starts charging you interest on the unpaid amount! This is one of the most important factors when considering a credit card from any bank. Firstly, you need to make sure that there is a grace period included, and secondally, for how long. Of course, the longer the better. Find out the interest rates, and the minimum amount you must pay on your credit card in the grace period.


Find out about any hidden fees with your credit card such as membership fees, annual fees, and specific transaction fees. You should be looking for a credit card with no annual fees but remember that this is not the only factor. Sometimes, credit card companies that don't charge annual fees often increase their interest rates!

Low Interest Rate:

If you feel that you would not able to pay your credit card bills within the grace period, then this could be the most important factor when choosing a credit card! Remember, the interest is charged on the amount that is not payed. So, make sure that you compare the interest rates of all credit cards.


Often, credit card companies will include benefits with your credit card such as free insurance or bonus points. Ask, the credit companies for these benefits.

If you liked this article, click here to buy me a coffee!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Quick Approval for your credit card!!

Some people have contacted me complaining that either their credit card application has been rejected or it is taking too long!

Well guys, I have a solution for all new applications. But for this solution, you will need to have a few lakhs in your bank account! Here is what you do:

Go directly to the manager of the bank. Introduce yourself, including what you do. Talk yourself up! Remember, the idea is to impress the manager of the bank. But don't suck up to him. The trick is to show the bank manager that you are important and well respected in the community. Then, tell the bank manager that you really like his bank, and their services. For this reason, you would like to apply for a credit card for your business which you are about to start. Make up some software business. Tell the bank manager that "as the business has not yet started, you do not have any annual income but that will change in the coming months. But, you need a credit card urgently, as you make many purchases every month in India and overseas!" This will help convince the bank manager that you could be a valuable customer for the bank. Now here is the killer punch:

Show the bank manager your passbook and point out that you have lakhs of Rupees in your account. Make sure you show him a bank account with a lot of money in it. In fact, it can be a passbook of another bank! Point out to the bank manager that you would like to receive your credit card quickly. All going well at this point, the bank manager will most likely give you a credit card application, help you to fill it out, and will personally sign it.

Now, if the bank manager is still not satisfied then tell the bank manager that, for extra assurance, you will make a fixed deposit of 1 Lakh Rupees into the bank and that the bank has nothing to lose (don't do this, if you are not prepared to make a fixed deposit). And that should be it! Your application gets sent to their head office and since the bank manager can vouch for you, your credit card application is approved quickly!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Insurance with your credit card!

Something that I just realised after exploring my Bank of Baroda credit card is that I get free accidental insurance with my credit card including Air Accident, Personal Accident, and Spouse Insurance. So, for example if you earn over 1.5 Lakhs per year, you qualify for a Gold credit card with Bank of Baroda. Now, with a Gold Credit card, you get
  • 15 Lakhs (1,500,000) of Air Accident Insurance
  • 7.5 Lakhs (750,000) of Personal Accident Insurance.
  • 2 Lakhs (200,000) of Spouse Insurance.
Also, you would qualify for Rs10,000 for baggage insurance in case you lose your baggage during air travel.

If you liked this article, click here to buy me a coffee!