0179C: Updating Sietch Utilties

Today was a weird day for what I can only call utility maintenance here at the Sietch. And while there were certain tasks that I had been planning to address for some time now, everything sort of came to a head today. And that's generally a good thing - at least it meant getting things done.

So let's tackle things in order.

First, I got my usual notification from my insurance provider that the premium for one of my policies was due in a few weeks. But to my surprise, the policy amount seemed wrong. I went into my online account and saw that I was paying interest on an advance of some sort, which didn't make sense. So I called the hotline and the rep explained that I had missed a payment last May and that missed payment was taken as a loan against my policy. In November I had only paid my usual premium amount and had not paid attention to the amount due. So now I was all surprised by the "loan", but at least I had caught it and could now pay it off. Sadly, I had to dip into savings. but it was better than building up interest and needing to pay more than double come next month.

Then when I got home, I found a month-old letter from ABS-CBN Mobile announcing that they were taking on all Bayantel Wireless Landline customers free of charge. But I had decided earlier in the month that this wasn't a good idea, but was still exploring other options. But upon seeing the letter today, I felt frustrated enough with the prospects of being moved to this company, so I didn't even bother to change out of my work clothes and promptly got on the phone. I made a call to Bayantel to confirm  my interest in bundling regular landline service with our existing naked DSL connection and a the agent promised that a sales rep would call me back to confirm things. Then I called ABS-CBN Mobile to make sure there was no automatic enrollment arrangement between them and Bayantel.

So apart from waiting for today's laundry pick-up (and I remain frustrated that we are unable to wash our own clothes effectively here), I've always been waiting for the Bayantel guy to deliver the application form and get the formal process started. I also decided to buy a phone unit of our own as opposed to paying Bayantel for the default unit in order to get a good cordless unit instead of relying on their clunker. It didn't seem like a good investment.

So the current plan is to let the existing Bayantel Wireless Landline last until the end of the month when the service is set to formally end - hopefully that cover us until the new landline service gets installed and result in a clean final bill for the end of the Bayantel Wireless lifespan. It means a new phone number either way - I mean whether going with Bayantel or ABS-CBN Mobile given the lack of true number portability in his country. But no harm - we mainly use it to call for take-out orders or to receive updates from our banks and other institutions. I still think there's value in a landline. Plus this deal will save us the extra P499 we were paying for the phone and result us migrating to a 3.0 Mbps DSL plan for the same amount of money that we're paying today. Sounds like a pretty good deal all around.