Saturday, November 28, 2009

Royale Christmas @ Pavillion KL: Mastercard Debit Not Accepted.

I feel marginalized. and upset.

Let me tell you what happened today.

Can you see the part "Card Type: Mastercard" there?

The promotion that goes in Pavillion printed in their Royale Christmas@Pavillion KL is as follows: 
"Get an instant free gift with RM500 charged to any Mastercard Worldwide" .

The Instant Free Gift? A Loccitane or Kiehl's Gift Set, which in retail price, is  worth more than RM130, given to any "Mastercard Worldwide" holders with the purchase of RM500. 

Today I had made a payment in full, amounting to more than RM500 (RM770) purchase at one of the swanky ladies salon at Seventh Heaven in Pavillion. Yet, I was informed that because it was a Mastercard Debit, I was not entitled to the instant free gift.

Pavillion Brochure-inside of card brochure 1

Pavillion Card- inside of brochure 2

Pavillion outside brochure 3

It is stated on the first brochure (Pavillion Brochure 1) "Get an instant free gift with RM500 charged to any Mastercard Worldwide". As far as the general public is concerned, we are led to believe that Mastercard Worldwide consists of ALL Credit-cards, Debit, Prepaid and Electronic cards under the Mastercard brand.

Here are some questions that I realised: 
  • The brochure DID NOT state which card, country, card type but just "any Mastercard Worldwide".
  • So, does that mean Mastercard Debit does not fall under the "Mastercard Worldwide" umbrella?
  • Does that also mean Mastercard Debit users are not Mastercard users?
When I approached the personnel manning Mastercard- Malaysia Airlines counter in Pavillion Ground Floor, they informed me that this promotion was only provided to Mastercard Credit-Card type users.

From here, it can be seen that the Management from Mastercard is clearly misrepresenting their brand.If Mastercard's Management has no intention of rewarding other card type users, they should have stated clearly in the brochure, and added a disclaimer, as this brochure is given to the general public.

I demand an answer from Mastercard. and Pavillion. It is not a small amount that I have spent, and as a customer, I would have thought that the Mastercard in Malaysia would be honest in its advertising.

Why has the Management from Pavillion allowed the brand Mastercard to provide such misleading information in their brochure, and not treat their customers right?

This misrepresentation causes me to think that the Management of Mastercard has the intention of misleading other Mastercard card type users with no intention of honouring their promotion. Don't you agree so?

If this is the way the misleading advertising has been done, both parties (Mastercard & Pavilion) had better provide some good explanation for us.

This has been a really unsavory experience, and definitely does not feel like a very "Royale Christmas @ Pavillion KL" at all!

Follow Up Entry: The Concierge Manager Called. 

Monday, November 9, 2009

Debit Mastercard: Better Than Cash?

(Don't you think these cards just look enticing to make you go out and shop further?)

It was not too long ago in Malaysia that Visa had a huge marketing campaign promoting the usage of Visa Debit cards...

But with Visa in the money-making game, it is a given that Mastercard will not want to lose out in getting a part of the lucrative pie which is "money". Even Debit Mastercard would not be able to escape the money driven race.

Granted, I am quite happy to know that Maybank has a version of the Debit Mastercard.

Though, I have yet to convert my yellow ATM e-debit Maybankard to either Visa, or Mastercard Debit. That makes almost all my cards coming completely from one bank, except for the one Citibank Debit Visa that I have.

I would agree with the "no more ATM queues and no more hassle with everyday purchases, no more losing track of your expenditure. ".

However, I really disagree with the tagline "Better Than Cash". They should not be allowed to trademark it.

When one does not possess a Credit Card, other people (who are in the money-making business) would not be able to tempt us to buy items based on a credit facility.

I have been to beauty salons carrying just cash, and a single debit card, knowing that no matter what does sales people do or say, they can't make me buy anything I do not want.

Indeed the credit card is a "credit facility" used when we are tempted to pay for an item we desire based on the "buy now, pay later" philosophy. Spending our future money.

How could Debit Mastercard be better than cash?

Merchants utilize the EPP (Easy Payment Plan) to make paying for a product or services look attractive. Perhaps "that" is the "enticing bait". Preferably, though so, I must admit that the credit card is a useful credit facility, as it provides 30 up to 55 days interest free loan, and when we pay before it is due.

I would use a credit card to buy goods with high-risk factor. (i.e a company retailing a product that may go bankrupt, buying from online malls, E-Bay, and airline tickets).

Utilized wisely, I would be able to buy that nice facial treatment package from Sothys or Clarins amounting to RM600 in two instalments. Hopefully by the time the second instalment comes around, I'd have enough money to pay for it...

But cash is good when I am thinking of getting goods with a Heavy Cash Discount. Yes, everything is negotiable when the price is high, and the payment method used is Hard Cold Cash.

I really love it.

Entry dated: 7th Nov 09

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Citibank: Hilton PJ Paya Serai Buffet Dinner Promotion.

Paya Serai Hilton PJ

Today I was at Hilton PJ for a Buffet Dinner with staff from my mother's work place. It seems that this restaurant, Paya Serai has a special promotion for all its Citibank card holders.

The terms & conditions of the promotion:
  •  Price per paying patron is RM81+ (including 5% GST and 10% service charge).
  • Promotion per paying patron is 1 + 1 (Buy One, Get One Free)
  • Promotion valid till 26th April 2010
  • Promotion valid only for Buffet Dinner (Sunday & Monday nights only)
  • Promotion valid to all Citibank cardmembers (Credit Card & Visa Debit)
Yes, this is a special for all Citibank cardmembers, including Citibank Visa Debit cardmembers. I really appreciate the fact that Citibank is taking it all out to include the non-credit cardmembers in the promotion as well.

How Was The Food?

The food was fairly serviceable. I can't say much about the food as I already had eaten earlier at Secret Recipe (chicken stew, chocolate cheesecake, flat white coffee, and garden salad) with one of my clients earlier, and could not stomach much of the buffet..

The galore of food available was from local cuisine (chinese, indian, malay), international cuisine like western garden salads, cream soups, cheese & crackers, pasta, and the normal dessert fare of kueh & fruits. I had an order of watermelon juice (which seemed to be freshly squeezed from what I could see), but did not check to see if it was included in the buffet range available.

Nonetheless, the attendees who went seemed fairly happy with the galore of food provided. For a 1+1 promotion, its is fairly satisfactory value for money, and seems brighter & cleaner than the so-called upclass Japanese buffet by Jogoya Starhill.  

Location: Hilton Petaling Jaya,
No 2 Jalan Barat, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia 46200
Tel: 60-3-7955-9122
Fax: 60-3-7955-3909

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Australia: Introducing Wizard Clear Advantage Mastercard

When my friend Elena was in Kuala Lumpur early this year, we had gone shopping to Mid Valley Megamall. She mostly shopped for items which were not as easily accessible to in Australia.

Elena had brought along this card, called the Wizard Clear Advantage Mastercard. She described the card as useful as the card did not charge for overseas foreign transactions (foreign here meaning Malaysia), and conversion was done instantaneously. This was useful on the days when the Australian Dollar was high compared to foreign currencies.

This card is a credit facility provided by GE Finance Australia. Among some of the features of this card are:
  • ZERO Annual Fee
  • 4.99 % P.A for six months on balance transfer from the date of opening.
  • Cash Advance Facility available. 
  • The standard 55 interest fee free days on purchases. 
  • Annual Interest Rate 18.49 %
From what I have read, customers can actually bank in cash into the card via BPAY, and withdraw cash in foreign countries without having to incur interest rates on cash withdrawal. As most may know, cash withdrawals will normally incur huge interest rates and chargeable from the day you start withdrawing.

I seriously think this card is extremely economical and useful. When I was travelling to South Korea and Japan, I had brought along my HSBC Visa Debit and CommSec Mastercard Debit. The HSBC Visa Debit charges a hefty fee for foreign transactions, where-as the CommSec Mastercard Debit charges a sizable conversion rate..

You could guess that I did not really use much of both cards, except for that one time during an emergency when I was already leaving for Japan and had lost of my korean won. I had no alternative but to use the HSBC Visa Debit-- when I looked at the statement a month later, I realised that I was charged about AUD4+ for that one transaction. A hefty fee indeed!

So yeah, to travellers, I'd recommend this card, if only to save on foreign transaction fees, and conversion charges as well. ^^

For more information about this card, click here.


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