Thursday, July 9, 2009

Review on a post on Legal - Online Beauty Product Fraud








The post basically is about the fraud or problem of making purchases of beauty product online. Over the years, internet has enabled many great buys through online. Besides, there are price comparison companies that help us drill down to the best prices, shipping and tax advantages, and the convenience of no need to leave home.

However, sometimes the deal that looks great falls short of what has been advertised. Communicating dissatisfaction can be difficult through online if compare to face-to-face. In addition, it often takes enormous patience and tenacity to achieve satisfaction.

In the post, it stated that The Star has reported 66 people that were cheated almost RM 73,445 when they performed online purchases of skincare products. Nowadays, because of the improvement of technology, people tend to buy the beauty products through internet. As claimed by them, buying the products through online can help them save the time to go out. Moreover, the price is usually cheaper than buying in shop. Besides, there are some people who do not like to be followed by the salesgirl when they make purchases. Hence, they prefer to buy the products online. And they can also choose the product carefully and take as many times as they want.

Convenience appears to be the main reason women buy online. Of those online beauty product shoppers, 74% say “it saves time” and 70% agree that “it’s easier/quicker to shop online than a store.”

Just because the businessman knows what the consumers are thinking, they can easily attract the consumers by illegal ways, when promoting their products online.

As reported in The Star, the salesman was lured by the advertisement which displayed the price of the items that cheaper than those off the shelf. Businessman may display a very low price in their advertisement, but they may charge many others additional fees (delivery fees) when the items delivered to the customers. While these additional fees may not know by the consumers before they made their purchases.

Improvement in the technology is not necessarily a good thing, especially shopping online. Some of the disadvantages of the shopping online are:

- Inabilities to check out the items physically when you are purchasing. Especially for the low price items, the website might send the products which quality might not achieved the standard.

- Items ordered online are sometimes on backorder but consumer is not always informed until weeks after the purchase is made.

- Consumer not always knowing if a site is a legitimate and safe site to shop.

- Have to pay for shipping costs that far exceed the true shipping rate. They may charge lower price for the items, but charge higher in the shipping costs.

- If there are dissatisfaction, return and exchanges can sometimes be difficult because of lack of face-to-face negotiations. Some websites might even restrict the return or exchange of items. If not, when the items’ quality does not reach the standard, consumer may request for return and make them suffer loss.

- No claim back of money when the product didn’t arrive. Most of the online shopping website is requiring the consumers to make payment using credit card. But, after they received the money, they might never deliver the items to customers, since they already have the money on hand.
Therefore, in my opinion, it is better to buy the products (no matter beauty products or others) at shop. Then we can check out the items physically, no matter the quality or its price. If you are still instead to shopping online, please bear in mind, it is important to make sure that the website can be trusted and it is a legal site.

Example of website that provide shopping online:

Corporate Blogging: A New Marketing Communication Tool for Companies

What is corporate blog? A corporate weblog is published by companies to achieve their organizational goals. Companies are able to refer to the comments left by viewers and take corrective actions to improve or make changes to their products and services.

There are several types of corporate blogs which are internal blogs, external blogs, and CEO blogs. Internal blogs are accessed through the companies' Intranet which only authorized employees can log in. External blogs are publicly available weblog where companies' employees, teams, or spokespersons share their views. CEO blogs means the CEO of the companies have their own personal blog but the blog is all about their companies. CEO blogs are becoming popular nowadays although there are debates on whether CEO should blog.

A case in point, the CEO of AirAsia, Tony Fernandes also joins the corporate-blogging world since September 2008.


Can't admit that corporate blogging can act as a good new merketing communication tool. What are the advantages of it and why it is becoming more important to coompanies. Let's find out.

Friendly approach
Blogs are proved as a good medium to communicate with internet citizens. Companies can inform their products and services provided, announce innovations, achievements, upcoming events, and etc. Blogs appear as a sociable message, rather than a companies' brochure if the companies use it for the above purposes.

Internal blogging
Blogs are created to share information within the employees of the companies are called internal blogs. It helps management to be in good contact with the employees. Thus, it helps to create a healthy relation between management and employees.

Influence the visitors
Blogs are visited by millions of readers everyday. Thus, blogging has a great potential to help the companies in educating their customers, employees, or investors and drive them towards some positive environment. Many companies are successfully running such blogs, like Google and General Motors. This in turn helps to enhance their business opportunities.

Customer relationships
Blogs are excellent medium for the companies to interact with their customers. Blogging can help companies to reach their customers efficiently and get feedbacks, tips and reviews from them. This creates a genuine environment for a healthy relationship between the company and customers.

Recruiting tool
Using blogs for recruiting employees has not gain substantial progress yet. But, there is a lot of scope for the blogs to help companies to recruit potential candidates. Blogs also help to engage with candidates who are passionate to work for them.

Last but not least, many companies have used blogs successfully in creating and maintaining good communication with the customers and other stakeholders. Blogs helped them to build a strong and healthy relationship between management and employees. Corporate blogging is rapidly gaining popularity and the days are not far for it to become an essential website for the companies.


Related links:
  1. http://en.wikipedia..org/wiki/Corporate blog
  2. http://www.pcql.com/20009/08/07/why-blogging-is-essential-for-business/
  3. http://stevenwongblog.com/blog-marketing/air-asia-ceo-tony-fernandes-joins-the-corporate-blogging-world/

-Mun Yee-


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Discussion on E-learning offered in Malaysian unversities:

Pros and Cons from student perspective

E-learning systems are a great alternative to traditional way of learning. Due to the advanced technologies, we can bring everything we need in our daily life to our homes: books, libraries, news, clothes and even food! Today, e-learning has been getting more and more popular. Like anything else, there are many pros to e-learning as well as cons.
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Pros of e-learning
The greatest advantage of e-learning is student no need to travel long distances to attend classes at a particular location as eLearning can be conducted anywhere in the world. The courses are carried out over the internet, through online learning management systems, internet char, real-time lectures, webinars etc. This will save student travel cost and time to and from school.
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One of the advantages of e-learning is the flexibility of time. There is no specified time for classes to be executed, such as a particular lecture on a specific day and time. E-learning classes are recorded and post on the websites. Students can download and watch or listen them during their free time. However, there are deadlines for submitting in assignments and reports. Students have to make sure that they submit their assignments and reports by the deadline, in order to get full credit.
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Another advantage would be the students’ ability to study at their own pace. This helps people who may need a little extra time understanding the subject that is being studied. Student can go back and repeat the subject that is having trouble understanding. Besides, some students are faster at learning than others, so this e-learning allows them to be ahead. Projects with a deadline will be assigned and students can finish their projects at whatever time they find feasible within that particular deadline.
Cons of e-learning
First of all, the disadvantage to online learning is that, not all students have self-motivated and discipline to progress through the program in a timely manner. Student can simply being lazy and fall behind the program for week. This makes learning even harder when trying to get caught up with the progress. Students have to make a set plan and stick to it. This is sometimes very hard for student to follow it.
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There is the downside of there being no face-to-face interaction between the student and the instructors. Lack of face-to-face communication with instructors will contribute lack of understanding between student and instructor. Instructors cannot easily understand student’s demands and interests. Besides, instructor may not always be available if student need help. This can be very frustrating if you are not able to understand the subject being studied.
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Another disadvantage of e-learning is problem of proper accreditation. It is importance for those who are seeking employment upon graduation. However, not all e-learning system of Malaysian universities are accredited. Hence, e-learning students need to make sure that university student enrolled is properly accredited and widely recognized.
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In short, there are many pros of e-learning, but there are many cons too, which may require the students to over come it and become a self-organized student.

Related Links:

  1. http://ezinearticles.com/?Distance-Learning-Advantages-and-Disadvantages---Not-Everyone-is-Suited-for-E-Learning-Success&id=320610
  2. http://www.articlesbase.com/e-learning-articles/pros-and-cons-of-elearning-685765.html

Posted by Qiao Ling

Sunday, July 5, 2009

E-Government in Malaysia: Its implementation so far and citizen's adoption stragies

E-Government

E-Government was one of the seven Flagship application introduced by the government with the Establishment of Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC). It was a combination of Information and Communication Technology working together to enhance the communication linkage between the government and the citizens striving a better accessibility and quality of interactions, making information flows and processes within government, the speed and quality of policy development, coordination and enforcement effectively being carried out in the correct time manner.

The seven Flagship Application are:

1.E-Government
2.Multipurpose card
3.Smart School
4.Telehealth
5.R&D Cluster
6.E-Business
7.Technopreneur Development


In acceleration to Vision 2020, the E-Government is being carried out in order to enable team-working with the citizens and Malaysia. The purpose of this project is to ensure information flows and services being delivered to the public in the correct time manner and thus help to improve the responsiveness of government towards citizen's needs and wants.

There are seven sub-projects being carried out under this Main objects and there are :

1. Project Monitoring System (SPP II)
2. Human Resource Management Information System (HRMIS)
3. Generic Office Environment (GOE)
4. Electronic Procurement (EP)
5. Electronic Services (E-Services)
6. Electronic Labor Exchange (ELX)
7. E-Syariah

Implementation of E-Government:

1.Project Monitoring System (SPP II)

This is a platform of exchanging ideas, suggesting best alternatives for information management and communication services between the government and citizens to comes out with an efficient and effective system.

2. Human Resource Management Information System (HRMIS)

Helps to standardize the Human Resource Management of the government employees. This is also a platform for recruitment of new freshmen.

3.Generic Office Environment (GOE)

By incorporating a fully integrated, distributed and scalable office environment that maximizes the usage of Information Technology to enable full collaboration between workers, aiming no information delays occur.

4. Electronic Procurement (EP)

Aiming to save the time and cost of purchasing materials and making the whole transaction is being carried out transparent to the public. It also encourages suppliers to go electronic and join the K-economy.

5.Electronic Services (E-Services)

A services provided by the government to enable the citizens to make payment thru Internet services, reducing the time and increase the efficiency of the entire progress. One of the successful services introduced is e-filling provided by Malaysia's Inland Revenue Board (IRB).

6.Electronic Labor Exchange (ELX)

Enabling the utilization of workforce, helping the peoples to search for job opportunity. Using a systematic managing system to match the job vacancies ensuring everyone gets their desired.

7. E-Syariah

E-Syariah is a government ICT products with helps the Islamic courts involving 111 courts to settle dispute through electronic means.

Citizens Adoption Strategies

There are no doubt that the fast growing of E-Government is getting much more attention form the public. There are fields that government should takes serious focus which might affects its adoption strategies. These fields include the following:

1.Ease of use

The designed websites should be made user-friendly. Everyone who uses it will find it easy to learn and sooner or later the importance of this services can be popular to the public. This can also enhance the customer's satisfactory and the government gain advantages to launch the project as it becomes well-known among the users.

2.Website Designs

The designed websites should contain interesting data or info for the public. Making the website become useful and attractive should be the priority of the government implementation as if the customers who used it found out it to be useful and easy to learn will eventually come back to use the services provided too...

3.User's characteristic

Such characteristics are perceived risk, perceived control, and Internet experience. Experience leads to the continuance usage of the services, the users who are satisfied with the services would likely to return to use the services provided. Perceived risk refers to security and privacy issues of the Internet while perceived control is to ensure that citizens can transact online securely and their personal information will be kept confidential.

However there are barriers such as language barriers, lack of public awareness and online behaviour but these are the barriers that can be improved from time being . Lastly, for some extra information, Malaysia ranking in the 5th Waseda University E-Government ranking improve from year 2008 ,from 25th to 22th in year 2009. Viva, Malaysia !


Related Links:

1.http://www1.american.edu/initeb/ym6974a/egovernment.htm

2.http://ecomworld.wordpress.com/2008/07/08/e-government-in-malaysia-2/

3.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-government

4.www.elx.gov.my

5.http://www.giti.waseda.ac.jp/GITS/news/download/e-Government_Ranking2009_en.pdf - page 9










Posted by Chee Liat Long

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Application of Pre-paid cash card for consumers

What is Pre-paid cash card ?


Well, it is a card where we can deposit our money into the card and tend to use it when we need it. The concept lies within this was just as the same as our mobile phone card, when we top-up then only we can use the phone to make calls.... the same theory applied here, we need to deposit money to gain usage of this card too... One of the best selling point of this card is that the users don't need to bound to debts problems, because you can only spend how much you have in the card.

There are many types of Pre-paid cash card such as Pre-paid Master card, Pre-paid Visa card and also the Malaysia's Touch'n Go Card and etc.... However, the Malaysia's Touch'n Go Card is the most common card that applied in ours daily life.


Advantages of Pre-paid cash card :

1.Availability - No need to worry about your credit history as the card is availble to everyone, identity check performed upon request.

2.Control - It helps users to control their spending, users can make use of the budget to control their spending with the Pre-paid cash card as spending more will only make them exhausted faster. xD

3.No Debts Risk - Is a Pre-paid cash card, users cannot spend more than the amount inside the card. Thus creating no debts risk.

4.The card for travel - The card can be bring outside to any places especially for young travellers.


What is Touch ‘n Go card ?






Touch ‘n Go card is a prepaid smartcard that uses Mifare contactless technology.Information contain in this card can be read and written via magnetic induction using specified radio frequency and smartcard software.It is an electronic wallet that can be used at all highways in Malaysia, major public transports in Klang Valley, selected parking sites and theme park.



How does this card applied in our daily life ?



1.Toll Fee - The Touch ‘n Go card is being used to paid the tolls fee all over the highways in Malaysia with the TnG SmartTAG sign marked on the road. The speed of payment can also be speeded up by combining the Touch ‘n Go card with the SmartTag or known as " Sistem Membayar Automatic Rangkaian Tol ".


2.Transportation Fees - Refering to the bus ticket fares, LRT fares, KTM fares and so on.. The card can help us to pay the transportation fares and reduces the time to purchase ticket especially when it comes to the crowded time ... with all the people standing there to make ticket purchasing.. .this sometimes really piss us off....


3.Ticketless Parking - This however, only applied in some selected areas such as Century Square Cyberjaya , KLIA , LCCT , Sg. Wang Plaza , 1-Utama Shopping Centre and etc... This is an area that can still be improve more.


4.Admission Fees - This only applied in the Bukit Merah Lake Town Resort where customers need not pay money for the admission fees. In fact, they can pay with TnG card instead of money.


5.Retail Outlets: The card can also be used in some fast foods restaurants such as A&W, Convenience stores(Caltex Star Mart ) and so on...


In Conclusion, the application of Pre-paid cash card for consumers is still not yet perfect at all... The public still rather to hold a credit card than a Pre-paid cash card... maybe the name "Pre-Paid" doesn't sounds so nice...



Related Links :

1.http://www.touchngo.com.my/WhatSTAG.html

2.http://www.touchngo.com.my/WhatTNG.html

3.http://www.startecredit.com/creditpages/prepaid-credit-cards-applications-prerpaid-reloadable-credit-cards.htm

4.http://www.creditcards.com/credit-cards/vision-premier-prepaid-visa-card-free-with-direct-deposit.php

5.http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-prepaid-credit-cards.htm

6.http://www.moneysupermarket.com/c/prepaid-cards/guide/





Posted by Chee Liat Long

Friday, July 3, 2009

Review on post on e-tailing - Digital music sales increase 50%

This post basically pointed out that there is an increasing trend in digital music sales, which cause decreasing trend in physical music album sales. Nowadays, with those enhanced technology, consumers easily can assess to internet download any music they like. User can purchase according to their preferences on selected songs instead of whole music album. Purchasing digital music is an e-tailing transaction. It allowed people to shop for music from home when they wanted, at their own convenience.
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Consumers have wide music choice at their fingertips as there has many e-tailing sites. With web search capabilities, it is easier to find the types of music a customer is searching for. Thus, as a music lover, users are prefer looking for digital downloads as a means to purchase single tracks, rather than having to purchase an entire album. It is much more cost saving. Especially now is in the middle of economic downturn, consumers kept eye on their wallets. They are more concern on their spending and probably become savvier about what they buy. The post found that users are moving their music budgets towards digital and away from CDs and other physical media.
Besides, purchasing digital music is only by a click. It is more convenient than driving to the music store. Digital music downloaded is in wma or mp3 format, which enable consumer stores music in the computer or any other portable music devices. Thus, consumers can play the song anytime and anywhere. On the other hand, the physical music album bought from store can only played with a CD player and it is not convenient. CD purchased will pile up and take up ones space. Unlike physical music, digital music can be store in the computer or in a tiny device.
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In conclusion, the e-tailing of digital music does provide various benefits to the music lovers. However, e-tailers face the issue of illegally downloading music from internet nowadays. Even with the most innovative business models, the revenue are still totally diluted by free music download. Consumers will wonder WHY they would start paying for music if they know they can download it for free. This is an issue where e-tailer must closely supervise and legitimated to avoid any violation of intellectual property. If not, illegal downloading will never stop. I feel bad if I download illegal music. I personally don't mind spending $0.99 for a song if it helps support an artist who took his time to make the song. Illegal downloading is what's destroying the music industry.

Related Links:

Posted by Qiao Ling

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Credit Card debts: Causes and Prevention

Credit card is a type of payment card which provides holder with credit to make purchases up to a limit fixed by card issuer (e.g. Visa, master card). It permitting the card holder to purchase items or services while deferring payment, and allow them to make payments to multiple vendors at one time. That is the reason why the credit card debt problem exists. A debt occurred would accumulate and increases via interest and penalties when the consumer does not pay for the money he/she has spent.


There are several causes of credit card debts:


Medical Expenses
- Currently, there are almost all hospitals accept credit cards in Malaysia. This enable people to go for medical treatment even they have no cash on their hand. As an assumption, you have a serious disease now and you need treatment immediately. Unfortunately, you do not have the cash or any savings, but you do have credit cards, what will you do? For sure you will use credit card right?


Sales/ Offer
- When there are mega sales or offer in shopping centre, people tend to use credit card to make payment or purchase items. This is because they want to make a huge purchase but they didn’t have enough money with them. At the end, they might realize that they are unable to repay for the money used.





Credit Card “Point-to-Gift” Redemption
- Credit cards provide return to the card holder by allow them to exchange the points accumulated with gifts, voucher, etc. For example, Jusco encourage its member to use “Jusco card” to make payment. Members can accumulate points every time they use the credit card and they can exchange those points with gifts/voucher. Human are easily to get attracted when there is benefits. With the benefits given, they preferred to use credit card instead of using cash. By this way, the accumulating of points also caused the credit card debt accumulated.


Sub-credit Card
- Parents nowadays are more likely to sub their credit card to their children. If their children are good in management of money, then should be no problem. But, most of them do not know how to control their expenses. With credit card, they buy whatever they want and don’t even look at the price of the items. Some parents did check for their children’s expenses, but some do not. In such a way, after a long period, they might aware that their credit card debt has reached the limit while it is too late.


Thus, prevention is needed to avoid the credit card debt. Here is some of the prevention:

Savings
- It is better we do savings usually, so that we would not run out of cash when there is emergency. With savings, people can make payment by using cash and they will know the amount of money that they have in hand.

Self-control
- Card holder needs self-discipline to keep these cards in their wallet and not over spend on them. One of the best practices or habits that can get into is to have a direct debit set up so that card holder have to pay back the full amount each month. This means that while they have the convenience of using the card in emergencies or while abroad, they have a strong incentive not to let their lending get out of hand.

Therefore, before you apply for credit card, ask yourself why you want those credit cards for. Do you just want them so that you have a source of payment in emergencies, to shop occasionally online, or when you travel abroad? Or do you plan on going on a shopping spree and spending the rest of the year struggling to clear the balance? Most people do not intend to ever use up their credit limits and max out their credit cards, but it is surprisingly easy to do, and can be very difficult to undo.

Posted by : Shu Hui