Health Promotion Campaign

The Health Promotion Centre is currently holding a Health Promotion Campaign that started last week. As you can see below from the schedule that have sent out this week is vaccination week and according to their Facebook page there will be a “Healthy Cooking Demo” by RBC and Serikandi at 9am and 230pm on Friday. It is free and a first come first serve basis.

As a takeaway from this campaign, I hope this sets an example for other departments/organizer to invite bloggers and also to organize events during non-working hours for people with regular day jobs to attend. Perhaps also a full program with times for each program so it will be easier for people just to pop by if they are free. Perhaps I’m being too idealistic but if they want participate, and not just newspaper coverage, it needs to be done after office hours. I commend the Health Promotion Board for being proactive in inviting bloggers and also being active on their Facebook and Twitter pages: other organizations should take some tips from them

P.S. I would like to thank Shahiran (or @TalkingAloudBru as he is known online) for formally inviting to Bruneian bloggers (myself included) to participate in the 3 week program. Sadly last week was a very busy week as I was involved with some Easter preparations on top of a regular 8-5 day job. Hope to check out a few of their things events / exhibitions soon.

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DST Go! + Netbook promotion

After stumbling across this complaint on DST’s promotion of bundling an Acer Aspire One with Go! subscription I went down to DST to find out whether the complaint was valid. The promotion banner is shown below

DST's Go!   Netbook Promotion

The complaint basically says that the $543 up-front payment advertised is for the laptop + modem and not the 6 month subscription which would add up to the same amount. If this was the case it would have been a real scam and after my findings that Concepts is not recycling and also Sheraton pizza issue makes me wonder if we need a consumer rights / better business bureau in Brunei to monitor and catch any businesses doing any sleight of hand tactics or wordings that will misled customers.

So I went to DST in Delima and asked if the promotion was still valid. I was told that it was no longer valid so my hopes were dashed to find out if the complaint was valid. So a few weeks later I went to pay my mom’s DST bill and thought I would ask if there were any laptop promotions for the Go! subscription as previously had and I was in luck. The lady at the counter told me the offer of the Acer netbook was still valid, though low on stock (about 6 units left). So after she explained things to me I found out that the complaint that $543 was to pay for the laptop and modem is not true for the current promotion. Now things could be different now than what was previously told to the customer when they made this complaint. It could have also just been a staff member who did not understand the promotion or was simply trying to personally scam the customer or it could even be DST changing the promotion. But that aside, according to her the lady basically you are just paying $78 x 21 months for the regular non-student Unlimited plan and that the only extra charges is for the deposit ($50 for locals, $100 otherwise) and license fee ($25). The $543 is an advance for the last 6 months of the subscription meaning you pay ($543 + deposit + license fee) up-front and 15 months of $78 (or 24 months of $58), starting from the month after purchase. This means locals will pay in total $1713 ($543 + 15 * 78) for the regular package or $1815 ($423 + 24 * 58) for the student package (foreigners add $50 due deposit of $100 instead of $50)

So in essence you are signing up for a 21 (or 30) month contract and you pay a flat rate of $78 (or $58) a month and you get a free netbook and modem which is a pretty darn good deal. As with all contracts you are tied down to the provider and in this case it’s for 21 (or 30) months which may seem long but you could easily get a 3G wireless router (eg. Prolink 3.5 mobile broadband router) to connect the modem to and use it for Internet at the office or at home. A very viable option for office use without having to pay commercial prices for an E-Speed line.

So DST has this offer going for their mobile broadband while bmobile has their iPhone promotion. Being somebody who is looking for an unlimited 3G broadband plan both these offers seem enticing and will be something I cover in a future post as I decided which one to take, if any at all.

Bmobile’s iPhone Promotion

If you haven’t heard, b-mobile has subsidized iPhones 3GS’s with a b-mobile subscription contract of 18 months. This is one of the first subsidized mobile phone price plans I’ve seen in Brunei. The other would be DST‘s October promotion offerings that offered a Nokia E75, Nokia E52 and Sony Ericsson C901 with contracts of 6 months. With b-mobile having first introduced their mobile broadband Zoom! which was followed up by DST’s Go!, what I hope to see is more competition among the 2 mobile phone providers which in the end leads to the consumer winning. Recently in Singapore, M1 and StarHub released their iPhone plans which led SingTel to change their previous plans (most notably the increase of free data to 12GB, from a typical measly 500MB/1GB), so as consumers we have to love competition.

I went down to b-mobile to find out more about the iPhone and they mentioned that is it the never locked version and that they are handling the mobile phone service while AV Electronics handles all the other iPhone/Apple/iTunes/Applications related aspects of this deal. While talking to the guy at the bmobile counter he did mention that bmobile was getting the iPhone and DST was going to get the Blackberry. Rumour has it that the Blackberry will be reveal next year but timing is still not confirmed. If it does come to fruition people will be happy (especially the High Commissioner of Canada, who urged Brunei to set up a Blackberry Network).

Initially when asking about the HTC Touch Diamond Pro and Samsung Jet (which was a few weeks back) the guy told me that the details would be released later, but on further inquiry today I was told that both are available but you would have to custom order it and the personnel could not disclose the price plans as marketing was not present. I find that awkward that they are selling a product but have not disclosed the pricing. Anyway the price plans for the subsidized iPhone are as follows.

Note: Contract is for 18 months and the total costs listed are based on the prices for locals that included 1 annual license fee of $25 and a deposit of $50. For foreigners add another $50 to the total cost (as deposits for foreigners is $100 vs $50 for locals).

iPhone 3GS 16GB

Phone Cost (B$) Monthly Cost (B$) Total Cost (B$)
Smart $35 Package 999 35 1704
Smart $45 Package 799 45 1684
Smart $55 Package 599 55 1664
Smart $65 Package 399 65 1644

iPhone 3GS 32GB

Phone Cost (B$) Monthly Cost (B$) Total Cost (B$)
Smart $35 Package 1199 35 1904
Smart $45 Package 999 45 1884
Smart $55 Package 799 55 1864
Smart $65 Package 599 65 1844

Price Plan Details:

Free Voice minutes Free SMS Free MMS Free Data
Smart $35 Package 300 100 20 1.5GB
Smart $45 Package 500 200 30 3GB
Smart $55 Package 1000 300 40 10GB
Smart $65 Package 1200 500 50 Unlimited

Note: Beyond the free data, the user is chargeable at 20c/MB up to $40 at which the user can use unlimited data

If you are planning to take b-mobile up on this subsidized iPhone I would recommend subscribing using the Smart $65 Package as it has the lowest up-front payment, the cheapest in the long run and provides the best in terms of perks (especially the unlimited data). With the iPhone you use it as a broadband modem at it would be easy to exceed the 1.5GB/3GB of the 2 lower priced plans and considering that $40 corresponds to 200MB which isn’t much at all. If you take the $65 package, the iPhone can be considered as a Zoom! subscription ($65/month for iPhone vs $60/month for Zoom!) but has so much more benefits.

If you’re looking for a iPhone or even if you’re just looking to get a mobile broadband subscription (Zoom! from b-mobile or Go! from DST) I would recommend the Smart $65 Package bundled with the iPhone of your choice. You get an unlimited broadband connection which can be tethered to your computer wherever you are and the highly coveted iPhone which is currently the best smartphone platform at the moment.

Windows 7 Home Premium Retail Version Promotion

So there’s a Windows 7 Home Premium Retail Version Promotion for B$168 that Concepts and Netcom seems to be offering. Today is Concepts last day while Netcom is only for order, you can’t pick it up now so you’ll have to wait if you do order. The following is one of these Home Premium retail pack. Notice that it is valid for Distribution and Activation in Southeast Asia only.