From phone calling to web chatbots – why are we still on hold?

I wanted to find out the remaining fibre broadband contractual period from a local telco couple days back. I’ve first logged into the telco’s account management portal to check the remaining contractual period. Alas it was nowhere to be found..

There was a footer redirecting queries to the telco representative using the chat bubble on the main telco page. The chat bubble looks and smells like a common AI chat bot (No, it’s not Jamie). My eyes glanced at the usual bot greetings, and a disclaimer not to enter any personal data into the chat box.

I then settled into a line of 25 ahead of me, after finding out the bot could not be of any help. TWENTY FIVE! That’s just as bad as getting in line at the bank branches!

Does this not sound familiar?

The wait hadn’t left us. It’s still there, sapping time (minus the annoying elevator music emanating from the phone’s speaker) all trying to get a simple answer. Now I need to monitor the web page tab with the chat bot simultaneously working on another tab in the web browser.

I have to be careful with what I type into the chat box because “Important : Do not type or attach any personal information or credit card details during this live chat as it’s not encrypted.”

Not encrypted? Are we in back in Year 2000, Ffs? At the barest minimum, have you not heard of free TLS certificates from Let’s Encrypt? Can you be trusted at all, telco bot?

Almost at the front of the line when I have to be, must be, without fail – close the MOST IMPORTANT tab.


I’m sure it’s nearly impossible for me to accidentally hang up a phone call, in the flow of things.

‘Food of my generation’: Hong Kong’s famed Hoover Cake Shop to close after almost half a century in business

This article caught my attention when I was reading on earlier today. I remembered Hoover Cake Shop as a must-visit establishment for its HK egg tarts on Hong Kong island. I had never tried such soft egg curds before. This was nearly 13 years ago.

Fast forward to 2013-ish, I had found another egg tart establishment with the same egg curd but with far airier side crust while traveling. These egg tarts come out pipping hot! Guess what – this shop is not in Hong Kong, not even in East Asia.

This shop is nondescript and it looks old and dated, not unlike most Chinese establishments in the vicinity. It has the same namesake as a famous landmark, conveniently within 30 minutes walk from the same bakery. Besides the amazing egg tarts, it also has hand-made sakima. (But sakima isn’t really my cup of tea though)

While being a fan of egg tarts, I am not satisfied with the Tai Cheong and JoyLuck Teahouse types. They have this mass-produced feel (they really are) and the crust is such a letdown (Sorry but not sorry!). I definitely prefer egg tarts from the hotel dim sum menu. Then again, not all hotels have good dim sum.

I can’t wait to head back to that bakery next to a famous landmark, though I’m not impressed with the city. Hazard a guess thy name of this bakery?