Money

On behalf of Ti…

http://indiegogo.com/sanfranplan

So with all the other stuff happening around me (especially family crisis and floods) I haven’t been able to put as much of an effort on the San Fran Plan as I could. There is a website being set up with more info on my project and affiliate links, but I’m waiting on the designer to get back to me (she says she’s nearly done). But other then that, there is a lot of work to be done to make this happen in time.

I’ve had a LOT of positive feedback on the project, especially from people in San Francisco – but not as much money coming in. Some promises, but nothing materialised yet. My first goal is to get $650 for my deposit to CELLspace, which I still owe – this confirms my attendance. Then it’s $2000 for the airfare. The rest of the fees I can earn over time, but those are the biggest priorities.

Things I need help with:

Funding sources – due to bridging visa issues, I am not eligible for Australian grants or scholarships. I haven’t found any American grants that I qualify for (also due to residency). I did apply for $1000 from the Awesome Foundation but haven’t heard anything. If you hear of any other possible sources for money please let me know.

Media promo, especially blogs – I would like to send out a press release to various queer, politics, porn, local, arts media in Australia and the US but I do need help writing something up. I also would like my project posted on related blogs – for example, Becky Hunter’s interview of me. I do have at least one relatively famous person who’s promised to do a blog post, but again promises and results are two different things. So if you have any favourite columnists or bloggers that you think will like the San Fran Plan, please recommend it to them!

Sponsorship resources – it would help a ton if portions of the trip, especially the flight, could be sponsored. I’ve tried to contact Virgin but no dice, haven’t heard from AirAsia/Tony Fernandes, and may hit up Qantas soon. If you know of any companies that are willing to sponsor me or vouch for me or help me out, please pass my details on. What could be handy, for example, is them paying for my residency fees as a donation to CELLspace (maybe it can be tax-free??)

Jobs, freelance work, being hired – I’m open to any sort of suggestion, including things like modelling or webcamming, so long as it’s legit and pays OK. Here’s my LinkedIn profile for resumes. I can work in Brisbane, online, or elsewhere if travel expenses are covered.

Patrons, sugar mummies, mystery benefactors – you get the idea.

Donations! – of course! Every dollar helps!

Please pass this on – reblogs, retweets, emails, however you like. Every little bit helps for sure. Thank you so much!

The Fitness First Scam Continues!

So, I thought that after posting this, the whole Fitness First saga would have been over. You know, like those epic side-quests that you don’t really have to do but you do cause it’s easy/you get a side benefit kind of quests? Well, as it turns out, this is not a minor side quest at all. It’s turning out to be a single Quest that has a time limit. So what happened?

My brother got a SMS on Thursday telling him that he owes money for his Fitness First membership. We both went @@ at that, because by right, we had terminated both our accounts on November 19. You know what? Here, have a letter I’m writing to the NST and Star Editors: Read More »The Fitness First Scam Continues!

Fitness First: Definitely sounding like a scam

The best hallmarks a scam is that they’ll ask you to pay, but when you chase them for enquiries, they take forever to get back to you.

So it is with Fitness First the Curve, Malaysia, which is really starting to sound like a well-planned scam I did not see coming. You see, even though the story has been published in the Malay Mail and I’ve dropped a note to the Fitness First management over at their website, it seems that Fitness First the Curve is DETERMINED to drag their feet over the matter. I emailed them about two weeks ago.

On Saturday, 4th November 2010, I received a response from one Amanda Cook, apparently the manager of Fitness First Curve, promising to look into the case. She asked for some information which I provided. This was her email (attaching screenshot to take note of the date): Read More »Fitness First: Definitely sounding like a scam

Copy of submission to MMail

I just submitted this to the Malay Mail, complaining about Fitness First Malaysia. To say that I am supremely annoyed is a major understatement. I delivered an ultimatum to them earlier today: I would pay only what I owe them, which is RM331 for the months I did not attend and the months I suspended, which is till this month. If they dare to charge me in December 2010 and January 2011 before my contract is up in February 2011, I will be taking them to Small Claims’ Court, as I want to terminate my account with immediate effect. They’ve broken faith with me twice (first time was with the rebate: it took my bro and me 3 months, filling up the forms TWICE and ensuring my account had too little money left for them to auto-debit before it was finally reflected in the system). I fail to see why I should allow them to leech off my account.

In March my brother and me signed up for Fitness First memberships. Due to certain factors, we decided to use my Maybank account for both our subscriptions. In September, we both submitted Update Billing forms to Fitness First Curve, with my brother’s acc being placed under his own banking account and mine being transferred to a secondary banking account meant only for recurring bills like Fitness First. As a precaution, I also submitted forms to Maybank requesting for the cancellation of Fitness First’s auto-debit on my account. As requested by Fitness First, these documents were submitted on 19 September 2010, in time for their admin to make changes.

It’s now November 4. I thought all the changes would have been made by last month. Imagine my surprise when I found RM215 missing from my account, the exact same amount for a Fitness First monthly subscription. A check with Fitness First revealed that YES, they debited the wrong account. Demands for an explanation was met with a weak, “Oh, we’ve submitted this already, don’t know why the admin did not update.” This is in addition to the counter staff knowing FULL WELL that my brother and me had already submitted the forms way in advance, at THEIR REQUEST. Yet they want us to RESUBMIT the forms, which would be quite a hassle as that means my brother and me will need to provide them with the front page of our bank books. AGAIN.

At the same time, when I mentioned that I had already requested for the payment to be stopped from the Maybank side, the girl at the counter told me that it was not something Maybank could do. Even if I, as the account holder, requested Maybank (through Maybank’s own forms) to stop the auto-debit, Maybank could not do so without permission from Fitness First.

My response to that, “So wait, you’re telling me that just because I allowed Fitness First to auto-debit my account to pay you, I have no right and control over my account to stop the payments?”

Her reply, “Yes, they cannot do that without you first informing us to stop the payments.”

To say the billing system for Fitness First sucks is a major understatement. I told them in no uncertain terms that due to this third billing fiasco, I wanted them to terminate my account with effect from December. However, I am told that I cannot do so, as I am a new member. No terminations are allowed, even though Fitness First has screwed me over with their billing system.

If Fitness First has broken faith, why should I be the one to pay for their incompetence? I’ve followed the procedure set TWICE by them, yet they can’t seem to follow it themselves. Why then, should I complete the contract when they have broken faith so badly?

So annoyed. Writing meme delayed till Sunday. 😛

Broke, not poor

Not too long ago, a few friends posted about seeing posts by people, who complained about not earning enough. Now, these priviledged people were not complaining about the fact that they were not earning enough, but the fact that they were not earning enough to support all of life’s little luxuries. Yes, they were not complaining about not earning enough to go out for luxury meals and pay for their luxury cars. Thus, they were poor.

Yes, you read that right. They were POOR because they couldn’t afford life’s luxuries. They are poor because they can’t go out with their friends to expensive restaurants. They are poor because they are paying for a car they can no longer afford.

Excuse me while I laugh.

You see, I’m in the same boat. Since I left my old job, I admit, I’ve had to cut back on expenses greatly. I don’t really have enough money to spend on caramel frap, not enough to drive almost everywhere, and definitely not enough to even think of buying stuff online (especially clothes).

But I am not poor. I still have a roof over my head. I cook at home when I have the time/inclination. I have enough money to keep my car running (aka petrol). I have enough money to pay my phone and Internet bills. The most important thing is that I have not have to ask my parents for money.

And really for me, that’s the most important thing. If you do not have enough money to eat, to pay for life’s neccisities, then you are poor. But if you are complaining that you don’t have money to go eat at Italiannies when you have at least enough money to buy chicken rice…

I don’t know what else to say.