A few days ago, I went with wifey to get a printout of our EPF (Employees Provident Fund) statement. We haven't received ours yet cos when we shifted, we forgot to send in our change of address. Since the EPF recently announced a dividend 5 plus percent, I wanted to see how much that would increase my measly old age savings.
We drove to the nearest office from our place and was actually surprised that we got our statements in less than 5 minutes. I was expecting to be there for a while, so kudos to the personnel there. Now my beef isn't really with them but more with their online services.
While I was there I discovered that I don't really need to drive all the way there to find out information about my account and that I could do it online. I registered myself there and got a pass code or something like that which I was supposed to use for online activation when I get home. Now that is where my problems started.
I reach home, access (or rather try to access) their website and wait and wait and wait and wait and wait and wait and wait ... (you get the picture here) for the home page to even show itself. The connection is down or slow you might say, but while waiting, I managed to log on to my blog (all 5 of them), answer all my comments, check my twitter account, update my Nike+ home page, fly to the moon, look up acne treatment, save the world from alien domination three times over, build Noah's new ark and the home page still hasn't appeared.
And trust me, refreshing the page doesn't help much. Finally, after a few years of trying, I managed to get in and click on their secure log in page and yes, you guessed it, I had to wait for another few centuries with countless refreshing of the page, which was a blessing mind you cos I managed to save the planet, this time from marauding monsters, another 3 times (you guys are really lucky to have me around ... LOL!) before I could even access the sign-in page which when I tried to sign in said the page was currently unavailable! Arrggghhh!
It makes me wonder just where the heck they host they site from and who their webmasters are? Maybe they got a discount of some old generation 386 powered servers run by dynamos or something ... LOL! The thing is, this is the same scenario for practically all government websites here.
Don't believe me? Try logging on to any government website and see how slow and utterly crappy the site is. From the amount of time you need to wait to access it, to the horrible layouts with silly flash effects to how hard it is to navigate the page just to find something as simple as a contact number (and I won't even start on how long it takes before someone actually answers the phone when you do find that contact number!).
To think practically all government departments and agencies advocate the e-nonsense this and e-nonsense that. First of all, they need to make sure people can actually access the site to begin with. Maybe I shouldn't be complaining so much, after all, if they made their sites more speedily accessible, I wouldn't be able to have the time to build more of Noah's arks and save the world from destruction now would I? LOL!
Oh, just so you know, I finally did manage to access their sign-in page and activate my account just now though I've been trying since yesterday and halfway through keying in my details, the page decided to tell me it was temporarily unavailable due to heavy traffic, really, that's what it said!