Month: September 2020

Beware when renting a car from Budget Port Elizabeth – Hubcaps Stolen

I am writing this post to highlight a recent bad experience when using Budget Car Rental / Avis in Port Elizabeth.

What Happened?

I rented a car - Polo Vivo 1.4 Trendline - from Port Elizabeth Airport Budget car rentals.

Everything went smoothly when picking up - I signed a few documents and went away with the car.

Everything went well until the last day.
I had been parking in a secure complex for the first part of the week but on the last day I stayed with a friend for the night.
The friend lived in Richmont Hill and the car was parked outside the house on the road.

The car hubcaps were stolen sometime between 5pm and 9pm.

The theft of hubcaps in PE is very prominent in that area as my friend had mentioned that the VW badges on his rims were stolen.

  • Hubcaps are easy to remove - they are only secured by 2 cable ties.
  • Hubcaps bought from VW parts cost R3696. So, that is basically like leaving R500 in notes on the bonnet of the car - and expecting it to not get stolen.

My issue is that Budget and Avis never explicitly warned me - ie. had the consultant tell me that stealing of hubcaps in PE is very common and that I had the option to ask for them to be removed.
Insurance was not even offered or explained by the consultant.

vivo-hubcaps-stolen-port-elizabeth-budget-car-rental
This is how the car looked after the hub caps were stolen

What did I have to pay?

  • 9 days for the car rental: R1410.43
  • Tyre and wheel damage (replace stolen hubcaps): R3866.61
  • Contract Fee: R86.96
  • VAT on the above: R804.6

Total: R6168.60

I had prepaid for the rental at R1721.99

Therefore I am out of pocket: R4446.61 because some thieves in PE Richemont Hill stole my hub caps.

What should Have Been Done Differently?

  • The consultant at Budget Car Rental PE should have mentioned that hub caps being stolen is very common in PE
  • I should have been offered the option to remove the hubcaps
  • Clear indication should be made that the extra R50 a day does not cover any external parts - including hub caps.

Side Note

Is this a tactic by Car Rental companies like Budget to make extra money?

They claim the VAT back as business expenses while the customer must pay full VAT as well as getting hubcaps much cheaper than VW parts sell them at.
They also know the location of the vehicle at all times.

Maybe just a conspiracy theory but I give this advice.

  • Try to not use a rental car, if you can
  • Ask the rental house to remove all movable parts from the car before picking it up
  • Spend more time looking at insurance and reading the fine print

Using Kong and Lua to change occurances of a url in the response body

Using the response transformer advanced plugin for kong, it looks like it is possible to replace urls in the body of an api.

The use case: you have an api that you have set to return hypermedia links as absolute urls to other resources.
The problem is that you have given the other party access to your api only by way of kong - an api gateway.
That means that the url's in the response body point to an api they do not have direct access to.

For example your api responds with a body:

{
    "realms": "https://virtualisation.fixes.co.za/realms/",
    "records": "https://virtualisation.fixes.co.za/records/"
}

Your api gateway is https://api.fixes.co.za, so you want to update the response to convert to:

{
    "realms": "https://api.fixes.co.za/virtualisation/realms/",
    "records": "https://api.fixes.co.za/virtualisation/records/"
}

Is it possible?

My search term:

Lua function to replace occurances of base url in json body.

With the standard request transformer it does not look possible.

The closest would be config.replace.json which does List of property:value pairs. If and only if the parameter is already present, replace its old value with the new one. Ignored if the parameter is not already present.

I want to string replace anywhere https://virtualisation.fixes.co.za/ is found and replace it with https://api.fixes.co.za/virtualisation/.
In any value or nested value.

It looks like the only way to do it would be with a custom lua function in aconfig.transform.functions of the pay for response transformer advanced

So you have to pay for kong enterprise, learn lua and then apply the function. To achieve this.

How much does a Mac Battery Replacement Cost and How Long till it Take?

I recently got my macbook pro battery replaced because it said so - when looking at the status.
I was getting a maximum of about 45 minutes of work before the plugin was required.
This is down from the original 8 hours.

So I booked it in for the replacement at my local iStore.

Make a booking on the istore with this link.

How Much Will it Cost?

When making the booking you get this message:

 Ensure that your device has been backed up prior to your booking date. Potential costs once you arrive for your appointment may include:
R200 - fee if device is not purchased from iStore.
R450 - fee for complex tech support if device is not purchased from iStore.
R250 - insurance letter.
R250 - insurance quote for iPhone or iPad.
R600 - insurance quote for Mac when device is out of warranty. 

In my case the device was out of warranty so I had to pay R600 at the iStore - although the item on the bill did not say insurance.
It said technical assessment.

The quote for the battery replacement was: R5743.35 (including VAT)

That included:

  • English INT, Top case with battery ISO, Space Grey. (R4994.23)
  • Labour Fee (R521.74) [Already Prepaid]

Then VAT was added to the above.

The total paid was: R6343.35

How Long Will it Take?

I booked it in at the istore at 15:30 on 2020-09-04.

Ready for collection notifiction came at 15:19 on 19 September 2020

I accepted the quote immediately.

They mentioned that it would take 5-7 business days.
In reality it took 10 business days.

In actual days, it took 15 days or half a month.

Timeline:

  • 2020-09-04: Booked in (and paid technical assement fee)
  • 2020-09-06: Dispatched to Service Centre
  • 2020-09-11: Assessment and quote sent through (Accepted immediately)
  • 2020-09-19: Ready for collection

Info After the Upgrade

It feels like the keycoard was replaced after the upgrade but I cannot be certain.
The battery was clearly replaced as per the system report:

  Charge Information:
  Charge Remaining (mAh):   4594
  Fully Charged:    Yes
  Charging: No
  Full Charge Capacity (mAh):   4827
  Health Information:
  Cycle Count:  1
  Condition:    Normal
  Battery Installed:    Yes
  Amperage (mA):    0
  Voltage (mV): 12805

Then looking at coconut battery history:

Old Macbook Battery History

New battery capacity

Is it Worth it?

The Macbook Pro 13inch 128GB edition cost me R18999 initially.
I have had it 2 and a half years, before requiring the replacement.

As per using personal assets for work purposes, depreciation of assets is done over 3 years.
So it makes sense to do the repair on the 3rd year of service.

Is it worth it...is a question you need to ask yourself.
For me I think it is as I spend alot of time working outside.

The first time I used it...it went from 100% to 10% in 3.5 hours.
Much better than it was but not as good as quoted by apple.
Of course I was using it at 100% brightness, had many tabs open and was watching a few videos.