Monday, February 7, 2022

Pizzapro Ooni Karu Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven - unboxing

 I ordered Pizzapro Ooni Karu Mult-Fuel Pizza oven a few days back, after seeing feedback online and it finally arrived today !

The Pizza Oven was sent through BLUEDART and the delivery was smooth, packaging was really good.

The oven looks sturdy and compact, can't want to start using it !!.. will post more pics, happy with the purchase. 

Where to order from -

Home loan Experience - State Bank Of India (SBI), Pune

 I am re-locating to Pune for my new job and was initially looking for housing on rent, near Kalayani Nagar or Viman Nagar. Surprised to see that the rentals are top of the roof, Rs 40,000 for 3BHK (un-furnished), Kitchen without cabinets, no wardrobes...  this was really shocking as I am moving from Bangalore and people as well as online posts said that Pune is cheaper than Bangalore, but really not, I didn't find any difference in cost.

After searching a lot and not able to find a flat in budget that I was looking for, I decided to take up a un-construction flat. 

The flat building is approved by SBI for loan, so they were the first choice for Home Loan. I also applied at HDFC to be on the safer side.

Loan Applying process

HDFC loan process, approval process is great, but because of some last moment issues, I had to settle with SBI.

Believe it or not, I got loan distributed within a day, I was in Pune just for couple of days to sign the agreement and somehow the SBI agent made the loan approved in a day !, was totally surprised.

The ENTIRE loan process is manually, lots and lots of paper work, document, nothing automated.

I did not get any update from SBI on the loan disbursement, after a couple of months, I got a call from the apartment CRM team saying that they have not received the disbursement, so I contacted the agent, who asked me to contact the SBI branch manager for update.

After following up for 2-3 days, I finally got screen shot that the disbursement was made, but NO COMMUNICATION ? either to me or the builder, Rs 30 Lacks disbursement, and no communication on EMI, PRE-EMI, Disbursement date... nothing, no call, no email...

This was just the start of issues, initially the apartment was supposed to be completed within 6 months, so after 6 months of loan disbursement, the PRE-EMI was converted to FULL-EMI, again NO communication, No email, No Phone call...  I got a SMS from CIBIL score that saw my CIBIL going down by 40 points!, when logged in I checked, SBI is showing late payment. I immediately contacted customer service (which is completely useless, as the only work they have is to tell you to contact Branch), I contacted the branch, where no one picked the call. Finally I called the bank manager ( after sending 2 emails and no response), the manager told that some one else will call me to check on this issue.

The issue was resolved after following up for a week, but they did not resolve the CIBIL score, it still till date shows late payment. Again after 4 months, the same issue happened now and I am following up with SBI, this time they told me to contact some other branch !!..  

Summary -

Avoid SBI for any kind of loan as much as you can, I personally have had very poor experiences with them, I am planning to shift my home loan to some other bank ASAP.

Monday, January 31, 2022

Apple India - Online Shopping Experience

 Apple has been in India for quite sometime now but is selling through Apple Premium Resellers (Like iPlanet and others), a few years back Apple started selling in India through their website - . 

I have bought a few items from their website and the shopping experience has been great. They deliver to most of the locations (where BLUEDART is available) and shipping usually takes between 2-5 days depending on location.

The shopping experience from placing orders to packaging and delivery is just great, and you also find some exclusive products which as not available with resellers. I have been buying from Amazon India before Apple started selling and sometimes the experience was not that great as a few times I have got products that were opened (usually such opened products are sold for a lesser price, as open package). Also the reseller didn't have some products (like watch bands, Apple TV first generation remote), but now with Apple India selling directly it's great to see most of the products available.

There are offers on EMI's (no cost) but no other credit card offers apart from this (no cash back offers), one of the other exciting offers is the buy back program, which is presently available for iPhone, this gives you a far better buy back price than what Amazon, Flipkart offers. I hope Apple India adds more products to the buy back program, like Apple Watch, iPads, MackBook pro..

Overall, a really good experience, great packaging and on time delivery !, I will recommend to buy from Apple India website anytime.

Sunday, January 30, 2022

BBMP ( Bangalore ) Online KHATA Transfer Experience

During this lockdown most of us are staying away from our regular work places, so getting this done online remotely is great.

I was searching for KHATA transfer for one of the properties online for BBMP and was really happy to find that there is an ONLINE process to apply for KHATA transfer, but wait, is it really online ??

Here is my experience

I went to BBMP website - , and from there was redirected to "Sakala Online Services" registration page, the registration process was pretty straight forward. Once you are logged in there is an option for online khata transfer 

Well, before you start you will need the SCAN of below documents that needs to be uploaded to Khata Transfer ( they differ from case to case, for me the property is through SALE deed, so I needed the below documents)

  1. Sale Deed
  2. Tax Receipt for present year
  3. EC
I had the Sale Deed and Tax Receipt, but current EC is something that I didn't have !. Searched again and found that you can apply for EC Online, below is the link for the same.

The registration process was again simple enough and you are allowed 10 searches in a day. Once you are happy with search results, you have to make ONLINE payment of Rs 110 and then wait for 2-3 days to download the Digitally Signed EC ( please note use FIREFOX BROWSER). The whole process was seamless, with your ADHAAR as your signed identity and I did get by Digital EC in 3 days !.. very happy with the EC process, no bribes.

After getting the EC, I scanned everything and uploaded to the Sakala website and applied for online KHATA, I got an GSC No for my request as well.

The website mentions the following steps

  1. Documents Verification - This happened within a Day of my uploading the documents, this was done by the ARO and the status was available through website, not through SMS though
  2. Physical Inspections - This step is the tricky part, this is where your nearest BBMP office person will contact you and ask for bribe !.. I did get a call within 3-4 days and the person came to check my house said that if I need to fast track my application I need to pay money. I said I am not in any hurry, BBMP can take their time, I don't have any money to pay. I didn't see any update on my application for next 1 week and then again I got a call asking me to come to BBMP office to submit additional documents, when I went to BBMP office, they again asked for money.... .. 
  3. Preliminary report generation - After a few days the local BBMP guys submitted the report
  4. Khata Transfer Approval - The next day, I got the approval status online
  5. Payment of Fees ( 2% of Stamp Duty) - You have to got to the nearest Bengaluru ONE office, provide them with the GSC No ( Application Number), they will tell you how much to pay, keep the receipt. As soon as you pay, you can see the online status update to "Payment Done"
  6. Khata Transfer and Extract Issue - Alright, all done, within 3 weeks, I was happy that I can download the e-khata certificate and e-khata, but there is more .....

The e-khata that BBMP uploaded was BLANK ?? I was completely shocked, I again got call from BBMP guys asking me to come to their office, again pay money if I want Khata !!!!

I emailed complained to, and they were pretty responsive, but didn't help much, they said it's an error from BBMP side and they cannot correct it, I have to visit the BBMP office for Khata.

Attached is the Khata Certificate that was uploaded on sakala website.

Summary - 

Well, online application is very good initiative from BBMP, but these process gaps needs to be closed, like I can pay the fees online, not sure why I have to go to Bengaluru One office to pay and also BBMP visits should be removed from the process altogether.

This is definitely better than before, but still can be improved.

Friday, August 13, 2021

Bollywood Vinyl Records - Where to Buy

 In my earlier post I had talked about Bollywood Vinyl Records in general, I have been collecting records for a few months now and have bought all records online or through WhatsApp and the experience has been very different in terms on record condition and pricing.

The most important thing while buying records in the CONDITION of the record, all the retailers have the guidelines but they don't really follow them and you can get very different records for the same condition. The prices are very different based from retailer and condition of records.

I like to listen to the Vinyl LP / EP records on headphones so the condition of the records is very important to me as the listening experience can be spoiled if the record is not good.

In my experience so far, try to stick with a few retailers that maintain and have a proper storage for records, stay away from small / one time retailers / WhatsApp group as they don't take proper care of records.

I had ordered a record from a small retailer and they sold be saying record condition is VG+ when actually it was close to G+.

Below are few websites / retailers that I have ordered so far and my experience with them

  1. TheRevolverClub -

This was the first retailer that I ordered from and their service is EXCELLENT. Although they have a limited number of records in Bollywood, but they are very fair with their ratings for Record condition ( grading) and send the records across safely. They use FEDEX for shipping and charge Rs 150 flat as shipping fees. 

Their customer service is great and they have policy to return record if something happens during shipping.

The pricing is on higher side, but the records are well managed, cleaned and properly graded. One can also join their membership program and get 10% off code for their new arrivals records.

Return Policy - YES 

Number of records bought - 10+

          RECOMMENDED - YES, I recommend them !

      2. Music Circle -

This online retailer also has a decent collection of records and the records are updated on a regular basis, almost daily. The grading for records is fair and records are well maintained. 

You will find almost all products on a discounted price, but the price shown is NOT inclusive of GST ( 18%), so you will actually pay more than the price of the record when GST is added to checkout. Also for some reason, they are charging GST on TOTAL including shipping, which is wrong. This said, new records are available at MRP which is good.

The other issue is that their shipping depends on number of records, if you buy more they charge you more for shipping, which again does not make sense as most of the retailers will either charge flat shipping or give you discount on shipping if you buy more. They have good customer service available and fast shipping (the records are shipped out same day)

          Return Policy - N/A 

Number of records bought - 6

RECOMMENDED - Yes, I recommend them, but be careful of their pricing.

      3. Amazon India -

Amazon India has lots of records available from sellers both for Bollywood and English records as well. The resellers pricing is an issue as it is very high, I have only bought couple of records from them, which were new and got delivered without any issues.

The major benefit of Amazon is that you can use card offers and gift cards to pay for the records, which is helpful as the retailers themselves will not provide this benefit. Also the shipping charges are low and Amazon will also help in case there are any physical damages.

Return Policy - NO, all records are not returnable category

Number of Records Bought - 2

RECOMMENDED - Neutral ( YES for new records )

      4. FlipKart - 

Very similar to Amazon India, Flipkart also sells Vinyl records through resellers, I have bough a few old records and was disappointed, with the grading of records. One seller sold records as NM when it was G+, the prices are very high for the records. The records are very poorly graded.

As with Amazon, you can use Gift Card for payments and take benefit of credit card offers.

Return Policy - No, All records are not returnable category

Number of Records Bought - 2

RECOMMENDED - NO, stay away !

      5. Bollywood Vinyl - 

This was my second place where I bought my Vinyl records for and they come up if you search for records in Google. They do have a good collection of records and the records are fairly graded. For some reason I only bought ONE record from them, but it was good one with competitive pricing. They are based out of Bangalore. 

Customer service is okay, I had an issue where the shipping was taking time and didn't get 100% timely response from the seller, but record arrived after some delay. 

 Return Policy - N/A

Number of Records Bought - 1


      6. 123sold - 

This company is based our of Delhi and they have a very large collection of Bollywood records from old ones to new ones. Their pricing is kind of fixed, Rs 1999 for new records, Rs 2000 for old Bollywood records and Rs 3000 for Bollywood rare records. They also have some records with very high price 10,000+ which I feel is bizarre.

They do not update their website regularly, so check with them if the records are available before ordering, I had ordered couple of records and both were out of stock.

I don't really recommend them because of their pricing, but they do have a large selection of records and almost most of the records are available with them, you can give them a try. Also their pricing in inclusive of taxes and shipping, so that is a plus.

Apart from these, I have also used small resellers or people on WhatsApp groups, I will suggest to stay AWAY from them, simply because they don't invest in maintaining, cleaning and proper storage of records and their record grades are way off than what it should be. I have had very poor experiences with such orders. Remember these records are expensive and if you get a bad one, you can't really do anything about it so you have to buy a new one and would end up putting up more money for same record, better buy a good one in first place itself.

The above are all my personal experiences and does not reflect anything on the sellers themselves, as these vary from customer to customer.