PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 August, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 05 August, 2008, 12:00am

What do you think of air-con levels?

There is no doubt that people need air conditioning in a room to remain comfortable during the summer. During the summer months, I try wherever possible, to stay in areas where there is air conditioning.

However, I do appreciate that air conditioners lead to increased temperatures in our streets, because of the heat coming from air-con systems. It creates a sort of vicious cycle.

I do not think that on all occasions air conditioners should be fixed at 25.5 degrees Celsius, as the government recommends ('Air-con campaign takes the edge off chill', July 28).

That may be a bit too hot for a crowded shopping mall and a bit too cold for an almost empty study room. The level should be flexible.

The difference between the temperature in an air-conditioned room and the temperature on the street is often quite extreme and this can be very uncomfortable.

We should always think about what effect our actions will have on others and this is relevant when it comes to setting temperatures on air conditioners.

Wong Tsz-shuen, Ngau Chi Wan

I am surprised that people like Ophelia Cheng (Talkback, August 1) are still holding onto the 25.5 degrees Celsius level for air conditioners. It has been discredited by experts for failing to take into account humidity levels. Human beings are not robots. Our feelings do not mechanically depend solely on temperature readings.

It should be common knowledge that when humidity levels are high, a lower temperature is needed to attain the same comfort level.

On the other hand, when it is a dry heat and there is a breeze, you probably do not need to have air conditioning on.

Ms Cheng further suggests that we set the air conditioning in such a way that it will automatically be turned off two hours into the night. That means we will have to sleep in an increasingly stuffy and totally unventilated room for the greater part of the night, which certainly flies in the face of good hygiene.

Joyce Siu, Tsing Yi

How can outdoor workers be protected from heatstroke?

If we were to listen to the government when it comes to heatstroke, we would not walk in the sun without an umbrella.

The message from our government this year seems to be that the sun is dangerous.

Officials talk about opening school classrooms and turning on air conditioners so the elderly and people on low incomes will have somewhere to go. I fail to see the logic in this argument.

What these people, and indeed all of us need, are more open spaces with shaded areas. Let the wind and these cool shaded areas provide some relief.

First the government scares people out of the water when there is a sighting of a large fish and now it is scaring them from going outside. There are not enough places where we can get shelter from the sun. Perhaps our officials see the solution as being to build more shopping malls where we can find shelter.

Is that what our top officials want to do - get rid of more parks and replace them with more malls?

Ken Chan, Tai Po

On other matters ...

The long and winding (and long-winded and confusing) road that finally led me to PCCW Netvigator's 'customer service' division last week has left me even more confused.

First, I had no idea what number to call to ask for advice, again, about my computer that, again, could not send e-mails.

So, I looked up the PCCW Netvigator website for a number. Alas, there was everything except a phone number.

A friend, then asked me to call PCCW on 1000 and said this would 'lead me to the door' that is PCCW Netvigator.

When I called the number I had to listen to a veritable buffet of options, but nothing that led me to PCCW Netvigator.

After punching 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 29 in search of 'the Holy Grail', I kept returning to the main menu.

Finally being told by another friend to call PCCW Netvigator on 1833 833, I had to then punch my way through a number of options before being put on hold for about five minutes.

Once I was able to actually speak to a human being, I thought I heard the woman at the other end of the phone tell me to check my 'smell'. After much discussion about my 'smell', I realised that I was meant to check my mail.

We then did a merry foxtrot, going from direction to direction, before the poor dear understood I was using Microsoft Outlook and this did not have Microsoft Outlook Express.

I was then asked to 'punch two'. I explained that I did not understand what 'two' was. Five minutes later, I was told again to 'punch two'.

Then, after the umpteenth time being told, 'Thank you, please, for the waiting', I hung up, none the wiser and just hired someone to come in and fix my computer.

So much for 'customer service', PCCW-style.

Hans Ebert, Wan Chai

Please can someone advise me as I am confused and it isn't as a result of old age?

I am British, but have lived here for 31 years and am considered a permanent resident. When I reached the age of 65 I went to the district office in Fanling and received, with a minimum of trouble, a senior citizen's card. I am lucky enough to travel at half fare on public transport and free on the Star Ferry. Some local friends have told me that I am also entitled to an old age monthly allowance.

I will not say I am destitute, but a bit extra would help now that food prices are higher. So, I went to the district office in Fanling and asked for the forms to apply. Nobody, including the officer in charge, seemed to understand what I meant. I have heard it called 'fruit money' so I mentioned that, but had no luck.

It seemed as though they thought I was not entitled and kept trying to send me elsewhere. I am now 68 and I wonder where I stand. If I am told I am not entitled as I was not born here I shall understand, but no one said that.

Can anyone advise me?

S. M. Rennison, Fanling

I play tennis regularly at the Hong Kong Tennis Centre at Wong Nai Chung Gap Road. There are always cars and scooters parked right at the entrance of the centre. Some even keep their engines running.

They block the entrance, foul up the air and cause inconvenience to most of the users of the centre.

If there was an emergency they would block access for emergency vehicles to the centre and this could have serious consequences.

The management of the centre should ban parking at the entrance. It should put up 'No Parking' signs. It should also erect removable (for emergency access) metal poles on the pavement to prevent illegal parking at the entrance.

All drivers should park their vehicles at the car park next to the entrance.

Alan Lo, North Point