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BANGKOK 19 August 2019 00:00
ettcuk

ImmeService Android App (for 90-day reporting)

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Posted (edited)

I'm still awaiting my Section38 credentials - and it seems like I could be waiting for a long time.

 

In the mean time, I thought I'd try and register for the ImmeService app to see if I might be able to use that for online 90-day reporting if needed. It's a pretty basic registration page - Name, Gender, Nationality, etc. - except for the birth date, which doesn't allow manual input nor scrolling through years, so you have to manually click back through every month of every year until you reach your birth year.... Then, you input your email address and a chosen password twice. 

I've gone through the above process, including the birth year twice. Both times I've been given a "Please fill out the form completely" message. Suffice to say, there's nothing more I can add or change in the form to make it "complete". So, it appears not to be working, which isn't a great surprise. 

Anyone else had any luck registering via the Android app during the past few days?

Edited by ettcuk

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I get this screen which allows scrolling down in the different fields.  Do you see anything like that when you touch the area that originally said dd/mm/yyyy?

 

immi.png.a279136e17a75659cd6094e15df6c93b.png

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1 hour ago, ettcuk said:

I thought I'd try and register for the ImmeService app to see if I might be able to use that for online 90-day reporting if needed.

what permissions does it ask for? 

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10 minutes ago, NCC1701A said:

what permissions does it ask for? 

This should save you the 30 seconds it takes to look it up.

.

immeservice.png.740e911b7f6b80ac5ca95c2334da3055.png

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"except for the birth date, which doesn't allow manual input nor scrolling through years, so you have to manually click back through every month of every year until you reach your birth year"

 

No, there is a trick to this user interface with its winning 1.2 user rating. But the Thai idiot who "designed" it has cleverly disguised that shortcut, whereby if you were born in say, 1950, you only have to click about 75 times rather than more than 820.

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1 hour ago, treetops said:

This should save you the 30 seconds it takes to look it up.

.

immeservice.png.740e911b7f6b80ac5ca95c2334da3055.png

And why on earth does it need these permissions?

 

A 90 day report requires no photographs, and nothing in the user interface offers to take any pictures.

 

Why does it need either the current course or fine location? Can I do a report while standing in Phitsanulak, but not from Chiang Mai? How stupid is that?

 

Why does it need to read or modify file storage? Most of the information involved hardly ever changes, so once you figure out the right voodoo to get your request accepted, it would be nice to save all the crap on disk for the next annoying 90 report, if nothing else but to prevent typos while re-entering data. But is there such a useful feature? No way.

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5 minutes ago, dave s said:

And why on earth does it need these permissions?

 

A 90 day report requires no photographs, and nothing in the user interface offers to take any pictures.

 

Why does it need either the current course or fine location? Can I do a report while standing in Phitsanulak, but not from Chiang Mai? How stupid is that?

 

Why does it need to read or modify file storage? Most of the information involved hardly ever changes, so once you figure out the right voodoo to get your request accepted, it would be nice to save all the crap on disk for the next annoying 90 report, if nothing else but to prevent typos while re-entering data. But is there such a useful feature? No way.

The camera can be used  to scan the Machine Readable Zone of your passport rather than typing in the details.

 

I don't know about the others, but it may make temporary files as you step through the process and need to store them, thus needing access to memory.  Location - inside Thailand would be logical, as any reason to report when you're not inside Thailand would be highly dubious.

 

Why do you think it doesn't need these permissions?

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1 hour ago, Pib said:

Assuming you are taking this Google Play Thailand Immigration app, I see it gets a 1.2 out of 5 rating....looks like almost everyone says it sucks...can't get it to work.

Aside from design and functionality, it's buggy. But don't worry, if it sometimes sends you a zero byte PDF file to print and staple into your passport, the IO will refuse to look at any evidence you try to show, but be happy to fine you for not having it (no receipt, of course) next time you visit the office. And if a search tells you "pending" right after you make a request, but all record of that vanishes the next day, and the web site then locks up on you, you can just pay a bribe to Someone Important Upstairs to magically make all problems go away.
 

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4 minutes ago, treetops said:

The camera can be used  to scan the Machine Readable Zone of your passport rather than typing in the details.

But nothing in the user interface offers to use the camera to save any typing. If and when they ever added such a feature, the new version of the app could ask for permission at that time, or the next time you launched it.

4 minutes ago, treetops said:

I don't know about the others, but it may make temporary files as you step through the process and need to store them, thus needing access to memory.

 

  Location - inside Thailand would be logical, as any reason to report when you're not inside Thailand would be highly dubious.

 

Why do you think it doesn't need these permissions?

It's not asking for access to internal storage on the phone, it wants access to permanent storage on the SD card, if you have one installed in your phone (my phone allows installing a second SIM instead). There's not enough information involved here to overflow memory on the motherboard.

 

This app has only one "error message": something went wrong so run down to your immigration office and do it by hand. No matter how far away that is, no matter how inconvenient that is, which defeats the whole purpose of online registration. If you knew what the problem was, maybe you could fix what was wrong and then successfully register online. But the app is no help at all. Even going to the immigration office may not help: when the system was first introduced, they had no clue that you had to leave Thailand and then step right back in (because this database does not talk to the rest of immigration, and police officers cannot be trusted to enter information into a computer; how stupid is that?!?) in order to use the system at all. So, you expect us to believe that the author, who could not be bothered to add a few lines of meaningful error message for the utility of many customers forever after, would set up the Android GPS modules and verify that the user was actually inside Thailand? It is not required to make a 90 day report if you are not inside Thailand, but it does not hurt anything -- there are serious problems with the design and operation of this turkey that do hurt, and do need fixing.

 

There are lots of security articles on the net that warn you to be suspicious of the permissions that apps ask for. And reports of apps "abusing the system", as you apologists for any and all Thai stupidity like to rattle on about, to grab permissions that they should not have. The New York Times is running a special series right now about this sort of thing. Why do you think it is OK to pass out permissions that have no apparent justification, especially to an organization as corrupt as Thai immigration?

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I don't deny it's a bit of a messy app, but you questioned the permissions.  When I run the app it offers me the opportunity to scan my passport (MRZ) for which it needs the camera.  Why would you not want that?

 

Tagging GPS location data onto a transmisssion is easy enough, and even if it's not checked on submission it may still be valuable.  Saying it does not hurt anything is presumptious and all it means is you can't think of a reason for it.  Others with a different perspective perhaps could.

 

 

Quote

. . . as you apologists for any and all Thai stupidity like to rattle on about . .

I'm closer to the other extreme from being an apologist, but if I see nonsense in a post (yours in this case) I may be inclined to point it out.  Your point on being wary of permissions is valid, but in this case I think it's just your tin foil hat is too tight.

 

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3 minutes ago, treetops said:

I don't deny it's a bit of a messy app, but you questioned the permissions.  When I run the app it offers me the opportunity to scan my passport (MRZ) for which it needs the camera.  Why would you not want that?

 

Tagging GPS location data onto a transmisssion is easy enough, and even if it's not checked on submission it may still be valuable.  Saying it does not hurt anything is presumptious and all it means is you can't think of a reason for it.  Others with a different perspective perhaps could.

 

 

I'm closer to the other extreme from being an apologist, but if I see nonsense in a post (yours in this case) I may be inclined to point it out.  Your point on being wary of permissions is valid, but in this case I think it's just your tin foil hat is too tight.

 

It has not offered me the opportunity to scan my passport with the camera. I would have checked before posting whether it now does so, but it is currently refusing to talk to me at all, and that is just <expletive deleted> broken. The best response from immigration has been to demand a fine and a bribe, because their <deleted> app doesn't work. And what I ear from you is that it works for you, so everything is OK.

 

Whether it is easy or hard to add GPS data to a transmission (or "transmisssion", as you so fondly call it: can't deal with a spell checker? or maybe "presumptious"), it is no use if it is never used. My point was, that this app has caused endless frustration for people by being zero help when something is wrong; go back and look through discussion after discussion. The author had time to write GPS code (for no earthly reason that you've suggested, but you need to apologize that maybe there is some reason), but no time at all to write a simple, meaningful error message about anything else. The default security case is that it is better to be suspicious than trusting. It looks odd that the app asks for certain permissions, and you've offered no suggestion of why it should be trusted.

 

"I see nonsense in a post (yours in this case)" "your tin foil hat is too tight" So it's acceptable to insult people you disagree with, rather that address the concerns? OK, how about "treetops has an ugly sister", or "his mother wears army boots"? At least for some people, in some circumstances, this system is just plain broken. It has been for years. And immigration does not care. And you saying maybe there's a reason for it (without suggesting anything) doesn't fix the problems.

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Posted (edited)

I was poking around trying to get on again, because I am really curious about the camera usage, and the Google play store updates all my apps regularly. Immigration services still won't talk to me, but it turns out there is more than the one error message that says to go to your local immigration office. It can also say the following message (which is much more useful to a foreigner):

 

    เกิดข้อผิดพลาดจากระบบกรุราติดต่อผู้ดูแล

 

Edited by dave s

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1 hour ago, dave s said:

It has not offered me the opportunity to scan my passport with the camera. I would have checked before posting whether it now does so . . .

I would suggest "picnic" is the appropriate response. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_error

 

Here's a screenshot clearly showing the prompt for camera usage.

 

90day.png.74d927a0956efcfce8297fbcaa228c5e.png

 

2 hours ago, dave s said:

Whether it is easy or hard to add GPS data to a transmission . . . .  it is no use if it is never used.

So logically from your statement, when it is used it will be of use.  That's good you recognise it could be some use, even if you personally can't see a reason for it.  I can.

 

2 hours ago, dave s said:

My point was, that this app has caused endless frustration for people by being zero help when something is wrong; go back and look through discussion after discussion. The author had time to write GPS code (for no earthly reason that you've suggested, but you need to apologize that maybe there is some reason), but no time at all to write a simple, meaningful error message about anything else.

Again, I agree it's a pretty crappy app and that others have said so.  However, I was initially responding to your post on the permissions required which was just wrong in so many ways.  And as before, just because you can't see a reason does not mean there isn't one.

 

 

2 hours ago, dave s said:

"I see nonsense in a post (yours in this case)" "your tin foil hat is too tight" So it's acceptable to insult people you disagree with, rather that address the concerns? OK, how about "treetops has an ugly sister", or "his mother wears army boots"? At least for some people, in some circumstances, this system is just plain broken. It has been for years. And immigration does not care. And you saying maybe there's a reason for it (without suggesting anything) doesn't fix the problems.

I took being called an "apologist for any and all Thai stupidity" as being derogatory so responded in kind.  Don't dish it out if you're too precious to accept it back.

 

In summary, there is nothing wrong and plenty right about this app asking for the permissions it does, despite the fact it has so many other flaws.  Your inability to see this does not make it wrong.

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Posted (edited)

It is sometimes possible to look around at some things inside an Android app. If you got the latest version of this code (not from the play store), you might find the word "Camera" near the word "Bar Code" in the machine code. The words "Passport", "Scan" and "MRZ" appear in another place. It still won't let me on, but I assume that the camera use is now valid. But I could not try it out before posting, and would not have complained about the camera permission if I had been able to check, because the system will not let me on, and that is just <deleted>.

 

I was never able to use the web site or app while working, because I had not left and re-entered Thailand since the online system was created: this caused lots of confusion for people when the system first came out, when some people could use it, but for some it mysteriously failed; when my employer accompanied me to the immigration office nobody had a clue as to what was going on. Slightly less than 30 days beforehand, in mid-January, I did the last paperwork for a retirement extension of stay dated mid-February. This counts as a 90 day report, but counting from mid-January. On the last day of March, I appeared to have submitted a 90 day report. I have screen shots of the "APPROVED", and that would come up on a search, but I could not get other than a zero byte PDF file to print out for my passport. In June I ran through the app again, and I have screen shots of the "PENDING" (you might think that a programmer might be interested in documentation of one of his bugs, but immigration refused to even look at anything I tried to show them). The next day everything from the second attempt had disappeared. When I went down to the office, I had to pay a bribe to make the problem magically disappear (they went kind of berserk when I just walked into the room upstairs, and I had to lean over the balcony outside and get my passport through the window in an alcove where no incriminating photos could be taken). I have a Thai friend who is an immigration officer elsewhere, and he tells me that there is now no record from January, March, June or July, but his screen claims a 90 day report was done in February. This whole system is just totally <deleted>.

 

Edited by dave s

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