[Review] Converge FiberX Plan 1500


This review will cover our experience in getting Converge FiberX installed at our place in Mandaluyong. From initial inquiry to installation and finally to some speed tests, I'll be documenting them all here. Gist: it took 2 months and it's worth it.

I've been collecting updates and updating this post every now and then whenever I hear back from Converge. It's a good thing the wait is finally over!


We applied for FiberX 1500 which boasts of real unlimited data (no capping) with up to 25Mbps burst speed, for only ₱1,500 per month. It's their cheapest fiber plan. Additional claims: 30% minimum speed and 80% reliability. So if that's correct we should be getting no less than 6Mbps for this service. I hope so! February 19, 2018 - Initial inquiry
Called their hotline at (02) 667-0848. Waited 3 minutes in queue. Talked to the sales rep for about a minute regarding the requirements and installation fee and if our condo is truly fiber equipped. I gave my email address and she immediately sent the list of requirements and the application form.

If you're inquiring for the first time here's a list of important questions you should ask. It pays to list down all your concerns cos it's a pain to wait in queue again!

1. Is my area fiber equipped?
2. How much is the installation fee?
3. How much is the initial cash out?
4. Is the modem/router included?
5. Is there a lock-in period?
6. Is there a pre-termination fee?
7. How long does it take to get approved?

Thankfully, most of the information you need is already on their website, so there's really not much to ask on the phone unless you can't read didn't do your research. It's also important to have your email address ready and learn to spell it out using the NATO phonetic alphabet (oscar kilo?). As in. Learning to spell in phonetics can save you from frustration especially when giving out information through phone hahaha.

If possible, get the rep's local number so you can skip the queue if you need to call again.

Here's what I got. There's a fixed rate of ₱2,500 per installation regardless of our unit's distance from the fiber box. There's also 1 month security deposit equivalent to your MSF (monthly service fee). All those to be paid in full upon approval of our application, which could take 2-3 days. So basically we have to cash out ₱4,000 before installation.

Since we're renting a condo unit we were required to submit a Certificate of Residency in lieu of Proof of Billing. The CoR can be acquired from the condo admin. In my case, it only took less than 10mins, so no biggie.

February 21, 2018 - Submitted requirements
Here's everything I sent through email:
1. Filled out and signed application form (front and back)
2. 1 valid government ID with 3 specimen signatures (I used my UMID)
3. Scanned copy of our Certificate of Residency
4. First page of our Lease Agreement (un-notarized draft copy 'cos we couldn't find the original lol)
5. Screenshot of our exact location via Google Earth

February 22, 2018 - Application routed
Received email confirmation that my application has been forwarded to concerned departments for port reservation and validation of documents.

February 23, 2018 - No available facility
Received an email from our sales rep that the nearest facility to our area is not available and that they're waiting for an additional facility to be installed.

I called to clarify what it meant and here's what I learned from the agent who got my call. Their fiber box is only limited to 8-12 ports, once it's full and a new application from the same area is received, that's the time they arrange for a new facility to be installed. Sad part is, it could take 3-5 months to get notified of a new facility, and that's a painfully agonizing wait for us. At least I'm assured that they'll really get into installing a new fiber box. And that there's only 8-12 of us sharing a box.

For now I bought Globe at Home Prepaid Wifi huhu.

So yeah, this entry is not yet finished. Unless we give up waiting for them hehe, which is very likely. I mean, I just thought about it. I don't think it's practical to get Fiber when you're just renting. You have a 24-month contract with them and if ever you move out during contract period you have to re-install your fiber connection (+₱2,500) to your new place and make sure the fiber box on your new location isn't full. Haaaaaassle! For now we got Globe at Home Prepaid Wifi. It sucks.

March 26, 2018 - Kept following up
A month after I was informed that there's no available slot, I emailed the sales agent assigned to me if there's any news so far. I could be rushing a bit but I still wanted to take my chances hehe. She didn't reply. I followed up again after 2 weeks. And again, she didn't reply. So I did the best thing I could think of that doesn't involve calling their hotline, I re-applied online.

April 11, 2018 - Applied again urgh
Funny how I didn't think of just applying online in the first place, their website already has an application form. If you go to their self service site here you can apply for a connection online. I submitted a valid ID, a selfie of me holding it, and a Certificate of Residency (in lieu of Proof of Billing). At this point I just wanted to push my application up, in case they forgot about it.

Looks like they did, because the following day, a sales agent reach out to me to confirm whether our unit is at the left or right wing. I already answered this in my previous application so I'm thinking they didn't backtrack and thought I was a new applicant. Argh. Either way, I wasn't sure which were we're on. Our building layout doesn't indicate a left/right wing, and when we asked PMO, they confirmed that there's no left/right wing in our tower, and that it doesn't matter which wing we're on because all the wiring will come from one place. I replied to the agent and said that we're probably on the right wing because when I come out of the elevator, I turn to the right LOL.

And then they said to wait 2-3 days to validate my application.

April 15, 2018 - Finally received a payment notification
This is it! We finally have a slot! I received an email containing my account number and instructions for initial payment. I'm worried if being on the left or right wing matters, because what if we're actually on the left wing? Can't we be accommodated anymore? Anyway I don't care.



They gave me an account number and a deadline of 7 days to pay the initial cash-out worth ₱4,000, otherwise our slot may be forfeited, malas naman na I have no 4k to spare at the moment huhu. Hay jusko. So yun lang, we'll see. Really hope we'll get connected asap. Worst case scenario is that we push with Converge but our landlord refuses to extend our lease. Homaygas.

April 17, 2018 - Paid the initial fee
I used my credit card to pay for the connection fee and security deposit worth 4k. In fairness, Converge offers really convenient payment channels. For the initial payment, you have to access their e-billing portal and select your payment method from there. For the monthly recurring fee you can using any these methods:


April 21, 2018 - Installation day
I thought I'd give it a week to follow up on my payment, but surprisingly, this morning I received a text message from one of their crew asking if it's okay to install today. Like right now. My husband and I had plans for the day but in our excitement to get connected, of course what's a few hours of delay?! And so I rushed to our admin to get a work permit for them. They got here around 10am and finished installing in 2 hours.

I can't believe it!!! They're finally heeere! They attached a small square panel (ano bang tawag don) beside the outlet that connects the telephone line to the router. 


Fortunately, the electrical room is right outside our unit so I guess that helped speed up their communication? The crew who came to our place were very nice as well, and the kuya said if we ever run into any problems we can contact him directly. They capped off the installation by activating our line by calling their office. The entire process took roughly 2 hours.



Aaaaand we're done! WAAAAH!!!



Speed Tests

Date Time Location Download (Mbps) Upload (Mbps) Ping
Apr 22 2018 1:00 AM Mandaluyong 25.37 18.96 3
Apr 23 2018 3:11 PM Mandaluyong 24.7 23.8 3

We've been exploiting the thing ever since we got connected. It's really freaking fast. We can finally binge on Netflix and get ourselves a Smart TV!
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How to Help Prevent a Pest Infestation this Summer

Photo from Pixabay

Summer is a wonderful time to enjoy your home, but it’s also the prime season for common pests such as ants, termites, cockroaches, and mosquitos to invade. Prevention starts well in advance of warm weather’s arrival, but it’s also a year-round effort. Paying attention to regular household maintenance and partnering with reputable pest companies are two vital strategies for avoiding a summer infestation. Housekeeping Essentials Inside Your Home

Not all pests are alike, nor are they attracted to your home by the exact same things. However, the bottom line is that most are either seeking food, shelter, or a place to reproduce. Good housekeeping practices can eliminate many of these temptations. Since your kitchen is often ground zero for your war on pests, you can stop future invasions by:

  • Keeping counters, floors and other surfaces clean
  • Follow proper food storage methods
  • Remove trash on a frequent basis

Spaces such as bedrooms, living rooms, and dens should also be kept clutter-free. Keep in mind that undisturbed boxes that contain paper goods, clothing, or other organic materials might draw moths, silverfish, and other undesirable creatures.

Outdoor Pest Prevention Tips 

Stopping insects from coming indoors begins with a smart plan for exterior maintenance. Standing water may attract egg-laying mosquitoes that can show up in the spring, so be diligent in eliminating it from buckets, bird baths, uneven terrain, or other sources on your property. Also, firewood should be kept far away from your house, and make sure you inspect outdoor furniture and sheds on a regular basis. Finally, inspect your walls and doors regularly for cracks, holes, or gaps where pests can enter and repair them as soon as possible.

Rely on Expert Pest Control Treatment

You’d probably call pest control specialists when you have a problem, but these professionals are also part of your first lines of defense to avoid infestations in the first place. Armed with advanced methods for detection, control, and prevention, technicians have the expertise to inspect your home, diagnose issues, pinpoint potential weak spots, and develop a plan to help keep your home safe and comfortable all year long.

Pest Control is dedicated to helping you stop pests in their tracks and keeping your home a safe haven. For more than nine decades, it has delivered industry-leading expertise and a blend of trained inspectors, quality products and professional services. Start your search of “exterminators near me” and get the issue handled quickly!
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3 Ways to help you get back on track after breaking your diet rules

Photo from Pixabay

When you are on a diet, in order to achieve some goal such as weight loss or maintaining a healthy and fit body, you endeavor to stick to your diet plan. You must also do some work out to burn the excess calories so that your dieting efforts are complemented. To make all those efforts result in a great success, you can consider taking some well-researched steroids which can be oral ones such as oral turinabol that help in promoting efficient calories breakdown and development of lean muscles. You can also go for steroide that are administered through injection and are deemed more effective than the oral ones. You can easily purchase the various steroids at https://acheter-steroid.org/ which is one of the best online steroids shop for quality, and affordable steroids and is very convenient.

As you observe your diet, there are instances you may go against your set diet. A good case in point is when you attend an event like a family party and you indulge in what you consider unhealthy foods. When you cheat on your diet, more often than not you will get weighed down by guilt feelings and feel like you have failed terribly. So how do you bounce back after a cheat day (or days in case of a weekend or a vacation)? Here are some tips on how you can get back on track and continue pursuing your goal:

1. Find out what led to your poor food choices

You must interrogate yourself whether you are being too restrictive on yourself, or feeling denied of some things you deem very important and if the diet choice you have made is in line with your goals. You need to remind yourself of the reason why taking a healthy diet is important to you and drop the thought that you are doing it because your doctor advised you to do so, or because you want to be like a certain celebrity. The motivation should come from you, or else you will find it hard choosing what you think is good for you or for achieving your goal instead of what you feel you really want.

You need to examine your life and understand what other things you could be struggling with and led you to use food to ‘comfort’ yourself as it is usually the case. Do you have financial issues or are lonely?  You can try doing meditation or have a talk therapy or some other activities to calm or relax your mind. Check whether your environment puts you in situations that will make you go against your diet. Maybe you have friends that avail the foods you chose to drop.

2. Drop the mentality of cheating on your eating pattern

You must have a change of mindset from the diet approach in which you set some strict diet rules to achieve certain promised and mostly aesthetic goals. The truth is that dieting is just restrictive and dropping it is the best thing. Once you drop the diet mindset, you stop having rules thus there are no rules to be broken. You get guiding principles on the selections you make or towards some objective like shedding excess weight. You take charge of things and substitute the guilt and restrictions with freedom and choice.

3. Forgive yourself and carry on eating healthily

No amount of thrashing yourself can undo whatever you have done. However, you can take some lessons from the ‘mistakes’.  Being conscious of all your actions can assist you to identify what leads you to make the choices you do. This can help you understand the origin of your cravings and the decisions. You should then let go of the guilt or forgive yourself and move on to achieve your goals.
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Today


Privilege, entitlement, and first world problems

This afternoon, our company had a function at The Penthouse 8747. The place is nice. Mahangin. The couches are comfy. The view is great. Except for this eyesore of a building construction inside Ayala Triangle that threatens to consume the only remaining patch of green in this frkn district. Unless they're building a multi-level botanical garden, which is highly unlikely, I hope they consider the environmental implications of crowding the city with more dead blocks. Ayala needs more life (that is not human). They're building monsters. Back to The Penthouse. They served cocktails. Thin-ass pizza, malnourished chicken tenders, and mini crab cakes. They all tasted great. But the portions were too small. Having a controlled pica pica buffet sounds a bit too much for me. We already can't eat a lot, and still you control it by serving much less. It'd be more effective if they laid out saucers instead of regular plates. Funny thing is, I was okay when they started serving. They'd give two of each. At least to the people in front of me. When it was my turn to receive their breaded goodness, a new waiter appeared, "Pre, isa isa lang". And so my plate was bare.


Anywaaay. I came back for round two so I'm definitely not complaining.... yet.

Until I got sleepy and felt the need to buy some coffee. I borrowed money and stepped out a bit to buy a medium cup of brewed coffee from 7-Eleven. It's only 29 pesos. Havey. I love City Blends. When I came back, the guard at The Penthouse won't let me in. "Ma'am bawal po magdala nyan sa loob", referring to my cheap coffee. Boy was I hurt. And it hurt more because I know one of my colleagues inside was able to bring in a venti drink from Starbucks, it was sitting right across me before I left.


Even though I could say that 1) we have a reservation, and 2) but you allowed outside coffee inside.... I decided not to argue because I was feeling super sleepy. And besides, my phone is dying so I wouldn't have anything to do inside. I decided to go back to the office, feeling defeated and dejected. I wish I had a privilege card I could play, damn that would be useful. It's during these times I know having privilege and influence would work. I got no pretty card, no sex-appeal card, no intimidating card, no well-dressed card, and apparently no starbucks card. These are just a few of the cards that grants you access to places even if you don't ask. So what's an overweight, poorly dressed girl holding cheap coffee's gotta do? Play the nice card and leave. It's all I got.

But of course, to let off some steam, I did a very offended-millennial thing. Duh, I ranted on Instagram.


I was just joking ofc. Rules are rules. But The Penthouse replied and apologized, even sending me a pic of who I thought brought outside coffee inside. It was their staff. I clarified by saying that's not who I was referring to, and that it was a fellow guest they allowed to bring coffee in. They probably just missed it. And of course I just had to let my mind wander to privilege and discrimination charot.
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[Review] Ahmad Brothers Cafe at Labsan/Yandoc St., Baguio City


Ahmad Brothers Cafe is one of the restaurants my husband and I tried on our short vacation at Baguio.

We had a hard time looking for this place, but it was well worth it. From our place at Megatower Residences, we decided to walk all the way to their location at Legarda road, after all Google Maps said it's just a 20min walk. But wth, we got lost and pissed off at the throng of people flocked over at Session Rd. (read: Panagbenga Festival). Eventually we just hailed a cab and got dropped off around Giligan's. According to Google Maps, it should be at the same building, if not beside it.

It wasn't there. 

Imbyerna. We asked around, and finally one of the guards said Ahmad has moved to a new location. He told us it was walking distance. So we walked. But not before calling the establishment to confirm their existence. Thank God for Google (the same Google who led us to a wrong location), I was connected to one of their staff who texted us about their actual location. It's only 450m away from their old spot. Great!

And so we walked. As of writing, their current address is at Labsan St. cor Yandoc St, Baguio City. You can always confirm at their mobile number 0908-740-7284 or their landline number (074)-244-7292.


We found Ahmad Brothers Cafe tucked at the lower levels of Hotel Caterina. At this point in my Indian food loving life, I learned not to care about restaurant interiors. As you can see, nothing fancy here, but it's a big enough eatery offering Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. 


We saw a couple of Arab looking kids ordering a plate of what looked like chicken tandoori with rice. And you know the drill, if you see foreign people eating their local food in a foreign country, the place must be legit.


And so we ordered the usual.

Vegetable samosa - ₱65

I super love this! It's a different kind of samosa, the wrap is made of something like lumpia wrapper, and the dip isn't the usual tamarind and mint-chutney. It's garlic sauce haha.

Chili Pakora - ₱80

Another great item from their menu. The chilis look super payat but I assure you they taste perfect, specially with their cheese dip. Jusko and ₱80 lang syaaaa. (for comparison, Chili Pakoras at Naan cost 150).

Chicken Masala - ₱240

Aaand our main dish. I know it looks like Adobo, the sauce is brown and there are large potato chunks too. It looks so far from the Masala we know. But the taste? AMAZING. Walang kwenta tong food blog na to, basta masarap - amazing yan. Try nyo na lang. The sauce isn't that thick but the flavors are all there. The spices really get to you. I love it.

We also ordered Sweet Lassi (₱70) and it was, again, amazing. I can't believe we're drinking super cheap Lassi that's also super good. Huhuhu. Goes to show that food in the metro is ridiculously overpriced. And their beef shawarma? ₱70 lang diiiin!

We tried to order Naan bread but didn't have any, they served us with pita bread instead, the one they use for shawarma. Okay lang naman hahaha.

Our bill went just a little over ₱600. Not baaaaad for two Indian food gluttons!

Location and contact
Address: #1, Yandoc st. corner Naguilian rd. Baguio City, Philippines (basement of Hotel Caterina, just beside Justice Hall)

If you're navigating via maps/waze, use the one pinned at Labsan st.

Operating hours: 9am to 9pm (Mon - Sat) and 11am to 9pm (Sun)
Contact number: (074)-244-7292
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[Review] Globe at Home Prepaid Wifi (w/ Homesurf599 promo)


While waiting for slots at Converge, we decided to use a prepaid wifi unit for the meantime. Globe offers this Prepaid Home Wifi Unit for ₱1,999, equipped with an LTE simcard. It boasts of 50% stronger wifi coverage and cheaper LTE promos (₱599 for 15GB good for 30days). During that time I was subscribed to Smart Bro Plan 499 (6GB monthly + FREE LTE pocket wifi), so I felt like I needed to switch immediately because the price difference is so huge! Alright, here's a rundown on important things you need to know before you fully decide on (not) getting this unit.

Where do I get one?

I bought mine at a Globe kiosk at Greenbelt, Makati. You don't have to pre-order this or line up at customer service, just go to any Globe kiosk or any prepaid load station and they pretty much have it. It's quite abundant out there! Again, this one's priced at ₱1,999 and comes with free 10GB data (valid for 7 days) upon activation.

What's in the box?

At the kiosk display, the router box looks pretty small and cute, so I was surprised when they took out a box that's 50% bigger than the one on display haha. Here's what's inside:

Prepaid wifi router
LAN cable
Charger
User manual
Instruction card (for activating)
LTE sim card (already inserted)

Globe at Home App
You'll be advised to download the Globe at Home mobile application to activate your unit. It's available for both Android and iOS users. To be honest, their app sucks big time. Aside from activating your unit, the only other purpose of the app is to give you info about your data usage - and it's not even working properly. The usage is not accurate and refreshing the app doesn't update your data in real-time uuurgh. Plus you'll keep getting this 'Request Error' bullshit that doesn't make sense. This app is sooo crappy I want it to die, I'm so angry just typing all this. It's just cute but doesn't really offer valuable functionalities. How the heck did this even get deployed.

It doesn't even show a graph of your daily usage so you wouldn't know why you're suddenly out of data (happened a lot of times to me).


And then you know, there's an option there that allows you to subscribe to surf promos, but it's freaking useless if you're not a Globe user. Clicking subscribe to any of the promos on the app will launch the native messenger of your phone, populate the message field with the promo code, and the recipient field with a Globe access code (2+10-digit Globe at Home number). So naturally, you can't reload it using a Smart/Sun/TnT number (see above photo). I'm frkn rolling my eyes at the lack of insight the developers put into this. Is it so hard to turn it into a web service instead? After all, you're already have to be online to open the app. Aaaaargh.

Anyway.

How to reload?
You can reload using the good ol' AutoloadMax. That's how I do it. 7-11 Cliq booths doesn't work. Suuuucks.

Surf promos
The major selling point of this unit is really the HomeSurf Promos which are exclusive to Globe at Home Prepaid Wifi users. Here they are:

GoSurf 50 - 1GB for ₱50 (valid for 3 days)
HomeSurf 15 - 1GB for ₱50 (add-on to GoSurf 50)
HomeSurf 349 - 10GB for ₱349 (valid for 10 days)
HomeSurf 599 - 15GB for ₱599 (valid for 30 days)

If you're a Globe user, you can register your prepaid wifi to any promos by texting the keyword and sending it to 2 + your 10-digit Globe at Home number. Note that there's 1 pesos service charge for every text.

For example, to register to Homesurf 599: text Homesurf 599 and send to 29171234567.

Alternately, for non-Globe users, you can borrow a Globe phone from one of your friends and register using their phone lol. If you're not a fan of that (like I am), then you have to login directly into the admin panel of your wifi router and use the SMS messaging system of your unit.


Turn on your wifi, and go to http://192.168.254.254 on your browser (you can do this even without internet access). Login then open the SMS feature of the panel. Create a new message and send your desired keyword to 8080.

Speed tests

Alright, here are random speed tests conducted from our place in Mandaluyong. It was never blazing fast, and there were times it's utterly slow. Grr

Date Time Location Download (Mbps) Upload (Mbps) Ping
Feb 27 2018 1:09 PM Mandaluyong 0.73 11.85 22
Apr 6 2018 5:07 AM Mandaluyong 1.33 4.01 35
Apr 12 2018 2:57 AM Mandaluyong 3.26 2.32 23
Finally
This certain product isn't for heavy users who do a lot of streaming and downloading. It's good for casual browsing, and the performance still depends on where you are located. It does its job well supporting me on my late night surfing activities though, so I'm still a bit thankful for it. As long as I don't stream videos haphazardly, 15GB could last me 20 days.
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[Review] 50's Diner at Session Rd., Baguio City


50's Diner serves your favorite comfort foods at very affordable prices. Chicken, steak, spaghetti, shakes, ice cream, name it, their menu is filled with satisfying platters that won't break your wallet! This certain branch is located at the 4th floor of Porta Vaga Mall, Session Rd. It's walking distance from SM Baguio and Megatower Residences (where we were booked) too. During the time we visited, the place was packed with people because it's Panagbenga Festival, but we didn't have a hard time getting a seat because they have lots haha.


The ambiance is very casual, and the restaurant stayed true to its theme. Neon tube lights give the place a retro glow, and the checkered floor just adds more to the 50s vibe. Don't forget the vintage movie posters!


Now onto the food! It didn't take long for us to get served, I got myself a mocha shake, mushroom soup, and one of their fully loaded meals - Guys on the Hood.

50's Mocha (₱ 100)

Guys on the hood - a combination of pork chop, chicken, spaghetti and homemade bread pizza. Served with rice and buttered vegetables. (₱ 165)

My plate was overflowing! Jeckie, on the other hand, ordered steak. Of course.

Fillet Mignon - served with soup, salad, ice cream, and iced tea. (₱ 320)

Don't get your hopes up with the steak though. Jeckie requested for his steak to be cooked rare, and had to repeat it three times because the waiter kept on repeating his order as either well-done or medium rare haha. But alas, his steak came out well-done. Well-done koya in taking our orders! It wasn't such as deal breaker though, their steak still tasted delicious, and for its price we just had to let our rare order go hehe.

And our final bill -- ONLY  650! The menu prices are all VAT inclusive and they have NO SERVICE CHARGE. It was soooo sulit. If you see yourself dining here don't forget to give them a good tip! <3 Definitely eating here again!

Check out their menu


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How Are EIN's Assigned?


When you submit your application to the IRS through the IRS-EIN-Tax-ID website, the IRS provides you with a nine-digit number that you can use to run your business.  Social security numbers, which are personal identifiers, are also nine digits, but the two are set up a bit differently. EINs use the format of 12-3456789 while social security numbers use 123-45-6789. What Do the Numbers Mean?

Your EIN number stars with two digits. Until 2001, the first two digits, which are known as the prefix code, referred to the geographical area in which your company would operate. Since 2001, the first two digits now refer to the IRS office that processed the application. The rest of the digits do not have a specific meaning. They are randomly generated and assigned, although the IRS takes measures to ensure no EINs have consecutive numbers.

What About Old Numbers?

Unfortunately, businesses close their doors and stop using their employer identification numbers every day. Even if you never use the EIN again, it is still yours, unless you contact the IRS directly to deactivate your account. In that case, your account is closed, and the number could technically be used by another company. However, the chances of this occurring are very low statistically.

How Do I Apply for an EIN?

Applying for an EIN online is easy. Simply take a few moments to fill out some information about yourself and your company, and then submit the application along with the one-time processing fee. Many applicants receive a response and their number the very same day. If you submit your application after hours, you will receive a response the next business day. Your employer identification number comes directly to your email inbox to make the process as easy for you as possible.

Are you ready to make your business look more professional? Let IRS EIN Tax ID Filing Service help you put your best foot forward. Contact the company today.

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