Monday, 2 January 2012

3G, or not 3G. . .

Last year I bought a dongle and took out a monthly contract with "3" for mobile internet access. Primarily this was because we had two house moves coming up and everyone I asked told me to expect trouble transferring our broadband connection although I also intended to use it for posting from Starcross.
"Everyone" couldn't have been more right!  A minor data entry error  by someone at Post Office Telecoms left us without broadband for over two months and we have now switched to the Phone Co-Op for landline and broadband.
"3"'s monthly contract came, or so I was led to believe, with an option to switch to pay-as-you-go after three months. With the home internet issue resolved, pay-as-you go appeared to be a better option for posting from the boat and eventually, just before Christmas, I got round to doing something about it.
"3"'s call-centre operative, over in Bangalore or wherever, was not happy! "Pay as You Go" is not a good option for you". She denied all knowledge of the daily rate I had been quoted and claimed that PAYG would turn out to be much more expensive than a contract. I persevered: she stood her ground. Eventually I lost my temper a little and said I wanted to cancel the contract altogether.  Consternation!   I would have to be transferred to another department; I would have to hold on; my details were slow at coming-up on the screen (and all this at premium rates of course). Then I was told I had a very old dongle (its actually just over 12 months old) and that they could send me a new, faster, one and reduce my monthly rate.
I still wanted to cancel. More holding-on; more slow-to-appear details.  Eventually "my manager has authorised me to offer you a special rate" (about a quarter of what I'd been paying). If my intention had been to secure a better deal I would have accepted the offer with both hands and, if genuine, it would certainly have been far cheaper than even the PAYG rate I'd originally been quoted. But by now I was seeing this as a battle of wills and I was determined to stick to my guns.  After more expensive hanging-on I was at last told that my contract would be cancelled - after a month's notice of course.
In the end I felt sorry for the operative: she had tried really hard and would probably lose her bonus for the week but in the course of the conversation I'd remembered that my Samsung Galaxy smartphone can be configured to work as a wi-fi router and it proved surprisingly easy to do (once I'd found the right section of the settings menu). 
To prove it, you've just read the first post made using the phone as a router to my laptop.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jim,

Just be careful that your contract covers mobile data for a computer via the phones modem, it does not follow that if the phone has web access it also has data access via modem and could be very expensive.


Chris H

An English Shepherd said...

Congratulations ... hopefully ;-)

ditchcrawler said...

It was a genuine offer, I was going to change to Vodafone and rang to cancle my contract, I am still with them, I only use the dongle on the boat but I still find it wortwhile