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Vodafone mobile internet FAIL - 'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Thomas

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Vodafone mobile internet FAIL [Friday 13th June 2014 at 5:58 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Where |Cornwall!]
[Feeling |annoyedannoyed]

How to use mobile internet, 2007-style:

> inventory
You have a Vodafone 3G mobile internet dongle
> Check Balance
"Your balance is #8.58. To check any remaining allowances please call 1345 , for free. Thank you"
> Connect
Connecting... connecting... connecting... done!
You are now connected to Vodafone UK 3G+
> Summon Firefox
You summon Firefox! A fox with a flaming tail appears by your side.
> http://boggyb.livejournal.com/friends/
You are now at your LiveJournal friends page


How to use mobile internet, 2014-style:

> inventory
You have a Vodafone 3G mobile internet dongle
> Check Balance
"Your balance is #8.58. To check any remaining allowances please call 1345 , for free. Thank you"
> Connect
Connecting... connecting... connecting... done!
You are now connected to Vodafone UK 3G+
> Summon Firefox
You summon Firefox! A fox with a flaming tail appears by your side.
> http://boggyb.livejournal.com/friends/
It's a trap! You are now at "How do I add credit to my mobile broadband device"
Exits are "Buy a data pack" and "My Vodafone"
> Buy a data pack
You are now at "Buy a data pack"
Your way is blocked by a button-shaped guardian. The guardian demands that you "Enter a Vodafone number"
> Enter number
The guardian looks at you blankly
> Click on guardian
The guardian ignores you
> _
...
> _
...
The guardian shows no interest in you
> Summon Internet Explorer!
You dismiss Firefox and instead summon Internet Explorer! A blue E appears by your side.
> Enter number
Enter number where?
> Sigh
> Summon Google Chrome!
You dismiss Internet Explorer and instead summon Google Chrome! A spinning multicoloured orb appears by your side.
> Enter number
The guardian asks if this is the number you want to use.
> Yes!
No need to shout.
The guardian moves aside, revealing two rooms signed "Choose a TopUp" and "Choose a pack".
> Choose a pack
Exits are:
3GB 30 days for £20
1GB 30 days for £10
250MB 30 days for £5
200MB 24 hours for £3
> 200MB
Before you can proceed through the room, a new guardian appears!
The new guardian demands your card details.
> WTF?
> Check Balance
"Your balance is #8.58. To check any remaining allowances please call 1345 , for free. Thank you"
> Use credit
The guardian demands your card details.
> But...
The guardian demands your card details.


So, basically, Vodafone have broken their mobile internet service by making it impossible to actually buy a data pack unless you're using Chrome, and then to make things even more broken the obvious route doesn't let me use the credit left on that SIM. I should point out that back in 2008 that credit could directly be used for data without this silliness of having to buy stupidly short-lived data packs through an unusable website (which becomes even more unusable when you end up dropping down to slow GRPS or EDGE reception, because of course there are no slow or unreliable internet connections anymore).

There was another option at the start, which I initially disregarded as the blurb for it was concentrating on applying top-up vouchers and I've already added the credit. Still...

> Retreat!
It's a trap! You are now at "How do I add credit to my mobile broadband device"
Exits are "Buy a data pack" and "My Vodafone"
> My Vodafone
You are now at "My Vodafone"
A box-shaped guardian demands your "My Vodafone" username and password
> I know not of this "My Vodafone" account of which you speak
The guardian sighs and asks for your number
> Enter number
The guardian whispers something into a speaking tube.
Moments later, a small card materialises in front of you.
The guardian demands the code on the card.
> Enter code
The guardian now demands that you tell it your name, date of birth, email address, password, memorable word (in case your forget your password), and super-secret 4-digit pin (in case your forget your memorable word).
> Enter details
The guardian seems happy. He now demands your username and password again.
> Enter username and password (again)
The guardian bows and steps aside.
You are now at "Account summary"
Exits are "Account summary", "Buy a Data Pack", "Manage Services", and "Manage Personal Details"
> Buy a data pack
You are now at "Buy a data pack"
Your way is blocked by a button-shaped guardian. The guardian asks if this is the number you want to use
> Yes!
No need to shout.
The guardian moves aside, revealing two rooms signed "Choose a TopUp" and "Choose a pack".
> Choose a pack
Exits are:
3GB 30 days for £20
1GB 30 days for £10
250MB 30 days for £5
200MB 24 hours for £3
> 200MB
Before you can proceed through the room, a new guardian appears!
The new guardian ask you to either pay with balance or to select a payment card
> Pay with balance!
The guardian accepts your offering
> Really? It actually worked?
> http://boggyb.livejournal.com/friends/
You are now at your LiveJournal friends page


That was altogether far too much hassle for a mere 24 hours worth of data. I want my old 1GB-that-never-expires plan back - that was actually useful, unlike the current idiocy.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: tau_iota_mu_c
Tuesday 17th June 2014 at 11:22 am (UTC)
Are vodafone referred to as vodafail in the UK? When I went for the first time, I brought along my cheap vodafail prepaid phone, and found that it was network locked to the point where I couldn't put a vodafail UK SIM into it. So I bought a cheap crappy £10 phone and £10 SIM. And made one very short local call, which exhausted the credit somehow. I'm used to the Australian prepaid system where the account balance mysteriously drops to 0 at some random point despite not using the credit, and the transaction history goes to 7 days, and by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, if you ever look at the transaction history, then no transactions actually appear in that 7 days, so I wasn't terribly surprised that I couldn't find the transaction details on vodafail UK's website to find out where they stole my money.

So at first opportunity back here, I told Vodafail where to shove it, and won't touch them ever again (mysteriously, I get semi-reliable data now).

Last time I went back to the UK, I very deliberately avoided the large telcos, and went with a recommendation of a friend. Which worked well, but I was amused when it cut out the moment I crossed the Scottish border. Because as we all know, they're not in the UK. Here's I guess where a multinational behemoth would come in handy. Ho ho ho ho, I'm so funny.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: boggyb
Sunday 22nd June 2014 at 10:11 pm (UTC)
Not heard of them referred to as Vodafail before, no. It does have a nice ring to it though.

They used to be very good with their various data offerings (rumour has it that they massively overinvested in their original data network) but all the telcos have gone downhill with their data offerings over the past couple of years. And they don't do as many nice voice offerings as they used to either (Vodafone Passport is gone, per-second billing is now per-minute, and I'm not sure if Free Weekends or Stop-the-Clock still work)... I keep meaning to look and see what else is out there. Unfortunately I think the answer is "they're all rubbish".

Coverage is still a bit patchy in the more rural and hilly places here. The one time my phone actually came up with "No network" (as opposed to "Emergency calls only", which merely means it's registered on a different network) was on top of the Brecon Beacons in Wales.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)