We all live on the internet now, be it for email, Facebook, Twitter, or whatever, it is now almost as important as food and water to some people!
So when you go somewhere different, the speed or accessibility of internet access is an issue. I certainly have got to know over the years where the ‘dead spots’ are on the Vodafone network – sadly far to large and numerous in my experience! We have recently moved to EE at work so it will be interesting to see how this compares – I have high hopes!
So, if the mobile networks can provide this for us on average for £10 a month (excluding the handset cost), why is paid wireless in most hotels etc so incredibly poor, and expensive?
This week I have stayed in a Premier Inn, the cost of wifi for 24 hours was £3 – not a lot on the face of it – but see the speed test screen shot, I wasn’t getting much for my £3! Surely it is possible to give a decent connection speed? At home I have 152mb download speeds through Virgin Media – I will let you do the maths as to how much quicker that is…..
My experience of wifi in the USA and even in Europe has always been good, why can’t we sort this out? The only place I have had really good wifi speeds in the UK is on the London underground platforms – and that is provided by Virgin (there is a theme developing here).
We need hotels and pubs to realise that simply ‘providing wifi’ isn’t enough – it has to be useable!
I find it increasingly annoying that the level of spam received via both email and text message is not reducing. We have been suffering an increase in spam mail at work – although it does now appear to be under better control now due to the work of our spam filter providers arcanza – who are excellent.
What I find most annoying however is the spam text – we have all got them, and increasingly they relate to PPI insurance claims. I received the attached earlier this week, and the urge to reply is so strong, but apparently the best course of action is to ignore it – otherwise you are confirming the phone number is still in use.
Then forward the text to 87726 – which adds it to a black list. Sadly the mobile operators don’t appear able to sort the issue (in the same way the ISP’s have failed with Spam email).
A recent report indicates that over 80% of spam comes from about 3 small areas of the world – surely something can be done?
As a family we have ‘suffered’ more than most in relation to mobile phone theft. My stepdaughter has had two iPhones stolen now over the last 6 months, both in Nottingham when on a night out. The first was taken from her in Rock City which apparently is well known as a hot spot for this crime (they are working with the police on the issue I gather).
The second was in a pub in town – in both cases the phone was taken from a closed bag – so we assumed it was professional criminals.
This has now been confirmed by information released recently by the police that shows that teams of criminals are descending on our cities to carry out this crime – to then export the phones abroad (where they are not locked and can be used or sold).
Yes this is a problem the police and venues need to address, but is it not more of an issue for the manufacturers and networks? The ability to reuse the phones abroad is a massive ‘loophole’ in the supposed security provided by blacklisting phones. The networks need a world wide system to block phones – and they need it now.
Regular readers of my ongoing ‘experiences with mobile providers’ will be aware of my recent run in with T-Mobile. You will be pleased to hear that the matter has now been brought to a satisfactory conclusion. This is great news, but it is rather tiring having to resort to an email to the CEO to get that resolution!
The gentleman I dealt with in the CEO’s office at T-Mobile was very helpful, polite and most importantly was in a position to deal with my problem quickly and efficiently. So, I am grateful for his actions, but really rather aggrieved that it always takes this level of input from me to get things sorted.
Now I accept that these are very large organisations, but that is no excuse for the quality of service failing. I cannot help but point the finger at call centres – they are a great way of saving money, and can work for basic issues. But, if the matter in hand is even slightly ‘off piste’ they just can’t deal with it.
At the end of the day it all comes down to the relationship between the provider and the customer – all business is based on relationships and trust – the banks have learnt this again the hard way over the last few years, and we shouldn’t forget this.
The man from EE did suggest to me that they might be having a ‘few issues’ with T-Mobile since they took them over – I would say that is an understatement – but at least there was an acceptance of an issue – perhaps there is hope for our telecoms providers after all?
I have recently had cause to speak to a call centre in the Philippines – it services T-Mobile and has the usual very polite and friendly staff that one gets in all call centres. So what is my problem? If the service is friendly and helpful why complain?
Well friendly is all very well, and in my experience the staff are always very apologetic (I only appear to call if there is a problem) – my issue is that they all work from scripts that don’t usually answer problems – they just deflect them! I find that the only way you can get a resolution to a problem is to ask to speak to a manager, and in effect escalate the issue – which is always a major issue for the staff member you are talking to!
I realise that call centres can work for very basic issues – like “how do I do this on my phone” or “why won’t this work on my phone” – but as soon as you throw them a “curved ball” the system can’t cope and they just end up being even more apologetic and friendly!
So why can’t the call centres have an option when you ring up (and they have lots of options!) that is for people like me who only call when they are forced into a corner? The option could be something like this;
“Press 4 if you are at the end of your tether a want to kill someone”
It could work and actually save time at the call centres as well!
The mobile phone operators are all keen to land us as clients – they make great offers to lure you over to them, but how is the service then? At work we received some interesting ‘care’ from Orange before we had even signed up with them – because of this we didn’t move to them from Vodafone – perhaps this should have made me think before going with T-Mobile for my daughters iPhone!
The deal was (is) good, and the network is great. But, once things go wrong the care becomes rather less ‘impressive’.
Daughters iPhone was stolen this weekend (second time – not good, but not her fault). So a replacement SIM card was required – not a massive ask you would think as we have a contract – but there is a £10 charge! They give them away free to new customers! Also the opening times on the EE website (which has recently been updated) were wrong for the Nottingham stores – but that is another story!
And it gets better, we needed a ‘fill in’ phone while we sorted out the insurance, so a cheap pay as you go was required. But, and there is always ‘a but’ – we had to add £10 airtime to a sim we didn’t want. I asked the question – “can’t you wave that on the basis that we have just paid £10 for a sim anyway” – apparently not!
So we went to Carphone Warehouse who were very helpful and let us use a pay as you go number on another network to do an upgrade and therefore pay only for the phone.
So brilliant service (and advise) from Carphone Warehouse, but money grabbing and greed from T-Mobile, Orange, EE or what ever they call themselves today. If I need another mobile who will I be going to do you think?
Today sees the last race for Michael Schumacher in Formula 1 – his return has not been particularly successful, and one could suggest that perhaps some of the old magic isn’t there anymore. The Ricky Hatton fight over the weekend is a similar case in point. so is it a mistake for sports stars to come back for a second bite of the cherry – or can’t they help themselves?
Schumacher was a frighteningly successful driver – his years at Ferrari were the best that they have ever seen (a visit to their museum at Maranello confirms this in the trophy room). However this sport is not just down to pure talent, the car plays a massive part – Nigel Mansell was good, but the car helped, the same with Red Bull at the moment – great drivers but also a great package.
So in coming back for a second go I believe Schumacher has perhaps taken the shine off his legacy, yes the car wasn’t great, but his younger team member has regularly finished and qualified above him.
I really don’t think the likes of Schumacher and Hatton can help themselves – to be at sport at that level you have to believe in yourself totally – you are the best, even if you aren’t anymore!
So Michael – thanks for the entertainment, but it’s now time to retire gracefully and start spending all that cash, and don’t what ever you do come back for a third bite of the cherry!