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Tuesday 14 September 2004

Shifting mobile provider [Lurks]

T-mobile were seriously annoying. Their web interface is a joke and is down a good 50% of the time. You can't change direct debits, you can't even email them to get that done, you have to phone them and then you get a message saying call back during office hours - err, it IS office hours.
Now I was with T-mobile because they are quite considerably the cheapest operator in the UK. I was on some shitbox plan, like Anytime 20 or something for about £14 a month but then any calls extra were charged at sensible rates and texts were 10p a shot, cheapest of the lot (they're all robbing bastards).
I was looking into Vodafone and O2 and a previous bill of mine. I worked out that basically I was better off getting more inclusive minutes since I'm using the mobile a bunch more. Voda and O2 have some quite attractive bundles which have a bunch of texts built-in.
My hand got forced as this weekend I lost my phone. Well annoying, especially as it doesn't seem possible to get a new Nokia 6310i on Vodafone or O2 - they force you to either get a super el-cheapo B&W screen phone (which lasts more than a day on batteries) or some colour screen monstrosity with a 100MHz ARM9 CPU. Yes I know it can play MAME at 2FPS but honestly, I'd rather be able to read the fucking screen and have it last more than a day on battery power... sigh.
First of all I need a PAC code of course. I knew they'd hand me around to some department which would try talk me out of it so what I did was concoct a cock and bull story that my work would pay for a new phone and they had a corporate account with another provider. That way it was pretty obvious that they're not going to talk me into staying. It worked, 10 minutes I have a PAC code.
After much wrangling, I decided that I could just about put up with a Nokia 6230 and this would at least allow me to begin experimenting with supporting MMS in Rebot (hehe, just think of the possibilities!). First I try Vodafone. I can't number port online so I have to phone up. (This is of course bullshit, more on this later) Then I'm told the deal I wanted (Crossnet 100 or something with 100 texts or something for £22) wasn't available unless I got a new number. Eh, so let's do crossnet 200 with 100 texts for £30 then. Mucho fucking about and they decide that despite the fact I've owned my own house for five years, they want me to fax utility bills and then call them up again.
Who the fuck has a fax these days? I need to order a phone now, not tomorrow so they can fuck off!
I fume over this for awhile and try O2 online. Their web is kind of weird and when I get to the shop bit, it just explodes with a cryptic error. It's got comedy embedded stuff in the page saying 'Undefined'. Clearly O2 have an issue with web development. So I phone them up and I get an altogether more helpful lass in Manchester who answers the phone in about 1/10th the time that Vodafone did. Shame she doesn't understand the English language but eventually we get through after I spell out every word in military phonetics. They send me off to some other lass who double checks my details, then returns me to the original lass. Nice idea that.
Now in between the Vodafone thing and the O2 thing, I noticed Muz say on IRC that what he did to number port was just order a new phone and then call them up with the PAC number and sort it with the new provider. I checked that with O2 and that is the case so fuck knows what shite Vodafone were going on about. Nice O2 lady gave me a direct number for the person who will take the PAC code off me to sort it out. What's more, £25 a month gets me 200 all-network minutes and 250 free texts which is substantially better deal than Vodafone as well.
Apparently when I'm not at home to take delivery of the phone, they leave a card and I can collect it from the local post office which is kind of nifty as well. We'll see how it goes. I still suspect I'm going to have to buy a 6310i off eBay but there you go...


  1. Alright, unsurprisingly I've run into my first issue with O2. They said a card would be left and that my phone would be at the local post office. What they meant was that a DHL card would be left and that my phone would be left at a DHL depot in the middle of an industrial estate on the outskirts of Enfield. Wankers.

  2. After having played with the 6230 some more and setting it up how I like it, I'm actually very pleased with it. It's a bit smaller than I'd like, which is great for the pocket but a little irritating when it comes to one handed texting. The menus are actually very like Nokia's menus on the earlier phones, despite obviously running on a new OS with swanky colour icons. The SMS interface is largely the same, which is good.
    It also does a good job of just screen blanking to the time and that being readible in sunlight, unlike a good deal of other colour screen phones I've seen. There's loads of stuff I could play about with, if I could be arsed, such as backdrops, polyphone/mp3 ring tones etc. I think it's got a radio and it came with a 32MB MMC card.
    Predictably, after just a day a couple of bars notched off the battery gauge so I guess I had better get used to charging my phone more often but on the whole it's actually a proper little phone and I really like the looks. It's got a camera in it too. Feh. Still, O2 giving me a free MMS allowance so I may as well test it out and see if I can decode MMS in Rebot.

  3. I like the 6230 although I think its ugly-ish in graphite; tin grey (ie. silver) looks smart and appropriate. The interface is slick and it's a good phone in the traditional Nokia sense.
    Dare I ask: what format and resolution are the videos?
    The 6230 not running Symbian is probably a good thing. I've been jazzed about the 7610 for ages, but it has crap styling, looks girly, and is sadly more PDA/camera than phone. Also, the K700i is fab, has an insane camera, but then we're back in T610 UI territory and I admit I'm not sure I want that.
    Still no killer phone...

  4. I'm the other way, I think the silver version looks cheap where as the black one is seriously sexy. In fact one of the best looking phones on the shelves.
    I didn't know it did video. It does stills. I just bought some software which will allow me to browse the folders on it via Bluetooth so I can start farting about with it some more. Animated backdrops is teh win - didn't Spiro do a spinning EED logo?

  5. The POP3 e-mail client in the 6230 doesn't seem to do attachments - presumably deliberately so that people have to use evil MMS. This is a bit sucky and I need a work-around. Going to see if there are any independent POP3/IMAP clients as downloadable java apps.Here's a simple and perfectly usable IRC client for MIDP (Java) phones, including the Nokia 6230. It just dials up using your default service settings:wirelessIRC