Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Internet Shopping

When pay as you go 3G USB modems were £99, I knew I didn't miss the internet that much. Now they're £49, I thought I'd give it a go.

They had them on sale in PC World - great - walk in, buy, get going...

The DVD boxes they use represent the product had minimal information, although they did say something about top-ups lasting 30 days... no data costs or anything. So I asked someone, Who asked someone else. Who went to find the most junior member of staff to deal with me, who still knew nothing. The 30 day thing is diabolical - if you don't use the data credit you've bought within 30 days, you lose it. Yes, lose it. If they did that on phones they'd never get away with it, and if grocers claimed back the food after a week, or a pub took back what's left of your pint after 20 mins - how can they justify this, other than being money grabbing? A letter to Ofcom should be written, but probably won't.

They also had no information ANYWHERE about data costs, and they actually had to ring '3' themselves to find out. So, if there's any PC World employees reading, £10 gets you 1Gb, £15 gets you 3Gb and £25 7Gb. Or rather, that's how much you can go up to within a month before paying more, before they grab it back after 30 days. Presumably the bulk discounts on higher amounts are to get as much money as they can upfront, whether you use it or not...

All hardly ideal, but since I mainly want to use it for August, I decided to get one anyway. At the till, they tried to charge me £69. Ah, we've brought the wrong one out, they said. The manager went to have a look, then told me there were two models, and they only had the more expensive one, although he couldn't tell me what the difference was, or what the other model was - so sounds like backpedalling bullshit to me, as he 'as a courtesy' overrode the till and sold it to me for the originally quoted price.

Of course I didn't dare say I was going to be using it on an Asus eee linux laptop, as it's not supported, even though PC World sell them. It works, after a bit of faffing, but since I'm not going to put any credit on it until next week to avoid being done over by the 30 day rule, all I can get get at so far on it is the three.co.uk website. Whether it continues to work, and I continue to fill up the internet with rubbish remains to be seen, let alone whether it was worth getting on for an hour of hassle in a tin shed on the Great West Road...

6 comments:

Tony said...

I'm assuming you got a 3 Mobile Huawei E220 USB Modem. I gt one a while ago (and waffled here).

I've had no problems with it, apart from how fast i was burning through the credit. Your tenner will not last 30 days, I promise.

Simon said...

thanks - the main point of the post was PC World being completely rubbish... and me wanting to use it on a system it's not designed for. ;-) I'm a but of a Web 1.0 type generally - one day I'll put my 30 min rockumentary from 1992 up on youtube, but in main it'll be updating this, a few email and reading blog. I used to use a Treo 600 for such things, and that was £4/Mb... ;-)

Tony said...

Pissy World... so stupid I had to help them sell me paper once...
Another alternative the the USB dongle is the Skypephone. I'm using about 50p a day (100mb) through it.
I got both working fine on my Dell Latitude running Linux, so I can't see you having any trouble.

Enjoy Stone, by the way, its not a bad little town, and only 7 miles from civilization!

Simon said...

I was going to rely on public libraries and Wetherspoons (thankfully lacking in most canalside villages) for occasional raids on the internet. The internet & I - well, it's a patchy relationship and could both do with the space from one another, so here I am, buying more toys...

Was the local connection how you found me? I was wondering. TBH I prefer green fields & village pubs to 'civilisation' - wasn't it Ghandi who said something about Western Civilisation would be 'a very good idea'? ;-)

I'm off to do sound for pagans using bicycle power in the morning; you see what I mean? Won't be taking the laptop, that's for sure.

Tony said...

Not real the local connection, I've started reading canal blogs somewhat obsessively after stumbling upon Granny Buttons whilst looking for a photo of the old River Sow / Staffs & Worcs navigation (filled in). I beats re-reading old VW Camper magazines.

Rebecca said...

http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/phones/cheap-mobile-broadband

might be helpful?