Friday, 27 April 2012

Is there really such a thing as 'pay as you go'?

My first mobile broadband thingy was a 'Three' model; fater the initial data allowance was used (took several months, I recall), any subsequent topup lasted a month, whether used or not. That's equivalent to buying four tins of beans, after a month you've only used two so they take them back off you; not really on.

I then - a couple of years ago, I think - found a Vodafone one (yes, pay full tax in the UK, you b*stards) that claimed unlimited data; I managed to get one before it was discontinued. The initial data allowance - think it was 1Gb, must check - lasted me those two years; most websites fucntion fine with images off, and it saves a hell of a lot of daya, when it's being counted. I was down to my last pound's worth, and a mere half an hour phone call later I was able to add more credit. £15, for 1Gb of data. That will only last 3 months, then it is taken away again; back to the beans again. So why call it pay as you go? It seems to be pretty universal, too - I haven't researched it much for a while, but I don't know of any company that will offer genuine pay as you go mobile internet.

Of course phone companies are all about money (and keeping it rather that paying it in tax), and customers like me are their worst possible nightmare. I can't imagine ofcom are interested, but it's a typically capitalist the-customer-always-loses scam. yes, I'm playing the game too, just doesn't seem fair.

Meanwhile - in even less exciting news (for the sake of adding a picture), these are back in a pound shop near you;

I know, I know. But it is useful; it'll charge a newish Nokia phone, iPod/iPhone, anything with a mini-USB (lots of things, not just phones) and also micro-USB (Blackberries, Samsung phones, I think, also kindles) from a USB socket; either in a computer, or from a car cig lighter USB power supply, also hadily on the same shelves (or a mains one, if you have one). You may never need it, but might come in useful too.

arg - new blogger; yes, I get so see that a random post about furniture made from pallet wood got 2,272 views, but why do I have to go back to adding html paragraph tags just to format my post. Otherwise it looks like the rantings of a madman. Ah, erm...


Halfie said...

£15 for 3 months? That's better than our PAYG "3" dongle - £10 for one month. We've never come close to using our 1Gb allowance. (But we've never yet had to buy two consecutive months' worth.)

Sarah said...

I guess it's for the same reason that phone cards used to expire after a certain time, whether used or not - they don't like having unpredictable, unused capacity out there. Halfie, for the iPad I buy a 3 sim which is 3gb and lasts 3 months from Prepaymania via Amazon and it costs £12.50. (Probably the same as Simon's; I think they are £15 direct from 3) I don't know whether you could just put one of those in your dongle. Ours is sealed in a bottle on the roof so we stick to the PAYG for that even though it works our dearer.