When R bought his laptop we connected it to 3. While the internet was slow, it was ok for very occasional use. The clincher was it was cheap, at $20 per month for 1gb broadband. We never even came close to using 1gb.
We received a flyer from Vodaphone and 3 claiming they were now associated companies and would we like to take up an offer of Vodaphone service, for $15 per month and 2gb. There wouldn't be a contract, just pay monthly. One selling point was 'a stronger network', and let me tell you, it is good. The speed really is broadband as we know it.
But let me quote from the flyer. 'As part of this we are offering you the option to switch to Vodaphone - at no extra cost to you.' No extra cost!
Well there has been a lot of cost if you take into account time spent. The dongle duly arrived in the post, I plugged it in and it worked. But there seemed to be a conflict with the existing 3 connection. I uninstalled the 3 connection and then the new connection would not work. I uninstalled the new connection and tried again. Still would not work. I reinstalled the 3 connection and now neither would work.
I speak to Mumbai. It started working. Good. Until I restarted and then it would not. Everytime I rang Mumbai, they told me to do different things and it always ended up working, but never would once I restarted. I am up to about 2.5 hours on the phone now.
Botheration, I said to myself, or perhaps it was a word with just one syllable. I am over it today. Enough.
Take 2, similar experience except briefer because I now knew how their auto phone system worked. Let me add another 40 minutes to the 2.5 hours.
Take 3 and I was escalated to a chappie in Hobart who was very agreeable. At this point the phone battery started go flat and I realised I did not know how to transfer it the other handset. It is ok, chap said. I need to install ghost Windows ME on my computer so I am seeing the same as you are. I will call you back.
He did call back and had me uninstall the cd version that a previous chap had told me to use, in preference to the programme embedded in the dongle. Dear Victor, have your eyes glazed over yet? I expect you will be in fine company. Still no good.
From the second person I spoke to, I continued to suggest that I had mucked up the Outlook Express mail settings. Hobart man eventually listened and ran through the settings. Sure enough, I had altered something I shouldn't have. Of course had I been told that Vodaphone do not give you an email address, I would never have touched email settings.
Right internet is now working. A couple of days later, at R's urging, I took a look at email again. I restored 3 settings to email and email worked. R like his 3 eddress and did not want to lose it. I was a little puzzled about why we had 3 email but were connected via Vodaphone, but again I was muttering botheration out loud.
Internet worked, email worked and christmas/new year intervened.
At times it pays to be ultra polite and rational and understanding of what the person on the other end at the call centre is doing. At times it pays to be the opposite, so Part 2 will be about when R got on the phone to Mumbai when we realised that 'at no extra cost to you' was not quite what it seemed.