Monday, 1 March 2010

Busy phone day

In preparation for a new phone arriving any minute now I've been sorting out a few issues with my existing devices:

1/ Reduce cost of iPhone 3G on Pay Monthly on O2

This is now out of 18-month contract so time to downsize from that iPhone 35 (£35!) tariff.

O2 have just launched some iPhone specific SIM only deals especially targeted at keeping people away from Vodafone and others. I just opted for the cheapest pay monthly deal £20, which gives you 300 mins calls, unlimited texts, unlimited data/web and WiFi and visual voicemail.

You can get this reduced to £15 pounds a month if you sign up for 12 month contract but as we don't know which country we might be in in 6 months the monthly deal looks better!

2/ Unlock iPhone 3G

As the 3G is now out of contract I'm getting it unlocked using the unlock request form on O2's website. This should take a couple of weeks but then the next time you sync with iTunes it should unlock iPhone.

This might be useful if I am going to give Denise the iPhone 3GS and we want to sell the iPhone 3G (actually I think Ethan and Toby would have something to say about that - I suppose an iPhone 3G for Ethan at 5 years old is about standard for this family...)

3/ er... Why is my January bill for my iPhone 3GS so freaking large???!?

So this has taken up a considerable portion of my morning - whilst checking out account status on My O2 I was surprised to see a massive bill for January.

Now - this was the month that I spent a week in Tokyo, Japan - using my iPhone 3GS quite a lot - BUT - I had setup a 50Mb Data Bolt on (for £50) to cover my trip (or so I thought).

Well, after 4 calls to various customer service departments it turns out that though my data bolt-on had been applied to my account on the 9th of January, that only provided a pro-rata based data allowance until the end of the current billing period (a day after my trip). In summary, I had just paid £50 for a 16Mb data allowance for the one week I was in Tokyo. 55Mb of data later - I owed them an additional £234! [on top of £50 data bolt-on charge]

So my complaint to them was that this was never explained to me during my request for the data bolt on. They wanted to check the order telephone recordings but as the order was done on-line and via email I ended up sending copies of the emails I received to the (courteous) man in the iPhone customer service department.

He agreed that there was no mention of the partial/pro-rata allowance and I am now expecting a refund of £200 in a future bill.

Points to take away:

a) always set up data bolt-on's with enough notice so that you cover your trip with a complete months' allowance.

b) Ideally make sure you request the start to be from next billing period. However if your trip falls over a billing period then set up bolt on from whatever date gives you reasonable amount of data (you might get away with mid month setup for 25Mb use for the 4 days of trip before end of billing period). You will end up paying a whole month though for the latter part of the trip which falls in next billing period.

c) you have to request the data bolt on is cancelled otherwise it will automatically renew. (though looking at terms and conditions on the O2 website I can see contradictory information on this, 30 day cancellation notice, 72 hours cancellation notice and somewhere said you could request just a month)

d) Finally, I'm no lawer, but I have scoured the O2 terms and conditions (spread amongst many different page) and I still can't see any mention of this issue which I'm sure must catch out loads of people! [So I suggested nicely to their CS that they rectify this]

4/ Need to backup all iPhones before I shuffle round devices

5/ Wait for DHL to show up with the new toy.... (which of course I can completely justify as I need it for some upcoming business meetings.....)