Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Phone Companies Antics

I had a phone call from Rogers yesterday trying to sell me a "Rocket Stick". I asked if I could use my existing data plan. "Oh, do you have a data plan?" they replied.

I wish these companies would get their act together and use the information they have. They say they're calling me because I'm a "valued customer" but they don't even have my account information. Of course, it's probably a different department or outsourced or one of a dozen other excuses. But it makes them look stupid. One of the first rules of selling is to know your customer.

So they asked me what my plan was ($30 per month for 6gb) and told me "Yes, you can switch to a shared plan". I was pleasantly surprised because I assumed the answer would be "no".

The new plan would be $45 per month for 1gb. Wait a minute, you want me to pay 50% more for 1/6 the service? "Yes, but it would be shared."  No thanks, doesn't sound like a good deal to me. (I don't use 6gb and 1gb would probably be fine, but I still don't want to pay more for less! And with 6gb I don't have to worry about my usage, which is a big plus.)

Actually, what I'm really interested in is the Mobile MiFi Hotspot. Then I could use it with my laptop and Shelley would use it with her iPod Touch or laptop at the same time. (Plus any future wifi devices.)  I'd looked this up before, but it just said "Out of Stock". I asked about it and they told me they used to have them, but there was some problem with the batteries. That sounded a little lame to me - they're still selling them in the US.

Note: In theory I can share my data plan by tethering my MacBook to my iPhone but it hasn't worked too well when I tried and I haven't spent the time to figure it out. And I don't think that would help with other devices.

see also: AT&T’s cynical act


Larry Reid said...

Tethering through the iPhone over Bluetooth works really well with Ubuntu 10.04, and it's all done using built-in software. Under Ubuntu 9.04 I had to use cobbled-together software and it wasn't very reliable, often dropping the connection after a short time.

What problems do you have?

andrew said...

I just tried it again and it worked like a charm (after I managed to find the right place on the iPhone to enable tethering).

Either iPhone or OS X updates have made improvements and/or I was just unlucky last time.

I've usually found wifi for my laptop, but maybe if we ever get any good weather, I'll have to take my iPhone and laptop to the riverbank, just because I can :-)

Of course, the other solution would have been to run Ubuntu on my MacBook.