iPhone OS 3.0 Internet Tethering Rip Off

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So i have had OS 3.0 on my phone for a few days and was unable to setup internet tethering because o2 did not offer the service until today. However, yesterday there tethering information page came online along with their prices for the service.

So first of all let me explain to you what Internet Tethering is. It basically allows you to connect your mobile phone to you PC or Laptop via USB or Bluetooth  and then allows you to use your iPhone as a modem, providing internet to the device its connected too. Pretty much like a mobile broadband dongle does.

Now, anyone with an iPhone from o2 will be aware that all contracts come with unlimited data over 3G and from WIFI Hotspots, so there is no need to purchase additional internet to use your phone tethered right? wrong!

This is another services in which is provided solely for the provider to make money.

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The image to the left shows the prices o2 are charging to use the internet tethering feature on you iPhone. Now the problem with this is that it actually costs o2 or apple NOTHING for us to use Internet Tethering yet they are charging us for more data to use with tethering, when we already have unlimited data plans!

Now, i also have the fortune of owning a Nokia N95 and over the last year, when i have needed an internet connection on my laptop, i have put my Sim card in my Nokia N95, USB connected it to my laptop and launched Nokia PC Suite.

Now Nokia PC Suite comes with a program called “One Touch Access” as seen in the below image. This allows your laptop or PC to connect to the internet using your Nokia N95 as a modem and using your phones 3G or in my case 3.5G connection as the sources.

Now last year i phoned o2 and asked them if my laptop using my iPhones 3G data would cost me anything, to which they replied “No, you have unlimited data plan, you will not be charged for using data”

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So, Nokia have provided this feature for years, and now Apple have finally jumped on the bandwagon giving it a new name of “Internet Tethering” and forcing operators to charge for the service… yes, FORCING.

Yesterday i phoned o2 with a few questions, first was why my iPhone would send MMS but not receive them, answer being i have os3.0 early and o2 have not provisioned the MMS receiving yet. when i questioned them about tethering, they said its something they have to charge for as its in their agreement with Apple. So the prices as shown above or just ridiculous, i have unlimited data, yet i have to purchase extra data just to use for tethering, when the data is provided the exact same way! Over 3G, so why should i have to pay extra for it.

Now, like me, many other o2 iPhone customers already spend a minimum of £45 a month on their contract with o2. with the smallest tethering package, that price will jump up to £60 a month and only allowing you 3GIG of internet for tethering!

The iPhone is a great device, but they are starting to annoy me big time with the charging for services which have been free on other devices for years! I really don’t understand how they can justify it or how they can charge you such a high price to use a feature that is absolutely free on other devices.

Slowly backing away from the iPhone, and i can see myself Jail Breaking it now just so i can use the device i paid for how i want to use it, not how Apple force me to use it!

O2-UK Messing Up My Bill Once Again!

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So, were coming up to the end of the month, and for many people this means there phone bills amongst lots of other things are due to be paid. For me, it marks the start of another long and boring phone call with o2 about my phone bill.

Now, i have been with o2 for years, prices are fair and never used to have any problems, that however has been a thing of the past for the last year. Something to look back on and think “ahh, remember the good old days when you used to just pay your bill without any hassle”.

Now, for the problem. Every month I’m forced to phone o2 because they cut off my phone for no reasons, mess up my bolt ons, or start charging me for things they shouldn’t be. Well, I’m sad to say, this month they messed up BIG time.

Mobile phone tariffs can be quite expensive, for me, i choose a £45 a month tariff on the iPhone, seemed to be the best deal for me for what i use. Now, £45 doesn’t sound like much, and its defiantly something that is achievable each month for me without any problems, and this is why i choose the tariff i am on.

So this morning, 7:25am i get out of bed, check my phone and notice i have a new email. It’s from o2 and its my phone bill. I wasn’t to worried about my bill this month as I’d hardly been using my phone, but upon reading the email i found myself being smacked in the face with what can only be described as an imaginary wet fish. Let me show you the email i got.

Dear mr Anthony Kinson

You can now take a look at your O2 bill for 18/05/09 online. Your total bill for this month is £655.28. Please arrange to pay this by the date detailed on your bill. Cheques being cheques, they do take a few days to clear so if you could write your mobile phone number or O2 account number on the back of the cheque and send it in time to allow for this, that would be great. Alternatively, why not pay with your debit or credit card by using the ‘make a payment’ option from your online bill, or call customer service and select the ‘billing and payments’ option.

Now at first I’m thinking what the hell is going on here, maybe the email is just wrong, or maybe my phone was connected to the internet and downloaded some stuff while i was asleep, or maybe i accidentally dialled a number. At this point i decided to logon to my o2 account on my laptop. Here’s what i found. (click to enlarge)

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As you can see, that is pretty messed up, first problem is my tariff has been listed 4 times. one is a deduction, then I’ve been charged £555 for my tariff, and then i have been charged again twice with 2 lesser amounts. Now i don’t know what the hell is going on with o2, but all they seem to do is mess up my bill, more so this month than ever before, and this isn’t just the first problem, before they updated there site, i had loads of problems logging into my account. Apparently it was my browser, or should i say, the browser on my phone, my PC, my laptop, my mums pc, my friends laptop, apparently my account was fine, and the problem was with all of these computers, despite the fact my mum could login to her o2 account on all of them. Problem is down to there poor coding in there websites, its pretty much as simple as that and anyone who has been into an o2 store will know that there computers are always down.

So, the next step for me is to now phone them, have them fix it, which will probably result in my phone being cut off like last time, they told me not to pay the bill so it could be regenerated and to pay double the following month, 2 days later, my phones cut off for not paying the bill. Crazy, the whole o2 system is a mess and i seriously think they should re-think about there system layout.

If anyone else is on o2 and has had similar problems, or recurring problems with o2, comment on this article and share your story. Would be interesting to read what other problems people are having.

Bouncy Radio Center 9 & iPhone / iPod Touch Listeners

2 announcments here, first of all, the new v9 radio center will now list all listeners tuned in on the iPhone or iPod Touch and display a cool little icon next to them in the listener info list and secondly all BouncyServers SHOUTcast customers radio streams are listed with SHOUTcast’s stream directory by default, meaning that they now have the potential to attract more listeners, even if they are not visitors to there websites.

This option can be switched off for people who wish to remain private of course and the same applys for our V-Cast customers with video streams.

That’s about it, just a quick update really but there will be more news coming soon on the new progress of the new radio center.