Aug 30, 2005

Stupidity sucks

3byemusik It took a millisecond to change my mood from a sense of satisfaction to stupidity. Once again I had been ripped off by 3 Sweden. The story goes something like this.

Early May I got an offer from 3 Sweden (through S/MMS I think). They told me I could try their new service 3Musik for free all the summer. After that the cost would be SEK 49/month (less than 5 Euro). Signing up was easy (of course) and instant. I immediately got a SMS that said "Hello! The content package 3Musik that You ordered has been activated. Press the 3-star on Your 3mobile and select Musik to start. Thank You for choosing 3! [my translation]". From the sales material it was clear that the summer ends August 31. After that they would start charging.

As I've reported here in A1000blog throughout the summer I have played a little bit with the service. From my initial skepticism I have come to the conclusion that 3Musik is pretty OK. But, for my personal use I don't think it's worth the money. Mainly because I don't find it useful enough. Streamed audio draws a lot of battery. Downloaded videos are choppy and of insufficient sound quality and I never found any MP3's audio. Never bothered too really look for it and all the promos turned out to be for videos and ringtunes. All of that is probaly OK if you don't have any alternatives, but I have plenty. In addition the A1000 memory where downloaded stuff is stored is very limited and it was cumbersome to move it elsewhere. In any case I was satisfied with the possibility to try out an interesting service.

So, the last couple of weeks I have had in my mind to cancel the service before the end of the month. Today I decided to sign off from 3Musik. I logged into "Mitt 3" (My 3), found "my content packages" and three packages of which the first was 3Musik. Besides it was a little checkmark indicating that I subscribed to it. I clicked the 3Musik package and came to a page that acknowledged I was cancelling. The page also asked me why I was doint it. None of the suggested reasons felt right, so I write something like "I didn't find it expensive, but not worth the money".

After pressing the "OK" button the screen looked like the image above (click for an enlargement). It translates into "Hello Richard Gatarski. Feel as home. Your cancellation has been registered. The time to note your cancellation is 30 days. After that your subscription has ended. Regards from us at 3". What!?! Are they not following the agreement? The deal was to try for the summer for free. I don't care about the lousy SEK 49. I care about not being disappointed and irritated. Furthermore, 30 days doing what? It takes only a few computer cycles (read millisecond) to start the subscription. What motivates a months waiting time for cancellation? Don't you ever think that felt "like home".

Maybe it is just a coding error in the system and they had no thoughts of activating the notice time for us "summer trials". But that does not matter. The reality is how I feel - stupid.

p.s. As I checked some facts for the above I recognized that the 3 Sweden site still regards my 3Musik subscription as active and there is no information about the 30 days notice in the initial offer which is still out there. d.s.

06:17 PM in 3's SE network, Annoyed | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Aug 08, 2005

Subway skyping and surfing

SimplifydiscIn the beginning of this summer I wrote that the 3G network in the Stockholm subway has been upgraded. Actually, SL (Stockholm commuting) has a deal with 3 Sweden. Buy a season ticket and you get a special (they say) subscription/mobile deal from 3 Sweden. By now I have used my A1000 on the Stockholm subway for voice calls, Fri Musik downloads, newsreading, e-mailing and Web browsing. Generally all this works really fine, although a few calls still are dropped.

This morning I decided to use the A1000 as a modem on the way to my office. In the subway train I booted up the laptop and connected it to the Internet over BlueTooth. No problem, took a few seconds and I was online. With an eye on the dial-up data meter I figured out that checking my five e-mail accounts drew around 10kb, which is less than 0.01 Euro with the standard data communication pricing scheme. Of course, all data in the mails has to be added to that.

For some reason the dial-up application also reported a speed of 140 kb, when 3G is supposed to deliver around 300kb. I don't know if the difference is due to limitations in the BlueTooth dongle (v 1.1), my USB hardware or a setting somewhere. In any case, I'm more vary of the price as long as the speed is better than 100kb.

Then I got the idea to try making a Skype call. I called a friend and to my suprise it worked without any problems. We both agreed on that the vocie quality was really good. Even so, Skyping through 3G data with a standard pricing plan is not a good deal. I monitored the data count, and our 90 second conversation drew about 600kb. That is almost 0.60 Euro per minute, including the cost for Skype Out. When I hung up Simplify manager reported that the connection had dropped. Beats me if Skype messed things up or if the data connection dropped. Hence, I had to re-connect again.

The final thing I want to comment here concerns the battery. I left home with a fully charged battery. After my experiments, which took less than 20 minutes, the battery meter on the A1000 dropped one notch. If I decide to use the A1000 a lot as a modem I guess a USB cable that also charges/supplies the A1000 is a better solution than BlueTooth. Unfortunately I my laptop does not power the USB port. But, I am planning to buy a new laptop anyway.

All in all this makes me interested in signing up for a special 3G data subscription. Will check that later.

03:54 PM in 3's SE network | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Jul 30, 2005

Great Danish 3 experience

I wrote a few posts ago that I spent a week in Denmark participating in a scouting Jamboree. I must say I was really happy being a 3 Sweden customer throughout my visit there. During the whole time I used my A1000 to feed a mobile blog from the camp. It worked smoothly, although as you can see in the blog the camera in the A1000 makes lousy pictures.

The network coverage was great. Actually I think 3 Denmark (and other operators) set up a temporary base station just for the camp ground, which hosted around 15000 people (plus another 15000 visitors on the HC Andersen day).

The camp was divided into seven subcamps. In each one of those there was a large tent. Besides general information, food, and entertainment the subcamp tents also offered around five Internet PC:s and a charging station for phones, cameras, etc. Imagine 50 cell phones visibly laying on a table without any guard! Of course I was a little nervous every second day when I had to recharge. But scouts are honest and nothing was stolen.

Before we (44 scouts and leaders in total) went to the jamboree we discussed how to do with mobile phones. Typically we do not allow the scouts to bring their mobiles (tend to get lost), but parents like to be in touch. To take care of the latter we normally bring a prepaid GSM-phone which parents and relatives could call. But , as some of you may know, if you call a Swedish mobile that is outside Sweden, the receiver (in this case our prepaid phone) has to pay for the international call. Furthermore, one of the leaders said that it was really expensive to call Sweden from Denmark. To my great pleasure it turned out that 3 Sweden let us customers call to and from Denmark for the same prices as if we were in Sweden. This includes the cost for data traffic.

One evening one of us (leaders can bring phones :-) called his wife. But, she did not want to talk because she was audiencing at the Stockholm Jazz festival. That reminded me that 3 Musik (which is for free this summer) streamed the festival. Said and done, I kicked on my A1000 and a few minutes later we sat in a small tent in Denmark - listening live to the Stockholm Jazz festival. Cool!

06:31 PM in 3's SE network, Moblogging | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Jun 18, 2005

Best is not good

Since thursday I have spent 68 minutes, according to my A1000's log, with 3 Sweden's customer "service". While on hold 3 has been eager cross-selling upgrades and informing me that they are the "best 3G operator in Sweden" according to some mobile magazine. According to another magazine Vodafone has the best network - don't trust main stream media anoymore (yes, purposeful spelling)

The reason I contacted (first call) them more than 48 hours ago was because my data comm did not function in 2G mode. I'm on a scouting camp and wanted to blog about it ( Well, not possible without e-mail.

Six calls, 55 hours, and a lot of frustration later they managed to enable the service I'm paying for.

At no time they apologized or offered any compensation. Nor did they monitor my error ticket. If 3 Sweden is supposed to be best, I wonder how good the other two (Vodafone and Tele2) are...

02:23 PM in 3's SE network, Annoyed | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Mar 03, 2005

Surfin for free

This month too 3 Sweden offer free use of the Web for us customers (see information in Swedish if you can read). Guess if I'm using it...

11:33 PM in 3's SE network | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack