As you will see things have been extreemly quiet of late. Due to some personal stuff that was happening throughout May/June I had to focus my attention elsewhere for a while, then of course we have had the kids summer holidays which is always great. You get to see the kids more but then after about……2 hours you wish they were back at school and you can clearly remember why you hate the summer holidays!
We have also just returned from a weeks holiday in France which I have to say was an enlightening experience. It is some years now since I travelled abroad so I was a little green about these things but I knew all the normal stuff that was required (passport, GB plates etc). However, being a devout techy I had to take some essentials to ensure that I didn’t loose connection with the world. First stop was with T-Mobile to see what it was going to cost me in terms of mobile phone calls, should clients need me then I want to know how much it will cost me and also to ensure that it was enabled for "roaming". I was told that it was indeed enabled for "roaming" and to make a call back to the UK would cost me "38p per minute" and to receive a call would cost "19p per minute", not too bad however I was then told that I would also be charged "19p per minute" for someone to leave a message and then "38p per minute" to collect them!! Not too much of a piss take. I then asked what the rates were for data usage while abroad…this just go better again. I was told that it was much cheaper than it used to be as previously it cost £7.00 per MB but now it was only £1.60 per MB. Now obviously the young lady that I was speaking to but I am afraid that I do not agree I mean come on, on one hand we are told that we are part of the EU, the European Union, but all that goes out then window when the mobile companies have the opportunity at a pound of flesh. Needless to say I decided to see how much the Wi-Fi would cost on site. During the ferry crossing my mobile picked up a network called "On-waves" which is the maritime network between then English and Franch coast, what a fantastic service. However, when my mobile joined the network I was greeted with the following message:
Welcome to Maritime.It will cost you /min to make and /min to receive calls here. You can send a text for 40p a message and a picture message for 20p. To speak to T-Mobile Customer Services call +44XXXXXXXXXX from your mobile.
Now this was a nice message to get however it failed to provide a clue as to the cost of calls on this network. However, on my HTC TyTn which has a T-Mobile 3G data only sim inserted I received the following message:
You have latched onto a maritime network. Please note making and receiving calls are charged at £1.80/min from this network.
Slightly more dramatic costs for calling, I mean come on £1.80 per minute to make or receive a call you might as well just butter me up and stick it to me!!! Once in france another SMS was received confirming that call costs that I had already been notified of prior to leaving. Once we were at the site it transpired that Wi-Fi usage is charged at 8€ per hour which I just wasn’t prepared to pay, I mean it just doesn’t cost that much to buy it so I ended up spending the week with no Internet access whatsoever which was really quite surreal but oddly pleasant. Some would call me a tight git but I refuse to pay unreasonable rates for services such as this, what do you think?