Poxy Vodafone

It’s always hard to cancel a mobile phone contract, but I never thought it would be so hard just to cancel a pay as you go SIM data.

I’ve measured what I got done while this chat was dragging on:

  • Written a blog post
  • Edited a photo Album
  • Cleared down my email
  • Watched a Game Demo video.

Vodafone: Thanks for choosing to chat with us. An agent will be with you shortly
VOD-PRajawat1: Hi, how can I help you today?
Toby: Hi there, I have two Broadband Data PaAYG SIMS – I’ve not been using both of them so am trying to cancel one of them, but navigating the website is a real PITA
VOD-PRajawat1: I will certainly help you with that Toby.
Toby: great, thanks
VOD-PRajawat1: Welcome always there to help you .For security reason, Could you please confirm your 1st and 2nd digit of your account PIN?
Toby: 0 7
VOD-PRajawat1: Perfect, that takes care of security.
VOD-PRajawat1: May i please confirm the number you want me to cancel for you ?
Toby: 07493 391246
VOD-PRajawat1: Thank you Toby for the number .
VOD-PRajawat1: Please allow me 2-3 minutes to help you .
Toby: great, thanks
VOD-PRajawat1: No worries , meanwhile i am working on it , may i ask if how is your day going so far?
VOD-PRajawat1: Thank you for being online Toby , we have a dedicated team to cancel the number for you . Please stay connected while i connect you to the team .
VOD-PRajawat1 has left the chat
Please wait while you’re being transferred to the appropriate team.
You are now chatting with Sienna
Sienna: Good afternoon Toby
you are chatting with Sienna , one of retention specialist hope you are doing well?
Sienna: Hi, are we still connected
Toby: yesw
Toby: Hi there, I’m trying to cancel one of my data ssims – I don’t need two any more.
Sienna: Sure I will check and help you accordingly.
Toby: many thanks
Sienna: My pleasure
May I confirm your email address, how many contracts you on this account and last two digits of your bank sort code?
Toby: turbotas@yahoo.com
Toby: 2 contracts
Toby: I’m sorry – I don’t ahve the sort code as I don’t know which bank account these are paid from
Sienna: No worries may I confirm your last bill amount?
Toby: if I click it- will the chat stay open?
Sienna: Yes it will be open if you need to check any other info please open a new window
Toby: Do you want the full amount of my last bill or just this one broadband account
Toby: £61.48
Sienna: Brilliant all correct.
Sienna: I am checking your account please stay connected.
Toby: no problem
Sienna: I have just checked both of your data Sim are eligible to get upgrade on any Tablet for free means you can go for a free tablet and then you can continue the plan with basic price which will be very low.
Toby: Hi, there. I don’t need two data SIMs at the moment, so I would like to go ahead and cancel 07493 391246
Sienna: Sure I will cancel one and would like to go for upgrade on second with a free tablet?
Toby: no thanks, £30 for the 50G seems fine for the other one.
Sienna: Okay let me check if I can make the same plan cheaper for you.
Sienna: I wish to inform right now you are paying old prices
Sienna: £30 for 50gb when new prices are launched so it will be beneficial to get upgrade the other Data sim on new price
Toby: I’m not sure that’s true – on the Vodafone website, it still says £30 per month for 50G and that’s what I pay now and the price is the same for 30 days or 12 month.
Sienna: You’re through to a specialized team that make sure customers like yourself will looked after and paying the right price to suit your needs.
Sienna: I can make a brilliant deal on other tablet
Toby: Hi there, I’m really sorry but we are not getting anywhere. I have to 30 day contracts and I just want to cancel one of them. The other SIM is just fine on 30 days fopr £30 per month for 50G. Thanks,
Sienna: The deal is 12 months
50 GB Data ,
*free 5g coverage
* Free Data capping
* Free Bill capping ( So that you will never be charged for exceeding the allowances )
* Free Flexi Upgrade to handset deal after just 90 days
* Free global Roaming and All data, minutes and texts can be used across Europe

The original cost of this plan is £30 every month However looking at your long term relation with Vodafone, I will give you this deal in Just £24 every month Inc VAT 🙂
Toby: NO! I don not want a one year contract.
Toby: Please, just cancel the one 30 day plan as asked.
Sienna: Sure It’s in process already but I wish to inform when on other you will pay £30 a months
why you would not like to go for cheaper price for £24 a months it will be a saving of £72 for you
Toby: No, It’s wont save me anything because I’m not likely to keep the other sim for a whole year. Plesae just cancel the one SIM and quit with the upsell.
Toby: I have 30 day plans becasue that’s what’s flexible for me.
Sienna: Let me check.
Sienna: You are on a contract with that plan so I am offering you the same deal in just £24 not to continue with £30 please try to understand
Toby: You would like to give me a free tablet by continuing on the same 30day plan for £24?
Sienna: Let me check if I can do that for you.
Toby: Hi there, sorry to hassle you – I’ve been at this chat window for a long time – can you confirm that the 07493 391246 SIM has now been cancelled?
Sienna: It’s in process just need to complete one or two steps more.

Sienna: The deal is 24 months With Amazing Free Huawei T3 8″
*Free 5g coverage
* With this handset you will get huge 50GB Data
* All data, minutes and texts can be used across Europe
* Free Flexi upgrade option for handset deal after 6 months anytime
* Free Vodafone Global roaming feature ( So that you will be able to use the allowances in abroad )
* also I will give you extra 12 months warranty for this handset worth of £180 absolutely free of cost.
* Free Data capping
* Free Bill capping ( So that you will never be charged for exceeding your allowances )
* Voicemail

The original cost of this plan is £27 every month I will make this deal for £21.60 a month for your loyalty discount
Toby: No. No contcract. I do 30 Day pay as you go only.
Toby: Huawei T3 is not that great a tablet, it’s only £109 to buy outright.
Sienna: I can do the same with Huawei T3 Media tab 10 as well check it please id that’s okay.
Toby: No. I just checked through the chat window: I have explained five times to you that I do not want a contract. I use 30 day only. You keep giving me the impression that you have a special deal and then try to get me to take a contract.
Sienna: Toby but I am giving you the same deal on cheapest price when you can save £9 a month with a free tablet outright cost for the second tablet is £140 in the market you can check.
Toby: No, No No. There will be no saving as I do not want a contract.
Toby: Has the SIM now been cancelled please?
Sienna: No it’s in process once it will done I will let you.
Toby: Is it possible to escalate to a supervisor please – I feel that you are not listening to me.
Sienna: It’s in process please stay connected.
Toby: Any news – why does it take so long to cancel a SIM?
Sienna: It’s done now
Thank you for your patience.
You will get confirmation text as I have cancelled.
07493 391246 this data sim for you.
Toby: Could you email me the chat please, it’s hilarious
Sienna: Sure I will help you to get the chat
I wish to suggest you will get one final bill for this subscription once it will complete for the cancellation within next 30 days and after that this will be disable from your account.
Toby: That’s fine, I expected one further bill for a 30 day notice account/.
Toby: It’s important that you understand that I started this chat wanting to cancel one SIM and it’s been so painful that all I want to do is cancel all my Vodafone SIMS.
Toby: So your retention team has had the 100% opposite effect.
Toby: https://www.turbotas.co.uk/2019/10/15/poxy-vodafone/
Sienna: I am really very sorry I was trying to make a deal
I am really very sorry I know this may be not getting good flow but when I have checked the deals are coming more cheaper I was exited may be you will go for them sorry Sir.
Toby: But they were not cheaper – they were different deals and required me to sign a long contract. I explained that, but you carried on anyway.
Toby: for a loooong time.
Sienna: Oh I see When you told me about outright cost I was thinking that you are asking for a deal which will come with a tablet for good outright cost I am sorry.
Toby: I didn’t say anything about outright cost, I just said that I pay £30 for 50G and that I don’t have a contract and that I didn’t want a contract.

US Copyright Office: Finally Something Smart

The US Copyright office just published their 3 yearly update to the US copyright law and they have finally seen some sense and provided some exclusions for the DMCA.  This is really big news as finally there is some consumer protection provided.

Citizens in the UK we can only hope for similar sanity at some point. Read on for the details of the exclusions.

The six “classes” now exempt from prosecution under the DMCA are:

1. Defeating a lawfully obtained DVD’s encryption for the sole purpose of short, fair use in an educational setting or for criticism

2. Computer programs that allow you to run lawfully obtained software on your phone that you otherwise would not be able to run aka Jailbreaking to use Google Voice on your iPhone

3. Computer programs that allow you to use your phone on a different network aka Jailbreaking to use your iPhone on T-Mobile

4. Circumventing video game encryption (DRM) for the purposes of legitimate security testing or investigation

5. Cracking computer programs protected by dongles when the dongles become obsolete or are no longer being manufactured

6. Having an ebook be read aloud (ie for the blind) even if that book has controls built into it to prevent that sort of thing.

expect to see editorial content popping up all over the net discussing this.

See here for the Library of congress link.

 

When Danger is an apt name!

Microsoft\Danger and T-Mobile don’t seem to have quite got the cloud concept yet.  Yes it’s true that cloud users don’t have to worry about ther data – it’s all safely tucked away somewhere and your cloud provider sorts it all out.

Alas it seems that Microsoft\Danger got a bit confused during Cloud Computing 101 and went away thinking that no-one had to worry about the data.  So they didn’t.

They have come clean on the T-Mobile website and told SideKick users not to turn off the devices as the data now lives nowhere else.  In a cruel extra twist, the SideKick Devices are useless now as just about everything it does requires the cloud – it retains nothing at all during reboot for example.

The T-mobile article is here. In the meantime you would be right if you were really nervous about trusting these guys with your data!

It seems that the only person to show incredible foresight was the person that came up with Danger as the name of the company.

Microsoft have had a couple of years now since they acquired Danger to make the services offered resilient.  Seems that they failed.  Epic Fail.

Oh and BTW, Azure, Microsofts flagship cloud OS launches in a month or so.  What-Could-Possibly-Go-Wrong.

Amazon Kindle comes to the UK

Two years after the release in the US of the Amazon Kindle, the device finally makes its way to the UK!  As from today you can buy the gadget from Amazon.  this is a special version for the international market with tweaks to ensure it can get network connectivity.

It’s not all good news though – because the international version is a special build, you can only get the Kindle 2, not the DX with the nice screen.  Oh well – I suppose we can’t have everything.

Also bear in mind the Orwelian remote deletion feature which Amazon got slated for earlier in ’09 and maybe you will think twice before you part with your cash.

I’ll put one on my wish list for xmas and can always delete it if the early UK reviews are not encouraging!

 

 

FOTA Breakaway Calendar

The Guardian has an article today with the proposed schedule for th Formula One Breakaway series, and it looks like a doozy with some great circuits on offer.

The full FOTA 2010 schedule, as published in The Guardian, is as follows:

7 March Buenos Aires Argentina Last hosted F1 in 1998
21 March Mexico City Mexico Last hosted F1 in 1992
11 April Jerez Spain Last hosted F1 in 1997
25 April Portimao Portugal Never hosted F1
2 May Imola San Marino Last hosted F1 in 2006
23 May Monte Carlo Monaco Current F1 host
6 June Montreal Canada Last hosted F1 in 2008
13 June Indianapolis United States Last hosted F1 in 2007
11 July Silverstone United Kingdom Current F1 host
25 July Magny-Cours France Last hosted F1 in 2008
15 August Laustizring Germany Never hosted F1
29 August Helsinki Finland Never hosted F1
12 September Monza Italy Current F1 host
26 September Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates Current F1 host
10 October Marina Bay Singapore Current F1 host
24 October Suzuka Japan Last hosted F1 in 2006
7 November Adelaide or Surfers’ Paradise Australia Last hosted F1 in 1995/Never hosted F1

More News over the next couple of days.  Todays update is that the FOTA president appeared in front of the WMSC today and told them unequivocally that the breakaway series will go ahead.

It seems like the FOTA teams are adamant that the budget savings are needed and that it;s the huge slice that F1 Commercial Rights holder gets that they want o get rid of!  Roll On FOTA!

 

Formula One Hits Self Destruct Button

The Self destruct Button was well and truly thumped last night when the deadline passed for unconditional entries into the 2010 Formula One series without all but one of the big teams being signed up for 2010.

The FIA and FOTA have been wrangling for years about the commercial, political and technical management of Formula One.  This has all come to a head recently, when FIA president, Max Mosley tried to enforce a budget cap on the teams. This budget cap is perceived by Mosley to be critical to the survival of the sport as the huge largess of the teams is not considered by him to be appropriate in the present financial climate. The teams all fight back with claims that their budgets are huge due to the large volumes of rule changes which Mosley makes to try and make the sport more entertaining.

In addition to budget constraints, it is clear that Max has been trying over the last few years to homogenize the cars to a single chassis, single engine series and with most of the big manufacturers either being or being sponsored by car companies with their own engines, it is clear that this was always going to end in tears.

FOTA announced last night that they are dismayed that their arguments against the budget caps have been ignored and they announced that they would begin planning a breakaway series with immediate effect:

Silverstone, 18 June 2009 – Since the formation of FOTA last September the teams have worked together and sought to engage the FIA and commercial rights holder, to develop and improve the sport.

Unprecedented worldwide financial turmoil has inevitably placed great challenges before the F1 community.  FOTA is proud that it has achieved the most substantial measures to reduce costs in the history of our sport.  

In particular the manufacturer teams have provided assistance to the independent teams, a number of which would probably not be in the sport today without the FOTA initiatives.  The FOTA teams have further agreed upon a substantial voluntary cost reduction that provides a sustainable model for the future.

Following these efforts all the teams have confirmed to the FIA and the commercial rights holder that they are willing to commit until the end of 2012.  

The FIA and the commercial rights holder have campaigned to divide FOTA. 

The wishes of the majority of the teams are ignored. Furthermore, tens of millions of dollars have been withheld from many teams by the commercial rights holder, going back as far as 2006. Despite this and the uncompromising environment, FOTA has genuinely sought compromise.

It has become clear however, that the teams cannot continue to compromise on the fundamental values of the sport and have declined to alter their original conditional entries to the 2010 World Championship.

These teams therefore have no alternative other than to commence the preparation for a new Championship which reflects the values of its participants and partners.  This series will have transparent governance, one set of regulations, encourage more entrants and listen to the wishes of the fans, including offering lower prices for spectators worldwide,   partners and other important stakeholders.  

The major drivers, stars, brands, sponsors, promoters and companies historically associated with the highest level of motorsport will all feature in this new series.

Note to Eds: Statement issued by FOTA on behalf of BMW-Sauber, BrawnGP, Scuderia Ferrari, McLaren-Mercedes, Red Bull Racing, Renault, Scuderia Toro Rosso, Toyota.

The FIA responded in what is becoming standard Formula One practice with the words ‘See you in Court’.  At the heart of this threat are the private agreements that the FIA have direct with some of the teams to be involved in the sport in the future.

Particularly interesting is the fall from grace of Ferrari, who has previously been able to exert some kind of mystical hold over the sport, with the press release on the FIA website summing up the FIA position:

19/6/2009 The FIA’s lawyers have now examined the FOTA threat to begin a breakaway series. The actions of FOTA as a whole, and Ferrari in particular, amount to serious violations of law including willful interference with contractual relations, direct breaches of Ferrari’s legal obligations and a grave violation of competition law. The FIA will be issuing legal proceedings without delay.

So far, the spinoff series is likely to involve:

  • BMW Sauber;
  • Brawn GP;
  • McLaren;
  • Renault;
  • Red Bull Racing;
  • Ferrari;
  • Toro Rosso;
  • Toyota.

It’s not presently clear what the position of Williams is in all this.  They alone of the FOTA members have submitted an unconditional entry for next year.

This may simply be that they have nothing to lose: Without a championship winning car for the last few years, this may be a great way to get back to the front of the grid if the present big guns go elsewhere.

What remains to be seen is if the breakaway series becomes the new motorsport pinnacle. With the FIA controlling budgets, technical innovation, pre season testing, engine performance and tires, the thing this is clear is that the breakaway series looks like it might be able to bring back the true innovation that in the past has bought us 6 wheels cars, side skirts and a host of other groundbreaking performance enhancing parts.

We certainly live in interesting times – May be wise not to book seats for a 2010 F1 venue just yet!

UAV Build February 09 Update

Finally, a stable(ish) flight! On Sunday 8th, the UAV finally flew in a more or less stable flight in the AUTO1 position. This essentially means that the UAV controls attitude and takes directional input from the radio. The UAV interprets the RC signal and decides on the relevant bank and pitch angles. In the case of the testing this weekend, it was noted that the maximum bank and pitch angles were not sufficient to have full control of the plane. Additionally some roll oscillation was noted although given that the gyro is presently disconnected, this is not unexpected.

One significant problem came to light with this flight and that was lack of telemetry. Even thought the antenna positioning was identical to the last flight, very few data packets were exchanged with the aircraft while in flight. This is being investigated, but is likely to require a more powerful ground antenna.

Next steps are to repeat the flight with improved reception so that good data can be gathered, then to test and calibrate the attitude response of the plane using the HSI.

Once responsive flight is acheived in AUTO1, the Gyro can be re-integrated and finally, AUTO2 flight with a simple ‘Circle Home’ Mission can be attempted.

The attitude problem was discovered to be a fundamental mistake when setting up the airframe file which caused teh aicraft to believe it was upsidedown.

UAV Build January 09 Update

It’s been a long time since an update on the UAV project has been forthcoming, so I thought it worth a quick post with progress.

The RC radio is now re-modified so that operation of the mode switch is on the left.  I fly mode 2 and it was not the smartest descision to put the mode switch over on the right of the radio.

Test flights have shown that during the brief forays into AUTO1 (stabilised manual flight) showed a small roll oscillation and a violent nose down pitch.  this issue is ongoing and is the cause of much head scratching.  Telemetry data seems to show that the AHI is in a neutral position before the switch is flicked, so it’s most odd that the plane immediatly dives towards the ground. I suspect the users forum will yield suggestions.

The airframe has around six flights of ten minutes each to its name now and although some improvements have been made, the plane generally flies very well.  The only mishaps have been related to the AUTO1 attempts and although these have involved close shaves, the plane is still in great shape.   Aircraft now shown to fly equally well on 2 cell or 3 cell LIPO.  Normal flight probably will be on 3 Cell LIPO to maximise flight time. 3 Cell pack does increase AUW and consequently approach and landind speed.  Ideal prop is 8×6 and this gives good throttle response and very quiet flight.

A recent update of the GUI software has bought a massive performance improvement in the ground segment aspects.  It’s not known what has triggered the improvement, simply that it runs very well indeed now.  Additional GUI features will be tested over the next few weeks.

Photos of the progress are on the gallery, which is here.

Eavesdropping on Wired Keyboards from 20 Paces

Yes, you heard it right. Researchers in Switzerland have developed some attacks targetted at capturing the Radio Frequency emmissions from keyboards and using the captured RF data to work out what keys the user pressed.

Note that this attack is not against wireless keyboards, but is actually aimed at those USB and PS2 keyboards which we all use every day. Notebooks with built in keyboards are just as easily sniffed too, so there is no obvious escape from this problem. 

The heart of the vulnerability is that keyboards are built so cheaply that they have absolutley no Radio Frequency sheilding at all and picking up some form of radio signal from just about any keyboard is an almost trivial excercise.

What is not trivial of course is the decoding of that signal to rebuild the users keypresses. Nevertheless, the team from the Security and Cryptography Laboratory (LASEC) in Lausanne, Switzerland have developed four similar attacks and have found that of the 11 keyboards they extensivly tested, all were suseptible to their eavedropping methods.

The key point here is that it's now pretty much mandatory to use one time passwords if you truly want to be secure.

Read more about the attackes here.