Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Vodafone+ Iphone 3GS = Success?

Begining of an era

I was one of the lucky ones to be told about Vodafone UK's plan to launch their Apple Iphone 3GS on 14/01/2010. However, I was told that I will not be able to tell anyone unless the date is being told to the public at large.


Advantages of being a Vodafone customer

I am really happy with Vodafone UK's success so far. First of all, they are one of the many mobile providers in the country to be the first to release many new mobile phones to the public before anyone else. One good example will be the Nokia N95 8GB, the Nokia E71, the Nokia E72 and now, the HTC HD2.

It gives Vodafone customers the edge when it comes to new technology as they are the first to get the gadget. That is why this is one of the many reasons why I am always a loyal customer to Vodafone UK. You can argue that I am not totally loyal to Vodafone but I am and I will.

The second advantage of being a Vodafone customer is that you do tend to get the "special treatment" which other mobile providers will not have given to you saved for Virgin Mobile.

The third advantage is that Vodafone is quite flexible when they are dealing with their customer's queries. I have not seen it in other mobile providers in the country. Calling customer service is also free unlike T-Mobile as you need to pay on a pay monthly contract.

The fourth and the most important factor of all is that they have the best coverage in the country. Well, Orange UK and 3 UK could go on bickering about who has the best coverage for the 3G service but I have to tell you guys, Vodafone has the best coverage in the country. There are some parts of the country where you will not be able to get a good 3G signal or even no 3G signal at all. Having said that, at least, you will be able to get good 2G signals.

However, if you are a Vodafone customer, you might have to give them many calls if they could not solve your problems. It is not so simple as in them solving your problems with one call. It depends on who are you talking to on the other side of the telephone. One reason why you need to make many calls to them is because you want certainty and there are many customer service officers who will not have the knowledge which will be able to answer all your questions but they will not admit that they could not do so.

Some of the customer service officers will just pretend that they know everything about Vodafone's service when they don't. It is quite simple though - Admit it if you don't and pass the call to someone who knows about it. There is no point in feeding customers information which may be wrong. Having said that, Vodafone's customer service is so much better than 3 UK's customer service. I feel that 3 UK's customer service is the worst of all in the country. I believe no one will argue with me on this issue. The reason why people will move over to 3 UK is for their affordability in their price tariffs. Customers do not understand the whole package which comes with it.

If they are 3 UK's customers and wish to contact customer services, they will (in most cases, 90%) will certainly rule that they know everything and they are always right and not you as a customer. I had many encounters with 3 UK's customer service and I have to say that I don't have much joy in getting answers from them.

One good example will be me calling them a few months ago regarding a particular Nokia handset which I know that it supports html and xhtml in facilitating me to surf the internet. The customer service officer from 3 UK told me that it does not support html and so I can't log on to Planet 3. Oh my...It is a Nokia handset from 3 UK and it does not allow me to log on to Planet 3 because the handset does not support html? What sort of nonsense is it then?

I did not bombard him with questions but I politely asked him to log on to http://www.nokia.co.uk/ and check the specifications of the mobile phone before giving me the answer. I was laughing away because the phone was a near £200 mobile phone from Nokia and the firmware is from 3 UK! How could he tell me that it does not support html and so I can't log on to the internet? Isn't 3 UK's responsibilty to ensure that all handsets released from 3 UK will be able to access Planet 3 as they pride in their "best 3G" coverage in the country?

What a shame.

Anyway, coming back to Vodafone, tariff prices are the biggest complaint of all. Vodafone tariff's are one of the most expensive after Orange but Orange UK's coverage is not as good as Vodafone. If Orange UK's coverage is good, I would not have any problems in making calls or receiving calls indoors! I have to say this - 3 UK's coverage is poor! They have to rely on Orange UK for their 2G service. If I am a 3 UK's customer, I will set my phone to use 3 UK's 2G service which is essentially Orange UK. Well, 3 UK is very smart in disallowing customers to choose which network they want to do so when using their handsets/firmware. If you want to choose between 2G/3G, you would have to flash the phone's firmware to non 3 UK's version. Well, if you do so, you would not have the opportunity to use their free skype and free windows live messenger particularly if you are using Sony Ericsson phones.

If you are using a Nokia phone which runs on the Symbian S60 3rd edition or 5th edition, you can get away with flashing the phone to non 3 UK's firmware but with the ability to use their free skype. What you would need to do is to simply download an application software from the internet (just google it for 3 UK skype on symbian s60) after flashing your Nokia phone will do the trick. You will not be charged for using skype on your Nokia S60 devices with your 3 UK sim card but using a non 3 UK's firmware. That trick will not work with any Sony Ericsson phones though.

Iphone 3GS

With the launch of the Iphone 3GS by Vodafone, it will strengthen Vodafone UK's image in the country. I don't think they will have any problems with that because they are pretty good in doing so! They have many exclusive rights to many new mobile phones in the market and I don't think it will be a problem with that. A Vodafone Customer Service Officer asked me about the Iphone 3GS as he was thinking of getting the Iphone 3GS when his contract runs on next month. I told him not to go for the Iphone 3GS because it is not cut out for it.

One major flaw with the Iphone 3GS is that it will not allow me to send/receive calls or messages through bluetooth to my laptop! That is so crap! If I want to do tethering, I would have to pay although there are ways around it. I don't think I want to get the Iphone 3GS without the ability to do so. It's a brilliant piece of equipment but Apple has crippled the device. Why? Is it because Apple wants to earn more money by sucking customer's money? I'm not going to fall into that trap.

Conclusion

Will I buy the Iphone 3GS when Vodafone does coming 14 Janaury 2010? The answer will be a plain and simple "NO". You will be a fool to do so as Apple is going to launch a new Iphone in July 2010!!! The Iphone 3GS will be obsolete! Think again!!!

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