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Wethers82

Orange & HTC Hero - Hidden Suprises

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The point of this Thread is to make people aware of mobile internet costing and how you can get burnt. Take what happened to me as an example

 

I joined Orange mobile just over 1 month ago after leaving 3 Mobile due to the poor coverage in my areas and any area I'm seemed to travel to. My deal with Orange gave me a HTC Hero handset which I am quite impressed with, however that does not mean it doesn't comes with a few surprises.

 

If any of you have the handset, you'll be aware that the instruction manual is not much bigger than an airmail postage stamp and consists of not so many pages. In fact it even asks you to visit the website for all other information regarding the handset. One thing it doesn't seem to make clear is that from the minute you turn your handset on the mobile internet is active and you can only disable this by going into settings and de-activating it. For me, I like to think I know a fair bit about mobiles; however this handset was completely different to any I've used before and took some working out. I knew how to switch on the WiFi so I could connect to the internet at home, but I found it startling that when I was away from home and I connected to the web browser the last page I had been to was already displayed and it didnt need to connect.

 

After having the handset only 5 days I began to feel a little suspicious of what was going on so I got in touch with Orange and asked them if I weren't disconnecting correctly or if it was naturally this fast at connecting to the internet (which seemed a little unlikely). He explained to me that his colleague has the same handset and that I had to de-activate the mobile internet under 'settings'. I was shocked to discover that my internet had always been connected and asked him how much had accrued on my account due to this. He confirmed that I had run up £138 worth of internet usage in just 5 days! As a goodwill gesture, he offered to waive the charge as long as I turned of the mobile internet when I weren't using it, I thanked him and obliged.

 

I am now much more aware of my phone, or so I thought. I only really use my phone to browse the net when at home and I want to check a social network or email. However, from time to time I quickly browse these same pages at work for a maximum of 15 minutes on my lunch break. This was halted by a bar on my line that confirmed I now owed £221. Needless to say; upon querying this it was all internet data usage. I felt frustrated as I hadn't been using it for this long, until the advisor explained the volume of MB that things like Facebook use.

 

Again, as a good will gesture they deducted £100 from my bill. I grudingly accepted that I will pay the rest as on reflection, I should have been more wary about connecting to the internet.

 

My concern is that I don't think its common knowledge to know how much internet usage social networking sites (etc.) actually take up. Just by browsing one page with a large amount of data for only 5minutes, you could be racking up a bill of over £10.

 

I hope this can be of some help to people who aren't au fait with mobile phones yet have got a the same or similar handset and network. Take it from my experience, just to you the mobile internet and if you must, find out the costs first of all!

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My O2 XDA did this - heck, 2004 I think. The whole point of these handsets is to commnicate, so if you don;t want this to happen you need to alter the settings from the detault - so I do think you are being a bit harsh on the network. Irrespective of the size of the manual, you can get S/w that will monitor the u/l and d/l traffic if not provided as part of the basic suite of programs, but the responsibility for usage remains with the user. Ignorance is no defence, you need to take the time to learn what it can do, and to stop it doing what you don't want it to!

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I fully agree Buzby - but I'm not criticising the network, quite the opposite in fact. They refunded me with a lot of the charges which I am very appreciative for. If I were to criticise anything it would be the handset manufacturers for not making this detail clearer in the instructions.

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They're in a no-win situation (manufacturers). We're looking to shift the blame to anyone apart from outselves because we just don't read manuals.

 

The best I heard (from the USA) was a guy who spent $150,000 on a Winnibago RV. He collected it from the dealership and was driving it home the 500m to his home. He noticed the buttom marked 'cruise control' and flicked it. Superb, he thought. He left the seat and went into the back to make a quick cup of coffee.

 

The RV crashed within 2 minutes after a bend in the Freeway, the friver THEN sues the manufacturers, saying that at no time did they make it clear that 'cruise' only referred to the accellerator, not the steering!

 

It does make you wonder!

 

(He lost, BTW)

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lol That sounds crazy, I'm not surprised he lost.

 

As for the handset and the manual - I'm judging by your response that you haven't read the manual for the HTC Hero as the books so tiny it fits easily in the palm of your hand. It also has very few pages which go through the basics about turning your phone on, but nothing about turning off the mobile internet and on the last page it says 'visit the website for more information'.

 

I think its fair to say the whole scenario is slightly ironic because if you haven't got the internet at home (for instance) you're gonna have to log on to mobile internet to view these instruction in which case you're going to have spent a fair amount of internet usage just reading them.

 

 

Now that has more irony than a fly in your chardonnay. :)

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I never use the supplied manuals as invariably they are only ' get-you-started guides (thanks Samsung!). The full manual is a PDF on the supplied CD ROM, and all the relevant details are there.

 

Looks as though being 'green' is responsible! :)

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Exactly. Although its fine for us to be responsible but maybe an elderly person like my Nan for example, if she had the same phone she'd run up a huge debt. She's still a responsible person but people can't be expected to know about these things, not unless you know your gadgets. (I'm not saying she'd have my phone though as she wouldn't know what to do with it lol)

 

It's all a little misleading. The information about the mobile internet is vital and should be stated clearly in the instruction manual (near the front). Checking the website for further instructions should only before extra usability such as how to get your phone to make you a cup of coffee - in which I haven't discovered yet :)

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I think this scenario will become more and more common, I own a Nokia N97 and for data/internet use its set up to connect to my home wifi network and if it cant find that then to the phone network, but its certainly rather buggy (this is well documented on the web)and ive found on occasions it has been downloading via the phone connection for the last 8 hours sometimes, i have a 1Gb usage limit so it doesnt bother me, BUT if you dont have some sort of net package (this is the first Ive had) you may find yourself presented with huge bills !

 

Andy

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You do get mobile internet as an add on from most providers that cost you a fixed amount each month. T-Mobile have an add running saying their PAYG gets free internet if you top up £10 per month. Make sure you get a deal that suits yourself, and if possible avoid contract phones. This forum have seen people getting £1000's in international calls from their phone getting stolen, if you don't pay up you get a black mark on your credit file.


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I had an N98 Andy, it is as you say 'very buggy'. I had it for less than a year before it became practically un-useable. I had mobile internet on that and an Unlimited internet bundle on their for an extra £5 per month, although I never got much for my money as the signal was never strong and I continuously got the message 'invalid packet data'.

 

Orange don't seem to offer the 'unlimited' bundle, but a bundle of a certain amount of meg (can't remember how much at this moment) for £5 per month but I'm not entirely confident in that . I could imagine using it up in the space of 2minutes just viewing a facebook page.

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Hi Wethers82,

 

Although it's taken a bit of finding I've managed this information on Orange's website about internet bundles.

 

In terms of getting an idea of how your usage will equate to the amounts of data you'll incur you might find the usage calculator on our website of use.

 

All the best.

 

Lee

 

Web Relations Team

 

Vodafone UK

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