Other than the numberless arrogant and ignorant incompetences and thievery of the f*ckwit politicians in the UK who are supposed to rule us, and the fact that no French driver can ever use turn signals correctly, there are few things that drive me ABSOLUTELY CRAZY, but here's another.
I decided today to update my pre-paid V----- mobile phone, "update" mean getting another one. New, shiney, with camera and radio. Ah, but the lady didn't want me to have "another pre-paid one", she wanted me to buy one at half the price and have a "contract". And passed me their sales leaflet to read "later".
So what do we have on offer from V----- ?
Flat Rate Tarif V 24hrs/day €29.90 a month, calls to other V phones at all hours.
Flat Rate Tarif All, €29.90 a month, 1800-0800 calls to all other phones
Super Flat Rate Tarif, €99.9 a month, calls to everyone
and so it goes on...
Flat Rate Mini Tarif V, or Flat Rate Mini All, or Super Flat Rate Mini, or Plan 90x1, or House Flat Rate.., on and on, and to each Tarif one can add supplements, internet (extra) or ADSL 12Mb (extra), or "Maps", or.....
Every one different pricing and/or hours and/or freebies, and/or this or that. I don't know whether other countries are like Spain in this regard, but I came home, read the leaflet, said "bugger it" and decided to keep the phone I've had for years on the tarif I've had for years.
Why can't a company sell you a phone, say calls cost so much daytimes, so much nightimes, so much national, so much international, and THAT'S THAT ? Too f---simple ? Aaaargh. Where's me blood-pressure tablets...
...arrogant and ignorant incompetences and thievery of the f*ckwit politicians in the UK who are supposed to rule us...
Rule? That would be Mrs Kwin's job. The farkwits you mention are there to govern. It's an easy mistake to make given the dynastic outlook and desperate attempts to hold on to power at all costs of said farkwits....
But then again, that's just how politicians are. Burn them all I say!
are you ok ? mine has a software problem and a tad of dirt in the speaker. The phone itself will talk to me but callers are discouraged. Nokia E51. Grown to like it.
£52/month. Reminds me of a neighbour who said " petrol rises ? doesn`t affect me l only put ten quids worth in"
One of the reason why I like my iPhone is that the tariff structure is remarkably simple compared with the normal O2 offerings.
Think Rob1975 has hit the nail exactly on the head about reeling us in.
Not just mobiles either. Has anybody looked at landline tariffs recently? All package this and other. Am sure I am on one of the tariffs, or was that a legacy tariff, who can bldy tell. Might be able to save a few pounds a month, but the devil is in the detail. Problem is international calls for the memsahib to call her folks. Normal rate is extortion, could buy a bolt on that would give a lower rate ... for the first hour and then we are back to extortion. Look, this is a woman we are talking about, so cannot take that risk. At the moment she uses one of those discount 0844 numbers, that some of the packages charge at extra rates. Every time I look at all this just get all confused and end up doing two things: (1) Do nothing in the hope that things do not get worse and, (2) Pour myself a stiff dram.
Problem is international calls for the memsahib to call her folks.
Evening Star, there is always Skype, or equivalent, for that. Get it installed both ends and it's free. You could use the money saved to buy a camera for your 'puter so they can see each other as well - who could forget MadsLass carrying her laptop round the garden so she could show MadsMum the pictures of her latest gardening endeavours.
You would also need microphone/speakers (if your computer does not already have them) but I picked up a telephone handset (plugs into a USB port) for 75 pence in our local supermarket.
Landline tarifs in Spain are with the world's most incompetent, useless, and inefficient telecomms company in the world, Telefonica.
Couple of years ago a friend put me onto the fact you can get internet and phone by WiMax in Spain, microwave antenna on our roof talking to one south of our local "big" town 15kms away.
It's been brilliant. Equipment/installation free. Initially cost €45 a month for 512Kb but a recent upgrade took us to a minimum of 1Mb downlink and uplink at no extra price. No limits on use, either, and no drop-offs at any time (except for exceptional rain showers crossing the path, maybe twice a year.)
At one cellphone company I know, the most lucrative customers are students whose parents are paying the bills. The stu doesn't have any interest in finding the cheapest plan, and the parents don't know how. I suspect the situation is broadly similar across other providers. I'm in a location where pay-as-you-go is rare. An acquaintance with an iPhone on the same provider travelled abroad recently, and got a helpful message after 24 hours saying she'd spent $300 so far. She had no concept of the idea that messing around with an iPhone eats bits. Another acquaintance who runs a cellphone rental business at an airport says that those renters who bust their limits bust in grand style: around $5000 per week. Again, they're people who have no idea what roaming is. And, in an ideal world, nor should they. If my all-in plan costs x, and my roaming partner's plan costs x, then at worst my roaming cost should be around 2x, not 100x. The industry is in dire need of attention.
You ain't kidding about roaming charges, etc, Bushfiva.
I have to admit one thing though. When I was in the UK I was on 3 and Orange (2 phones. Flash, I know, but it was work related as it guaranteed I got a signal wherever I was so I could be contacted) and when I got the bill from 3 which included a trip to the US I was pleasantly surprised as it was only a total of £85. Not bad considering several calls to US phones and a few calls made/received to/from the UK were on that bill. It didn't seem that bad at all, all things considered. Not too shabby at all.
Have a look at Bill Monitor. An analysis of the systems by some Oxford academics in an attempt to give straighforward choices.
It does not seem at first glance to cover my tariff. Pay yearly upfront, buy you own handset, ie what you want when you want. 200 mins a month to supplier network and landline costs me £49.95. A year. From a major UK network.
MadsDad . Had a fuzzy idea that Skype did not work with Macs. Looks like I was wrong (never ever going to admit that to Mrs ES of course...) and going to be saving some money. If our paths ever cross I owe you a drink.
Bushfiva, the iPhone (at least UK sourced ones anyway) disables international data download by default, with an opt in if one really wants to burn money.
Didn't know you were a Mac user, Evening Star, and until recently you were right. Skype didn't get onto Macs until quite recently (MadsLad uses a Mac and it was late last year I think that he could finally use it).
And if you are ever down this way I could always introduce you to a fine pint of Butcombe.