…Fun and frolics yesterday when Orange put a bar on my phone, to prevent me from communicating with people.

A service provider that does this when I’ve not paid them for three months I can deal with. A service provider who does this when only the other day I gave them the full balance of my account is something I get stroppy about. Especially when they let me wade through their stupid automated system for ten minutes before it rings at the other end and then cuts me off because “Calls from this number are barred.”


So I called them from Ruth’s phone, sat about for twenty minutes whilst Hold music looped at me and finally got to speak to someone who, to his credit, did a good line in apologising to the curtly civil customer who’d been, it transpired, an unfortunate victim of the automated system not picking up on the payment. Yes, they had taken the money, and they hadn’t lost it, and his colleague was removing the bar even now, sorry for the inconvenience.

…Was there anything else he could do for me?

Actually, yes, thank-you for fixing that mistake. But whilst I was there: when did my contract run out?


I got put through to somebody. Now I was asking because I’ve not treated my N73 very well; I’ve dropped it a lot, and it’s developed some infuriating quirks. Like taking a full minute and a half to show me the contents of a newly recieved text message. Like turning itself off in my pocket. Like waiting for five rings on the other end whilst it has a think, before it actually tells me who is calling and gives me the option to pick up.

No, really. I tested it by calling myself. The landline rang five times before the N73 stopped lighting itself up to no avail and told me the Uberflat was calling. I can’t be having with that, in a phone. I get called relatively rarely but I do need to answer the blasted machine when it happens.

So I asked about getting an upgrade. The availiable upgrade phones at the minute are mostly not great – from an N73 user’s perspective they’re mostly downgrades, with an odd sidegrade thrown in for dubious measure. Except, of course, the N95 8Gb. Which I’ve faniced since El Reg talked about it.

Orange customer services have really gone up since I last checked. They’re sending me out one of them. And a new contract that kicks in on October 15th, which’ll give me 1,200 free minutes, 500 free texts (I was on 100, and I’ve taken to using all of them of late) and a choice of free landline calls, free Orange-Orange calls, unlimited texts or unlimited data. Per month. For about a tenner less than I’m spending now on my current 300 minute, 100 text, 30Mb setup.

Om nom nom*! Sure, it’s not the N96, but I’m getting it now, and it only set me back £30. Win!

I’m really quite chuffed. So much so that I didn’t even mind when the N73 turned itself off for three hours yesterday afternoon, apparently unhappy with the way I’d, uh, laid it down on the desk. I think this’ll be the first mobile phone I’ve ever thrown away; I’ve always given them to other people before but I’m not sure I’d give this raddled playmobil reject to a dog…

Still, N95. It’s meant to turn up on Tuesday. I am, for once, looking forward to the end of the weekend, and the arrival of Next Week. Although I am going to have to do the ironing, later…

The Meme seems to be causing people a strange mix of interest, ire and feelings of isolation. I think I shall do another one, presently, and break the rules by carefully tailoring the results to things I anticipate people being able to get. In my defence, I did wonder when the results started coming out of Winamp, but I figured that whoever thought up the meme might have considered such potential weak points. Remind me to have less faith in such people in the future.

* Review link included solely because spluttered tea once I got to the phrase “A definite improvement on the vanilla N95.” Because that’s how tech [and you could argue, society] works. When the N95 came out you’d’ve been laughed out of town if you called it vanilla. Hell, it did everything. the N95 8Gb does pretty much the same thing, but with a heftier battery hidden in a slinky black number. Quick way to get the older model boosted down a notch, by the looks of it.

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  1. On September 28, 2008 Annie says:

    Give the phone to the mobile recycling people. They seem not to mind how poor its workings are. Maybe they have technomonkeys.

  2. On September 28, 2008 Statto says:

    So how much is a 1,200-minute, 500-text, unlimited data contract these days? Such things usually sound tempting (mainly the data bit) until I hear the bottom line, when I realise I’ve spent about a fiver on my ‘phone in the last three months, and can’t really justify the extra expense just to access GMail for the half hour a day when I’m awake but not near the Internet…

  3. On September 28, 2008 Mister JTA says:

    £35 / month, from where I’m standing. I think it’s called Panther 45, but I was speaking to retentions, so I dunno what you’d manage. I’ve been Orange for the past five years, I think I might be counted as Valuable, or something…

  4. On September 28, 2008 Statto says:

    Nah, no corporation ever sees you as valuable…disposable, possibly. Or, given that they’re called retentions, perhaps they see you as a piece of shit. That’s more believable.

  5. On September 28, 2008 The Pacifist says:

    Give it to Oxfam. They give it to people who take the rare metals out of the screen and suchlike.