Friday 8 June 2012

Dongly things

Three's mobile broadband coverage, while a bit patchy, has generally served us well. Until yesterday. Ran out of Gb on the current SIM, so put in the new one I'd purchased before Christmas (such foresight!). Zilch. Nada. Not a dingle from my dongle. All it did was allow me to access Three's website which informed me I had no allowance left. Sounded a bit like the pocket money officer at the camp I'd attended as an 11 year old. No amount of fiddling made any difference, so today it was yet another trip into Chester (that bus pass is really earning its keep).

Two teenagers on the bus told us where to find the local Three store (which the website had been unable to do). With no receipt, and having bought the SIM card from Amazon in the first place, I rehearsed again in my mind all the arguments I was going to use to persuade them to help me out. "Hi" he said. "How can I help you?" I told him. And he got straight on the phone to customer services. I was extremely happy about this, as my own experience of talking to them is that it's quite an exercise in incomprehensibility.

Customer services um'd and ah'd and wouldn't believe it wasn't a different type of SIM that had been topped up at some point last month. Eventually our friend and his boss simply gave up, said thank you very much, put down the phone, and got me a replacement from out the back. I was well impressed. There seems to be a world of difference between the systems they employ on their help lines, and the people they emply in the stores. Long live the personal touch, common sense and trust in individual judgement!

And here's the blog post to prove it.


  1. If you are still at Tattenhall they have free wifi coverage (save you a bit of data from your dongle) - search networks and you should pickup 3 or 4 wifi points, and speed is usually pretty decent. Neil p.s. Hello from another Tattenhall-er! :-)

  2. Hi Neil. I can link to the marina WiFi, but I then have to put in a passcode or purchase access online. There's a WiFi price list up in reception. Perhaps they've just introduced the payment scheme. Free would have been very good!

    Do you have a boat at Tattenhall? What's her name? We're actually expecting to leave in the morning, with the weather looking slightly better, so even if you're here we may not get to say hello.

  3. Hi Martin. Strange I seem to get free access :) I guess I should be keeping that quiet! Haha! I spotted Erin Mae while at the marina yesterday (I am moored over near the workshop as we are refurbing our boat) - I remember her as I think you bought her just around the time we were first looking for a boat. We've ended up with a 70 footer (eventual liveaboard) needing a LOT of work, but all good fun. Best of luck on your travels! Neil

    1. Neil, I asked Sarah in Reception about the WiFi. She said it had been free for a while when they were changing service providers, but no longer. So yes – if you still get it…