Musings from Munkimatt

A flow of whatever tickles my fancy

Fancy some Spunk?

Rude named food always amuses me. Thank you to my co-worker.

March 11, 2010 Posted by | food | | Leave a comment

Xbox Live, Belkin Router and MTU issue

I’m wondering if any of you clever sorts have an idea on how to fix the issue below.

I’m having a few issues with my broadband and as a result I’ve switched from my router provided by my supplier Plusnet (a Thompson model) and onto a Belkin F5D8635-4 v1 as part of the process of eliminating the cause of the fault. My problem is that when I use the Belkin router I can no longer connect to Xbox Live.

When it attempts to connnect I’m informed there’s an error and to do a network test. That test then tells me that my MTU is too low and Xbox LIve has a minimum MTU of (off the top of my head) 1364. The problem is that when I go to the router settings and look at the MTU it’s set at (again, off the top of my head) 1432.

I spent last night moving the MTU up and down, from the minimum up to 1500 and found that at no point could I connect to Xbox Live. I plugged my Plusnet router back up and it connected to Xbox Live no problems.

I’ve searched around on the internet to no avail, looked for a new router firmware (couldn’t find one), I’ve placed the Xbox in the DMZ, I’ve forwarded ports, I’ve prayed to Zeus, nothing has worked. Any ideas folks? My evenings don’t seem complete unless I’m being verbally abused by someone who’s doing their GCSEs.

December 17, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Carphone Warehouse – It’s good to talk…so answer your phones.

This is a slightly tough blog post to write, because @Gerrymoth has written about the same fault and I’ll be frank, it’s much MUCH worse than what I’m about to say. However due to a specific link between the two stories I think it’s worth throwing my opinion in too.

I purchased the 5800 from the Carphone Warehouse Store in Barrow-in-Furness late February, I suspect it will have been February 27th.  I believe Gerry will have purchased his the very same day, or at most within 4 days afterwards.

My original handset developed a fault within 5 days, the handset was simply dead, turned itself off and then it decided it didn’t quite fancy turning back on again. The store agreed to switch the handset for a new one.

Within 2 months of owning the second handset I noticed the phone developed a habit of switching itself off. I realised that the battery had too much ‘give’ on the terminals, however sticking a small piece of card in the side of the battery cavity and the battery itself made the connection firm, more or less eliminating the problem.

Around May time I popped into the local Carphone Warehouse again to enquire for release dates for the N97. While I was there I started chatting to the salesman in there who I knew bought a 5800 on the same day as me. While we were speaking he pulled out his 5800, handed it to me and asked “Has yours done this?” The screen had completely broken up, with multicoloured horizontal lines across the screen. A couple of flicks of the key lock switch and the screen returned to normal. I was obviously thankful mine hadn’t had the same issue!

Spoke too soon…literally within one week it happened on the first occasion. I pulled my phone out my pocket to read a text and had the dreaded lines across the screen (these lines leave it completely unreadable and unusable). As previously though, flicking the keylock a few times seemed to fix it.

This carried on for months on end, however I soon realised it was happening more and more often, and also taking longer and longer for it to return to normal. Flicking the keylock a few times no longer worked as before, it  now seemed almost random whether it wanted to work or not.

At the end of July I replaced the handset with a HTC Hero, which I paid for in cash. I had reached a point where the handset had become unusable, at one point my screen did not work for over 14 hours, so I was now in desperate need of a new handset. I was, as I previously mentioned, already planning on getting one so this seemed like a good excuse to dig into the wallet.

I then heard that Gerry had the same issue. Remembering about the salesman having exactly the same fault, I put two and two together and started the consider the chance of this being an inherent fault with the 5800. In fact a quick Google search of the subject matter reveals many people having the same fault, all of which were fairly early adopters. Nokia seem to have acknowledged a fault, and I have read that the fix is a new re-designed screen being fitted. Did those early screens all come with a fault?
Now let’s move onto my nark with Carphone Warehouse. CPW are I believe the largest mobile phone retailer in the UK. They are a huge organisation with their proverbial fingers in many a proverbial pie. Their slogan for many a year, and maybe still is, I’m not sure, was “It’s good to talk.”

Well here’s two ideas boys and girls of Carphone Warehouse…

  1. Publish the correct numbers on your website.
  2. On the occasion I can get a correct number, hows about someone actually answering that call?

You see, a week and a bit ago I dropped my phone in for repair at my local store. I’ve been trying to contact that store, I have their direct number, but no matter what option you choose you get the same recorded message, “Sorry, we are unable to answer your call, please try again later.”

“OK,” I thought, “I’ll bypass the store and go straight to the repair center direct.” I call the number on the website only to be told it’s been changed to a different number, and when I call that number I’m told the number is not in use!

Genius move there Carphone.

I’d interested in two specific pieces of information from Carphone;

  • Was there a specific fault with early models of the 5800?
  • When can I have my phone back? Pretty please.

Since I started writing this I have had a tweet from @guyatcarphone, so finally some contact from within the organisation. However it remains to be seen what the outcome will be, if it remains for repair for the length of time that Gerry’s has then I shall be unleashing the necessary fire and brimstone.

September 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Well I never knew MMS did this…and I don’t like it.

I’ve only tried this on a Nokia 5800, so if you’ve got a different phone or one that runs a different OS, feel free to try this for yourself and see if you get similar results.

Get someone to send you and another person a picture at the same time (so both of you are in the recipients box). When you get the picture go to options and look at message details. Scroll down the pop up that appears.

Both you and the other recipient will be listed.

Now this seems to me to be a pretty big flaw. Also I’ve never noticed this before which leads me to believe this is a fairly recent development.

Now I know that to most people this won’t be an issue because you’ll be decent, upstanding people. But just say, hypothetically, you had sent a rather private picture to two separate people who didn’t know about each other (I’m pretty sure you know where I’m going with that), would you want the two people to have visibility of each others full phone numbers?

Just be careful with who you’re sending what to, OK?

p.s. Just tried this with a HTC TyTn II and could find anyway to see both numbers. Is this problem isolated to just Nokia phones? Or just Nokia Series 60 5th Ed? I recommend you try it and post below.

July 28, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 2 Comments

I think this might be spam…

Now something tells me this might be spam…

Dear Account User

This Email is from Gmail Customer Care and we are sending it to every Gmail Email User Accounts Owner for safety. We are having congestions due to the anonymous registration of Gmail accounts so we are shutting down some Gmail accounts and your account was among those to be deleted. We are sending this email to you so that you can verify and let us know if you still want to use this account. If you are still interested please confirm your account by filling the space below.
Your User name, password, date of birth and your country information would be needed to verify your account.

Due to the congestion in all Gmail users and removal of all unused Gmail Accounts, Gmail would be shutting down all unused Accounts, You will have to confirm your E-mail by filling out your Login Information below after clicking the reply button, or your account will be suspended within 24 hours for security reasons.

* Username: …………………..
* Password: …………………
* Date of Birth: ……………………….
* Country or Territory: …………………..

After following the instructions in the sheet, your account will not be interrupted and will continue as normal. Thanks for your attention to this request. We apologize for any inconveniences.

Warning!!! Account owner that refuses to update his/her account after two weeks of receiving this warning will lose his or her account permanently.

Sincerely,
The Gmail Team

Oh well fuck me, I obviously should reply to this! With this…

spam

Also this e-mail shows just how effectively my gmail spam filter must be working…sheesh…

July 1, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Why my next phone won’t be a Nokia.

Those random few who have followed my blogging over the years will know I’m a big Nokia fan and specifically of their Symbian models. I have used their phones exclusively now since the N70, I have owned many of their Nseries models since then and my Symbian history goes right back to the 7650, a phone which I still hold in the highest regard and the one that made me fall in love with that platform.

nokia7650

Nokia 7650

I’m not too proud to say that my obvious preference to the Nseries range made me overlook some of the issues that hamper them. Build quality over the last few years hasn’t been amazing, the majority of people with an N95 can testify to that,  the OS is notoriously buggy and quite importantly it’s all starting to look a little dated, especially if you compare it to that of, for example, the iPhone.

Still I soldiered on and I would happily preach to disbelievers about the wonderful virtues of being a Symbian user. I think I’ve converted more people over to Nokia than missionaries have to Christianity.

When the N97 was announced I literally gasped for breath. A multimedia powerhouse, the QWERTY keyboard, the huge touch screen. To me, this is what I’ve been waiting for, the real successor to the N95 (especially after the abject disappointment of the N96). I squealed with joy, told every man and his dog about how amazing it’d inevitably be and how this would certainly be the perfect mobile device for me.

Which makes it all the more interesting that I’ve decided not to buy one and instead buy a HTC Hero, switching to Android, and in the process ditch the Symbian operating system that I have grown to love.

android

I’m finding it hard to explain why I’ve had this sudden change but I think this is the best way to do it; it’s like when you wake up to someone who’ve you’ve been with with many years, who you’ve spent many wonderful moments with, who you had imagined you would spend the rest of your life with and suddenly realise…

“I don’t love you any more.”

You keep going in the relationship. You loved the person once, surely it’ll come back again? Eventually you realise no, it’s done, buried, finished.

Time to move on to something fresh.

I can’t put my finger on exactly why or when this happened, but I think I can put this down to a few separate factors.

  • The N96 release. After the epic success of the N95 I waited and waited for the follow up and when it arrived it stunk to high heaven. The upgraded version of  S60 (Feature Pack 2) was underperformed horrendously, constant lock ups, reboots, general instability. Add to that some shocking build quality and you’ve officially got a crushing disappointment.
  • I’m no longer excited by Nokia. The N97 seemed amazing when it was announced…in December 2008. It’s June 2009 now and it’s only just hit market. Compare this to the Hero, announced 24th June and looks likely to ship in July. That’s one month. The N86 is following a tried, tested, and now very dull route. The Hero by comparison, with it’s jutting chin looks like it’s been designed by someone on acid. In my book that’s an overwhelmingly positive thing.
  • I’m no longer excited by S60. Maybe the final nail in the coffin was the 5800XM. Don’t get me wrong, I love this phone. It does a great little job. But S60 5th Edition just looks so horribly, horrifically dated next to it’s touchscreen brethren. Stick it next to the iPhone (or from what we’ve seen so far from the videos of the TouchSenseUI which is built on top of Android on the HTC Hero) and you may get that warm sense of familiarity but it’s certainly not exciting. Symbian as it currently stands (and I say currently stands because I expect exciting changes ahead with the Symbian Foundation)  needs a drastic UI overhaul because it simply does not compare aesthetically when put next to it’s rivals.

So fairwell Nokia, at least just for the time being. I have no doubt I’ll return at some point. I’ll expect I’ll miss the simply wonderful cameras that you cram into your phones. I know I’ll miss S60. If they change the top phones onto Maemo, as is rumoured,  I’ll no doubt dip back in to test the waters and use this exciting new development.

Fairwell Nokia, and hello Android. I must warn you, you probably have this one chance to impress me. First impressions mean everything, you’ve got the aesthetics right (you’ve given my inner geek the horn basically), now make sure this software works you may have a convert.

How do you feel about Nokia and S60? Have you too been tempted away?

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m very excitedly off to place my pre-order.

June 30, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

T-mobile update #2

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at this point.

Last night I popped out for a walk along the beach front. It’s been a fairly shitty week (not just because of you T-mobile, you’re not that special) and I knew it’d help me clear my head. About 5 minutes into the walk, I get this.

Scr000001

Now the crucial thing to notice here is not the content of the message, but the time it was sent.

So, quick as a flash I try to call customer service. What message do I get?

“T-mobile customer services is open from 8am to 10pm blah blah blah…”

I’ve finally got hold of them this morning. I was over my credit limit as a bill had been produced for £400+ for my ‘early termination charge’. While I understand why this was levied on my bill, what I do not understand is why the 3 people I’ve spoken to since my phone was reconnected didn’t notice this and remove it.

So…connected again…who wants to make a bet about for how long?

Oh T-mobile, you really do excel yourself.

June 19, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Update on me, the suspected fraudster, and T-mobile

I would like to start by thanking people for the response and attention that was drawn to my previous post regarding my fall out with T-mobile. While there wasn’t a huge amount of comments on the post itself  I received a great deal of correspondence via e-mail and Twitter for which I am truly thankful.

Now, here’s what happened next…

That evening I returned home, desperate to find out for certain if and how this situation could be resolved. Thankfully, my call was answered by someone who not only bent over backwards to help, but sounded genuinely horrified at how this had been dealt with so far.

As she delved into the notes that had been left from that day, I could hear little utterances of phrases coming down the line.

CS : “Well that makes no sense…That conflicts with what it says before…etc”

Nice to see I wasn’t the only one who was perplexed from the previous information given.

After a good 10 minutes I’m told I’ll have to be placed on hold while she grabs someone else. I’m fine with this, I expect it and I’m glad she’s doing this. She doesn’t know the correct procedure, and please all other customer service representatives who read this take note of this nugget of information, she’s gone to find out what to do.
(On a side note here, please T-mobile, I beg of you, change the on-hold music. It’s frigging awful.)

Back she comes. I’m waiting with bated breath when she tells me…

CS : “Well…I’ve got good news and bad news.”

Considering the day I’ve had with them, I was expecting the good news to be that I wasn’t going to be strung up by the testicles while the T-mobile Secret Police tortured me with a feather duster while the bad news was that the phone was about to self-destruct and blow out my right ear drum. BOOM. Thanks for calling Mr Jones.

As it turned out it was actually slightly more positive. I could have my line back. what I needed to do was pay the amount that had been contested and bingo! my line is back. But there’s a little problem.

I’m banned from using cards on my account.

That’s right, I can’t use any credit or debit cards on my account. Now instantly I thought “Well fair enough, until this is cleared up I can understand why they may be hesitant.” But no, I can’t use cards ever again on this account. (crossed out for a reason, keep reading)

This will apparently will hang over my account forever. Despite the fact it’s a mistake, a bit of human error, I will forever be tarred with the brush of a fraudster. This obviously leads to a bigger question. Where else will it linger? Credit reference files?

However, we agreed I could do a BACS transfer into their account. Could take up to 3 days but most likely within 24 hours. When this hits my account, my line would reactivate.

I’m not too proud to admit that at this point I got a touch teary. I don’t know whether it was the tiredness of the day or relief. I was however very thankful that I spoke to someone on the phone who genuinely cared about my issue and took the time and effort to find out what steps to take. I thanked her unreservedly for her help.

Now I’m sat in the knowledge there’s a potential 3 day wait until my line flicks back on so I decide the wisest thing will be to top up my Pay As You Go number. I ring through to the delightfully polite automated service where I register my card. When I come to top up though I kept being told there was an error.

I rang through to PAYG customer services who informed me that my card was now blacklisted with T-mobile. That’s right, I can never use a card with T-mobile ever again.

I don’t know how to deal with you now T-mobile. I used to be very fond of you. I told my friends about you. Even when I did the upgrade and gave me a phone that barely worked yet customer services refused to help me at all (“It’s a known fault so we won’t replace it.” What kind of excuse is that?!), I didn’t care. I bought a Nokia 5800 (T-mobile PAYG, no less) and plodded on.

So thanks for reconnecting me, I really appreciate it. But I think it’s the final straw. If I think about it, I’ve been with you for probably a year now and so far had a dodgy phone you refused to replace, a period of over 2 months were text messages were delivered in blocks of 8-10 at a time, a point where the aforementioned dodgy phone refused to show incoming calls which resulted in me missing a job offer (thanks. No really, thanks. It was only £12,000 higher than the wage I’m on now) and 2 of the rudest customer service people I can honestly say I’ve ever spoken to I think I’m pretty much done. I’ll be letting this contract run down and I’ll change network to someone who I feel values customers.

Again, thank you to those who commented, tweeted and generally made themselves known. And thank you to the one person at T-mobile who listened. You’re a credit to your company, and I wish you all the best.

June 18, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 2 Comments

A picture says a thousand words…

Something tells me Ronaldo would probably miss the comedy in this…
Ronaldo

June 17, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 1 Comment

How I was accused of credit card fraud, and what T-mobile could have done better.

I’m rubbish with credit/debit cards.

I lose them so often, it’s very rare that I will keep one for more than 4 months before I lose a wallet, the card, eat it, whatever. So back in February when yet another card mysteriously vanished during a night of epic drunkness I thought nothing of it and ordered a new one.

In the meanwhile I had a few bills to pay. Having given my mum the cash these were sorted, no problem. Low and behold though, I forgot the crucial mobile phone bill.

This dawned on me during a work day. Having a back pocket full of cash that I had withdrawn to get me few the next few cardless days, I came to an agreement with a colleague of mine that I will give him the cash, he will ring up and pay the bill. The deal was struck, the call was made, the bill was paid.

All sorted. Fast forward to last night.

Your beloved host here was sat comfortably on his sofa, messaging away on his 5800. Suddenly, everything drops out. No signal, nothing. Now, being a long time Nokia user, I’m aware that phones (and I shall use the technical terminology here) ‘fuck up’ every now and again so I gave it a battery pull and rebooted.

Oh deary me… “Sim registration failed.”

OK then, so sim out, blow in the hole (the magic cure to all phone related problems) all back together again and…”Sim registration failed.”

This was repeated a few time, with the same outcome. Trying to figure what was going on I popped in a Pay As You Go card I have lying around for emergencies. Oddly, it worked first time.

Don’t ask me why I did this, but I tried to ring my standard contract phone number.  ” The number you have called has not been recognised.”

Hmmm…now this I did not expect.

I tried to call T-mobile customer services but they were closed. Fair enough, it’s 11:30pm, we all need sleep. Perplexed, but not overly worried, off I went to bed, safe in the knowledge that this will all have been a big mistake. I’ll ring up in the morning, I’ll explain, they’ll apologise, I demand some freebies, they give it to me, everyone’s a winner.

Well…that’s how it went in my head….

This is what actually happened.

I rang up this morning. Explained that my phone had randomly died, if they could switch it back on that would be simply spiffing.

CS : “It’s been cancelled. Credit card fraud on this account.”

Now it’s fair to say that this wasn’t what I expected. What I also didn’t expect was the utterly unhelpful attitude of the chap I was speaking to. I shall include my favourite part of the conversation below.

Me : “Ok, so how do I resolve this?”

CS : “Well you need to speak to the bank who have put the claim in, they’ll contact us and we go from there.”

Me : “Great, so which bank is it?”

CS : “Can’t tell you that for legal reasons.”

Me : “Right…so you want me to contact the bank to resolve this…right?”

CS : “Yes.”

Me : “But you won’t tell me which bank to contact… right?”

CS : “Yes.”

Now I appreciate it was first thing in the morning and no one want to talk to a suspected fraudster before you’ve even had a coffee or a morning dump, but really? Could you have been any more awkward?

I couldn’t remember ever using another card to pay my bill so I rang my bank who had absolutely no idea what T-mobile were on about, so back I go to T-mobile in the desperate hope I get to speak to someone who has had a bit of caffeine this morning.

Thankfully, I got someone very helpful. Perhaps a little too helpful, she gave me a couple of hints as to exactly what was going on and sure enough, it relates back to the payment made in February.

She then told me he needs to get in touch with his card provider, who will then get in touch with T-mobile and WAYHEY!!! we’ll be rocking and a rolling and a calling and a texting before you even know it.

Just to make this a little more awkward, the chap who made the payment for me is out in France all week.

So I’ve spent my entire morning trying to get hold of him which I eventually did. After explaining, he’s contacted his wife who is a joint account holder on this and, yes, you guessed it, she’s seen the payment, didn’t know what it was and rang up to report fraudulent activity. “Not a problem,” he professes, “I’ll get on it. I’ll ring them right now from France, explain it all. Really sorry mate.”

At this point I’m elated! See, I have no other phone. I have no landline these days. I only have one contract. This Pay As You Go sim has no credit. My contract is cut off…I am cut off.

I ring back T-mobile to give them the good news, I’ve always believed that you should keep someone updated during a problem. Unfortunately, what I didn’t expect was to get someone who was blatantly in a worse mood than the first person I’ve spoken to. This was one of my many highlights of my interchange with quite possibly to worst customer service representative I’ve ever spoken to.

Me : (After explaining exactly what’s happened, what steps my colleague is taking, etc) “So after his credit company has informed yourselves that this was in error, what the procedure to get the phone reactivated?”

CS : “We won’t do that. You’ll be billed for your remaining line rental.”

Me : “What? This has all been a mistake. His credit card company are going to get in touch to let you know. I obviously don’t expect you to switch it on right now, but from when you do receive the confirmation, what is the plan.”

CS : “Nothing. Also, you will not be allowed to ever use a card on this account again. You’ll have to find a different payment method.”

Ok, so my account is terminated apparently…I’ll get billed for all line rental…but I can’t use my card to pay my bills in future? That makes a load of sense, well done.

Later on in the conversation, I was told this;

CS : “You will have to appeal, it’ll take 14 days for them to reach a decision.”

Oh, so now I have a right of appeal against a contract that will be cancelled but I will have to pay future bills through another payment method!

Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against T-mobile taking decisive action against fraudsters. I positively applaud it, especially considering I spent 3 years in mobile phone retail and have been involved in the arrest of various dodgy characters in the past. However, surely a little bit of common sense should come into play here?

Let’s look at my account. It’s registered to my address. This would be the same address that my card is registered to. This is relevant because you ask this question when you register your card for payment online. So, you know exactly where I live and that I specifically make payments around the same time each and every month from the same bank account. Surely, if I was such a master criminal that I decided to steal someones card and use it to pay my bill, I wouldn’t continue to use the same account, registered at the same address from that point onwards!!!

Surely when you got that call from whichever bank it was it would have been an idea to contact me, the account holder and ask the question. I understand you need to act quickly and decisively in these matters but a quick phone call to explain what’s happening and why, so then I could have contacted my colleague who could have instantly got in touch with his credit card company and this whole mess could have been avoided.

Lets look at my next issue. You were contacted by the credit card company yesterday and you cancelled my contract the same day. However, from the poor information I’ve been given so far, it seems that the credit card company can get in touch with your ID fraud department in order to confirm that this was a mistake. But my phone still won’t get switched back on? And if it does, it will take 14 days? Sorry, that is completely shocking. If you can switch it off same day, you should be able to switch it back on same day.

Lets look at your customer service employees. Rude, short, unhelpful, constantly spoke over me when all I wanted to do was understand what I can possibly do to resolve this. I can honestly say I felt like I was being treated like a criminal. Well thanks very much. We could also talk about the fact that the third one quite obviously didn’t know what to say and hence why she told me 3 different things.

Now I know I’m not the most valuable of customers T-mobile, I only spend £60-80 per month, but I expect a little more. A little more courtesy. A little more respect. After all, I’m your customer.

So here I am. No working phone. No support from customer services and not one solid, clear explanation of what I should do.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

June 16, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 8 Comments