O2, The Sun, and the Premier League

Background: Last week I found out that because I had changed the billing date on my O2 phone that I would be charged more this month because of some nonsense about cycles and pro rata or some such. I didn’t like it, but apparently “it will all work out in the end” – we will see. That wasn’t the main problem – the main issue was that O2 were going to charge me more for the month’s bill (or the same, if you trust them) but then, instead of resetting my data allowance, had just moved the date up the month three weeks. To explain: my original cycle was 10th to the 9th of the month, but by changing the billing date to the 28th, it moved the cycle to the 18th to the 17th. However, my data was only running from the 10th to the 17th of the next month. Not good. This took an age to explain to someone online, but they sorted it. Yay.

What has this got to do with The Sun? Well, the first time I called I was told the system was down, so I went to their Twitter to check. On there I found out this:

And noticed that a lot of customers were very unhappy about this.

O2's response, which was uniform across almost all complaints put to them on Twitter, was pretty interesting, I thought:

There is further discussion available here on the O2 Community forums (though admittedly more support there than on Twitter, and most complaining that existing customers weren't considered for the deal). I note that O2 are saying that the only reason that they have signed up with The Sun, an organisation and paper I find pretty deplorable, just for football, which in turn suggests that they are willing to look past the misogyny and sexism of Page 3 just for football.

There is a massive campaign, and one that I support, to get rid of Page 3 or change it. Page 3 is such a strange thing, and actually embarrassing when telling non-UK people about it. Connie, a Canadian, was incredulous to discover it was a real thing, not a parody or a joke, and found in one of the most widely circulated news papers in the country.

Importantly though, this isn't just about the Page 3 issue. The Sun also has a backlash against it for several other major reasons, including the phone hacking scandal and the Hillborough Disaster. O2 are making a strange statement by aligning themselves with The Sun.

There is a major factor to be considered though, and it links back to what O2 said in their Tweet: "purely football content and we want to bring the best to our customers". See, the Premier League is what they are talking about, and the only way to get the streaming highlights to the weekly matches is to sign up to The Sun+, because the EPL have given The Sun exclusive rights to them.

The only way to watch the highlights is by signing up to The Sun. So, if O2 wanted to give customers the goals, the only way was with The Sun, so I can see their issue. It really comes back to the EPL and The Sun doing these ridiculous and asinine exclusive deals for loads of money that only hurts the fans and the leagues reach. I can watch highlights for any NFL match or NHL match for free on any device.

Anyway, thought it was interesting to see. Maybe, maybe not.

For more information about the No More Page 3 campaign, click here.

Stuck in the Wired Past

I have in the past few months butted horns with my internet provider, Virgin Media. 95% of the time their service is utterly brilliant, running at 28Mbps most of the time, which utterly smashes the BT and O2 previous records of 6Mbps. So yeah, can't really complain.

Until, I have reason to. When I had O2 internet, the router dropped a lot. I called O2 to ask for help and their response was measured and they walked through a range of options, of which I'd already done, and ended up at the point where they asked me to plug my router into my computer via an Ethernet cable.

So, I responded that I didn't have one. And even if I did, what would I do with it? I have an iPhone, and iPad, and Xbox and a second iPhone connecting to it more than my Mac, which at that point wasn't being used. I can imagine being what is called "post-PC" and not even having a Mac or PC at all.

The other strange problem was that the tools O2 wanted me to use only work on Windows PCs (Windows Vista above, too) which irked me.

I have recently had my Virgin Media dropping out. Over Twitter I talked with Virgin, not exactly helping me out. I've Storified it here.

So... my point? I don't live in the same world as tech people anymore, and I don't have tonnes of Ethernet cables lying about (not that I ever did). No everyone will have a computer. And not everyone will know what you are talking about, companies. So you need to move on.

Also, as a side bar, Virgin's throttling thing is a bit crap. Why offer 30Mb and HD video capability only to pull me back when I use it? Seems odd. Akin to a car company penalising me for driving my car at 70mph. I'll have more thoughts on this soon, I reckon.