Posts Tagged ‘Orange’

A bug with O2 text messaging

August 11th, 2012 No comments

I’ve recently seen a bug with text messaging that could cause trouble for someone or even be used for fraudulent purposes.

A colleague (on Orange) sent a picture message to myself (on Vodafone) and another colleague (on O2). He sent it as one message with two recipients rather than two separate messages. Nothing wrong there.

In later conversation, the first colleague mentioned what I had said in reply to his picture. What reply? I asked. He then showed me a message on his Nokia 6310 that clearly appeared to have come from my number. I had not sent this message and I could prove it by showing him my itemised bill on the Vodafone website. Looking at the style of the message it looked like it had come from the second recipient which it turned out was the case.

Despite having a Nokia smartphone, this second recipient on O2 has a corporate restriction on receiving picture messages directly on the phone and instead receives a message telling him to visit the O2 website to view the picture. When he did this he sent a reply via this O2 website. Because I had been the first recipient on the original message, the O2 website falsely inserted my number as the sender.

Fortunately, our relationship is good enough to realise who had really sent the message but depending on the content of the message this could easily have caused an argument or bad feeling. This could also be used for fraudulent purposes?

How is it possible for O2 to spoof the sender details?

Wanted: a proper PAYG data plan

April 23rd, 2011 No comments

When I bought my iPad I almost chose a WiFi only version, but decided on a WiFi/3G version for the odd occasions when it would be used away from a WiFi connection. I had no real idea how much data I would be using. My average monthly data usage on the iPhone rarely exceeded 200MB. I did consider getting a GiffGaff SIM but they consider usage in an iPad to be ‘tethering’ (a strange interpretation of the word) and anyone mentioning tethering and iPad in a tweet leaves themselves open to GiffGaff’s Gestapo-like followers. GiffGaff seem to be scared of massive data usage on the iPad, something you’ll shortly see is far from the truth.

Unfortunately, none of the UK mobile telcos offers a proper PAYG data plan that works in the same way as a phone plan; on a PAYG phone plan your credit never expires (as long as you make a call once in a while, usually a month), not so with data plans.

I plumped instead for the best plan on offer at the time which was Three’s 3GB for £20. Unfortunately this data allowance expires after 3 months, but at under £7/month for a connection it was a start. Once I did start using my iPad, i found that my average monthly cellular data usage on iPad turns out to be around 40-50MB, a fraction of my iPhone usage, making a mockery of GiffGaff’s argument for allowing data usage on an iPhone but not the iPad.

I then came to renew the Three data plan but found that you cannot add another three months, but have to pay £10 for 1GB that lasts a month. At my usage rate this is a complete waste. It would be cheaper to go and buy another SIM for three months! It also means that these plans are not ‘pay as you go’ at all; since the data allowance only lasts a month they are effectively 30-day monthly contracts.

Monthly contracts are not suitable, paying for a plan that would largely go unused and also run the risk of some rogue app taking me over my monthly allowance and into more expensive data costs. A PAYG allowance is self limiting as it would simply run out.

So come on, Vodafone, O2, Three, T-Mobile, Orange, GiffGaff. Let’s have a real PAYG data plan where I can buy say 1GB of data top-up that never expires, just like my PAYG phone credit. I know I am not alone in wanting such a plan.

UPDATE: January 2012

GiffGaff are now allowing use of their SIMS in iPads. Data Costs 20p/day (for first 20MB) then 20p/MB for data used on top during that day – Perfect for the amount of data I use on the iPad. Credit does not expire. If I know I’m going to be using a lot more data, I can buy a data goody bag with my credit.

You can get a free GiffGaff SIM here.

Freeserve number change

October 3rd, 2006 No comments

FreeserveMy mother-in-law has always been with Freeserve on Dial-up and does not use the internet enough to warrant paying for broadband. When Dixons sold Freeserve to Wanadoo in France (part of France Telecom), she was none the wiser, except that she didn’t understand why her homepage had changed to

Now that France Telecom have decided to merge the brand names under the Orange brand, her homepage has changed again, still with no explanation. Since her homepage is still actually set to, this redirects to Surely, it doesn’t take much for Orange to spot the redirections and display a banner explaining the change.

Now the really crap part: She started getting a message saying she had to change the number her computer dialled. The POP server also started refusing connections, refering her to the same page. Not exactly much warning nor much explanation to someone who just wants to check her emails and log in to her bank.

The automatic ‘download new number’ option does not work, even when logged in as administrator, but then again that’s Windoze for you.

Previously, she had dialled 0845 079 6699 (1p/min weekday eve), but the new number is 0844 058 7000 (2p/min).

There is no valid reason for doubling the price, especially as most people won’t realise this.

According to the FAQ on the changes:

Why is the number changing?
We’re asking you to change to this new number as the old one is out of date and will soon be closing.

What utter Bollocks! If you need to change it, change it to another 0845 number. The real answer is that Orange don’t like dial up customers and have therefore chosen to fleece them.

When did you tell me about this change?
We emailed you about 30 days ago explaining what the number change was and what you’d need to do.

No you did not! My mother-in-law received no such email.

So basically, no warning, no valid reason for the change in price. Shame on you Orange.