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This week’s BlykWatch – data, Swatch and Thailand for 135GBP

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Ricky Chotai’s back with another BlykWatch column charting his experience of UK ad-funded MVNO, Blyk. This week, amongst other things, Ricky points out that Blyk’s ‘free texts and calls’ model is missing what many youngsters are now demanding: data.

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Monday 11th February 2008
A brand message from Blyk Music today, letting me know a new single by the Long Blonds was being played for the first time on radio one. A good SMS, however I have no idea who they are, and honestly I do not care. However had it been a band/ artist I liked it would have been a really useful SMS.

Tuesday 12th February 2008
No brand messages today, oh well. However I would like to talk about the arrival of the magic E (The what?) Well it’s the first time I have seen the symbol, (it’s a new phone) so I am sure it indicates that I can use the faster internet with EDGE. I thought, ‘that’s great I have never had an EDGE phone before now and never tried the speed.’

However as a Blyk user, I can only browse the Blyk portal at no charge — and it’s really boring — all it tells me how many minutes and texts I have left. Blyk: Please please give me some free data, so I can go on mobile messenger and check my Facebook. I am not asking for loads just a bit of data to do these things. I know Orange Blyk’s partner in the UK has rubbish rates for data but Blyk, come on sort it out, you are missing out on what your target audience want.

Wednesday 13th February 2008

BLYK launches in the Netherlands — that’s what I learnt from the forum today. Thinking about it it’s great news especially if I could use my free balance on other BLYK networks, a bit like Three-like-home. However no plans were mentioned about this as yet. I hope they do, imagine what the other networks would do???

I received a brand message from swatch, telling me I could win a trip to Paris for me and my loved one ( I don’t have one BLYK, I ticked that box saying that I am single). I could enter via the web or by calling into the store in London, great if you live in London I don’t so not very good for me and I couldn’t be bothered going on the site. One interesting points is that it said over 18’s only now did BLYK send it to all its members or only the over 18’s, I wonder???

Another brand message from HEAT magazine, I deleted that one very quickly.

I also received a personal text from Lucy from member care. Last night I tried to update my email (I have just changed email address) and guess what? There was no option anywhere on the site to change it! So I had to email member care, and I got a nice SMS back from Lucy telling me she had changed it. Nice personal touch however a bog standard email reply would have done! I replied back saying thank you, but I suspect I don’t think it actually got back to my friend Lucy.

Thursday 14th February 2008
Valentine’s Day and I got another MMS from Swatch asking me if ‘my moves were hot’? I replied (for free of course) and I got a reply saying they weren’t. Heh. However their advice was to buy a loved one a swatch. Firstly I am bloody single, I filled in BLYKs profiling questions, and the second is a Swatch? Are they being serious I have not topped my BLYK phone up and they want me to buy a swatch. Wonders will never cease….

Another brand message from The Long Blonds, this time telling me locations of their gigs and where I can buy tickets. Another great message had it been about someone I liked, I still have not listened to any of The Long Blonds, maybe I should!!

Finally 2 missed calls from a withheld number, mystery lover perhaps? I have no idea who it was as I missed them. However it could be one of the chief’s of BLYK? Who knows??? BLYK do of course!! J

Friday 15th February 2008

I got 2 messages today, one telling I can reply to certain brand messages for free. Well Duuh, if they bothered to look on the system they would see that I have been doing that. Sometimes I think BLYK know so much about me, so why not send relevant messages, one of the ways BLYK was sold was that BLYK learns and interacts with you…. Well not with me, or maybe it just takes a long time to learn?? Ha Ha

Another Heat scoop, however asking me a question however I was in the pub so I could not be bothered to reply.

The other important thing is that as I am writing this at about 2am Saturday Morning I cannot send any texts. Looks like BLYK’s SMS server is playing up. Again.

Saturday 16th February 2008
Messages are not sending all of today, sometimes they say sent but don’t deliver other times there are delays on the texts. However I have no idea which, so I have been using my main phone to send ALL my texts. Posted on the forum and the engineers are aware of the problem. Why do they not email every member or SMS us??? I am slowly getting used to these problems now but it just means I cannot rely on my messages being sent!

Brand message from STA travel asking if I wanted to go trekking to Thailand, sadly I did not take them up on their offer for GBP 135. However if you willing to pay for me just get in contact with Ewan! 🙂

Sunday 17th February 2008

Sunday the day of rest, for most of us, not if you are BLYK engineer fixing their SMS server which has been intermittent all day.

Some messages are still not being sent and you have to resend it. Delivery reports are still not operational so you never really know. I have just sent another test and they are now delivering with a small time delay.

BLYK also has a new SMS tag for outgoing texts, it reads ‘Discover Cooling Crystals with Colgate Max Fresh’ now the previous ones advertising BLYK were not so bad but this new one does not make much sense. Imagine texting your friend about what time you are meeting and finding that tagged on the end!

That’s another week of me using a BLYK. The only thing I wish to add is that if BLYK are trying to contact me (I am convinced they are watching me), email Ewan who can gladly forward any emails to me. The only question is what do they want from me????

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Just a little love, Ricky 😉

Another interesting week on the BlykWatch. Data could very well be a key offering for many of Blyk’s target audience…

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

2 replies on “This week’s BlykWatch – data, Swatch and Thailand for 135GBP”

My personal experience with BLYK is that it is too unreliable. There was a lot of hype with the inception of BLYK but it is fading fast. BLYK need to do something to get teens interested again and fast. Teens would rather cough up the cash than have to deal with bad service and irrelevant “junk” texts.

Hey Issah,
I don’t mind the adverts as they don’t send that many its just the current problems are very annoying.
When BLYK came out it had no problems! I am not sure why they have started recently!

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