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Vodafone + BT Openzone = Umm?

I am a Vodafone customer.

Three SIMs: one mobile phone, and two iPads. The latter (apparently) come with BT Openzone access as standard (look, it says it on the website).

They’re all registered to the same account and therefore, when I’m in a 2G area or, better yet, out and about with my laptop, and I need to get online – using this ‘service’ would be quite useful.

That is, if it ever actually worked.

First time I tried, I get this –

Several attempts later, I call Vodafone.

Obviously, they’ll be able to sort this out pronto… right?


The first person I spoke to didn’t know how to fix the issue and spends ten minutes looking for another advisor who can. ‘We’ll just reset your password, then it’ll work’ he says, with glee. OK, cool. Perfect, thank you. I hang up, and in seconds a new password arrives by SMS.

Guess what? It doesn’t work.

I call again. This time I’m told to GET ONLINE and register the new password (can anyone else see the issue here?). This is the most useless piece of information you could ever give ANYONE who is trying to get online.

Any sentence that starts with – ‘To get online with this service, please go online and…’ – is ridiculous.

I. Call. Again.

The third person I speak to asks me if I’ve registered my iPad plans for BT Openzone Wifi? No. Of course I haven’t. I was told they come with the service WHEN I BOUGHT THEM.

And look – it even says it on the website:

‘Just turn on WiFi on your phone when you are in range of a BT Openzone hotspot and your iPhone or iPad will connect automatically. Open the browser, or fire up your apps and you are ready to go! Download the My Vodafone app to find where your nearest BT Openzone hotspot is.’

or even

‘Turn on your WiFi, and select the BT Openzone hotspot from the list of available hotspots. Once connected, open your browser and you will be prompted to enter your Vodafone My Account username and password. Once entered, you are online and ready to go!’

I tell the guy, then he says: “Oh hang on: WHERE is the hotspot? While there are a LOT of BT Openzones, Vodafone can only use ‘PREMIUM’ ones. BT don’t allow Vodafone users to use them all…”

What now?

He puts me on hold ‘to check something’, I’m transferred and then —  “Hi, how can I help?”

“Sorry, what?”

“You’ve been transferred, what seems to be the issue?”

“Er, I’m sorry? I’ve wasted an hour trying to fix this issue and you’re telling me the last guy didn’t tell you what the problem was? Forget it.”

And I still don’t know why it didn’t work.


Oh, and for pure comedy gold, here’s the Twitter exchange that happened afterwards –




Yeah, that’s what I thought.

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