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59 posts

Master Geek


Topic # 66753 23-Aug-2010 02:39
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I own a BlackBerry Bold 9000. I am on Prepay text and data.

I was using the built-in browser but found that I couldn't access some sites, such as www.google.com. I called Vodafone fully informing them about how I use my phone. They advised me that the built-in browser does not work without a BlackBerry plan because this is how RIM (manufacturers of BlackBerry) get people to sign up. This staff member then proceeded to advice me to install Opera Mini as this doesn't require such a plan to operate.

I installed and successfully used Opera Mini for some day or two, then, two days ago, just before noon, I was out-and-about with full 3G coverage when Opera suddenly failed to connect asking me to check my network settings. I tried everything I could think of, but to no avail. The built-in browser still worked as usual, though.

I called Vodafone and they told me that, as RIM want people to be on a BlackBerry plan, RIM, and NOT Vodafone, had disabled full Internet access on my BlackBerry. Vodafone told me this was out of their control and that there was nothing they could do about it. I was devastated.

Later that day I discovered that Opera wouldn't even connect over Wi-Fi. I was too busy worying about not having any Internet access that the severity of this not working didn't dawn on me at the time.

The next day I hapend by a Vodafone store and spoke to them about my issues. The person in the store told me that it was Vodafone that had disabled Internet access and NOT RIM! I was furious and called up Vodafone who confirmed this to be the case! I was informed they were following normal protocol. As far as I could understand this protocol meant letting people know about Opera as an option and then disconnecting people after awhile to then get them onto a BlackBerry plan. I was furious.

I told Vodafone there was no way I would be prepared to sign up on a BlackBerry plan when I obviously have a fully capable 3G phone that could clearly connect to the Internet but that no longer worked because they had chosen to flick the switch on their end. I told them I don't play games like that.

I gave Vodafone an ultimatum: you have to Tuesday to reverse what you've done OR watch me take my phone elsewhere. The Vodafone staff I spoke to took down my complaints and demands in an e-mail that I was told would be sent to those in charge of their BlackBerry procedures. (This was a Sunday, and they don't work weekends.)

I chuckled to myself at this. Why would Vodafone ever want to do anything for me? It's just me and my BlackBerry. After all, if they did agree they would simply open a can of worms as every other maverick BlackBerry user would come after Vodafone demanding they do the same thing for them. Rightfully so I say. After all, these users also own a fully capable 3G device. It's an expensive piece of kit and some of us actually own our BlackBerry out-right. Surely we should be allowed to use it to its full capacity?

Later that afternoon I was still out-and-about, with excellent 3G coverage, when I (for the first time ever) popped my 2degrees SIM into my BlackBerry to discover that this fully removed the built-in browser and only made available the hotspot browser (i.e., the Wi-Fi connected browser). I wasn't too surprised by this as I had spoken to 2degress the previous day and they told me this might happen. Opera, of course would not connect, since, not having the built-in browser, meant that the "default browser" (or, as it really should be called, the "network connection") was set to use the hotspot browser which of course means Wi-Fi connection. (I'm not even going to discus how ridiculous this terminology with browsers and connections are all mixed-up and confused, but never mind.)

When I then got home that evening, I tried to connect using my 2degrees SIM over Wi-Fi but Opera would still not connect. I then swapped out the SIM for my Vodafone one but still Opera would not connect even though I set the default browser to the hotspot one. This is when I discovered the following post on 2degree's blog.

"Jason  AUGUST 8TH, 2010
Don’t worry about it, I swapped in Opera Mini (version 4.2) and I have internet now. I guess the default browser only works with blackberry plans." (from http://blog.2degreesmobile.co.nz/in-the-news/2degrees-launches-data-bundle-in-response-to-customer-demand/)

This is when it dawned on me what a fool I had been for not having realised a very important point: there should be no reason for Opera over Wi-Fi should not to work because that is NOT USING A MOBILE PROVIDER'S NETWORK BUT MY OWN!!! Vodafone, however, have taken it in their own hands to disable Opera from accessing ANY network even if that network is MY own Wi-Fi network and NOT their network!!! In fact, they must have tampered with settings on MY phone and not on my Vodafone account because I clearly cannot use Opera even with 2degrees even though Jason (on the 2degrees blog post above) can!!! This is where my blood started to boil! How dare Vodafone prevent me from using MY device on MY network! Morally it is just wrong but is it legal?


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  Reply # 371319 23-Aug-2010 07:31
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Hi MrAndreas

Vodafone NZ have not disabled Opera on your Blackberry from accessing the internet over your WIFI this is not even possible for Vodafone to do.

I suggest you read this thread on the Vodafone forum

http://forum.vodafone.co.nz/topic/1177-blackberry-help-please-read-first-post-before-asking-a-questi.../

Thanks John


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  Reply # 371325 23-Aug-2010 07:52
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But if you want anything checked on the Vodafone side PM me your MSISDN and I will take a look

John



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Master Geek


  Reply # 371362 23-Aug-2010 09:53
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I had this nagging feeling this morning that the Wi-Fi not connecting may be another issue altogether. I'll have to check it out when I get home. However, this still doesn't explain why Jason, on 2degrees, could use Opera. Perhaps he was connecting over Wi-Fi and not 3G? But, even so, the MAIN issue is that Opera has been bricked on Vodafone. I can't even use it to access sites that the built-in browser can access! OK, maybe it's not Opera per se that has been bricked but some network settings that causes it to fail. Whatever the reason I want this reversed and my phone back into operational mode. Are there no consumer rights against stuff like this?



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Master Geek


  Reply # 371366 23-Aug-2010 10:02
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I read your link, by the way, but it really doesn't explain why I had access and now don't have access. The Vodafone staff I have spoken to, however, made it clear to me that Vodafone have purposely disabled my access (however they did that). So it's not a matter of it can't work, it can and it has, but Vodafone doesn't want it to work.

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  Reply # 371368 23-Aug-2010 10:04
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PM me your mobile number and I will check the internet access on the Vodafone side (not Blackberry internet access as you are not a Blackberry subscriber)

John

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  Reply # 371543 23-Aug-2010 15:25
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Why even bother with a blackberry if you arn't using BES/BIS just out of interest.



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Master Geek


  Reply # 371627 23-Aug-2010 16:35
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A friend was upgrading and sold me his BlackBerry for cheap because I just loved the build quality and features and the overall interface.

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  Reply # 371669 23-Aug-2010 17:08
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Hi MrAndreas,

Whilst we have a considerable amount of Blackberry users on Vodafone prepay, we have never offered them any type of Blackberry Prepay solution.

If your Device has the relevant service books (possible when your friend had his SIM in the device) then you should be able to Browser via Vlive and utilise PXT.

3rd Party browsers connecting via Wifi has absolutely nothing to do with Vodafone unless your ADSL is provided through Vodafone.





My views are mine and don't necessarily reflect that of my employer.

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  Reply # 371805 23-Aug-2010 20:18
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Buying a Blackberry handset off a friend and putting in a prepay SIM does not make the end user of the device a Blackberry customer, The end user has to subscribe to the monthly Blackberry service.



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Master Geek


  Reply # 371887 23-Aug-2010 22:54
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I never said that because I own a BlackBerry that I expected access to BlackBerry services. What I do expect, however, is plain data services like any other data-capable phone owner out there that are clearly possible without the BlackBerry services.

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  Reply # 371964 24-Aug-2010 09:32
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MrAndreas,

Whilst your assumption that a Blackberry is the same as any other phone and should be able to access data the same way sounds valid to you, it just isn't true.

APN Configuration
Normal Phones - allows you to configure different apn's to route traffic over

Blackberry - Preconfigured to access all data through the Blackberry APN




My views are mine and don't necessarily reflect that of my employer.

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  Reply # 371972 24-Aug-2010 09:47
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Heya

Vodafone is not to blame regarding the browser issues, your Blackberry uses a series of "Service Books" of which control it's features. Since you do not have a Blackberry BES/BIS plan you won't get these service books pushed out to you, hence why you have suddenly lost them.

Blackberrys are a different sort of phone, they do require a Blackberry Plan to operate since their browser proxy's through the Blackberry Servers in Canada / the US. There is almost no carriers worldwide that offer Blackberry BES on Prepay due to the nature of it.

Without the Blackberry Plan you are at risk of losing your service books. You may be able to request Vodafone to push you out some, but I doubt they will be able to. These Service books control everything, and if you lose the one regarding Wifi, you will in-fact be without Wifi unless if you are on the BES Plan.

One thing you could try is finding a mate that has a Blackberry Sim, and trying that. Your blackberry might fetch the service books again and be able to function on Wifi for a little while, but I am afraid it will just keep losing it's service books unless if you are on a BES plan.

The Blackberry will work fine for txting / calling however, but doing just that on a Blackberry is a bit of a waste. 






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Master Geek


  Reply # 371974 24-Aug-2010 09:52
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Except you fail to mention that what John's link states...

"A Standard Data Plan enables you to:

* Use a 3rd party browser like Opera Mini (no support provided)
* Use any Web Based Email via above browser
* Use other 3rd party applications which can be installed via Desktop Manager (as long as the application does not require Blackberry APN Acess)"

Now there's NO reason why a prepay should not have access to standard data just as on any other phone other than Vodafone preventing it from happening. Access to standard data has NOTHING to do with BlackBerry services.

I understand that the reason prepay data doesn't allow Opera on BlackBerry is because Vodafone doesn't push out the required service books to prepay customers but do to any other customer on any plan (i.e., standard plans as well as BlackBerry service plans). A dodgy practice if you may ask me.

I note that I've failed to mention my other concern about not being able to use Opera: I can't even use it to browse those sites that I can under the built-in browser. This really stinks because I like to have multiple tabs open, one for my most often used sites (webmail, Facebook, etc.)

Vodafone should not have power over how I chose to use my phone. I'm no criminal, but they treat me like a locked up prisoner.

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  Reply # 371975 24-Aug-2010 10:01
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^^ Correct, but if you lose the service books you will have to either find somebody with a Blackberry Sim or a On-Account Sim (Select Scenarios) to fix, there is no workaround on this, it's the nature of the blackberry devices themselves, I emphasis not Vodafone's fault

Vodafone are just presented with a control panel from RIM themselves, hosted on RIM servers. This does not list "Every single" phone out there. Blackberrys are different, they are not just phones, they are business tools. 




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  Reply # 371976 24-Aug-2010 10:02
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A standard data plan does not give your Blackberry access to the Blacberry APN

I have already explained in PMs to you how a Blackberry works and what to Google

John

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