Friday, August 28, 2009

Please don’t mention dongles

I was stopped in the street yesterday by one of our neighbours who said, “I hear you have a dongle”. Although it sounds vaguely rude, she was referring to the USB Bluetooth dongle that connects my mobile phone to my computer which took a lot of hair pulling and fancy footwork to get the thing communicating with my Nokia phone. It works now!

This lady also has a USB dongle but hers is used to connect her computer to the Internet via a 3G mobile phone network. She bought it in the UK along with a netbook computer and brought it back to Spain. Since my neighbour is a causal user of the Internet, this should work out a lot cheaper than tying herself into a contract for an ADSL, WIMAX or other form of connection.

My neighbour had been to the computer shop in Quesada where they had configured the connection to work here in Spain. What she now needed to do was to register the service so that she could top up the account and this is where it all went pear shaped.

My neighbour has a good command of Spanish and was able to work her way through the required information. Frustratingly though it didn’t work. The system refused to recognise the email address that she entered whichever way she typed it in.

Every mobile phone provider offers a similar package to the one my neighbour subscribed to. For example, these are the details of the prepaid package from Vodafone:-


There are similar packages from Orange, Telefónica etc.

Vodafone offer two methods to pay: per volume or by the period of usage (within the limit of 1Gb at 128Kbs).


It all sounds very simple but I bet there are just as many pitfalls using Vodafone’s system as there are with the one my neighbour is using. I hope she gets it sorted out pretty soon, I don’t think being hairless would suit her.


Will said...

Hi Keith
I have a Vodaphone Internet modem. It cost me about 50 Euros from the Vodaphone shop in Guardamar and has been very useful. No problems using it bit you have to watch the volume when you on that particular tariif. As we only spend 10-12 weeks a year in Spain it is not economic to get a broadband connection in the apartment. We are very pleased with this compromise and, if it gets too expensive, we nip down to the libary where it is free to use the internet!

Will said...

Sorry for typos!