3 mobile broadband sucks for PAYG mac users

I have a 3 mobile broadband dongle, which I bought a ear or so ago just before this stuff started to get cheap πŸ™ It’s a pay-as-you-go job, because up till now I haven’t used it on that regular a basis – but it is handy to have now and again.

I tend to just pop into a mobile phone shop when I need to buy a topup for it, which – in the past – I would simply add to my account my visiting 3’s website. It was easy enough.

However, last night when I went to perform the top-up, I couldn’t. The link to do this just wasn’t there anymore. Fair enough, I thought, the site has been redesigned and the link must be somewhere else. Checking the help pages on the 3 site didn’t help either, as they told me to follow the old procedure.

I decided to ring support.

ME: Hello. I want to top up my pay as you go mobile broadband thing but your site won’t let me.

3: Oh. Have you tried following the instructions on the help page?

ME: Yes. It tells me to click a link that isn’t there.

3: Oh yes, we have upgraded the My3 site…

ME: But not upgraded the documentation.

3: Er, no. Apologies for that. To top up you just need to login to your My3 account online.

ME: I don’t have a My3 account.

3: To sign up, you just need to enter a few details on the My3 site. You’ll then get a text telling you your password.

ME: How would I receive a text on a USB modem?

3: Oh. Er, you know the 3 icon you have on your desktop, which you click to use the internet?

ME: No.

3: Which version of Windows are you using?

ME: I’m not, I’m using a Mac.

3: I’ll just put you on hold for a moment [pause] Can you put your modem’s sim card into a 3 mobile phone to receive the text?

ME: No, I don’t have a 3 mobile phone.

3: Do any of your friends or family have one you could borrow?

ME: What?

3: OK. I can apply the top up to your account over the phone.

ME: Fine. But, just to be clear, at the moment, there is no way for a 3 PAYG mobile broadband top up to be made for Mac users?

3: That is currently the situation, yes.

ME: Bloody marvellous.

[sound of phone being hung up, picked up again and a number being dialled]

ME: Hello, Vodafone?

4 thoughts on “3 mobile broadband sucks for PAYG mac users”

  1. Funny, @barneyc and I were just tweeting about this. Once you’ve set up your account, you can access it whenever you’re online with your dongle from whatever device you’ve got it connected to. But you have to receive the SMS first, which as you’ve noticed, is a challenge unless you have a Windows PC with the 3 software installed.

    I’m similarly afflicted with the only computer I ever use the dongle with – an eeePC running Linux. But I set the account up yonks ago on a WIndows laptop.

  2. that’ll be 3’s legendary customer service. I had a similar conversation a couple of weeks ago – they never told me I could put the sim in my phone though – just done that and now have my password to log in so thanks for that πŸ™‚

    The 3 man helpfully set up an account for me that he supposedly emailed me (never arrived), but not wanting to suffer their customer service again I didn’t bother chasing up.

  3. Yeah, it really sucks. I think I really need to move to a monthly paid subscription, as the signal quality is much higher on the Cambridge – London route than it was from Kettering, so I should get more use out of it.

  4. Argh! I’ve just hit this with a friend. As you note, it wasn’t the case before. I’m pretty damn annoyed that they’ve downgraded the service like this.

    Anyone know if ATM top-ups work on mobile broadband dongles?

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