If it works on modem, it works on phones; stupid!

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As a sequel to the articles, Glo Introduces Pre-Paid 3G Packages, and Official configuration settings for the new Glo prepaid internet bundle plans, I gave the new bundle packages and settings a try this morning.

Having purchased N500 airtime and sent the required SMS codes, I was notified that I had successfully subscribed to the Always Day plan. This plan gives the subscriber 50mb data for a period of 24 hours. My subscription notification came in at 7.17 a.m. this morning.

I immediately noticed that I lost 3G connection. Trying to browse with the new APN, Gloflat, resulted in “Packet data not connected” errors. I also remembered that brym! had mentioned a 3-hour waiting period. No problem!

But while waiting, I decided that it wouldn’t hurt to continue browsing with the old Glodirect settings and be billed per kb for that, since I still had some airtime on the line. As such, I selected the Glodirect settings and tried to browse. Same error. I tried the other official Glo APNs and got the same error. Apparently, subscribing for Always Day got me yanked off mobile internet entirely on the Glo network.

Over three hours later, I tried to see if anything had changed, but no; I was still unable to get a connection. Dialling 121 didn’t get me anywhere; I simply got the busy tone each time.

Finally, I decided that I wouldn’t throw N500 at Glo like that. I had thrown away too much to GSM networks in the last several years. I did something I absolutely hate doing – I drove down to the nearest Gloworld. I knew I was going to be treated to the same old dose of ignorance or foolishness. Or both.

I wasn’t disappointed.

The plump, fair, and clueless lady who attended to me made such amazing statements like:

It cannot work on your phone because it is for modem and PC only

and

When you activated the bundle package, it messed up your provisioning because it is not for phones

and

I was not trained to activate this plan on a phone. I can only activate on PC. Please go and bring your laptop

As if it wasn’t the same settings both the modem and the phone would use. As if it wasn’t the same GSM/3G radio that powers both modem and phone. I felt like yelling at her, “Don’t be stupid; if it works on modem, it works on phone“.

But I let self-control rule. I requested that she at least provision me for regular internet service. The silly girl sent me Glo WAP settings – because in her little mind, all that my Nokia E90 communicator could handle was puny WAP. Doh! Need I say that whatever it was that she did worked not?

To make matters worse, I went to the menu in my phone browser to select the new bundle package APN, and discovered that the silly girl had deleted them! She had collected my phone for a brief period, and had apparently deleted the settings then. Why would she delete those settings from my phone? Why did she sneak up on me like that? Those settings are official. Anyone with the modem can actually look them up easilly.

Perhaps she knew that they would work on the phone, but she needed to follow a stupid line that a superior had fed her about making sure that their dumb subscribers buy those modems? But Yomi is no dumb subscriber. She was messing with the wrong chap.

Again, I kept my cool. I did not say a word about the deleted settings. I simply typed them back in. Tried browsing. Again, no show.

Meanwhile, I spoke with my contact at Glo engineering, and he went to work. I know the guy; he is an intelligent person, and one of the few people at Glo who seem to know anything about mobile technology. The others are mostly dullard businessmen and marketers, it seems. He excused himself and called me back a few minutes later.

He asked me to load at least 1 kobo on my line and then try to browse. I was under the impression that he had done something at the other end, but later found that all I needed to do was have some amount on my line’s balance, which was reading zero at the time. [Updated 13th november]

Having followed his instructions by loading airtime, I selected the Gloflat settings again, launched the browser on my phone, and presto! I was on. I was still seated before her royal cluelessness all this time. With a smug, I told her that I was now browsing – and that I was specifically browsing on the Always Day plan.

She almost jumped out of her skin and retorted, “That’s not possible because I deleted the settings.” As if she what she did was such an irreversible thing.

I smiled coolly and said, “Yes; but I put them back in.”

The look on her face spoke volumes. Perhaps I had under-estimated this man? I can imagine that this was getting embarassing for her. Customers were sitting and standing all around, anhd I imagine that some of them had followed our little drama from inception.

She started saying something about my airtime being eaten up because the service would only work via their modem. I said goodbye and walked out with a smile. I would have loved to say to her, “My name is Yomi – and when Yomi tells you that something about mobile technology should work, you shut up, sit straight and listen. Don’t ever forget that name or this face.

That would have been dramatic – like something out of a James Bond movie. But I didn’t. I simply walked out with a warm “Have a nice day“.

Screenshot of the Gloflat configuration on the Nokia E90 - Click on image for full version
Screenshot of the Gloflat configuration on the Nokia E90 – Click on image for full version

This was several hours ago. I have been browsing, connecting to mail servers, and chatting via Messenger on my phone since then via the Gloflat settings and the Always Day subscription that I did this morning. My regular airtime has stayed intact. Not a kobo has been deducted. At least, I am getting value for the N500 I loaded this morning. Tomorrow, I will be taking a deeper plunge by subscribing for G-Work, costing N6,000 and giving me 3GB for a 30-day period from 8a.m. to 9p.m. daily.

Gloflat connection at work
Gloflat connection at work – Click image for full size

Wish me luck. Who knows? I may complete the subscription tomorrow and my line be de-activated and yanked entirely off the GloMobile network. Now, you can stop laughing; it isn’t funny. Serious.

24 comments

  1. Oga Yommie, verily, verily I say unto you, I think you missed your calling!

    You should either be a social crusader (yes, I said it before!) or an Author. Or a Comic/Comedian. Seriously!

    That said, thank you so much for setting yourself up as a Guinea Pig for this Glo experiment. We will be waiting to learn if you get value for money for the 6,000 you are about to gamble on this new Glo Package. Rather you than me, though, Sir!

  2. It is a case of square pegs in round holes, most jobs in this country is gotten by who one knows, that explains why almost every customer service rep. know next to about their network, I can still remember one @ Etisalat who told me that EDGE is superior to 3g (He was so confident that he even suggested that I check it myself on google).

    I wish u all the best in ur romance with glo. As for me I’ll stick to Etisalat untill I get better and cheaper service else where.

  3. EyeBeeKay,

    Sometimes I wonder too if I didn’t miss the right bus 😀

    Always a pleasure to be a guinea pig in the service of the Nigerian mobile community. Its part of my job as administrator of this website. It can be expensive and painful sometimes, but hey…

    Cheers.

  4. Kay123,

    Someone at Etisalat told you matter-of-factly that EDGE is superior to 3G?

    I almost fell off the floor reading that! Perhaps, finally, the Glo customer care people now have some serious competition from their Etisalat counterparts; no?

  5. Gwork bundle plan working smooth and easy. I’ll be putting up an article summarising everything that Glo HSI prepaid internet users need to know in one place for the convenience of those having issues.

    I found out that I didn’t even need to have taken yesterday’s trip to Gloworld.

  6. eagerly waiting for the article. frm the post, its obvious ya trip 2 gloword was not necessary, wat im not sure of is d call u made 2 your contact in glo engineering.

    it will b good 2 know those of us without contacts can use glo3g without hazzles jst incase we run into d same problem u did

  7. bily,

    The article has already been published. I didn’t need the visit to Gloworld, and I found out from my contact that all he did was check my airtime balance to check how much was left there.

    I found out later that the reason I was unable to access the service was because my airtime balance read zero at the time. I have now updated the original article to reflect this information.

    The article has already been published. I forgot to update this page. Here it is:

    Essential tips for using Glo prepaid internet bundle plans

  8. Words can’t express my anger right now! I just hope this sort of thing doesn’t happen to me cos the drama queen in me will see the light of day. I just wish some investigative journalist would work on Glo with a hidden camera and expose their tricks.

    I remember some fool asking me to load 1,000 naira before he could activate GPRS on my phone. I declined and the bastard went as far as asking me how much I had on me and when I said just 200 naira, he said sorry I can’t help you. I mean, the way we customers get treated like DOGS in this country pisses me off and I just wish I was back in the “civilized world” were customer is king.

  9. I’ve experience such b4 @ the glo outlet in Okota.
    The rep told me i must have at least 2hundred in my account b4 she could help me activate wap on my phone.
    I had to go across the rd. to recharge my phone cos i couldn’t afford the recharge cards they had (minimum of 5h).
    Something is really wrong with these people, getting tru to dem on d care line is not an easy task and when u go to their office to solve a problem u’ll get a very poor reception.

  10. @Kay123: OMG! That’s exactly where it happened to me. It seems this is the norm with that branch of Glo customer care because I later went to the one @ Ikeja (which is far away from Ejigbo where I stay) and got better reception though my problem wasn’t solved at once.

    Maybe we should lodge a complaint about that particular branch.

  11. hi yomi, I’m impressed by your glo exploration finding d truth and sharing it wit us.

    please do you have any idea on etisalat bundles, can it be loaded on any sim. i went to customer care in Maiduguri to load the one month 100mb plan on my sim but they said i must have a data sim.

  12. Abu,

    So far, the info I have and my personal experience suggest that the EasyNet bundle packages are available on data-only SIMs for now.

  13. Good afternoon mr yomi, pls is glos 3G coverage available wherever they have coverage? or is also limited to Abuja, lagos and phc like mtn and zain. tanx in advance

  14. One more question please, is there a lite plan equivalent bundle in d glo packages? (100Mb wit a month validity as in zain) For GPRS OR -EGPRS. Tanx once more

  15. @
    yomi,
    I have just watched on NTA news that glo has crashed call rates to just #40/24 hours. they call it, glo big dash.
    Are u aware of it ?

  16. Just for the record, the glo guys are still dumb idiots……..they still don’t have a clue about anything. Last week I called the customer service line to ask for their activation codes for their internet data plans. The mistake I made was to tell her that I wanted to use it for my iPhone. She asked for my number and after I obliged, she blurted out “I’m sorry what you ask for is simply IMPOSSIBLE at this time, but when we do………..blah blah blah”

  17. Do you know i had the same experience you have? But in my own case i subscribed to the g100 which is 6000 naira. After subscription i could not browse with my phone. I called customer care several times but they keep telling me to go to the nearest glo office. I went to glo office but the plum fair fat lady told me to go get my laptop. I was so furious but had to keep my cool. After pestering her, she gave me the settings which i entered manually on my phone.
    What is baffling me is that i was able to browse using the new settongs only on opera mini but my default phone browser refused to browse. I actually subscribed so i can use the sim with a usb modem to browse on my laptop. Its always giving me errors when i try to us e it with the modem. If anyone has the complete configration for glo modem please help me so i can enter it into my modem. Thanks

  18. This looks like a post I could have made in the past. Over the years I have learnt that if you are an average techie, you are probably smarter than these people. SO I have learnt not to even bother. these guys are too busy earning their salaries. Lets face it even if you are not trained to know something, where is the place of going your way to learn and proudle be the one to share this solution with your colleugues!! I don’t call customer service either , I don’t want to be abused, and offered customer dis-service!! if I cant figure it out, I go on-line, or find a friend who can. Or wait! if the wait is forever, poor me. The downside of Nigeria.

    But on my side I have made up my mind that I will go the extra mile for any one who calls, or sends an email or makes a request in my own line of work for help, consultancy or assistance. So I can at least know that good service is not extinct in Nigeria, cos I at least carry a Nigerian passport too!!!

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