Yesterday Annabel phoned up Orange (No they aren’t getting a link) to request her PAC code, becuase she wanted to get a T-Mobile G1, the guy was lovely on the phone and he said she’d have to the code in the post in 2-3 days. Which is great.
Now normally when you request a PAC code your phone remains active untill you use it. It takes a week or so for your number to transfer, at which point your phone will lose signal, you restart your new phone and hey presto you have your old number on your shiny new phone on your shiny new network.
1 hour after the phone call to Orange Annabels phone lost reception, we restarted it and the phone just said “Sim card registration failed”, Orange had cut her off.
We decided that this was a sign that she was to get her phone today, so we went into the T-Mobile shop, negotiated a deal, and signed for the contract. It took ages because their POS system was down so they had to do connect the SIM card and do everything over the phone. They even flogged us an 8Gb memory card for the phone for free in exchange for topping up £5 on a PAYG sim (He sold it to us as anything on the wall up to £50 for £5, and they were giving us a free PAYG Sim with £5 credit on it…) except I have no idea whether they have topped up the PAYG sim because Their POS was down, this also meant that we couldn’t pay by switch so I had to run off to find a cash machine.
For all I know there is probably still a £5 Note stapled to a bit of paper with the payment card number for the PAYG Sim they gave us. No skin of oru back because we paid the money for the memory card and not the PAYG Sim, that was just an added freebie.
Anyway we tried starting up the G1 in the shop and apparently in order to do anything with it you have to pair it with a google account (Gmail or whatever) so Annabel tried and we got a message saying that it had failed to connect to the Google servers, we tried this several times in various places and it is still not connected to the best of my knowledge. I hasten to add the guy in the shop offered to set it up for us in the shop, which you’d think meant that everything should work.
I need to point out that unlike most phones the G1 is essentially a very expensive but very pretty brick before you pair it with a Google account, you can make emergency phone calls and you can try to sign in to a Google account thats it… you can’t play with it in offline mode, or mess about with the funky interface, you can’t make phone calls, you can’t text, you can do nothing…
Our first call to T-Mobile customer support which had to be from my mobile (So it wasn’t free) consisted mainly of the guy on the other end faffing for about half an hour with me on hold. The end result was a resounding “I haven’t got a clue whats wrong so I’m going to pass the buck to Google.” We posted on Googles help forum and as yet we’ve not recieved a reply.
We decided after a few more hours to try phoning T-Mobile again, the guy we got was very efficient, and told us that it can take between 2 and 24 hours to connect a new Sim, end of story… I wish they’d just told us that before, we wouldn’t have spent so much time faffing with the phone trying to get it to work.
The net result of this epic tale, is that Annabel is uncontactable untill her phone starts working, when she suddenly becomes contactable no one will have her phone number, and I’m a buit miffed at Orange T-Mobile and to a lesser extent the people behind the android platform for makeing the phone useless without a network connection.
Annabel phoned me this afternoon. Her G1 is up and running and she’s loving it!