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What is and isn't included in the uSwitch deal?

Lucy
Grafter
Posts: 41
Registered: 06-04-2007

What is and isn't included in the uSwitch deal?

I just joined PN Mobile through the uSwitch deal. 

Soon as the Plusnet SIM was in, remote hands took control of my iPhone 6S. Within seconds I was connected to PN.. Unfortunately, more than just establishing a connection, it was Plusnet taking control of my phone.

For a start, I seemed to be connected to 4G, but on a very degraded setting compared to my previous carried (Vodaphone) and had no visible option to chose any other type of connection, 2G and 3G had disappeared! The only options left were '4G Voice' and '4G Voice and data'

 

When I turned off the wifi, 3G appeared instead of 4G, and no choice to go back to 4G for Mobile data. The connection  even slower than my 'Never-fiber-and-be-grateful-for-ADSL' Welsh wifi.

Then I noticed that access to APN from my iPhone 6S has also disappeared (the phone had been bought directly from Apple and was unlocked, Vodafone checked and confirmed). 

 

I cannot find any small print relating to what the uSwitch plan allows. I assumed tethering was included, but it doesn't look like it. I suppose 'Roam like at Home' is also out of the question though it was kind of waved prominently together with the 4G in the 'join us' page.

 

Call to customer services resulted in the frustration of talking to someone who knew less than me (not that I know anything much). Gone were the friendliness and cheerfulness of the Sales agents of yesterday.

So I'll be leaving Plusnet Mobile soon as my previous number is ported and I can get a PAC. Revolving door.

I am still curious, does anyone know the full terms of the uSwitch / Plusnet deal?  Is there a document where one can find out what exactly is one signing for? And why is there no warning anywhere that the deal is for such an outrageously degraded service?

9 REPLIES
Colin_Maybe
Pro
Posts: 399
Thanks: 80
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Registered: 17-12-2016

Re: What is and isn't included in the uSwitch deal?

Roam like at home & tethering are both included in all PN sim plans. Since you were on Vodafone previously, look for the Vodafone APN profile and delete it. Reboot the phone and you should be fine although coverage for different carriers is always subject to location (and the weather, lady luck and whether the gods smile on you or not).

Lucy
Grafter
Posts: 41
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: What is and isn't included in the uSwitch deal?

Thanks for replying Colin_Maybe. 

<Roam like at home & tethering are both included in all PN sim plans>

That's what I though when I signed up for the USwitch deal, I'd read the T&C and all the small print I could find on the PN mobile web pages.

When I signed, I only got a non-specific contract full of 'ifs' which does not have a list of exactly what the plan includes, but it vaguely makes a difference between 'UK only' and international roaming accounts. I haven't tried tethering but with the data connection being moved by the PN SIM to the worst signal available at the location, it wouldn't make much difference, allowed or not it'd still be impossible.

Fitting in the PN SIM seems to have deleted the Vodafone profile in the iPhone and replaced it with a PN setting full of restrictions, even down to what type of connection I can use. They shouldn't have done that, it is taking control of the phone without the user's authorization.

Without a profile already in the iPhone with IOS 10.3, there is no access to device management, and therefore no way to access APN and other network settings.

The real EE 4G signal is very good here, based on actual experience rather than on a theoretical map. The 4G signal that PN gives me is not the real EE signal, and this plan seems to limit  the use of 4G to Voice, so all you get from it is a spent battery. I think Ofcom should look into this.

I feel so duped! Serves me right for trusting Plusnet and trying to save some money. I'll now end up spending a lot more moving out of this uSwitch 'deal'.

Moderator's note by Mike (Mav): Post released from Spam Filter.

 

Colin_Maybe
Pro
Posts: 399
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Registered: 17-12-2016

Re: What is and isn't included in the uSwitch deal?

Ahh, you're talking about the 800MHz band I think which only EE have access to, there's a long thread here https://community.plus.net/t5/Mobile/G4-enabled-and-available-but-can-t-get-data-connection/m-p/1462...

 

Vodafone use a 900MHZ(?) band so it looks like your location just doesn't get the higher frequencies.

 

The 1800MHZ band for PN & EE is exactly the same btw.

Lucy
Grafter
Posts: 41
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: What is and isn't included in the uSwitch deal?

Thanks Colin, that explains part of the problem. I wish I'd spotted that thread before signing...It makes the use of 4G in PN's advertising even more dubious.

I also note that the 'time limited' USwitch deal that was due to expire today now seems to have lost its expiry date, though still keeping the 'time limited' words in the offer - so PN must be making a mint out of this seemingly rather dubious advertising.

 

As for the 'roaming like at home' they added the wording 'standard' in between all and PN  sim only deals in the contract. So, unknowingly, those signing for the USwitch deal are going into a non-standard account with unspecified conditions and rights, where PN can just about do anything.

Looks like consumers' organizations (and also PN's competitors) should definitely look into this 'deal'.

Colin_Maybe
Pro
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Registered: 17-12-2016

Re: What is and isn't included in the uSwitch deal?

In PN's defence it is still a 4G service, they just don't have access (or rather we don't) to all the bells & whistles that you get on the (dearer) EE service.

 

I just clicked through the uSwitch website offers and they all seem to include the phrase

 

Planning a holiday? Good news: you can now roam in the EU for no extra charge. Find out more.

 

 

I don't know if that's changed recently. I'm pretty certain that you get exactly the same T&C's as if you go through PN's own site.

Lucy
Grafter
Posts: 41
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: What is and isn't included in the uSwitch deal?

< I just clicked through the uSwitch website offers and they all seem to include the phrase

 

Planning a holiday? Good news: you can now roam in the EU for no extra charge. Find out more.>

 

Yes, that's what helped me decide to sign up. But I didn't notice that the 'Find out more' link leads you to a page that starts by saying:

Plusnet Mobile customers who live in the UK and have a plan that includes Roam Like at Home can use their monthly plan allowance for no extra charge in 52 European locations.

And that is the question!!! Does the uSwitch deal include Roam like at Home or not? Neither the contract nor the T&C make it clear. A CS agent I talked to yesterday wasn't sure and couldn't find a manager to help answer the question. The Sales rep I talked to said it was. Who is right? How difficult is it for PN staff to make it absolutely clear? 

As for the 4G, I must add -also in PN's favour- that I tested it earlier with the Ofcom app and got 22Mbps for downloads. It must have been 4G at the time of testing, 3G here is a dead bird. It seems to come and go, perhaps there are constraints depending on how busy EE lines are?

 

Lucy
Grafter
Posts: 41
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: What is and isn't included in the uSwitch deal?

I called CS again and this time a hopefully better informed agent confirmed that Roam Like at Home is included in the uSwitch deal. That clears the question.

 

The problem with losing access to Device Management and APN settings may be related to the ongoing porting process. I'll wait till next week to try retrieving the original settings.

 

Thanks Colin for helping!.

 

Colin_Maybe
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Posts: 399
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Registered: 17-12-2016

Re: What is and isn't included in the uSwitch deal?

I keep meaning to add that having WiFi 'on' will affect the mobile receiver/transmitter part of any phone, that's why your icon will change when you turn it off. It'll also affect your battery keeping it on when out as it constantly searches for a WiFi source.

edrandall
Grafter
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Registered: 08-08-2007

Re: What is and isn't included in the uSwitch deal?

It'll also affect your battery keeping it on when out as it constantly searches for a WiFi source.

Likewise 'Google location services' on Android, which uses the WiFi even when you have it switched off!

I wondered how can 'Google location services' possibly know your location more accurately than GPS?  It might work indoors or in situations where there is no loine of sight to the sky - but then, you know where you are anyway, so you don't need it.  The persistence with which I am prompted to re-enable this leads me to suspect that actually it is a service for Google's own benefit, to build a database of the locations of all known WiFi hotspots that your phone might encounter.

Meandering about 1000 miles off topic there, sorry!