iPhone OS 3.0 – The O2 Ripoff Revealed

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Having downloaded the new OS update for my iPhone 3G, I checked eagerly through the new features. I was so chuffed with the new Internet Tethering, I immediately dashed out and nabbed a new Samsung N110 netbook for an impending business trip.

I had figured without the fine print in UK provider O2is contracts. Panicking over bandwidth gobbling as iPhone users switch to their laptops to access the ‘net, they got Apple to block tethering unless the punter goes going through O2. Indeed, you have to buy a Data Package (on top of the ‘Data Package’ you have already signed up to as an iPhone customer). Their statement on the deal (or lack of one) is unequivocal:

“Any use of this particular feature without the purchase of the Bolt on is specifically prohibited under our terms of service. Under those terms we reserve the right to charge customers making modem use of their iPhone or disconnect them.”

Read more here

I think its time to shout about this. Some articles (see the links below) report that O2 will disconnect users who attempt to tether their devices through the iPhone without spending on an additional data package with them. Interesting that they make no mention of this on their site unless you dig deeply to find Tethering in the FAQ. For a 24 hour period last week, these pages were ‘temporarily unavailable’ due to site maintenance. Yet the rest of the O2.co.uk site apparently did not need maintaining as it was perfectly accessible.

Duplicity, double-dealing or just plain dumb ?

Some related articles – the net is awash with O2-bashing:

The Great iPhone Tethering Disappointment

UK MacWorld Comment

Geoff Ballinger queries whether people would ever actually use it (and then realises that, er, they might !)

And for kicks, check out the O2 official line. Then flick over to the Ofcom website and make a complaint.

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