O2 is charging £10 for 3GB if you hook your iPhone up to a computer and use it as a modem. If you want to buy another 1GB of data use on your iphone yourself, however, you have to shell out £10. Welcome to the lunatic world of O2′s pricing plans.
I’m a heavy iPhone data user, I’m happy to admit that. I use e-mail almost obsessively, I browse the web, I listen to music, and I settle pub arguments with the power of my sleek glass-and-plastic-and-brains device like it’s going out of fashion.
Of course, with the new iPhone coming out, I was as disgruntled as everybody else to find out that o2 are dropping the data allowance from ‘unlimited’ (which really meant 1GB) to 500MB. So I decided to check exactly how this financial assault was going to pan out by calling them to find out how much data I have been using over the past few month. The answer surprised the hell out of me… I guess I spend a lot of my time in WiFi hotspots: it turns out that while I consider myself an extreme iPhone user, I’ve only used on average 200 MB per month – with the lowest month being about 170 mb (I was away for part of it), and the highest month being just over 300 MB.
What really does bake my noodle, though, is that I use my iPhone for something else also: I’ve bought the £10 per month bolt-on which allows me to tether my iPhone to my laptop so I have a data connection wherever I may roam*. This bolt-on gets me 3GB of data.
But wait… Didn’t I see something in the o2 tariffs page about having to buy additional data use on the iPhone? Yes. Yes I did. And you’d pay £10 for 1GB of data for the privilege.
So basically, if you hook up your iPhone to your laptop and use your laptop for data, it’s a third of the price… But how can that be? It isn’t as if the data is any more expensive to O2, is it?
Could it be that they just decided to milk the iPhone customers that little bit extra, because they can? Gee, I think that might be the case. Thanks, o2, you really do know how to give me the fuzzy feeling of being a valued customer.
*) and by ‘roam’ I don’t mean ‘roam’ in the cellular data network sense. My good friend Chris has a great story about how he managed to rack up a £17,000 phone bill in 3 days by using his HSDPA mobile phone connection in Spain to upload a metric tonne of video.