Sharp End: T-Mobile dongles and ZYB back-up


Dealer Jez Harris discusses the fantastic value T-Mobile is offering on data dongles, and the shame of Vodafone’s purchase of handset data back-up service ZYB

T-Mobile data dongle

I rarely report on prepay but I must feedback my recent experience with T-Mobile internet dongles. Last week, one of my customers who runs a luxury airline from Birmingham airport lost two broadband lines thanks to BT deciding to close its accounts and to re-open them 10 days later with a different combined account.

Despite many protests, BT refused to reconnect the lines until the new account was up and running. So, in an emergency dash to my local T-Mobile store, I purchased six prepay dongles and ran to the airport to install them.

The dongles cost £18.99 each and included £10 credit. T-Mobile advised me when I install the dongles and go online to choose a special offer to get unlimited internet for 30 days for just £2. The remaining £8 can be used up over the following six months for either £2 per day or £5 per week. Fantastic value.

And the driver and software installation was faultless. I have installed many dongles and these T-Mobile dongles were by far the easiest to install.

ZYB Backup – gone

I have previously bestowed the great benefits of using the online contacts backup service ZYB. This service allowed registered users to synchronise and backup their phone contacts remotely – great in the event of changing or losing phones.

Users would simply log into the service and set up their replacement phone and start the synchronisation.

I used to use this service loads and created nearly a hundred accounts on behalf of customers so I could back up their contacts and restore them in emergency. It came in very handy many times and made me the blue-eyed boy.

A while back ZYB was taken over by Vodafone and the service was rebranded within the Vodafone 360 suite.

Initially the service was only on a couple of branded phones but soon became available on most other models too. When Vodafone took over, it said existing ZYB customers could still access the service and have full use going forward.

I stopped using the service shortly after Vodafone took over as it was not so easy to use and Vodafone was pushing too much of the social networking side of things when all I wanted to use was the contacts backup service.

Last week I was contacted by a dealer friend who said his customer had just lost his phone with many hundreds of contacts and in a panic called him. The customer was advised there should be no issue as all his contacts were securely and remotely backed up.

The dealer tried to login but Vodafone 360 was not accepting his login details. My friend asked me to try one of my accounts and I too could not access the service. So my friend contacted Vodafone to find out what was up, to be told Vodafone 360 only worked for people that had registered with it directly.

He was advised ZYB customers had been notified by email the service would be discontinued. Nothing more doing, said Vodafone.

This is complete rubbish. I have close to 100 ZYB accounts and I’m sure I would have noticed if I’d suddenly been deluged with nearly 100 emails about the matter. You can just imagine the customer’s reaction when told he had lost all the contacts he had built up over the years.

So, if anyone else out there took me up on my advice and used the ZYB service for their customer contacts, then find another solution for them quickly before it’s too late.