Meteor and Three Won’t “Roam Like Home” in the EU but I’m ok with that

As reported in the Independent, it seems that Meteor and Three have found a loophole in EU legislation to get rid of mobile roaming charges. Of the Irish telecoms companies, only Vodafone “is publicly saying that it will let customers use every bit of data abroad that they’re entitled to at home”.

Concerned, I contacted @Meteor_Mobile on Twitter and received a response within minutes. If you have a Meteor bill pay plan you’ll get “up to 5GB of roaming data”. Pay as you go customers must still buy a roaming add-on. The new limits will be introduced early in the summer so the roaming page will be updated then I expect.

It’s disappointing for PAYG customers, but as a PAYG customer I’m willing to stay with Meteor because their monthly cost is relatively low. I rarely make phone calls or send SMS texts and I make heavy use of their 7.5GB data offer for €10 a month. It wouldn’t be worth my while upgrading to a bill pay plan. I’d need to spend €20/month €25/month to get that amount of data or more and the call minutes and texts would go to waste. 1GB of roaming data is €14.99 for PAYG customers, or I have the option of buying a sim locally for even better value.

Moving to Vodafone isn’t really an option either. The closest offer is still twice as expensive, as I wouldn’t use the €10 credit left in the account each month.

If I was travelling around the EU every month I’d certainly upgrade to a bill pay plan but the monthly cost of a PAYG data plan is a no-brainer. It’s better value for my usage.

Edit: a few hours after I posted this the European Commission warned Irish mobile operators that there wasn’t any loophole.
I couldn’t find any mention of PAYG customers specifically but this BT PDF makes no distinction between bill pay and PAYG customers. (One wonders what will happen there when BREXIT happens.)

This means BT One Phone customer’s will begin to see their UK allowance(s) decremented when they are Roaming inside the EU. If a customer has used up all their UK allowance they will begin to be charged their normal UK PAYG/Out of bundle or Overage rate while roaming inside the European Union.

Edit on June 12th: Meteor have updated their roaming page. PrePay (PAYG) users who pay €10 for 7.5GB of data at home will have 2.1GB of roaming data which is super!

Howto: Twitter sms notification for Meteor and Vodafone

A few weeks ago Twitter annoyed a lot of European users when they stopped sending sms notifications to their users. I never really used that facility so I didn’t miss it but many Tweeters did. Outrage and blue murder were spoken of in the same sentence. People marched in the streets, there were riots.

OK, maybe not, but it annoyed a few prolific Tweeters and I wondered aloud if I could make Tweet Tweet send me sms notifications when I got replies or direct messages. After quite a bit of testing and playing around with Meteor’s website I’m glad to say I cracked it. I added hooks to my plugin for other plugins to latch on to, and wrote a small bit of code that logs in to Meteor.ie and uses their free web text to notify me of replies or direct messages.

Following on from that success, Jason Roe added code so Irish Vodafone customers could get sms notifications too!

So, if you really miss the sms notifications from Twitter, and you’re an Irish Meteor or Vodafone customer, download Tweet Tweet, install it in your WordPress blog and enjoy getting those sms notifications from Twitter again!

Developers – if your phone company isn’t covered just yet, please take a look at the existing Meteor and Vodafone plugins. The framework is there. Using curl to login and send texts can be a little daunting but it’s not impossible. Get in touch by leaving a comment here, or using the contact form on the about page.

PS. Almost forgot to mention Tweetrush went live yesterday with some very nice Twitter stats. Check out what my friend AJ has to say about the launch!
PPS. I’ll be demoing Tweet Tweet at Techludd Cork on Thursday night. If you’re there, please say hi!

My Meteor – why don't you work in Firefox?

There’s only 3 mobile phone companies in Ireland, Vodafone, O2 and Meteor. I’ve been a customer of each and am currently with Meteor. That might change however as their newly redesigned meteor.ie website doesn’t work properly in Firefox. They offer 300 free texts from their site but when one hits the “SEND” button nothing happens.
If you’re a Meteor user mail info@meteor.ie with your phone number and your PIN, or 3 phone numbers you’ve rung in the past month (for verification).
Ask them politely to fix their website so it works in Mozilla Firefox! The Javascript error I get is,

Error: window.smsForm has no properties
Source File: https://www.mymeteor.ie/mymeteor/phone_book/send_sms.cfm
Line: 295

Oh, and last time I checked, Vodafone’s website offers 300 texts a month and it did work in Firefox.
Later – Niall suggested entering your text message, phone number, and instead of hitting “SEND” copy and paste the following code into the URL address bar and press return: javascript:window.document.smsForm.submit();
Now how hard is that for Meteor to fix?