Living With Our Rapido 963f Le Randonneur Motor Home.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Mobile Broadband

I have had a contract with to provide my mobile broadband service since we first owned our boat in 2005. In those days the device provided was a simple plug-in dongle that provided a single user with the broadband service. I paid £10 per month for 1gb of data.

Later, my device was upgraded free of charge by three to a mobile wi-fi unit instead of the plug-in dongle. Now I could, together with several other users of my choice connect to the service wirelessly. All I had to do was agree to stay with the company for another 24 months.

When the VAT was put up from 17.5% to 20%, my monthly charge was increased by a few pence to just over £10.

Recently, having seen that had introduced what they call "Feel At Home" to their offering, where data roaming in selected counties was now allowed at no further charge from your existing allowance, I contacted the company myself to enable data roaming, as this was of interest to me.

Spain is to be included in the Feel At Home lineup from April, so I would be able to use my mobile broadband service there for the first time while we are there this year. For world travellers New Zealand will join the growing number of included countries at the same time.
Surprisingly, I was told that as I had been with the company for so long, my account would now be upgraded to Platinum. My data allowance would be increased to 5gb monthly, and the price I pay for that would decrease to just over £7 per month as well, just by agreeing to remain with them for another 12 months.

Wouldn't it have been nice if they had contacted me to inform me of that fact.

Not to worry though, further conversation with the very nice Indian gentleman revealed that if I agreed to stay just 18 months I could also have the very latest mi-fi equipment to use my new 5gb allowance with in Spain. All this for.........just over £10 per month, exactly where we started from.

As I had no intention of leaving the company, perhaps I might call that a bit of a result.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

The Trip Home To Wigan

We prefer the train these days to making the journey to London by car. It is difficult to use the car once there in any case, and costs a fortune to park, even on the road outside our daughter's home due to the close proximity to the underground station and the resident permit scheme.

We now always use the Glasgow to Euston Virgin Trains Pendalino service, as it passes through and stops at Wigan North Western Station, which is within 5 miles of our home. Virgin offer discounted fares if you are flexible in your travel requirements and are able to book up to 12 weeks in advance. The service from Wigan to Euston makes just one other stop at Warrington Bank Quay. Once in London we board the Northern Line tube from Euston, using our Transport For London Oyster Cards, and once at our destination, our daughter's apartment is just two minutes walk from the tube station. Easy!

We normally buy tickets as cheaply as possible, but our trip home today was completed First Class, as the price differential was negligible, and cost us only £40 each.

For that we were entitled to use the Virgin Trains First Class Lounge at Euston Station, which not only included comfy seating away from the usual hustle and bustle, with relaxing piped music, but also complementary refreshments, and even a shower if that's what you require.

Once on the train we took up our roomy seats, sitting facing each other with a table between us. The added benefits during the 2 hour and 5 minute journey home were free wi-fi, free tea and coffee, free soft drinks, wine, hot snacks, sandwiches, crisps and snacks, fruit and cakes, all served at your seat by an attendant.

All that was left for me to take care of was to ensure that my travelling partner didn't take the offer of free wine to heart. I've been there before, but that was in Venezuela, and part of another story from 2012 that can be found on this site.