Wednesday, January 25, 2006

They called back

Vodafone called back yesterday.

I can move to a plan that would cost me $10-$20 per month more and get a (more or less) free phone. Alternatively, I can stay on my current plan and pay $379 (ex GST) for the same phone.

In both cases I would need to sign up for another 2 years (which is fair enough).

Excuse me for being a cynic, but it's either "pay more over time" or "pay more now".

I turned them down. I've got 5 months left on my plan commitment, after which I can move to another provider with no penalties. Now that sounds more interesting.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Another interesting plane...

Here's another interesting plane. This is one of two B757's owned by the RNZAF on its regular visit to Wellington.

So far I've missed taking photos of the C130H's that also visit, but maybe one day...

Phone companies... Don't ya just love em???

It seems that it's my turn to have trouble with phones!

Firstly, my setup. I have a Telecom home phone with ADSL and a Vodafone mobile. Not that complex.

My cellphone is almost dead. It's got a little "feature" built into it that means that parts of the keypad die from time to time. Can make it very hard to switch on, write text messages, or even take it out of the keyguard mode. It's a Sony Ericsson T610. Not the phone's fault, it's getting old and has had a hard life [mainly from it's previous owner... would that be right Simon??? ha ha ha].

I went to my local Dick Smith outlet as they are a Vodafone reseller. Everybody knows that Vodafone will usually give some sort of credit against the phone if you sign up for 24 months or more. What's more, Vodafone are advertising new 3G phones for $199 [usually $599] if you sign up on a certain plan for 24 months. Do you think that I could get a discount for signing up on my CURRENT plan? Well, according to Dick Smith, about $40...! What?

Phoned Vodafone directly last night, and there might be hope. After all, I've been a customer for at least 9-10 years and they have a good enough reputation. We had a chat, they took my details, and a manager will look at it and someone will get back to me. When? I don't know. In fairness to Vodafone, I do have 5 months left on a plan that I need to honour [and fair enough too].

Looks like my best options are to a) get a cheap phone off Trademe and use that for 5 months then look at other options, or b) struggle with the current phone for 5 months then look at other options. That is, unless Vodafone gets back in the next couple of days with a reasonable offer...

Contrast this to Telecom NZ who have a reputation for pig-like customer service. My home phone stopped working. Noticed this yesterday afternoon [Sunday]. Looked like [and turned out to be] a problem "further up the line" [on the pole outside my house to be precise]. Despite it being a local public holiday today, they got the techie out today and it's all fixed. No dramas, no hassles. OK, they are different sorts of issues, but still...

Only funny thing is that Telecom won't provision ADSL without a phone line connection [they have got you by the short and curlys], but during the time my home line is dead, my ADSL keeps working just fine and dandy.... someone is pulling someone else's chain I think...

Saturday, January 21, 2006

First flight at Wellington Aero Club

Had my first flight from WN earlier today in the Piper Tomahawk [PA38-112].

The "Traumahawk" [as it is affectionately know] is a 2 place, side-by-side trainer aircraft. I last flew this type around 5 years ago. It's quite a nice looking aircraft, but there are a couple of "issues" [in my arrogant opinion] with it.

Firstly, it feels a bit "mushy" [that's a "technical" phrase :-) ]. That is great if you are training people with a view to flying larger planes [which is exactly what the PA38 was designed for], but not as much fun in turbulence as it is not as responsive.

Secondly, it's gutless. That's a criticism that could be leveled at a lot of light aircraft though, such is life.

Everything went well, although [surprise, surprise] it was a bit bumpy most of the time, but I seemed to handle it OK. It doesn't glide very well though [not like a C172 anyway]! Next weekend is a session of circuits, then I should be off by myself.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Right next to the airport...

I moved to Wellington at the end of December and shifted into a house right next to the airport. Some people think that I'm nuts [hard to believe, I know :-)], but such is life.

It's really not too noisy, there are comparatively few larger aircraft [B737/A320 or larger] around, most of them are smaller, and anyway, I like planes!

I have big windows that allow me to see much of what is happening. Yippee!!!!

Here are a couple of photos. So far I've missed the Freedom Air aircraft [budget airline, brightly coloured aircraft].