Vodafone is my current mobile phone provider and I have been using their “Prepay Free Calls & Texts” option by topping up by €20 per month. So this option allows me to call another 087 number for free and send free text as long as I top up by €20 per month or so I thought? What didn’t occur to me was if one one of my contacts had changed their network but kept their 087 number prefix I would be charged for the call or to put it better how can I know if my 087 contact was on another network?
I called customer support and explained the problem and was informed that if I call a contact that appears as a Vodafone 087 user but on another network eg. O2, Meteor, 3network etc. I would here a short “Beep” just before the connection was made, basically to let me know I will be charged for the call. Interesting that this little trick is not publicly known nor is it available on their website. Make’s me wonder how many other people on this pay plan are getting screwed for perceived free 087 to 087 network calls…
The support guy did actually list 6 of my contacts who were on different networks but still holding their 087 numbers but if I hadn’t asked I would never have known. To finish up with I asked support if I could access this information on the Vodafone website and was told “NO”
My Dell Inspiron 1720 Laptop recently was me giving trouble where by it started to hang for no apparent reason. One minute I’d be working away contently with very few applications running, next “Bang!” it would freeze with a constant (Vista) spinning icon and a screen that turned opaque white. Nothing I could do to rectify it only to wait… and wait… and wait… by running Windows Task Manager I noticed the CPU Usage was running at a near constant 90% all the time which was pretty high. I tried all sorts of tips from registry defrag to killing unnecessary startup processes even being suspect of Firefox sucking up resources but no luck to be had.
It finally ground to a halt and would not boot up so with the laptop still in warranty I called Dell to arrange a repair, strangely enough they sent out a repair tech a few days later who discovered the problem was a screwed up motherboard which was replaced. It was also recommended that I format my hard drive and re-install Windows (Bloody) Vista. At this point I decided to back up my laptop data to an external hard drive via USB. I left it transferring all files overnight and presumed all was ok with no error messages that anything went wrong with the transfer, having backed up I was happy to prepare for formatting the drive and re-installing.
Dell arranged a phone call and a talk through of the reinstall. All went well and at last the laptop is back to peak performance so tonight it was time to hook up my external drive and transfer my stuff back . BUMP! nothing there! yes there was a c: drive backed up with full windows directory etc. but no “My Music” – “My Videos” and worst of all no “My Pictures” aaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!!!
No pictures!!! over a years worth of photos… nowhere to be found. Family snaps, birthdays, events, creative pics… all gone… thank f**k I had uploaded a few of those pics to my flickr account…. and all for the sake of a couple of backup DVD’s!
Lesson learned? shit happens… (note to self) from now on always check an test your Back Up, Back Up, Back Up!
I may have identified a possible security weakness with the 3V.ie (online customer account) service. This occurred recently while trying to retrieve my own 3V account details, this weakness would allow any person with prior knowledge that you have a 3V account coupled with your mobile phone number to access your 3V “Online Customer Service” browse your balance & purchase history etc. Here is a summary of user tasks taken from their website:
Online Customer Service
Sign on to the new Online Customer Service section of this 3V website using your email address and personal password to:
Receive again the security details for any Voucher.
Check the balance and transaction history on your 3V Vouchers.
Redeem money left on your 3V Vouchers to your bank account.
Transfer money from one Voucher to another Voucher.
Request a replacement 3V Customer Card.
Update your personal details or password.
Change how you receive the security details when you buy a 3V Voucher.
You can also find the balance and transaction history for any 3V Vouchers quickly by clicking on the View Transaction History link on the left hand side of this page.
The info that follows may have been a one off chance of gaining someones account information but non the less a weakness… try it yourself on your own account if you like!
Let me explain…
I hadn’t used my 3V account with over a year and had lost my card but also had forgot my account username and password, so a few weeks ago I tried the standard “Forgot Your Password” option on the website www.3v.ie and went through the various email address I may have used for that account. Unfortunately neither of my email addresses worked as the 3V website started to throw an error along the lines of “Cannot complete your request, please try later” etc.
Now at this point I gave up and then a couple of days later I tried the same procedure but got the same result, out of frustration I sent 3V.ie an email asking how I could retrieve my account details but never received an answer,but
Only discovered this today on their website:
“Emails must be sent from your registered email address and must include the last six digits of your 3V Voucher number if you have a query about a particular 3V Voucher.”
Roll on about 2 weeks later I really needed to use the 3V account to purchase an ebay item so I opted to call support by phone. This is where their weakness began to show…
I called customer service and stated that I needed to retrieve my account information, I was asked for my registered email address and password. I then explained that I couldn’t remember my registered email address or password and that is why I was speaking to support on phone! What followed was clearly shocking! Support asked me for my mobile number which I gave, I was then told my email username was firstname.lastname@example.org with no problem….. at that point I was actually relived now to have at least my username so while talking to support I tried the “Forgot My Password” option on the website login and still got the “Cannot complete your request, please try later” response feeling annoyed I asked why it was not working for me and also sensing the support persons frustration as I was asked to repeat the request… but each time it failed and then out of the blue I was informed “OK your password is xxxxx try that” and yes I had my password and yes it did work!!!
So what I’m saying here is if I was posing as another person and rang customer support armed with just a known 3V user and there mobile number I could easily retrieve their information by causing a flurry about why I cannot access my account for some reason or another using the flaw “Cannot complete your request, please try later” response” etc. This happend to me and made me realize I could have been someone else! or maybe… just maybe the customer support person could actually see I was trying to access the system at that point and felt confident I was the same person on the end of the phone and freely gave the details away?
I’ve come to realise a strange pattern when booking ticket online using ticketmaster.ie First off when I am logged into my account with them and I’m searching for tickets why is it that I can never book the lower advertised (cheap seats) prices? its like those prices don’t exist for online users.
I say this as having bought quiet a lot of tickets this year alone from them. A recent example was buying 2 tickets for a friend for the “Prince” concert in Croke Park this summer. The morning of the sale I was logged in prior to the 8:00am ticket sale and as soon as online booking started I proceeded to book 2 tickets but no matter what way I tried to book I had no choice but pay the premium price of €126.50 + booking fee per ticket as apposed to the much cheaper €66.50 per ticket, I just don’t get it!
Same scenario booking tickets for “Wwe Raw – Wrestlemania Revenge Tour” Belfast, I’m taking my two sons to that event as they are completely into wrestling at the moment, well they’re aged 11 and 8 so it will be a mind blower for them, but tickets for that event were advertised at €20 and €55 per ticket and guess what Yep! I had no choice but pay the premium again online.
Anybody out there manage to book standard tickets with ticketmaster.ie online? I’d like to know?
It’s less than 48 hours since I posted my last article “Free YouTube Video Downloader & Path To FLV Finder Tool” and today I noticed that the download tool has stopped working! At first I thought it was a code glitch, but no I checked everything out and it was clean? then I tried uploading the same scripts to a second server and yes it worked, I even tried the same scripts on a third server and it worked…. and one last shot was to try the scripts on a different domain but same server “Bump!” no joy…. 🙁
Could it be that YouTube/Google tracked the script page because of the Adsense banner? (maybe)… and the fact that a heap of trackback links from crap blog scrapers featured the article….. What to do now… Should I remove the scripts and links to it…. I’m not sure?