Launched just in time for the Olympics, Virgin’s Wi-Fi service has been on of those rare tube upgrades that seems to have had a significant and immediate impact on those who use it.
No more standing around in the evenings or weekends bored because you missed the train and now have ten minutes of drip fed tedium as the minutes struggle to countdown to zero.
But from today, the service ceases to be free unless you are a Virgin customer, or have a mobile account with the appallingly badly named EE, or Vodafone.
That is, if you can register for the free service.
For the past few weeks I have received emails from Virgin exhorting me to register my Vodafone account with their service so that I may continue to use the service.
Click on the link I am told, and I am taken to a page on the Vodafone website that tells me to log into their “My Vodafone” account and register there. So I do.
But where is the big red button saying “click here for moar internet”? In fact, where is anything that lets me register for free Wi-Fi? Or maybe I don’t need to do anything now, and I am already registered? I have no idea.
I’ve tried it at home, I’ve tried it from my mobile phone on the tube, and I even tried it with a tablet over the weekend in a tube station just in case something different might pop into existence on the websites. I tried Vodafone’s downloadable app, but nope, that didn’t work either.
I am no Luddite, I work with telecoms everyday and yet I am totally baffled as to how I am supposed to link my Vodafone account to the Virgin service.
If I can’t manage it, how many other people are going to struggle tomorrow morning with registering their details?
A reasonably well received service that has had only occasional whinges about speed and quality could be flooded with irate rants tomorrow morning as people are locked out.
All for the lack of a simple button to click and get registered.
If anyone has worked out how to register their Vodafone account with the Wi-Fi service, can they let me know?
Update: Annie Mole has tweeted an advert by Vodafone and it suggests that I have to wait until tomorrow, then select Vodafone from the splash screen that loads when I first try to use the Wi-Fi service. A pity none of their emails/websites explained that before today.