So I’m up and running on Vodafone Spain Mobile Broadband… it’s taking a while to get used to gprs speed internet (although its flicked into 3G a couple of times late evening). What a crap user experience you get from Vodafone…. heres a potted history….


  1. Bought VF modem – so far so good
  2. find out that to get it up and running on a Mac you need to download some software from VF Spains web site… which is a bit chicken & egg really – which comes first the internet access, or the download you need to get from the internet to make the internet access work.
  3. But – I have my trusty UK modem with me so for a measly £8 I can access the internet and download whatever it was.
  4. In the booklet which comes with the modem, VF Spain point you to an place on their site…. which doesn’t exist.
  5. Eventually – with Lisa’s help with understanding the Spanish – I find the download…. which is 35Mb & takes hours to download at gprs speeds (and if VF UK charge me any extra for downloading this then I shall explode).
  6. Download doesn’t work
  7. More searching around and it seems that the problem is that I have an existing (old) version of VF mobile connect – the new version doesn’t properly get rid of the old one, so have to manually delete, zap the pram, and re-install – Hurray… this works!
  8. Now am able to use the VF Spain modem to access the internet… but wait…. I now need to top up the pay as you go card before the included data allowance runs out- no problem though their (helpfully written in English) instructions make it clear you can do it online… or on the phone…. or at an ATM…. or at a VF shop.
  9. Attempt 1 – Online – Its not https – so no security – try it anyway… but it doesn’t work.
  10. Attempt 2 – Cashpoint – doesn’t work I just get an error
  11. Attempt 3 – on the phone (with Lisa’s help as you need to speak Spanish for this bit) – they tell Lisa that they can only top up over the phone if you have already used your card in an ATM first.
  12. Attempt 4 – try every combination of bank ATM’s & cards we have – none work.
  13. At this point, Lisa goes into bank and talks to helpful people – they tell us that you can only recharge at an ATM if you have a SPANISH bank account. They helpfully suggest that the internet cafe round the corner could top it up for cash.
  14. Attempt 5 – Success – nice people in internet cafe top SIM up.
  15. Jim weeps as he wonders why… 

A) the English instructions that came with the modem failed to highlight that at least three of the suggested top-up methods would not work for most English speaking people.

B) the people at the VF Spain didnt just include a CD with the mac install in the package (or at least offer it at the shop)

Once the top up happens, you then need to text a message to convert it into a BONO – a kind of voucher for internet access – luckily we have a phone which is unlocked so we could put the card in the phone and send the text, otherwise I would have had to rant on for a bit more…..

Rant Over.


only 1 comment until now

  1. Ah, life in the third world…. never mind, I guess at least the food is good! I was amazed this week when my service provider (Cable TV, Internet and Phone all from the same provider) called me to tell me that the credit card I used to pay my monthly bill had expired and they needed new card details. I assumed that this would involve trips to their offices, lots of time, complex form filling, copies of passport and visa, etc. but no, they emailed me a simple one page form which I sent back to them and…. that’s it. Far too simple, it has to go wrong somewhere. I’ll probably get billed double next month, and they will sell my credit card details to the Brazilian mafia.

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