I used up 0.99 GB out of my 1 GB allowance. So, I had to buy some more. My (former) operator, Orange, sells a 1GB package for an ultra-low price (not really) of 15 PLN. (You can get the same package for less money, even half of that price, with other carriers.)

How to turn that on? You can send a text message or call a robot. I’ll give them a call then.

Czytelnikom z Polski polecam czytać po polsku. (Polish readers are advised to read the Polish version of this post.)

Welcome to Orange, Network Number One!

To sum up, the main carriers in Poland are:

  • the orange Network Number One,

  • the magenta™ Best Network,

  • the purple Most Chosen Network in Poland,

  • and the green network, whose ads may give you a seizure from flashing lights and say Congrats, you! at the same time

And, of course, a bunch of MVNOs and alternate brands (pl). And all of them — no matter if they’re number one, the best, or else — love their customers, care for the highest quality of their services and their customers’ satisfaction, and their main goal is for their customers to have the lowest bills possible.

Oh wait, I’m sorry. Their main goal is maximizing profits, and the word love doesn’t really apply.

After three more advertisements for their services, we reach the main menu. It took a while to reach the one-shot Internet packages option. I chose the 1 GB package. Great Success?

The service will be activated on midnight.

Mr. Service Bureau Robot, among other useless info

After I hung up, I received two texts (translated):

  1. We’ve received the request to enable a one-shot 1 GB package. We’ll turn the service on [today]. The price is 15 zł. Regards, Orange

  2. We’ll turn the package on within 24 hours. Regards, Orange

That’s the Network Number One — and they can’t even clearly tell me when they’ll start the service? A service that’s so simple and requires zero extra work from them? The service will be enabled:

  1. Today — now at the earliest, right before midnight at the latest.

  2. On midnight.

  3. Within 24 hours — now at the earliest, same time tomorrow at the latest.

A visual representation of the three time possibilities.

Half an hour later, when my phone claims I used over 1 GB, Network Number One tells me I used 80% of my “standard” allowance. Android and Orange seem to have a different definition of a gigabyte — at least it’s Network Number One who has the better one.

Ten hours later, Android’s meter shows 1.36 GB. Network Number One tells me that I’ve just used up 1 GB, and the speed limiter has been activated — one text message claims it’s 16 kb/s, and another says 16 kB/s. (Gotta love their double messages with different information in each. Although either limit is unusable.) Fast.com says 52 Kbps. To quote the green carrier’s ads — Congrats, You!

Dear orange-colored operator of the Network Number One! Does activating a service so simple — primitive, even — and definitely popular, require waiting until midnight? Couldn’t you turn it on when it’s requested? And why are there three different grace periods and two speed limits in your messages?

I left the Network Number One. And I’m pretty happy — paying less for more.