no google in glasgow & #o2 twitter thoughts.

I went to Glasgow yesterday on student related stuff, and as part of my journey I took the bus. (very expensive for that journey, about 40p more expensive than the underground but I digress)

I attempted to search the internet to work out the best bus times. but shock & horror, My internet access wouldn’t work. I tried again but nothing. I tried to load in a website from the bookmarks, no problem at all. The issue seemed to be centralised around trying to use the web presence of google. Each time I tried to access their website I got this response.

I know the phone company i use has a twitter name and replies to queeries there.

so i wrote off following message and the following conversation (in under 160 charactors, ensued)


Hi, Trying to use 3G on an iPhone around Glasgow today but google say no (see attached)
Is it a network problem?

@sch3lp Hmm, that’s strange. Is this happening everywhere you go or just in that area?


@O2 city centre and west end of the city.
Sometimes just a no, sometimes enter a capatcha code to allow access

@sch3lp Do all other sites work ok, is it just Google that you get the message?


Only when trying to use google
Everything else like bing all work no problem

(15hrs later)

@sch3lp This can’t be anything to do with your connection then, you’d need to contact Google.

Yes thats right, the diagnosis is, if you can access other websites, then its your problem then so contact google. I am slightly annoyed with this simplistic analysis and frankly bad advice. The obvious question hasn’t been asked, can you use google when connected by wifi? its basic problem solving. the problem is either the network or the phone. If the phone can normally use google on wifi but cannot on 3g from o2, the problem would seem to lie with the 3g network access from o2. If the phone cannot normally use google on wifi, the problem would seem to lie with the phone.

Who actually operates the o2 twitter feed? I wonder if in setting up the idea of a twitter place for answering queries and enquires o2 actually have thought though the quantity and content of questions to be thrown their way and also who is appropriate to answer these questions. I wonder if it is operated by the PR department and not by a form of tech support. Most of all I wonder what it says about their desire to give the right information at the right time. I was speaking to someone about how their company deals with web based enquires from the public. They had been asked to operate a system that for each web enquiry form submitted, the response would need 6 people in the small office to deal with that one request. That seems to fly in the face of the advise from Ockham’s razor.

For a huge company like o2 can a twitter feed which is a very personal form of communication actually be an inappropriate form of contact. Leading to people being disappointed in the response of the company. and ultimately leaving the o2 network.

I thought about this and responded today with these tweets

@O2 not sure i agree with your conclusion there. The details that the problem is due to two things, the computer or network. (cont…)
computer means a phone problem affecting my access, which i would expect an o2 shop expert to deal with (cont…)
or it is a network error based on the IP address which was assigned to me by your 3g network. (Cont…)
as i can access google on my phone using my home network, the problem lies in the 3g network, and the ip address i was given, (cont…)
therefore, the problem is at your end, It is something your tech team need to take up with google. (Cont…)
As google is blocking requests from your network, I am not sure i am happy with a response of go sort it yourself. (cont…)
that would seem to be ignoring the issue somewhat.
let me know what you think

and I await a response.