Cloud Wifi vs. BT Openzone

Discussion in 'iPod touch' started by twynne, Oct 24, 2007.

  1. twynne macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2006
    Location:
    London, UK
    #1
    Having read all of the posts on this forum related to 'The Cloud' wifi access, I can't determine whether it is possible to access Cloud via BT Openzone hotspots, and it's not clear from their website either. The BT Openzone website, on the other hand, confirms that their users can use Cloud hotspots.

    I've tried emailing their sales (sales@thecloud.net) but it gets returned undeliverable. I've forwarded this on to tech support, but no response as yet.

    Does anyone here have a definitive answer? I'd like to know before I sign up.

    Thanks,

    Tom
     
  2. chall5 macrumors regular

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    Sep 19, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    That doesn't inspire confidence in their service !
     
  3. twynne thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Agreed completely, but I do accept that sometimes companies make mistakes in their web sites and/or mail servers can be down, etc. I only forwarded to their tech support this afternoon, so I doubt I'll get a response today. Just thought someone here might know the answer as The Cloud has been discussed quite a lot.

    Cheers,

    Tom
     
  4. bigandy macrumors G3

    bigandy

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Location:
    Murka
    #4
    http://www.thecloud.net/page/3755

    McDonalds, a previous BT Openzone provider are moving to free WiFi, so that doesn't offer any clues - except that three MacDonalds near me are listed in The Cloud's directory. I can't think of where else I've seen Openzone spots :rolleyes:


    ...however, this link has some inkling that it may work:

    Hopefully it'll be the other way around too ;)

    I'm just hoping I can get some iPass goodness, because I get free access through work :D
     
  5. twynne thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 21, 2006
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    #5
    Yes, I read the above on the Openzone site as well, but I suspect it's not a reciprocal agreement (ie. that Cloud users can access via Openzone). In fact when I was recently in range of an Openzone hotspot I had a look through the list of alternative providers that you could choose on the signon page... The Cloud was not listed, at least not by that name.

    It doesn't make sense that The Cloud would provide the hotspots for BT, and support BT Openzone users accessing via their own hotspots but not their own customers. That said, I'd love to be proven wrong with a definitive answer from The Cloud. :)
     
  6. bigandy macrumors G3

    bigandy

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    #6
    I'd be surprised it wouldn't be the other way around. Why would BT allow The Cloud users to access theirs if they get no benefit from the agreement? I mean, that's just not a clever business agreement, is it? ;)
     
  7. twynne thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 21, 2006
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    #7
    Again, agreed. :) I'd feel more confident if they'd either reply or someone could explain how to sign into The Cloud via BT (as it clearly wasn't a choice at the hotspot I checked). Sadly everywhere I've tried recently has BT hotspots but no Cloud.

    On the other hand, questionably business decisions are made every day! :D
     
  8. Gondry macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Location:
    London
    #8
    Is this this the £3.99 a month deal? I was given a password when i signed up but have forgotten it as the cloud just uses the mac number. I'll dig it out and try to use it on a BT openzone site.

    By the way the cloud hotspot finder was out of date, a couple of weeks ago a message from them said there were several thousand hotspots not listed. Any idea if it has been updated?
     
  9. TonyHoyle macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 14, 2007
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #9
    I know you can access Cloud with a BT account (we have one cloud hotspot (mcdonalds).. it's broke and has been for a couple of weeks, but it does allow login) but as far as I understand it doesn't work the other way around.. I guess it's about money - BT can pay Cloud for the access time, but it would bankcrupt a small operator like Cloud to pay BT for all their users to access hotspots.

    BT also allow access to T mobile hotspots (starbucks) so they're a good deal if you want coverage.

    What I haven't found yet is a provider that works with costa coffee.. they're a (very expensive) law unto themselves at the moment.

    Couple it with devicescape so you don't have to much around with stupid login pages and you're all set.
     
  10. sweetice2007 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2007
    #10
    im having the same problem anddont seem to be getting anywhere :( ive done the ticket process to see if i get a response. unbeliavble their c/s is so bad. im still tryna find out whether its a contract sign up.
     
  11. twynne thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 21, 2006
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    London, UK
    #11
    Well I've yet to get an email response for the pre-sales enquiry I raised above, but I did go ahead and open an account on the basis that you can cancel it with no notice (ie. no contract).

    On a more positive note, I raised a ticket yesterday as one of the hotspots listed wasn't working, and they addressed it today (raised it with the equipment owner).

    I was also quite impressed when I switched my Touch on in the gym today and it went straight online with no signon or anything.

    I think the deciding factor will ultimately be how many hotspots they have in areas that I frequent. This will probably take a few weeks to evaluate.

    I have to agree on the disappointing email responsiveness though! :eek:
     
  12. sweetice2007 macrumors 6502

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    Sep 21, 2007
    #12
    hiya twynne

    where does it say on the site that you can cancel without notice??

    thanks:p
     
  13. twynne thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    It doesn't say that in so many words, only that it is a 'monthly subscription' service. You can confirm this in the knowledgebase here:

    http://support.thecloud.net/ics/support/KBAnswer.asp?questionID=256

    And also a bit more clarity on the monthly billing here:

    http://support.thecloud.net/ics/support/KBAnswer.asp?questionID=258

    In essence you can cancel at any time, and if you do so before your next payment you won't be billed for the following month. I'd imagine if you've not accessed the service (for whatever reason) you could probably call them for a refund of the current month as well... obviously that's up to them! :)
     
  14. sweetice2007 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2007
    #14
    i joined the cloud today...how do i access wifi spots? i mean do they come up as cloud on the wifi list on my iphone or what do they come on as? i was near a o2 shop today and it picked up o2 shop opposed to cloud..couldnt access it grr
     
  15. twynne thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 21, 2006
    Location:
    London, UK
    #15
    Hi, all the ones I've seen so far have been named as some variation of 'Cloud'. The first one I came across my Touch just joined automatically, and the second did at first but on my second attempt it prompted me to sign on. Not sure the reason for that, but generally it's been effortless so far.
     
  16. TonyHoyle macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 14, 2007
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #16
    You have to be on a cloud hotspot. Try McDonalds. Failing that try a local drinking establishment.
     
  17. sweetice2007 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2007
    #17
    cool il give trafford centre a go when i go to work on friday evening, im sure theres a spot near o2 or cafe nero since it popped up a while back...dunno how up to date the website is
     
  18. nesf macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    #18
    I've just come off the phone with The Cloud's customer support, having discussed access issues and which hotspots Cloud Unlimited (Music) [i.e. the package for iPod Touch users] subscribers can use.

    Getting to talk to them was difficult but by Googling a bit I found a number an then asked the receptionist to put me through to the UK country manager, where I left a voicemail outlining the issues and questions I needed answered. I got a call back within 30 minutes from a helpful support rep. that he had passed the request on to.

    So, the £3.99 deal provides access to any The Cloud Hotspots ... only: so the SSID must have something like 'Cloud' in it somewhere as per the details provided when subscribing.

    The Cloud provides access to users of other service providers (such as BT openzone) and these users can use the same login credentials as they do for their own service provider. But the opposite is not the same: The Cloud user cannot use the other service provider hotspots. The plethora of logos of other service providers across their literature is for the benefit of the other service providers' users, and not for Cloud users benefit. A pity that the Cloud logo is so pale and muted compared to the others - it makes it difficult to see at a glance. I remarked that this arrangement made Cloud users 2nd class and that it may be better to subscribe to another provider so that a superset of hotspots would be available. I also noted that the current literature and support information does not make this clear and unambiguous.

    So Cloud users must look for the The Cloud logo where a hotspot is detected to determine if they can use it (though the iTouch, as I like to call it, should automatically connect to valid hotspots). Looking at the monthly charges BTOZ is at least £10 per month, and limited, where as the Cloud is £4.

    The 0870 900 9343 telephone support is discontinued, but the support.thecloud.net should be accessible even if connection authentication problems are being experienced. Also, it seems that BBC sites are accessible without needing a Cloud subscription.

    I also had an earlier discussion with a 3rd party support organisation, who should have only dealt with me if I was an hotspot owner. The view from this external company was less than flattering and that there was a customer support problem with the Cloud [read: disgruntled customers] and that the Cloud did not respect its customers problems. This seemed fair until I talked directly with the in-house customer support rep.
     
  19. Ol!ver macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    #19
    I use my touch through cloud, as they have a hotspot in an O2 store a few doors down from my work. Works pretty well for £4 a month. I've had a few times where it has not recognised my MAC and wouldn't let me get to the outside world, but leaving it a while and trying again sorted that.

    Overall, for under a fiver a month I'm happy.
     
  20. TheCloud macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    #20
    Gondry

    there have been some big changes in the quality of data in the hotspot finder. We have removed a number where there were problems, and have added nearly two thousand sites that were not previously in the database/just gone live. Its going to take a few days for JiWire to put the new data into the hotspot finder, so give us until Monday. We will also get the downloadable PDF updated in the next 7 days.

    I am hoping the quality of the finder is improving dramatically at the moment. I will post again when all the changes have filtered through.

    thanks!!

    Owen
     
  21. TheCloud macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    #21
    Ol!ver

    if you attach to the network, then move to another hotspot in under 15 minutes you can sometimes get the landing page rather than the web page you requested. This is a limitation of MAC authentication and network timeouts which we are looking to sort asap. That may explain the problem you have had.

    All

    the feedback on our c/s is being heard and actioned on - I am looking at ways now to get a serious improvement. Leave it with us for a week and we will work out a solution. A big part of the problem is dramatic increases in numbers of customers and getting more customer service resource not keeping up. I am working on it!!

    thanks

    Owen
     
  22. Ubuntu macrumors 68000

    Ubuntu

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK/US
    #22
    Hey,

    If you don't mind me asking...

    When will you accept Maestro? It's all I have... it's a bit annoying as I want to sign up for the £3.99 iPod touch access.

    Thanks.
     
  23. TheCloud macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    #23
    I believe (but I will check!) that our payment partner (WorldPay) doesnt accept it. However I will look into this. I am looking at ways to give alternative payment methods - more news soon
     
  24. Ubuntu macrumors 68000

    Ubuntu

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK/US
    #24
    Thanks very much. :)
     
  25. timwebster macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2010
    #25
    polkaspots wifi hotspots

    hi,

    I just found a small london based company called polkaspots that seems to be highly focused on providing free wifi hotspots to businesses around the uk.

    I have a little cafe and called the to find out they're all mac users so their wifi hotspots have been designed to work especially well with macs (or at least that's what they said)!

    We put one in for our customers and they love it. Lovely login screens that shrink to suit my itouch, they slow the connection down so noone can abuse it as well. And you can talk to them !

    They're not the biggest company in the world and are not open 24/7 but they have a few hundred places around the country. Worth looking at.

    Tim
     

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