November 13, 2003
RIP Wildfire?

As I stand on the verge of possibly swapping UK mobile phone carriers, Orange's decent price plans combined with them offering the Wildfire service were both driving me in their direction. However, this extremely cool voice recognition-driven "personal assistant" appears to be no more!

Wildfire.com announces that "Wildfire is no longer offering any products or services." Orange.co.uk's Wildfire pages are down, citing that new products will replace Wildfire sometime the next 12 months (no indication given when this notice was put up nor more detail when/which new services will come)

For a demo of the capabilities of wildfire; check out the pages that are still live at the wildfire website: the Carrier demo is cool, and imagine WildTones hitting the teen-scene anywhere near you?

Wireless Wildfire Demonstration

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Hi, just read your last entry about switching from Vodafone to a different network. I'm not saying vodafone are the best, but have you tried 'reasoning' with their PAC department?

I use Vodafone for personal use (i.e. not corporate) but if you talk to sales/customer services you often get nowhere. What I've found is that if you go to their department that deals with porting your number to a different network, the people there seem to have the power to offer you rather incredible deals.

When I spoke to them, I asked for my PAC code (the network porting code) to transfer to another network. I basically explained that I'd been with vodafone for years and was happy, but there are better deals out there and want to switch networks. (I also wasn't happy that they'd increased my line rental by 2 for no reason).

They asked what it'd take to get me to stay and offered me tariffs that weren't even widely advertised!

I accepted a tariff that I liked and they even threw in a free phone (nokia 6310i) on top.

Again, I'm not sure if the same applies to a business phone, which I assume you've got. It may be worth a try though!

Another good place to lurk and glean valuable info about is the uk.telecom.mobile newsgroup.

Re: wildfire - I've been hearing (from the newsgroup) that ever since Orange was taken over by France Telecom, their reputation has suffered somewhat. Shame really.

Sorry for long post, but hope it helps!

Posted by: alkam on November 13, 2003 03:27 PM

Thanks for the good advice! I presume I'll get their PAC department on the line soonish (when I make a decision to move) - I'll post here how it goes!

Posted by: Anders on November 13, 2003 03:44 PM

Glad to be of help! Just a quick addendum:

You can talk to the 'PAC men' any time, really.

What usually happens is that - supposing you really want to leave and you turn down all their offers - they will issue you with your PAC (porting code) by post within a day or so of the request.

This PAC code is valid for the next 30 days and you can use it any time during these 30 days to give to your new network (or new service provider).

Once your new network tells your current network that they've got the PAC code, then that's the point of no return. You'll be told a date for when you'll disconnected from vodafone and your number will be transferred to your new phone and network.

However, if you go past the 30 days, your PAC code will expire and you'll stay connected to Vodafone - no harm done. If you do find a good deal afterwards, you'll just have to phone Vodafone again for another PAC code (which will last another 30 days).

(Again, business tariffs may be different - I wouldn't know!)

Posted by: alkam on November 13, 2003 05:33 PM
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