T-Mobile's Content Block System: Broken

by Ben Smith on 11th May 2009

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IMG_1767Having got my Cupcake over-the-air firmware update for my G1 on Friday morning I was looking forward to a weekend of ‘spot the difference’ and loading my first widgets.  It would appear T-Mobile have different ideas…

From about mid-afternoon on Friday access to the Android Marketplace and many websites has been prevented by their content-blocking system whenever I’ve tried to use them.  Whilst I applaud the availability of such a system – it’s a useful tool to help parents educate their children on responsible use of the internet – right now it’s broken and making me cross.  It’s blocking sites that have been accessible for the last 6 months of my contract and everything in the Android Marketplace.  The content system apparently ‘protects under 18s from accessing inappropriate content …. including social networks’, but it’s allowing access to Facebook, but not to a business site without any user-generated content or adult material on it.

Although I believe this option was already switched off and T-Mobile are well aware of my age and that the handset is for my use, an on-line option to remove the content lock with a credit-card as proof of age is being offered at the ‘blocked’ screen, but this also appears to be broken so a call to customer services or a trip to a T-Mobile shop is in order.

The problem is that if I do ring T-Mobile I’m likely to get cross about the other aspects of their appaling service too and just buy my way out of the account… An expensive option but one that’s pretty tempting right now.

  • http://blog.mjelly.com jamescoops

    i have an unlocked G1 running using a Three SIM – still got the 1.5 update and no problems with content filtering

  • http://benjam.in Ben Smith

    I got the update fine – its just T-Mob’s content blocking that has been problematic ever since…

  • Wrighty

    T-Mobiles adult content blocking has been a bit flaky for a while – but then again its a bit flaky on most of the UK operators…Vodafone is atrocious at times.

    Saying that though, T-Mobile seems to be working ok for me at the moment – don’t seem to be being blocked. Difficult thing to test though.

  • http://whatleydude.com James Whatley

    Any luck with T-Mobile yet Ben?
    This drove me crazy when Vodafone first introduced a similar service a few years back.

    “Hi, please remove the content block on my handset”

    “Of course Mr Whatley, we just need you to pay £1 on a credit card to prove your over 18.”
    “But you know I’m over 18. You have this on record. I showed you my passport when I took out the account…”
    “Er.. Yes, but we need you to pay £1 on a credit card….”

    Ad infinitum.

  • http://nomadsteve.com SteveRowlands

    My only experience with T-Mo, is that I have a PAYG sim for mobile data, as it’s the only network that has 3G coverage at my work. I want to stab myself in the ear everytime I have to top-up because it’s so chuffing difficult.

    I don’t remember exactly how I got them to remove the content lock, as it was a while ago. All I remember, was the utter cluster pluck that is their CS department.

  • http://benjam.in Ben Smith

    No it’s still broken AND the in-store systems are down apparently… come back tomorrow.

    Bah…

  • http://benjam.in Ben Smith

    In and around London I find their service (not nesc their signal – but 5 bars doesn’t mean it won’t give loads of network errors) generally the worst of all the networks (except Orange, which I haven’t tested).

  • http://blog.mjelly.com jamescoops

    i have an unlocked G1 running using a Three SIM – still got the 1.5 update and no problems with content filtering

  • http://blog.mjelly.com jamescoops

    i have an unlocked G1 running using a Three SIM – still got the 1.5 update and no problems with content filtering

  • http://benjam.in Ben Smith

    I got the update fine – its just T-Mob's content blocking that has been problematic ever since…

  • http://benjam.in Ben Smith

    I got the update fine – its just T-Mob's content blocking that has been problematic ever since…

  • Wrighty

    T-Mobiles adult content blocking has been a bit flaky for a while – but then again its a bit flaky on most of the UK operators…Vodafone is atrocious at times.Saying that though, T-Mobile seems to be working ok for me at the moment – don't seem to be being blocked. Difficult thing to test though.

  • Wrighty

    T-Mobiles adult content blocking has been a bit flaky for a while – but then again its a bit flaky on most of the UK operators…Vodafone is atrocious at times.

    Saying that though, T-Mobile seems to be working ok for me at the moment – don't seem to be being blocked. Difficult thing to test though.

  • http://whatleydude.com James Whatley

    Any luck with T-Mobile yet Ben? This drove me crazy when Vodafone first introduced a similar service a few years back.”Hi, please remove the content block on my handset””Of course Mr Whatley, we just need you to pay £1 on a credit card to prove your over 18.””But you know I'm over 18. You have this on record. I showed you my passport when I took out the account…”Ad infinitum.

  • http://whatleydude.com James Whatley

    Any luck with T-Mobile yet Ben?

    This drove me crazy when Vodafone first introduced a similar service a few years back.

    “Hi, please remove the content block on my handset”

    “Of course Mr Whatley, we just need you to pay £1 on a credit card to prove your over 18.”

    “But you know I'm over 18. You have this on record. I showed you my passport when I took out the account…”

    Ad infinitum.

  • http://steverowlands.wordpress.com SteveRowlands

    My only experience with T-Mo, is that I have a PAYG sim for mobile data, as it's the only network that has 3G coverage at my work. I want to stab myself in the ear everytime I have to top-up because it's so chuffing difficult.I don't remember exactly how I got them to remove the content lock, as it was a while ago. All I remember, was the utter cluster pluck that is their CS department.

  • http://steverowlands.wordpress.com SteveRowlands

    My only experience with T-Mo, is that I have a PAYG sim for mobile data, as it's the only network that has 3G coverage at my work. I want to stab myself in the ear everytime I have to top-up because it's so chuffing difficult.

    I don't remember exactly how I got them to remove the content lock, as it was a while ago. All I remember, was the utter cluster pluck that is their CS department.

  • http://benjam.in Ben Smith

    No it's still broken AND the in-store systems are down apparently… come back tomorrow.Bah…

  • http://benjam.in Ben Smith

    No it's still broken AND the in-store systems are down apparently… come back tomorrow.

    Bah…

  • http://benjam.in Ben Smith

    In and around London I find their service (not nesc their signal – but 5 bars doesn't mean it won't give loads of network errors) generally the worst of all the networks (except Orange, which I haven't tested).

  • http://benjam.in Ben Smith

    In and around London I find their service (not nesc their signal – but 5 bars doesn't mean it won't give loads of network errors) generally the worst of all the networks (except Orange, which I haven't tested).

  • http://blog.gisuser.com glenn

    Not sure about you but I’m looking forward to the Samsung Android device planned for very soon. I have a G1 loaner that I was testing and its basically a brick right now! Naturally it bricked on me while I was traveling!!! Maybe I’ll try the firmware update and see how it goes.. stay tuned!

    Cheers
    Glenn @gletham
    http://blog.gisuser.com

  • http://adamdoran.com Adam Doran

    I used to have an annoying problem that when connecting via my laptop using the vpn.t-mobile.uk APN, content filtering would stop me doing pretty much anything. Using the general APN it was fine and observed my content filtering preferences (none please). Really tempted to take a contract with Vodafone as soon as the N97 is here and bid farewell to T-Mobile.

  • http://jimwild.net/ jimwild

    Orange adult verification is the only on that really properly works and even that has it’s down days. T-mobs seems to be either non-existent or blocking everything.

  • http://blog.gisuser.com glenn

    Not sure about you but I'm looking forward to the Samsung Android device planned for very soon. I have a G1 loaner that I was testing and its basically a brick right now! Naturally it bricked on me while I was traveling!!! Maybe I'll try the firmware update and see how it goes.. stay tuned!CheersGlenn @glethamhttp://blog.gisuser.com

  • http://blog.gisuser.com glenn

    Not sure about you but I'm looking forward to the Samsung Android device planned for very soon. I have a G1 loaner that I was testing and its basically a brick right now! Naturally it bricked on me while I was traveling!!! Maybe I'll try the firmware update and see how it goes.. stay tuned!

    Cheers
    Glenn @gletham
    http://blog.gisuser.com

  • http://adamdoran.co.uk Adam Doran

    I used to have an annoying problem that when connecting via my laptop using the vpn.t-mobile.uk APN, content filtering would stop me doing pretty much anything. Using the general APN it was fine and observed my content filtering preferences (none please). Really tempted to take a contract with Vodafone as soon as the N97 is here and bid farewell to T-Mobile.

  • http://adamdoran.co.uk Adam Doran

    I used to have an annoying problem that when connecting via my laptop using the vpn.t-mobile.uk APN, content filtering would stop me doing pretty much anything. Using the general APN it was fine and observed my content filtering preferences (none please). Really tempted to take a contract with Vodafone as soon as the N97 is here and bid farewell to T-Mobile.

  • jimwild

    Orange adult verification is the only on that really properly works and even that has it's down days. T-mobs seems to be either non-existent or blocking everything.

  • jimwild

    Orange adult verification is the only on that really properly works and even that has it's down days. T-mobs seems to be either non-existent or blocking everything.

  • jamesbody

    What is it with T-Mobile that makes them want to BLOCK stuff!

    I will be pleased to stick wit my H3G/Voda combo for the time being!

  • http://whatleydude.com James Whatley

    Also – exactly how are you supposed to ask for the removal of said block without sounding like you want to look at porn?

  • jamesbody

    What is it with T-Mobile that makes them want to BLOCK stuff!

    I will be pleased to stick wit my H3G/Voda combo for the time being!

  • jamesbody

    What is it with T-Mobile that makes them want to BLOCK stuff!I will be pleased to stick wit my H3G/Voda combo for the time being!

  • http://whatleydude.com James Whatley

    Also – exactly how are you supposed to ask for the removal of said block without sounding like you want to look at porn?

  • http://whatleydude.com James Whatley

    Also – exactly how are you supposed to ask for the removal of said block without sounding like you want to look at porn?

  • http://www.bebo.com/ Angiee

    Grrrrrrr!! stupid content block, I also have tried putting in my details as proof of my age and annoyingly it isn’t working!!

  • http://www.bebo.com/ Angiee

    Grrrrrrr!! stupid content block, I also have tried putting in my details as proof of my age and annoyingly it isn't working!!

  • http://www.bebo.com/ Angiee

    Grrrrrrr!! stupid content block, I also have tried putting in my details as proof of my age and annoyingly it isn't working!!

  • http://www.escapism.co.uk/praest76 PRAEst76

    I don’t want to look at porn (the screen is too small to really get anything out of it anyway, unless you want a voyeuristic peering-thru-a-letterbox feel) but it seems both twitter.com and the Android Marketplace itself are both blocked as well as many other innocuous sites.

    I’m going to try and see if they accept my debit card as proof of my age, otherwise I’ll send them a photo of me at a wedding when I was ten. No self-respecting ten year old would wear those clothes these days…

  • PRAEst76

    I don't want to look at porn (the screen is too small to really get anything out of it anyway, unless you want a voyeuristic peering-thru-a-letterbox feel) but it seems both twitter.com and the Android Marketplace itself are both blocked as well as many other innocuous sites.I'm going to try and see if they accept my debit card as proof of my age, otherwise I'll send them a photo of me at a wedding when I was ten. No self-respecting ten year old would wear those clothes these days…

  • PRAEst76

    I don't want to look at porn (the screen is too small to really get anything out of it anyway, unless you want a voyeuristic peering-thru-a-letterbox feel) but it seems both twitter.com and the Android Marketplace itself are both blocked as well as many other innocuous sites.

    I'm going to try and see if they accept my debit card as proof of my age, otherwise I'll send them a photo of me at a wedding when I was ten. No self-respecting ten year old would wear those clothes these days…

  • Anonymous

    I dont applaud this system. how many kids are actually doing around buying tmobile broadband anyway? i cant imagine some kid walking around with a laptop with mobile broadband. regardless of this, most of the people using this service are adults, and i think its completely ridiciulous for them to do this by default. if someone has kids, they should REQUEST this stupid block service. it shouldnt be given by default to people who are obviously adults going in to purchase mobile broadband. the blocks are so ridiculous that even youtube is blocked.

  • JONAVILDSEN

    I dont applaud this system. how many kids are actually doing around buying tmobile broadband anyway? i cant imagine some kid walking around with a laptop with mobile broadband. regardless of this, most of the people using this service are adults, and i think its completely ridiciulous for them to do this by default. if someone has kids, they should REQUEST this stupid block service. it shouldnt be given by default to people who are obviously adults going in to purchase mobile broadband. the blocks are so ridiculous that even youtube is blocked.

  • JONAVILDSEN

    I dont applaud this system. how many kids are actually doing around buying tmobile broadband anyway? i cant imagine some kid walking around with a laptop with mobile broadband. regardless of this, most of the people using this service are adults, and i think its completely ridiciulous for them to do this by default. if someone has kids, they should REQUEST this stupid block service. it shouldnt be given by default to people who are obviously adults going in to purchase mobile broadband. the blocks are so ridiculous that even youtube is blocked.

  • Kat

    I hate T-mobile’s Orwellian attitute to this – why should I have to ‘prove’ my age? Seems like a really good excuse to get my credit card details (if the system actually worked.)

  • Kat

    I hate T-mobile's Orwellian attitute to this – why should I have to 'prove' my age? Seems like a really good excuse to get my credit card details (if the system actually worked.)

  • Kat

    I hate T-mobile's Orwellian attitute to this – why should I have to 'prove' my age? Seems like a really good excuse to get my credit card details (if the system actually worked.)

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