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Feature Tantrum.

One of the most annoying things that a company can do, is to take away a service or a feature and not provide a comparable alternative. Such dastardly moves often lead to consumer outrage, massive inconvenience, and utter frustration. The government of Jamaica did that when they opened the Portmore leg of the toll highway. Apple did it when they removed Google Maps from iOS devices. And now LIME has committed this heinous sin as well.

LIME has a data service which can be accessed using a 3G modem dongle. You can signup as a pre-paid or a post-paid customer. The pre-paid service is great for people who have dedicated Internet connections at home and work, but who may occasionally need Internet on the go. Having a pre-paid service that you topup as needed saves having to pay a monthly bill, for a service that you may use rarely. And at J$100 for one day access, it's a steal!

Now this wouldn't be much of a rant if something didn't go wrong. Here is where it goes downhill. LIME used to allow you to add credit to your pre-paid phone, by texting the voucher number to 124. The recently discontinued the service, instead now returning an error message indicating this when you attempt to use the feature. How dare they! To their credit, the message is actually quite helpful, as it provides an alternative to add credit to your mobile phone. But there-in lies the problem: the alternative only works on a mobile phone, not on a computer with the USB dongle attached!

Customer care was equally helpful; they provided alternative topup methods such a buying credit online, or doing a direct topup. But there are still instances in which you need to use a voucher, because that's what you have. Unfortunately, the only workaround they could provide for adding a voucher is to remove the SIM card from the modem, and put it into a phone. Not only is this inconvenient, but it also assumes that you have a LIME phone which you can crack open and stick the SIM into. iPhone 5 owners are definitely out of luck, as this devices uses micro-SIM cards, while the modem uses the regular (jumbo?) SIMs.

Whoever it was at LIME that decided to shut down this feature, obviously overlooked the mobile Internet users who would need to topup using vouchers. If they keep this up, they will join the ranks of Claro, and we all recall what happened to them. Fix it LIME!
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