Why I am Closing my Vodafone Account

· by joe · Read in about 7 min · (1374 Words)

Living on a boat, as I do, everything is a bit more complicated. I have running water, but have to fill a tank once a week. My house will never flood, but occasionally I have to turn over the bilge pump. I have power and a phone line, but before my ISP will connect me they need to send a man round. One thing that was easy was signing up for a Vodafone Mobile Broadband contract (with a minim term of 1 month) to last the months before BT Openreach could spare a minute to pop round and connect a cable to a terminal.

I have a mobile broadband product from Vodafone. It gives me 3 gigabytes per month for £15, which seems reasonable. The user interface looks ugly, tries to do too much, and breaks the Apple Human Interface Guidelines, but I can live with that.

The software says ‘UI Design Copyright 2007-2010 Vodafone Group.’ and ‘Technical Design and Implementation Copyright 2007-2010 nova media Mobile Data Solutions GmbH’. Whilst Vodafone didn’t write the code, they’re the ones taking my money and they’re responsible for QA.

Reason 1 for cancelling: It’s broken

What I can’t live with is kernel panics. Since installing the software, I have experienced a couple of kernel panics every week or so. I have learned to see them coming and sometimes manage to restart.

Sometimes I don’t get clear in time.

Here’s one crash dump (I’ve omitted the list of loaded kexts).

Sat Feb 12 09:15:10 2011
panic(cpu 1 caller 0x29f59a): "Spinlock acquisition timed out: lock=0x14245c40, lock owner thread=0x9843b7c,
current_thread: 0x9497000"@/SourceCache/xnu/xnu-1504.9.17/osfmk/i386/locks_i386.c:346
Backtrace (CPU 1), Frame : Return Address (4 potential args on stack)
0x58dd3ba8 : 0x21b50c (0x5d42fc 0x58dd3bdc 0x223974 0x0)
0x58dd3bf8 : 0x29f59a (0x594b68 0x14245c40 0x9843b7c 0x9497000)
0x58dd3c18 : 0xd77cd2 (0x14245c40 0x0 0x1 0x1456a900)
0x58dd3c38 : 0xd71b20 (0xa57ed00 0x1440d000 0x8 0xfacefeed)
0x58dd3c78 : 0x50293f (0x1440d000 0x8f92fc0 0x5d5ab5 0x8f92fc0)
0x58dd3cb8 : 0x50293f (0x908b540 0x8f92fc0 0x5d5ab5 0x88)
0x58dd3cf8 : 0x534bec (0x14320480 0x8f92fc0 0x58dd3d38 0x53406f)
0x58dd3d18 : 0x535e91 (0xa58a000 0x8f92fc0 0x0 0xa58a000)
0x58dd3d38 : 0xd72449 (0xa58a000 0x8f92fc0 0xe 0x0)
0x58dd3d68 : 0x568f7f (0xa58a000 0x8f92fc0 0x58dd3d88 0x2a358d)
0x58dd3db8 : 0x28b0df (0xa58a000 0x144466a0 0x144466b8 0x210686)
0x58dd3df8 : 0x21d8ba (0xa2559a4 0x14446684 0x58dd3e48 0x5bd57)
0x58dd3e38 : 0x210a3a (0xa255900 0x0 0xa718500 0x148c7570)
0x58dd3e98 : 0x216c9d (0xa255900 0x0 0x0 0x0)
0x58dd3f18 : 0x294e13 (0x58dd3f44 0x0 0x0 0x0)
0x58dd3fc8 : 0x2a1018 (0x949ccc0 0x0 0x10 0x949c720)
Kernel Extensions in backtrace (with dependencies):
BSD process name corresponding to current thread: Vodafone Mobile

Mac OS version:

Kernel version:
Darwin Kernel Version 10.5.0: Fri Nov 5 23:20:39 PDT 2010; root:xnu-1504.9.17~1/RELEASE_I386
System model name: MacBookPro5,4 (Mac-F22587A1)

System uptime in nanoseconds: 22572353112658
unloaded kexts:
de.novamedia.driver.NMUSBCDCACMControl 3.2.12 (addr 0x1220000, size 0x16384) - last unloaded 4401352064042

Here’s another:

Thu Feb 10 18:52:37 2011
panic(cpu 0 caller 0x4aa194): "m_free: freeing an already freed mbuf"@/SourceCache/xnu/xnu-1504.9.17/bsd/kern/uipc_mbuf.c:3751
Backtrace (CPU 0), Frame : Return Address (4 potential args on stack)
0x5897b948 : 0x21b50c (0x5d42fc 0x5897b97c 0x223974 0x0)
0x5897b998 : 0x4aa194 (0x5cc200 0x14cf7100 0x5897b9c8 0x53cff9)
0x5897ba18 : 0xd77f60 (0x54a6e900 0x0 0x5897ba48 0x1505f000)
0x5897ba38 : 0xfc6c92 (0x1507d980 0x0 0x0 0x0)
0x5897ba68 : 0xd6f12b (0x1505f000 0x9f5d300 0x0 0x4)
0x5897baa8 : 0xd6ee6a (0x1505f000 0x2 0x9f5d300 0x0)
0x5897bae8 : 0x54c987 (0x1505f000 0x5897bb60 0x0 0x0)
0x5897bb38 : 0xd6eee6 (0x1453ed80 0xd6ee28 0x5897bb60 0x0)
0x5897bb88 : 0xd6ef77 (0x1505f000 0x9f5d300 0xd6f026 0x1505f000)
0x5897bbb8 : 0xd69d68 (0x1505f000 0x9f5d300 0x7 0x9f5d300)
0x5897bbd8 : 0x53930c (0x9f5d300 0x1505f000 0x7 0x80)
0x5897bc48 : 0x54afc5 (0x1505f000 0x7 0x930d340 0x0)
0x5897bc78 : 0x535b36 (0x85ac5c0 0x5391fe 0x1505f000 0x7)
0x5897bcc8 : 0x539e9f (0x930d340 0x0 0x0 0x938ecc0)
0x5897bd48 : 0x53afb1 (0x7 0xe956900 0x1 0x0)
0x5897bda8 : 0x53b6e9 (0xe956900 0x7 0x0 0xffffffff)
0x5897be28 : 0x53b711 (0xe956900 0x7 0x5897be78 0x532817)
0x5897be48 : 0x92c7cf (0xe956900 0x3 0x1 0x535772)
0x5897be78 : 0x156f245 (0xe956900 0x3 0x0 0x3)
0x5897bec8 : 0x157230e (0x86c0700 0x5897bee0 0x1 0x0)
0x5897bf08 : 0x1572146 (0x86c0700 0x0 0x500 0x1)
0x5897bf58 : 0x156efe3 (0x86c0700 0x157708c 0x5897bf78 0x2a358d)
0x5897bf78 : 0x22fd09 (0x86c0700 0x0 0x5897bfc8 0x227966)
0x5897bfc8 : 0x2a06cc (0x863ea0 0x0 0x10 0x8d2e5e4)
Kernel Extensions in backtrace (with dependencies):
dependency: com.apple.iokit.IONetworkingFamily(1.10)@0xd68000
dependency: com.apple.iokit.IOUSBFamily(4.1.7)@0x919000
dependency: com.apple.iokit.IOUSBFamily(4.1.7)@0x919000
dependency: com.apple.iokit.IOPCIFamily(2.6)@0x908000

BSD process name corresponding to current thread: kernel_task

Mac OS version:

Kernel version:
Darwin Kernel Version 10.5.0: Fri Nov 5 23:20:39 PDT 2010; root:xnu-1504.9.17~1/RELEASE_I386
System model name: MacBookPro5,4 (Mac-F22587A1)

System uptime in nanoseconds: 80099580657582
unloaded kexts:
com.ZTE.driver.ZTEUSBMassStorageFilter 1.3.4 (addr 0xf58000, size 0x12288) - last unloaded 79914662503873
loaded kexts:
de.novamedia.driver.NMSmartplugSCSIDevice 1.0.1

This time it’s kernek_task that’s crashing. Not good.

All crashes seem to fall into these two categories: a spinlock timing out and a double-free. The spin-lock is in the ‘Vodafone Mobile’ process, and whilst the double-free error happens in kernel_task, the first free may well have been committed by the Vodafone kext, and anyway it’s in the driver for the Vodafone device. I think it’s reasonable to assume that both types of kernel panic were caused by Vodafone. And if it isn’t their QA should have picked it up (10.6.5 b 10H574 on a

MacBookPro5,4, if you’re interested).

Reason 2 for cancelling: It’s broken

Another reason why I am quitting Vodafone, and will warn anyone to asks for me advice, is that they don’t tell you how much data you’re using. They are happy to take your money when you do tip over into the fourth gigabyte. I had an amusing email exchange with customer support, which took 4 emails from me before they admitted

Hi Joe,

Thanks for your patience over this matter.

I’ve personally spoken to our technical team and confirm that there is no tab which gives you the data usage for the complete month._

You can get this as per session.

You need to download an external data calculator which will allows you to calculate the data usage.

In order to view these download details as well it is recommended to use a third party software (e.g. Bandwidth Monitor, Broadband Download

Monitor, Download Monitor Pro, etc.).

You can search for these software’s on

www.google.com .

With regards to the online account, you need to manually calculate the data as this will not show the total data usage.

I know this will cause you inconvenience, however, I’m sure you will understand the situation.


please contact our specialised Technical Team on 08700 700191 from any

fixed line phone (calls charged at national rate) and select option 2

then 2 and they’ll be happy to suggest a remedy.

Trust the above information helps and sorts the issue at the earliest.

Kind regards,

Rajinder Singh Virdi

Vodafone Customer Services

Actually I don’t understand the situation. They must know how much data I’m using, as they have produced a very accurate bill after the event.

I’ll cancel, thanks. If you’re reading Vodafone, it’s ticket #5409435.


Like a dog trained to roll over whenever its owner lights a cigarette, my machine crashed whilst I was trying to see what it was up to with IORegistryExplorer. You couldn’t make it up. Perhaps it’s trying to cover its tracks? I will admit this is in the Broadcom 802.11 driver but still…

Sun Feb 20 19:22:43 2011
panic(cpu 1 caller 0x2aab55): Kernel trap at 0x004ae767, type 14=page fault, registers:
CR0: 0x8001003b, CR2: 0x000006a7, CR3: 0x00100000, CR4: 0x00000660
EAX: 0x000006a7, EBX: 0x54b11014, ECX: 0x000006a7, EDX: 0x54b11014
CR2: 0x000006a7, EBP: 0x52c53cf8, ESI: 0x54b34200, EDI: 0x54b34200
EFL: 0x00010246, EIP: 0x004ae767, CS:  0x00000008, DS:  0x0e5a0010
Error code: 0x00000000

Backtrace (CPU 1), Frame : Return Address (4 potential args on stack)
0x52c53b08 : 0x21b50c (0x5d42fc 0x52c53b3c 0x223974 0x0)
0x52c53b58 : 0x2aab55 (0x59616c 0x4ae767 0xe 0x596336)
0x52c53c38 : 0x2a09a8 (0x52c53c50 0x52c53c58 0x52c53cf8 0x4ae767)
0x52c53c48 : 0x4ae767 (0xe 0x44210048 0xe0010 0x4d610010)
0x52c53cf8 : 0x4a5e8e (0x54b34200 0x0 0x0 0x6)
0x52c53d38 : 0x4a6197 (0x54b34200 0x54a0f714 0x20 0x6)
0x52c53d58 : 0xe383ec (0x54b34200 0x54b34200 0x0 0x0)
0x52c53e68 : 0xe73f4c (0x4421a000 0x54b34200 0x0 0x2)
0x52c53ed8 : 0xdb1cac (0x4421a000 0x0 0x52c53ef8 0x0)
0x52c53f08 : 0x54c4db (0x86dfc00 0x8737140 0x1 0x29f54e)
0x52c53f58 : 0x54b50c (0x8737140 0x941fd20 0x52c53f88 0x1f0)
0x52c53f88 : 0x54b966 (0x8723cc0 0x92ee3d4 0xffe00939 0x7fff)
0x52c53fc8 : 0x2a06cc (0x8723cc0 0x0 0x10 0x0)
Kernel Extensions in backtrace (with dependencies):
dependency: com.apple.iokit.IOPCIFamily(2.6)@0x908000
dependency: com.apple.iokit.IO80211Family(312)@0xd7f000
dependency: com.apple.iokit.IONetworkingFamily(1.10)@0xd68000

BSD process name corresponding to current thread: kernel_task

Mac OS version:

Kernel version:
Darwin Kernel Version 10.5.0: Fri Nov  5 23:20:39 PDT 2010; root:xnu-1504.9.17~1/RELEASE_I386
System model name: MacBookPro5,4 (Mac-F22587A1)

System uptime in nanoseconds: 85755921078438
unloaded kexts:
com.ZTE.driver.ZTEUSBMassStorageFilter  1.3.4 (addr 0x105c000, size 0x12288) - last unloaded 85511110154589
loaded kexts:
de.novamedia.driver.NMUSBCDCACMData 3.2.12
de.novamedia.driver.NMUSBCDCACMControl  3.2.12
com.ZTE.driver.ZTEUSBMassStorageFilter  1.3.4
de.novamedia.driver.NMSmartplugSCSIDevice   1.0.1

Read more