Here’s a tale of woe from Miss Charlie Waldren a semi regular reader here at Mobile Industry Review. Alas, Orange don’t have anything like Vodafone’s Forum Intervention Team so she is, I suspect, destined to roam the land without a response or a resolution.
Have a read:
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Orange is “committed to providing excellent customer service”.
This is what their hold music tells me, but I’m afraid I am becoming ever inclined to disagree.
I’ve had a phone with Orange for just over two years now. The contract (originally in my mum’s name, with me paying the bills) was upgraded in December.
I chose the Nokia 6500 slide, after a fair bit of consideration. Now, I like this phone. It’s sleek, has a decent sized keypad, nice user interface, is 3G which makes email on the go nice and quick, and has an expandable memory. Unfortunately, it also crashes. It does this a lot, and often to the extent that the only way of resolving the problem is to remove the battery and switch the phone back on.
Now, this appears to be a long running fault with this phone. I got a replacement, which did the same. In fact, between Christmas, and up until a few weeks ago, I had had FOUR of these phones, all with the same problem.
This is my only phone, so it’s pretty important to me to have one which works reliably – so in a fit of frustration I called Orange yet again to find out what could be done.
I was finally offered a Different Model Replacement (DMR). However, I wasn’t allowed to choose which phone I could replace it with. The only options were the Nokia 6500 classic, Samsung U600, or Samsung G600. The 6500 doesn’t have expandable memory, and neither of the Samsungs were 3G, so in spite of Orange’s insistence I was being offered a replacement of the same specification to the phone I had, I really wasn’t. Was there any way around this? Would I be able to actually choose a phone which suited my needs? No.
So, I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. Keep a phone which doesn’t work (but at least suited my needs on paper), or take a replacement which I had not chosen and did not like in order to have a working handset. In the end, my frustration with the 6500 slide became so great I felt forced to take the replacement, and so opted for the Nokia, as I felt this was the nearest match to my requirements.
I was assured that the phone being sent to me would be a brand new handset, and not a refurb. Yet again, I was let down by Orange, lied to in fact, and found myself issued with a refurbished phone. I called them, and asked to speak to the supervisor I had been dealing with, and on three separate occasions was promised a call-back, and never received one.
The phone I was sent is faulty. The fascia casing does not fit properly, the camera does not work, and there is a dent on the back. I called Orange, again, to try and talk to someone about this, and explain my ever growing frustration at what I felt was a real lack of help. I was told that the best they could do would be to issue me with another 6500 classic. If I wanted a different phone, I would have to wait until I have had a number of those handsets again, and then be offered another DMR. Yes, I have to have the same bad handset again, and then another or three or four of them to finally be offered a replacement – which Orange will choose.
Given that the phone which was originally issued under my contract was faulty, and that every replacement following it has had a problem as well, and I am still not being offered a satisfactory solution to the problem, I would like nothing more than to be able to walk away from Orange. But again, they have my hands tied â€“ I am only 6 months into an 18 month contract, and to get out of it I would have to buy my way out, which at a year’s worth of Â£30 a month line rental is not a viable option. I was, at one point, offered an early upgrade as a way of at least getting a handset which suited me, but at an early upgrade fee of at least Â£300, again, this is not an option. The contract is now in my name, but even this appears to make no difference.
It seems strange to me that Orange do not even have some kind of Intervention Team, or a department that actually cares enough about customer retention and satisfaction enough to help me. Right now, I would settle for a nice, working, reliable phone of my choosing â€“ and an admission that the service I have received had been less than satisfactory. If I were a new customer, I would have the pick of the playing field. Why, as a long-standing, loyal member, am I then left out in the cold like this? Do we not matter once we have signed the paper to agree to send them money each month?
So, to the Orange complaints department; here is your challenge. This article is now out in the world for everyone to see – and how you help me will, I am sure, influence plenty of people’s decision about whether to become your customer or not.
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If you wanted living proof of Orange’s challenge with Customer Services, there it is. Charlie, cut your losses. Go to Vodafone.