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Orange's customer service focused on keeping customers at high tariffs by force, bullying and making switching as difficult as possible


I am currently on a 24 month contract on iPhone 4. My contract ends with Orange on 18 Nov.

I called Orange on 150 at 17:58 today on 13 November 2012. I was on hold for 5 minutes then got through to a customer service representative. I explained that I was approaching the end of my contract and that I wanted to switch to a 30-day rolling SIM only plan. I was told that this was possible but that she had to transfer me to another agent. I was then passed onto a man who I explained my situation to, again, since my 2-year contact was finishing, I wanted to switch to a 30day rolling SIM only plan. He then told me that he wasn't able to help me with that, that he was only able to upgrade my current plan and that he was told that was what my call was about. I calmly explained to him that I was very clear with the last agent and said, could he please help me with this. He said no again, and said, he wasn't able to help me with that, that it wasn't able to be done over the phone. I said, I knew it was able to be done over the phone, and he said again, no, that it had changed 4 days ago and that I had to go into an Orange Shop. I explained that I went into an EE shop (I was in one at the time) and that they told me to call 150. He then said that EE shops couldn't do it, but that Orange shops could. At this point I started to get frustrated and asked him if I could speak to another agent or a customer service representative to file a complaint. I knew at this point that he was just lying to me. He said the only way to file a complaint was over the phone to him and that he would pass on the message. I then asked him for his name (knowing full well he wouldn't file any complaint) and he hung up the phone on me.

I can't say how upsetting this has been. As my contract is done, I am under absolutely no obligation to remain an Orange customer. Yet this person did everything in his power to prevent me from changing my plan (even though I was still at this point remaining with Orange).

The thing that makes me even more angry and suspicious that this is a cultural problem with the customer service staff at Orange and not just a one-off issue is that 4 years ago I was an Orange customer and found a better plan with O2. When I contacted Orange to get my PAC code to switch to the new provider, they refused to give it to me, saying they couldn't. I had to call back several more times to find a customer service agent who would give it to me, and even then, they took a week to send it to me. While with O2 when I decided to give Orange another chance, they were able to provide me with my PAC code on the spot.

It is obvious that Orange's customer service training is focused on keeping customers at high tariffs by force, bullying and making switching as difficult as possible. In an age when customers have so much choice, and so many ways to air their complaints, this is a very stupid way to operate in my opinion, as Orange will anger their customers so much they will resolve to never use Orange service again, and do everything in their power to let their friends and family know how poor Orange customer service is.

To confirm all of the above, i tried to email their customer service feedback as per the instructions here: http://www1.orange.co.uk/documents/about/Orange-complaints-code-20110118.pdf and was promptly emailed back with a response saying that the customer service email is no longer available. Wow, Orange really go above and beyond to prevent people from providing you with feedback - kudos.

I don't even know what I expect from Orange now. I think I just want my PAC code so that i can switch to another provider who would be happy to have me.

Kathryn Paradis´ profile

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Kathryn Paradis
Female, 1978
London, United Kingdom