I have been with orange since the early 1990's and loyally resisted the offers of other networks during all that time.
I lost my job in late September and decided that as I was no longer using my phone at work, and the 2 year contract was up, I would call orange to try and cut down on my £50 per month average mobile bill (looking back I was paying double what I could get from other networks). I asked what was the best they could do for me while I was out of work and just getting job seekers allowance. They said as I only used about 500 mins per month I should go on a SIM only package 600 mins for £26 per month. I said that was the absolute most I could afford on my unemployment money. "This would be ideal for you" I was told. Unlimited texts and 500 Mb internet
Well the first bill came at the expected £26. Then the November bill came in at a staggering £177!! When I called to ask why, I was told that someone would get back to me within 24hrs. When they didn't call back in the promised time. I called again. I was told that there had been an error and I had been billed for inclusive minutes, they would re-calculate and call me back within 48hrs. Still no call back so I called back after 3 days and was told "You don't have any magic numbers on your account as it is a SIM only contract so all calls come out of inclusive minutes”.
(Magic numbers are orange numbers that you nominate and calls to those numbers are free. You earn more magic numbers the longer you stay with orange. I had up to 12 available including friends and family members). They also said I had gone over my 600 mins and used 830-850 mins (can't remember exact number but was in that range)
I said that there was no mention of losing magic numbers on a SIM only contract when I was advised to go on this package. They said as a 'goodwill gesture' they would credit me with £30! Big Deal!!!
I said not interested. I had been mis sold the package and I would have been better off staying on my original £50 per month package. They need to sort it out.
Am I missing something if I understand a SIM only contract means that I am paying for the same as a normal contract except for the phone itself which I have paid for over the last two years in my monthly bills?
After a total of 8 or 9 calls where orange failed to call back every single time without fail. I received a call on my landline from the collections team asking if I wanted to pay the outstanding bill. I told them I was still awaiting the outcome from a promised 48hr return call going back to about a week before Christmas.(it' was now dec28th).
I was passed on to a lady who although very pleasant and helpful and actually spoke very good English (unlike some of the previous ones who had difficulty understanding basic English and spent half the call repeating everything that was said), she was still unable to sort it out to a satisfactory conclusion.
She also told me that in November I had used over 930 minutes (that figure has changed from the previous 830-850)
The latest is that the bill is now up to £210 including £36 December bill. They have offered to credit my account with £100 leaving me to pay £110 (remember I was told that I would be best on a £26 per month package. I said it's not good enough as I cannot afford to pay £110 out of a total of £142 which is my fortnightly Job seekers money. It would leave me £32 to last 2 weeks. The lady then offered to change the SIM only contract to 1000 mins, unlimited texts and 250Mb for £26. She wouldn't put me through to disconnections (customer retention) as I still had an outstanding bill. I won't be cut off yet though as she has tagged my account as such. The unfortunate thing is all my job seeking letters, agencies and CV's I have sent out have my phone details which is not going to look good when I have to contact them and advise of a new number.
I am very angry at orange for the service and lies they have fed me. My family are all ready to change over to another network; some of my friends have also got the arse with orange and have already gone to 3. There are a whole group of us going to do the same soon. For £26 on 3 I can get 2000mins + 5000 3to3 mins, unlimited texts and sh*t loads of data. It's a no brainer. Orange are only holding on to their share of the market with the 4G EE carrot they are dangling (which is very limited in coverage anyway at the moment)
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