Product Type: Orange in Telecommunications Services
Newest Review: ... moving away for university in 4 months and will very happily be ending my contract with Orange never to return. I have only ever been with... more
What happened to Orange....
Member Name: jodyv
Advantages: Fast phone replacement and the choice of a delivery slot
Disadvantages: Poor customer service and phones with substandard software
When it comes to services, every customer's experience is slightly different and Orange is no exception. Having been a customer with Orange for over 10 years I can honestly say I've experienced the highs and lows from them.
For the first 6-7 years Orange was a great provider regarding customer service, being a premier account customer I spoke to a dedicated team within 4 rings. On the rare occasion I needed to speak to Orange, it was always a pleasure.
On one occasion I found I'd been paying insurance by mistake, they refunded me immediately and apologised for the error. When I had issues with a faulty phone, they replaced the handset the following day allowing me to pick a delivery slot, something most other providers don't offer.
I had nothing but praise for Orange until 2006 when the customer service deteriorated and the waiting time increased. The premier service disappeared and the rude staff were brought in.
After an upgrade which I had negotiated a further 300 minutes, I made sure I used them all the following month. When my bill arrived it was huge.... I called customer service 6 times to discuss the case, but it often resulted in a battle to gain the understanding from the individual. Having agreed the issue on the first call and being told it would be sorted, I had to make 6 further calls because I was being lied to.... After escalating the issue beyond the standard manager did I get a result, including the agreed extra minutes. This was my first taste of the new Orange.
Even though I've always paid for a high tariff, I've never actually received a bill where the tariff has covered all my calls and texts...there's always a hidden charge, something they never bothered to explain...
Waiting times on the standard 150 call centre were increasing past 30 minutes at lunch times... After a further upgrade to a Nokia N95, my faith was restored in Orange due to the phone working, my bills being correct and no requirement to contact customer service.
After 6 months I started to have problems with the Nokia, so I contacted customer service and they issued an immediate replacement. The replacement had even worse issues, freezing all the time and lacking reception. I called back customer service and they issued a further replacement which turned out to be the same. After a further replacement phone I decided to look into the problems a bit more via the Nokia forums. The problems were with the firmware which had introduced a large number of bugs.... digging even further I found out most of the issues were due to the Orange specific software on the handset. The version I had wasn't the latest and I soon found out I couldn't get the latest either due to Orange restrictions. I settled for a substandard phone and Orange offered no help.
Orange only offer a small selection of handsets and these are always fitted with Orange's variation of the software which generally removes some features, adds a bunch of themes and Orange related features. This prevents you from updating the phone's software via the manufacturer's website. Orange will allow Orange specific updates, but these are generally 6-12 months behind the standard software release.
After all the issues, I decided to give Orange one last change and upgraded to the HTC Touch Diamond last year. It had just been released and threatened to beat the iphone.... After it arrived and I played with it a few days, I noticed a severe lag in the interface and the battery didn't last even a day... I looked on the website for the Diamond and found a software fix released on the same day as the phone. The manufacturer was obviously aware of the severe issues and created a number of fixes in time for the phone release. My phone of course couldn't take advantage of the new software...and when I spoke to Orange they said the phone had a number of defects against it including short battery life. I asked if I could send the phone back, but due to being a couple of days outside the return time I couldn't do anything. Due to the problems being defects and not issues related just to that single handset I was allowed a replacement either... I was stuck with a substandard phone again....
After a few more calls to managers I managed to cancel the upgrade and the contract and said my final farewells to Orange. What was once, in my opinion, the best mobile phone provider is now possibly the worst.... Hindered by their Orange specific handsets and poor customer service I moved to O2 and I've never been happier...
Summary: Orange used to be the market leader, now they're trailing with poor service.