Product Type: Orange in Telecommunications Services
Newest Review: ... to check and doing the work myself. I know of many people who do not rate Orange's customer service very highly but we have had the op... more
Cut me and I will bleed Orange!
Member Name: katyboo123
Advantages: Services, bundles, coverage
Disadvantages: Customer Services (sometimes), non DD charge :(
I have been on the Orange Network now since 2003. Prior to that I had a Vodafone, Virgin, T Mobile (then called something else I think?), O2 (when it was BT Cellnet) in fact the only network I haven't tried has been 3. I have been a loyal customer to Orange, I have had many upgrades, I have introduced friends and family to them and I have bought both of my parents pay as you go (payg) sim cards to use on Orange, and as well as 2 handsets on a pay monthly account I also have a mobile broadband dongle account too.
The deal I currently get is made up of an internet talk plan 'Dolphin Websave 45' and a £10 loyalty credit, this is in line with the 25% maximum discount they give you each time you renew your contract. Here's how it works. Renew your contract and receive 10% off your line rental. Renew it again and get 5%, then 5% each time, to a maximum of 25%. So the plan I am on costs £39.15 pm, but I get it for £29.15. For this money, I receive 1200 x-net minutes, unlimited texts / mobile internet (subject to a fair usage policy) plus when I last upgraded they kindly gave me 30 photo messages for free each month, for 12 months (although my contract is 18 months).
This is on both handsets on the account. Now the other handset user spends less than me each month, but as I am accountable for the whole bill, I asked for and kicked up a little bit of a fuss, to get the same deal on both handsets, as they were only going to give me it on the lead handset as I have a high spend (£75+ pm). Anyway, fortunately, I got the deal on both.
When talking to their Customer Services department, it can be difficult to get what you want - you need to know what you plan to ask for before you get on the phone, do your research, see what both Orange and their competitors are offering new customers, and then go for it, be assertive, do not take no for an answer, unless of course you are asking for something unreasonable!
Although I am subjected to the fair usage charge for the texts and the mobile internet, I sent over 3000 text messages one month, and this was still within fair usage. So I wouldnt worry too much. The internet is up to 500MB which for any normal facebooker or twitterer is going to be sufficient!
Orange also offer Magic Numbers. I believe you get one every 6 months of your contract, so you can have 2 in an 18 month contract (3 or more if you carry it on after that). The good thing about Magic Numbers is they stay there, they don't have to be changed, you just keep adding. I think I have 5 or 6 available to me right now. Basically a Magic Number is any other Orange number payg / paym which you do not have to pay for calls too. And calls to this number do not come out of your bundled minutes. I have my Mum, Dad, Sister, Best Friend and Partner, as these are the people who I call the most. This in effect provides you with unlimited calls pretty much, providing you don't go over your allocated minutes dialling other numbers.
Best plan review - not able to comment, as Best Plan is only available on certain talk plans, and mine is not one of them. Basically it is a service Orange offer where every 6 months (or more regular if you like) they review your service plan to make sure you have the best deal to save you money. Its a good concept, but I really cant comment because like I say I dont have it on my account.
Orange Maps - this is like Sat Nav on your phone. This is also free on my tariff, and I do have a compatible handset, however, I have tried both Sat Nav and this Orange Maps, and I really cant get away with it. What is great though is that you can use it for walking directions too.
You can add different bundles to your account, including calling abroad minutes, which give you your calls slightly cheaper. Orange World access, this is not relevant given my plan, but as an example 80MB would cost £41.13. For a 30 picture message bundle you will pay £6, saving you £3, and for an extra 1000 texts as an example you would pay £30 - though these are not necessary as most tariffs have a large or unlimited amount of texts included. There are also world and european traveller bundles, they dont give you credit, they just heavily reduce the cost of making calls whilst abroad.
Orange Care is the insurance product Orange offer. Now you must be aware that this will only cover the handset and equipment (sim, battery, etc) that you have registered to your account. It will not cover you if say you sell your handset to someone else and then use a different handset, or if you dont register an upgrade. I think that I pay £6 per month for this product, which compared to some other retailers, even the likes of Car Phone Warehouse own insurance, this is cheaper. Its worth it for the piece of mind too. If your handset breaks (and is diagnosed over the phone to be unfixable), gets lost, stolen, damaged then you are sent a replacement within about 24 hours, they will deliver to you at work, or home, etc. Its really an invaluable service. I have claimed around 4 times since I have been with Orange. There is a £15 administration fee, but sometimes, again if your assertive and the issue is not down to you, they will normally waiver the fee.
The customer services department in Orange aren't great. I find them quite upsetting sometimes as they are so pre-programmed they will not listen to individual needs and requirements. However, if you really feel you are not getting anywhere ask to speak with a supervisor, because in my experience they will bend over backwards to help you.
I have once written a complaint to Orange's Executive team, they were incredibly understanding and helpful. They really did everything they could to maintain my custom and despite the really terrible way in which I was treat, I still gave them my loyalty. Bottom line, dont complain unless you really feel mistreat, and then they will do everything they can to help you.
I get charged a non-direct debt fee every month. This is very annoying because I have two handsets on one account and I am charged it on both, to a total of £6. I cant pay by direct debit as my bill is generated on 1st of each month and I dont get paid until 25th of the month, so my bill needs to be collected by DD on 20th and the month isn't in my account. I could get on top of it, but it would mean paying 2 phone bills in one month, which I can never afford! Oh and just a note, if you do get put on incoming calls only (part bar) then you cannot ring Customer Services from your handset. In my eyes this is stupid, as you cannot pay your bill. You cannot pay it online either as access to Your Account (next section) is suspended, so you have to call from a landline, or as I have done, another Orange Handset (that way its free!)
Your Account is the section of the web which you log in to to manage your account (unsurprisingly :P). From here you can view, pay and print bills, upgrade, change your bundles, magic numbers, service plan, add new handsets to your account, and a whole host of other cool things. I love the facility which allows you too see your usage since your last bill, so I can gauge what my next bill might be. This is very helpful.
So far I have explained about the pay monthly features and benefits, tips and tricks, but there is plenty of great stuff about the pay as you go service too. First up, buying a handset. This is great, because recently Orange discounted all of their handsets by £20 when you purchased a £20 top up voucher at the same time. Obviously, this is great, because you are getting the phone plus £20 credit for the same price as only the phone would cost you from another network service provider. As with Pay Monthly there is a choice of animal plan, and benefits range from unlimited texts each month with £30 topped up, to free music downloads and sharing.
Orange also offers pay as you go insurance, which is quite good, as lots of other companies dont, just providing you with a manufacturers guarantee. For £19.99 you get Basic insurance, for Theft, Damage and Faults outside the manufacturers guarantee, or for £28.99 you get Premium insurance, for Loss as well as the services of the Basic insurance product. As with pay monthly, there are additional bundles you can choose, but provided you choose the right animal plan for you, you should not need to buy any bundles. As an example, you can buy 10 MMS valid for 1 week for £1. Saving you £2.
Orange also do a phone fund which is for payg, and for every £10 topped up you get £1 towards an upgrade. If you top up £30 pm for 24 months you will get £72 toward a new phone.
One last important thing to mention about services Orange provide is Orange Wednesdays. You would have to be from another planet not to have heard about these, they are advertised on TV, Newspapers, Radio, at the cinema, all over the towns on billboards, everywhere! You simply text the word FILM to the number 241 and you get a text ticket number which gives you buy one get one free on a Wednesday night at the pictures. Register online and you will also get two for one in Pizza Express too.
Orange's coverage is the best of all of the networks. They cover the most of the UK (I think its in the early 90's percentage wise). Although there are areas I cannot get signal! But if you lose signal and drop a call, Orange credit you back the minutes! That's how confident they are in their network!
Overall, I think Orange, in comparison to my personal experiences and the views of friends I have not on Orange's network, they seem to be the best network provider in the country.
Summary: The best UK network, Value for Money and very satisfied Customer here!
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