Product Type: Orange in Telecommunications Services
Newest Review: ... have millions of customers (as if I didn't know). If you want to be extorted and lied to join Orange. Feel free to tell a friend key wor... more
You've been Tango'd
Member Name: bagel
Date: 25/02/03, updated on 27/02/03 (1670 review reads)
Advantages: Cheap, do get problems sorted if you speak to right staff
Disadvantages: Rarely return calls as promised, customer services staff rarely able to help (in my experience), weak rural network coverage
Tango, you may remember used to pull silly tricks on people in their adverts. They were rather amusing, but to the poor guy who'd just been slapped around the face, it wasn't much fun. I feel like someone should pop out of the bushes and shout 'You've been Tango'd' at me. And Orange have the same colour scheme so that makes a good enough tenuous link for me.
My old phone resembled a house brick, and while useful as a method of defence, was not the most practical thing to keep in my pocket. So, I decided I wanted a new phone. A Sony phone would be nice, I thought, as it would match my other gadgets. Orange had a nice January Sale with the rather shiny Sony phone for a stupidly low price. And they'll price match competitor's tariff's so I was free to choose a cheap tariff that suits my call patterns. If only I had known that with Orange, you really do get what you pay for.
How to get customers part 1 - take orders
I ordered the phone directly from Orange (through their website). It took them two full weeks to get the order to me, which is rather longer than the three days quoted. The full reason for this is rather mysterious, but they mentioned that someone at their end had put my credit card number in wrongly. I lost count of how many times I phoned them and got fobbed off with the 'we'll call you back' line. They never once phoned back.
How to get customers part 2 - send them a working phone
So, two weeks (to the day) after placing my order a new phone arrives. I follow the instructions and call the number given to me to activate the phone. That number doesn't exist - what a great start, I thought. Fortunately, a call to customer services got the phone activated, but the weak signal strength in my area cut the call short. Stupidly, I assumed I would be called back, as I had only just given my phone number out (no such luck).
To cut a long story slightl
y shorter, I subsequently found out that my phone locked up whenever it received a new text message. It also locked up on many of the menu functions. The only way to make it work again was to take the battery out.
Then came my next wrong assumption, that Orange would be happy to replace the faulty phone they had just sent me. I gave them a call, but it seems faults like this have to go through the technical services department. Obviously, I'm getting more annoyed by the delays here, but put up with it for a little longer, and wait for a response from technical services, which I am told should take three days.
Almost two weeks pass waiting for a response from technical services, and despite my continual prompting to the customer services staff, I still hear nothing. I'm really getting impatient with Orange at this point, and eventually I call to find out that Orange won't accept responsibility for the faulty phone I have received. I get told that it's Sony's fault, and that I should contact them. Or alternatively, pay Orange £30 for emergency insurance cover. I was told that because I didn't take out insurance (which I was never offered), I had to pay to get the phone fixed.
Sony, to their credit, did offer to fix the phone if I took it to one of their service centres. They did tell me that Orange, as the seller, was responsible for getting it fixed. This is also in line with my understanding of Trading Standards (on the sale of faulty goods). However, my nearest Sony service centre is two hours away, and I really thought Orange should replace the phone.
By this point I am fuming - from my point of view, Orange have taken two weeks to send me a broken phone, and then ask me to pay to fix it nearly two weeks after reporting the problem. If that's not bad service, then I don't know what is.
How to keep customers
Eventually, after sending a harshly-worded e-mail to Orange they cal
led me back. Unfortunately, I was in a meeting so couldn't witness this rare event. After calling back myself, they sent out a new phone by courier the next day (without charging £30). Result, as Anne Robinson might say. However, I feel that Orange should have replaced the faulty phone when I reported it, and not require me to spend two weeks of hassle to get a replacement.
Fortunately, this new phone is working for the moment, but I have taken out insurance, should Orange try to 'Tango' me again.
Other things about Orange
In my area, the Orange coverage is pretty terrible compared to my old network, O2. I often get my call cut short by the signal dropping off (while I am stationary), something I never experienced on O2. This is not quite the 'High Quality' suggested by Orange's website for my postcode. I am in a rural area, however, so I don't think a weak signal is unreasonable. The signal seems fairly good when I take my phone elsewhere, and to be fair to Orange, they have to build more transmitters than O2 to get the same area of coverage (they came in late - O2 and Vodafone got the good frequencies first).
The call centre staff are generally very helpful, and answer the call quickly. They always had time to answer my questions, even if they couldn't be of any help. One drawback is that if you don't have access to an Orange phone, calls to customer services are charged at mobile phone rates. So when my phone locked up, I walked to a call box, only to run out of money in the automated call answering system. I then learned to take the battery out and call from my mobile, from which the calls are free, but this event was still rather annoying. I found that staff working during office hours were much more helpful than those after about 5:30. Of course, this could be a complete fluke, but I only ever got unhelpful operators in the evenings.
I have friends on Orange who have had no s
uch problems, and I can accept that the delay in sending me the phone and receiving a faulty phone were not typical of Orange, and that I was simply unlucky. However, I am rather annoyed that after all these problems I was then asked to pay to fix the phone, something which I believe is totally unreasonable.
The moral of the story
Although I got a working phone in the end, it was not worth all the hassle. I spent hours on the phone to customer services over the course of the month, and would not do it again. To their credit, Orange have refunded one month's line rental for my trouble, and they did get me working phone in the end. However, it should not take four weeks of hassle to get a phone.
For anyone still considering buying from Orange, I would reccomend buying from a high street shop, as I believe you can walk into the shop if you have handset problems, instead of dealing with customer services. And I would hope that a shop wouldn't try to charge £30 to fix a defective handset almost immediately after it has been sold.
I would find it difficult to recommend Orange to any of my friends at the moment, but will keep my contract and give them a chance to prove themselves (I would have to pay to cancel it now anyway). If they try to Tango me again, I'm switching back to O2, who offered me a nearly flawless, although pricey, service previously.
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