Orange – The Mobile Operator Without A Clue?

Sometime around the summer of 1999 I joined the then fledgling mobile operator Orange and got a Nokia 3210. The phone was great the service was nothing but exceptional. Over the years I had all sorts of combinations of pricing plans and handsets.

One could say I’ve paid my dues with the company as over the last ten years I’ve probably spent no less than £4560 just based on the lowest priced contract I’ve held. The figure is probably higher when you add data services, paid handset upgrades, calls outside of the contract and so forth. It’s a big number in these days of people switching operator every 12 months.

So when I call up and report a fault with my Blackberry, why must I be sent from pillar to post over what is a warranty exchange. The call I made should have taken no more that 15 minutes to resolve but instead it took 3 phone calls and about an hour and a half. That’s 90 minutes of my life that I could have done something far more productive and useful.

On the first call the customer service representative took my details, diagnosed my fault and then told me as I had collected the phone from an Orange store that I would have to visit the Orange store again so they could return (Note not replace but return) it for repair. When I asked why couldn’t she organise the exchange I was told it was because the Orange store is not part of Orange. Thats right Oranges own stores are not part of the same company as Orange.

Getting nowhere fast with the customer service department I rang the store who informed me that I could either ring 150 for the customer service department that I had just spoken to to organise an exchange or I could visit the store and they would … ring the customer service department for me and arrange a replacement.

So for the second time I called the customer service department and explained the fact that I was somewhat upset at being given the run around. After a little discussion the representative arranged for a courier to swap my handset tomorrow morning.

While I’m under no impression that any network operator is any better when my contract comes to an end or any loophole becomes available in my contract I’m off somewhere else. I’m getting sick of being treated like a second rate customer by a company that I’ve spent an awful lot of money with over the years. Maybe someone else will finally give me the handset I ask for rather than making a pile of excuses why they can’t and then fix it quickly when it breaks without any hassle.