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Orange - Fair Usage Policy


MungoPL
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Hi MungoPL, sorry to hear the hassles you have had with Orange and their FUP. I have crossed swords with two ISP's on this matter and tbh it is a tricky issue.

 

Sadly it has been tested in court and they found that it was OK for ISPs to advertise unlimited access even if there was a fup attached which effectively then limited the amount you could download etc.

Cheers

 

Which court was this ruling made at?

 

If it was a county court then it does not set prescident and you may well have a case. Just because one judge made a decision does not mean the other courts have follow to suit. Of course, if this ruling was made in a higher court, then it becomes part of case law which is binding on the lower courts.

 

I would argue that it is quite unreasonably to openly advertise something as unlimited and then in small print make reference to a limit. Surely this is something TS should look into.

If there is not a stated case, I would argue it is they who are in breach of contact.

You could then sign up to another provider for an equivelient services and sue Orange for the cost of a new supplier. Well, the initial set up costs maybe as I assume Orange would pay you back anything you had paid up front.

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As far as I'm aware only the Advertising Standards Authority ruled that it is permissible for ISP's to advertise their services as 'up to'. The mood however is changing and they are looking again at the issue based on an 'anticipated' line speed that must be sustained for at least 60% of the time. But that's for the future!

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You're right Buzby and I stand corrected, although interestingly it was Orange that was involved in at least one of these investigations

 

See here for the adjudication from June of this year

 

Orange Personal Communications Services Ltd

 

if you search under 'unlimited broadband' you will find other cases where the same argument has beenn tried - and failed unfortunately.

 

You could try this is in the legislative court system but given that it has been pretty well tested by the ASA already I think your chances of success are slim.

 

MungoPL, I have lost track on your situation, sorry. Did you manage to get reconnected with Orange or are you with another ISP now?

 

Cheers

Prelim sent May '06

LBA sent June '06

Fob off now rec'd to the prelim

Copy of fob off now rec'd as response to LBA!

Full repayment of all charges since 1997 now received.

Account Closed

Donation made :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi! I`m sorry that I was away for so long time. I came back from holiday from Poland on saturday, and didn`t have time there to even browse forum. I still haven`t got reply from them and I really don`t know what to do. I haven`t switched to another ISP yet, because I`d like to stay with Orange (free calls to Poland 24h/7). I think that I`ll write another letter, to them, as well as to complaint dept. Is it a good idea? Many thanks!

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Hi MungoPL and welcome back :)

 

You could wite another letter but have you checked with Royal Mail to see if the first one was received? You last wrote back in October without a response and when you spoke to them on the phone they were less than helpful, only confirming that your account would be closed and offering a MAC code. Unfortunately I don't expect the reaction to be much different now.

 

I assume that you did not accept the offer of the code and simply left it? If this is the case and your account has been closed then whichever ISPyou go to may have to charge a connection fee. What are you being charged for on your mobile? Is this on the same £5 tarrif or has it reverted to PAYG or other? If you are still paying the same as you were you could have a good argument for asking that the rest of the contract package also continue to be supplied?

 

If you can let us know some of this information we can try and work out the best way forward. Cheers

Prelim sent May '06

LBA sent June '06

Fob off now rec'd to the prelim

Copy of fob off now rec'd as response to LBA!

Full repayment of all charges since 1997 now received.

Account Closed

Donation made :)

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Hi Shanks!

I`ve checked with Royal Mail, and letter was received. I didn`t accept offer of MAC code. When I phoned them on friday, they`ve said that there is no chance of re-opening my account. When I said them that I was not given enough notice prior to closing the account, the guy said that I was phoned 5 days after I`ve sent letter to them, and advised that my account will not be opened again. What did not happen !

 

So, f*ck Orange. I`m just waiting for my contract with Orange to expire (it`s due till May '08 ) and I`m leaving Orange (btw. what`s best way to do this to be 100% sure?).

 

Yesterday I`ve signed up to ADSL24 (I`ve chosen that after reading forum) and I`m waiting for line activation. Hope that they won`t make any problems in the future.

 

Thank you all for help.

 

Cheers,

Simon

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Hi Simon, thanks for the update and I'm sorry to hear it has finished in this way. It would appear that Orange have lost a lot of customers recently through many of the changes and ' improvments' in their service. Their customeer service, from my own experience, is appalling and you have to wonder how much longer they can go losing revenue at this rate before they realise what's going wrong.

 

One thing that puzzles me about your post is that you are waiting till your contract expires. Is this a benefit to you? If they have closed your account then I would think that would end the contract between you. Of course if it is useful for you to use it then fine but why wait if you don't need to?

Cheers

Prelim sent May '06

LBA sent June '06

Fob off now rec'd to the prelim

Copy of fob off now rec'd as response to LBA!

Full repayment of all charges since 1997 now received.

Account Closed

Donation made :)

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I`m using pay monthly phone in Orange. Broadband was FREE as part of an offer (for mobile phone plans worth 35 quid+ a month). Now they closed my internet account, but mobile one remained untouched. What I read once here on forum was that mobile phone and broadband in this offer are on two separate contracts. So terminating of one of them doesn`t affect the other. Is that true? If not, I`ll be more than happy to leave Orange permanently.

 

Cheers

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Hi Simon, tbh I'm not really sure. I have had a look through the t&c and the only think I can say for sure is that they have been very sure to make certain that all rules will have a sub clause so taht it either doesn't apply or will end in their favour anyway :roll:. But...

 

First option I would think is to request a copy of their code of practice.

 

disputes between you and us

19.10 You may request that disputes between you and us are referred to arbitration under our Code of Practice for Consumer Affairs. We will supply a copy of our Code of Practice for Consumer Affairs to you on request.

 

Your account was closed becuase you exceeded their 'fair use policy'. But that policy also lays out the steps they are obliged to take in order to resolve this issue...

 

What will happen if my use is very high?

If you only occasionally have very high usage, we're unlikely to be concerned unless it becomes a regular occurrence. If this does happen then we'll get in touch to help you find ways to reduce your usage.

If your usage continues to be very high, we'll get in touch again. Ultimately, if your usage still remains excessive despite our attempts to help you reduce it, we may have to suspend your service and possibly close your account.

We don't want to do that, and with your support and goodwill we'll work with you to see if we can avoid this happening.

 

So I would ask them to demonstrate what steps they took in line with this and if they cannot then say you will be making a formal complaint requesting that your whole contract be terminated without penalty because of their failure to comply.

 

They may find that it may be better to end the contract than have to deal with a stream of correspondance and the complants procedure.

 

Cheers

Prelim sent May '06

LBA sent June '06

Fob off now rec'd to the prelim

Copy of fob off now rec'd as response to LBA!

Full repayment of all charges since 1997 now received.

Account Closed

Donation made :)

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When I phoned them on Friday, I was told that somebody will contact me in few days on my mobile number and explain me why the account was closed. Should I then ask them about copy of their Code of Practice?

 

One more thing that I`m not happy about is that Orange Customer Service is not replying by post for the letters they receive. It`s like not treating their customers seriously.

As a customer, my only option of communicating with them is writing a formal letter. They advise to call Customer Service first, but there is not really much to achieve this way. It seems for me that their Customer Service operators are given not enough informations to help resolving customers` certain issues.

There`s also no point in going to Orange Shop, because their staff is not helpful in Customer Service enquires. Only thing they do is take the phone, call 150 and give it to customer to speak with their Customer Service dept. over the phone (same thing I can do while sitting at home).

 

Just as an example. Orange in Poland has got separate Customer Service department in every Orange Shop. And it`s far more likely to get things sorted personally in Orange Shop than speaking with them over a phone. Plus, they treat customers seriously and they seem to care more for them.

 

What would you suggest then?

 

Cheers

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Hi Simon.

 

Sadly, Orange customer service in this country has always been pretty poor, recently however it seems to have stooped to a disgraceful level - there are a lot of unhappy ex or soon to be ex Orange customers about, Orange Problems - Index - Orange Broadband, Orange Email, Orange Mobile Phones - OrangeProblems.co.uk (formerly WanadooProblems.co.uk) make for some very interesting reading.

 

I'm not sure why they are ringing you to tell you why your account was closed, you already know the reason. But it may be a good opportunity to ask them to explain about the steps they took to help you cut back on your usage before closing the account. If it doesn't match what is quoted above then you could ask fior it to be reinstated, be clear that you now understand the limits on this account and will try to keep it below that in the future.

 

I guess what I'm saying is *if* they do ring you, then give them the opportunity to remedy the situation, but if the still refuse to reinstate the account then ask for a copy of the complaints procedure. You have a right to request it, and you do not have to explain why you want it. Post back with their response and we can take it from there.

 

Cheers

Prelim sent May '06

LBA sent June '06

Fob off now rec'd to the prelim

Copy of fob off now rec'd as response to LBA!

Full repayment of all charges since 1997 now received.

Account Closed

Donation made :)

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On saturday I went to Orange Shop in Truro. I asked about their Complaints Procedure, or Complaints Department. They said me that I should write to Customer Services. So now there`s is there a point writing to the same place one more time, complaining about their response to previous letter?

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  • 4 weeks later...

Don't bother with their 'complaints procedure'. Companies love it when you use them because it is all on their terms.

 

It is in my opinion the equivelent of bending over for them.

 

Much better to write to the registered head office. Make it concise. State what will happen if they don't comply and give a dead line. No 'customer complaint' department nonsense.

 

Just by two cents.

 

FP

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Complain straight to the CEO's office.

 

Google the name of the CEO, write to him/her and give them the history, dates, times etc, the fact that you have requested their complaints procedure but it has not been forthcoming etc. I did this with Virgin and received a response by email then phone call from the CEO;s office within 24 hours.

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  • 9 months later...

Hi MungoPL

 

Ive recently signed with Orange only to receive the superfast speed of 128kbps on average. Just had a look at their fair usage policy and I think it could be argued that doesn't clearly state any limits.

 

The whole issue of download caps & transfer speeds is being looked at so unless there is a bar on testing these in court I would be quite happy to try with either.

 

However the main reason I posted is as an ISP after now seeing there service they are really really bad you would be better of to use the opportunity to break the 18month contract and move on to another.

 

And this hasn't touched on other problems with them such as blocking port 25 so you have to use there SMTP servers even if you have your own.

 

Best of luck with your issues with them

Alasdair

 

LloydsTSB - Settled unconditionally

 

 

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As much as I sympathise - I don't see any hope of a successful challenge as the dictionary definition and that used in marketing are not only completely different, but the Advertising Standards Authority have rejected complaints that the use of 'unlimited' and a fair use policy somehow negates such a claim. If they didn't uphold such use, it would disappear overnight, so the argument is with the ASA, NOT the ISP.

 

Even Channel 5's Gadget Show raised this yesterday, but again they overlooked the real culprit in all this. Once the ASA see sense, the practice will cease.

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I think tere is scope to look at what is a fair use policy and what is a cap. In a fair use policy all users should retain use on a fair basis such as that defined by Tiscali

"

What happens if you are affected by the Fair Usage Policy?

 

During peak hours, customers affected by the fair usage policy will share bandwidth with each other and will be separated from other customers. The amount of bandwidth available for affected customers to share, will be at least as much as for those customers unaffected by the policy.

 

The speed affected customers experience when downloading at peak hours will therefore depend on what these customers are doing. If they are all web-browsing and reading emails, they will experience normal broadband speed. If on the other hand they are using Peer to Peer or file sharing software they will experience slow broadband speed. Outside of peak hours, no restrictions will apply.

"

Tiscali - Fair usage policy

 

In this even the heavy users fair use is not prevented just seperated onto a network segment shared only with heavy users.

 

In Oranges case they have clearly set MungoPL a limit therefore this is a cap. The service is being sold as cap free or unlimited so IMHO it doesn't meet the threshold of

"They comply with the description given by the seller and possess the qualities of the product, which the seller has held out to the consumer as a sample or model."

From the sales of goods and services directive:

UKECC - Buying Goods and Services

 

If the ASA's determinations were followed then the bank charges would be fair therefore I would look at other ways of taking on the ISP's such as the courts or through Europe because basically what they do is the equivelant of advertising a set of wheels for sale and when four customers appear selling them each one wheel at the full price because they got more offers than they thought.

 

As said though I would use the opportunity to leave Orange if I was MungoPL, my case with them will be much simpler as fom day one they have failed to provide the service they state in their contract and 128k doesn't meet the technical requirements to be called broadband.

Alasdair

 

LloydsTSB - Settled unconditionally

 

 

If this site has helped you pleas donate so that it can keep helping people.

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  • 9 months later...

Does the ASA's opinion hold any legal weight? I didn't think they had any legal powers whatsoever.

 

How can something be advertised as 'unlimited' (as the major selling point, in Bold typeface) then in the terms and conditions mention made of a fair usage policy without being unfair?

 

It does seem very misleading. Is there not scope here for a breach of the unfair terms in consumer regulations?

 

 

 

As much as I sympathise - I don't see any hope of a successful challenge as the dictionary definition and that used in marketing are not only completely different, but the Advertising Standards Authority have rejected complaints that the use of 'unlimited' and a fair use policy somehow negates such a claim. If they didn't uphold such use, it would disappear overnight, so the argument is with the ASA, NOT the ISP.

 

Even Channel 5's Gadget Show raised this yesterday, but again they overlooked the real culprit in all this. Once the ASA see sense, the practice will cease.

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No - no 'legal' weight, but they set the bar to which all other firms must comply. as such their policies can be used as strong support that 'unlimited' represents the standard usage to almost all used - as they also have a 'Fair Use' policy that qualifies what 'unlimited' actually means.

 

I believe the subtle difference is that originally, the upper limit was never disclosed, whereas now it is. Because of this evolution, I don't believe a court would see this as being unreasonable.

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  • 6 months later...

hi, im new here so forgive me if this is silly, but my dad recently received a letter from orange about their FUP, he's been a broadband user since they we're wanadoo, so i'm not to sure what his service is he has but recently we underwent a family growth with the inclusion of his new wife and 2 children into our home meaning that we now have a lot more people using the internet than previously and in the letter orange sent him it says

 

we recently wrote to let you know that we'd be lifting the speed controls on your broadband line as you'd reduced your broadband usage to below our fair usage policy

 

However it seems that your usage has increased again in breach of our terms and conditions. This means that unfortunately we have no choice but to cap your broadband speed permanently during peak times.

 

as we explained before we have to do this to ensure great internet performance for all our broadband customers.

 

The average monthly usage at peak times on your broadband account across November and December was 6.05 Gb and therefore, we'll be capping your connection speed at 512kbps at peak times (6pm to midnight) on an ongoing basis

 

best regards

 

orange customer support

 

now this confuses my dad and i'm training to be IT technicain and this still makes no sense to me specially since we can't recall receiving previous letters. can anyone make heads of tails of this and post any suggestions please :|

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Basically they're permanently restricting usage on the line to 512Kbps, which is very slow, probably not fast enough to use the BBC iPlayer during peak times due to excessive usage.

 

In terms of suggestions query why you have no record of receiving previous letters with them, advise you were unaware that you were using their service excessivley and see if they will reconsider their position, if they won't leave their network and look for service elsewhere.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I had my 15-year old brother staying with me over summer who was bored and downloaded films while I was at work. You can imagine, my usage went well over 70GB. Since August my 4mb "unlimited" package was capped to 512kb during the peak times. I wrote to them last month basically saying what the template said at the beginning of this thread, to receive the standard reply that the measures are permanent and decision will not be reconsidered. Does anyone else know of any other broadband suppliers who provide the "second line" service similar to that of Orange's?

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  • 2 months later...

I have just received a letter from Orange about FUP, stating that they are capping the peak time speed and it is now dreadful. I cannot see anywhere in the contract or on their website the limit, which is apparently 5GB. In their FAQ they state they will contact you to let you know you are exceeding their definition of fair usage to give you an opportunity to reduce your usage and then will cap the speed. Has anyone successfully challenged this?

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