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Orange - Mis-Sold 18 Month Contract ?

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I have been an Orange customer for over five years, always been on the same talk plan "Talk Time 200". I have upgraded approx every 12 months, and I last upgraded in December 2008.

 

I am relocating abroad so called Orange today to find out when my contract expired, and what the early terminate fee will be. The agent told me my contract expires in June 2010.

 

Now, it appears that when I last upgraded my contract in December 2008 I was signed up to an 18 month and not a 12 month contract. I called Orange to do the upgrade and the agent handled everything over the phone. I do not recall agreeing to an 18 month contract, and I have not received any documentation of this.

 

Where do I stand legally ? I believe I have been mis-sold the contract, but is it simply a case of my word against Orange, or do they have to prove that I agreed to something (i.e. the contract).

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To get the price, most sales people default to the 18 month price, and will bew cheaper by about £15pm compared to the annual equivalent.

 

You may well have has a 12 month minimum term previously, but as it is ONLY the minimum term that changes, it is not seen as a material change, and if you hadn't asked, they can simply offer it (as their 'standard' min term - and unless you can prove there was a mistake, you're effectively stuffed). To be mis-sold, they would have to be charging you the 12 mon min term free, on 18 month term contract, it doesn;t work the other way around, as your 18 month contracts will always be cheaper per month than the annual one.

 

Orange always send you a welcome letter when you re-sign and in this it will have listed the tariff and details agreed (as you probably didn;t sign a fresh contract). There have been many people complaining that they were never told of the new contract term, yet when the tapes were reviewed it WAS mentioned, but not recalled by the customer.

 

Unless you can show confirmation of 12 months on your new contract, it will be you to prove an error, and that will be difficult without any evidence.

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Buzby. Thanks for the reply.

 

Fortunately I record the majority of calls that I make, I just dug out the recording from 22nd December 2008 when I called to upgrade, the agent asked me if "I was OK with my current talk plan", I said "Yes, my current talk plan is fine".

 

There was no mention that I would be changing to a longer term, the conversation mostly centred around the additional fee for the handset I was ordering.

 

I have checked my Orange bill and I am paying exactly the same amount of my talk plan this month, as I was in October 2008 which suggests that I was not moved onto a better deal.

 

My opinion is that I have been mis-sold this contract. I thought I was committing to Orange for another 12 months, as I have been doing previously, but actually I have committed for 18 months, thus generating them an additional £153 revenue because I am "contracted" for a longer term. I see that as a material change, because my commitment to them has increased.

 

I can't see where I could have benefited in this at all (by getting a cheaper deal etc) ? Or am I still missing something obvious! :-)

 

I also can't find any record of a "Welcome Letter" from them and that would be the sort of thing I would keep.

 

Thanks again.

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Forget mis-selling, they could just as easily claim it was 'mis-bought' and you are no further forward. When contracts are renewed, conditions change, and it is always the customer who has the responsibility to ascertain that the revised contract meets their needs. It is not sufficient to 'expect' the arrangement to be the same as before.

 

For the last few years, networks have been driving their customer base (contract) from 12 to a minimum of 18 months, and 24 months is now becoming the norm. This is dynamic - the price you pay per month is dependent on the commitment you give, so there can be no expectation of 'the same' when pricing is calculated.

 

I agree, it would be useful to be told - but a cynic might say why should a salesman talk himself out of commission by providing information the customer may not want to hear? If in response to the question "Is my minimum contract term the same?" and he misleads, THAT'S mis-selling and you can do something about it. If you don't ask, it is assumed you're happy with the deal based on their normal trading terms for the tariff you agreed.

 

It was good you recorded your call, but this is not helping you here - in response to your question would you be on the same talk plan, and they confirmed you were - (and there appears to be no dispute about this), there is no problem. Where this fails is that you believed the 'Talk Plan' you entered into included the same minimum term of service. It doesn't, and never has.

 

Talk plan prices are always static - irrespective of whether you sign up for 12/18/24 months of a minimum term. What changes is the cost of the handset.

 

Depending on your selected term, the handset would be (a) FREE [24monhs], (b) £45 (18months) or © £99 (12 months). You pick the price you are prepared to pay for the handset and it is this that dictates the minimum duration. This is why talking about talk plans doesn't get to the crux of the dispute.

 

By all means complain loudly that you expected your current deal to be mirrored and are shocked. they would try this on you, a valued customer - BUT, any change would only be a goodwill gesture, or the opening of another negotiation for a contract change to keep you sweet.

 

The prospect of being allowed to walk away after the original 12 term on an 18 month agreement is so slim as not worth holding your breath for. :(

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