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Another Orange contract problem


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Hi all

My Son did an early upgrade on his phone at the end of last June, he was in month 15 of an 18mth contract. As only my husband and myself are authorised to deal with the accounts my husband made the call. My son wanted the Iphone on an 18 month contract, the customer services advisor he spoke to offered the Iphone on the Dolphin 35 contract including so many free minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited internet access and the Iphone was free. Now because on their website the Iphone does not come free on this contract my husband asked the customer service advisor THREE TIMES to make sure that it was an 18month contract and that the phone was free, he was assured THREE TIMES that it was correct, so he accepted the contract and the free Iphone.


However ......... a week later I got correspondence from Orange stating that the contract lenght was infact 24 month. Not happy at this especially after being assured three times previously that it was an 18 month contract my husband rang customer services again to complain. The person he spoke to this time said there wasn't much she could do about it as she didn't put the contract through, she would speak to the man who dealt with our call and ask him why he put the contract through and she would ring my husband back.

Two weeks later, still no call returned from Customer services so I emailed Tom Alexander who passed my email down to Executive Offices who replied that someone would be in touch. Another week later and I have this morning finally had a call from someone at Executive offices. The result of that phonecall is..... even though I consider the customer service advisor to be in the wrong for agreeing to the 18 month contract (THREE TIMES!) my son has been left with 3 choices......


1) He can stay on the 24 month contract with free Iphone


2) He change to a 18 month contract with a charge of £130 for the phone


3) He can revert to month 15 of his previous contract and send the Iphone back to Orange. (Bearing in mind he has no longer got his old phone and has bought apps, accessories etc for his Iphone).


Still not happy at this offer a friend who started a facebook group urging Orange to make available an update for our phones emailed Tom Alexander again with my problem suggesting that the reasonable outcome would be for Orange to drop the charge for the Iphone and let my son stay on the contract my husband had agreed to. The problem was then passed on again to someone at Executive Offices who rang and said he'd try and sort the problem. Again the same offer above was put on the table, according to him Orange have their hands tied as it's Apple who specify the length of the contracts available on the Iphone. He would however try and find out if that original conversation was recorded (I know it will prove my husband did check that it was an 18 month contract) and if the customer service advisor had made an error he would be reprimanded.


I find it totally unacceptable that my son is being made to pay for a mistake made by one of their customer service advisors, infact I'd go as far as stating that my husband was infact lied to just to take out the contract on the Iphone.


To add to this, my daughters boyfriend upgraded a few days after my son, he was offered the same deal as my son on an 18 month contract with the Iphone free. Interestingly he was dealt with by a different cusomer service advisor (female). Same thing happed, a week later he gets written confirmation that the contract is 24 month not the 18 month that he was told previously. He's been informed by customer services that he can either stay on 24 month contract or change to a 18 month contract (with an admin charge of £40) and pay £139 for the Iphone. One over enthusiastic customer service advisor making a mistake I could count as genuine ... but two within two days?


I'm really stuck as to where to go to next , seems we've gone as far as we can with Orange & they just don't want to admit their mistake or put it right. I've three contract phones on the Orange network all of which will be cancelled when their contracts are up, their customer service used to be great now I find it is appaulling.


Any advice would be greatfully appreciated.

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You basically have two choices in relation to this matter, you either accept Orange's position or you don't and you carry on arguing.


As the Executive Office are the final stage of Orange's complaints process you can ask them for a deadlock letter to take the matter to independent arbitration which Orange will have to pay for.


However you should be aware that during the arbitration process you have to prove your claim, Orange don't have to disprove it.


It probably won't be enough to simply state that Orange told you that you or another member of your family that your son was entering into an 18 month contract, especially if they say you weren't told this and they have some sort of record to back this up i.e account notes, letters etc, basically you would need a call recording to prove your case and one may not exist.


Orange's offer to put you back into the position that you were in prior to the dispute occurring is fair (did you raise the issue of the cost of apps and other sundries if so what did they say?). Generally remedies awarded in civil disputes are restorative i.e. if you prove your claim the judge orders that you be put back into the position you were in prior to the dispute occurring which is exactly what Orange have offered to you to resolve your complaint.

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