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Abbi North

£4500 wrongly billed by Orange then phones cut off and getting nowhere sorting it out

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Hi there! I'm new to the forum and wondering if anyone has any advice they can share on the following issue:


This is it in mega-brief detail:


I have a business tariff with two mobiles (£45 per month and £16 per month) and one mobile broadband (£7.50 per month for 1GB) on it.


5 September bill shows a total amount of over £4500, approx £4370 of which is for the mobile broadband usage. Apparently I have gone over the 1GB limit by approx 300MB. Simple calculation of excess megabyte usage calculates this as 300 x 4p.


Customer service aren't having this. Weeks pass where I reason then row with people unable to pick up a calculator, refer to tariff charts etc.


Around 20 September a switch flicks in someone and the charge is going to be removed. Told the bill will be changed and I have to pay it all when the October bill comes out.


A few days after its date of 5 October I receive the bill, (almost simultaneously with the arrival of a 'final reminder' letter and text for £484.) The charges haven't been clarified at all, though. The first bill page shows a refund for most of the mobile broadband, and then a £485 (yes, not 484) total charges. When I add together the October totals showing on each of the phones and the mobile broadband itemised lists, together with what I calculated the September total should've been, there is a shortfall of a couple of hundred quid. In other words, a mysterious excess charge.


I call customer service again and ask for a properly itemised bill, but they refuse. They say they will check the charges and reissue the October bill, not because they understand the maths, but because I mention the 'final reminder' letter. At this time I offer to pay the correct September portion of the bill as I don't want the business accounts to get too out of whack. The customer service person gives me a slightly higher total for that than I estimated, but says it's not for either of the phones or the broadband - which mysteriously is now back to £7.50 with no excess charges at all. I actually just shut up and pay it as I assume I can get it corrected later on.


Exactly the same October bill arrives as a replacement and still no-one in telephone customer service can tell me what the correct charges are. I get a separate call about the final reminder letter and that person does not see sense either and insists £484 is owed. Then by 28 October all the phones are cut off.


Customer service repeatedly do nothing, I notice they have closed down their email service, I fire off a letter to whichever addresses I can find for them. Meanwhile I go to an Orange shop - an EE shop in fact. The sales assistants switch off after the beginning of the story and simply dial......customer services. I feel so furious by this point but go through with it again. The long and the short of it - this person insists that "technically September's bill was correct even though it showed the wrong figure" so they are still not going to clarify that. Then I am told that "technically October's bill is correct even though it shows the wrong figure so we are not reissuing it and you will have to wait till November's comes out", and then tries to make me get my card out and pay £485 (yes 5) but can't guarantee the phones will be put back on.


Of course I pay nothing as I don't know what it's for and he can't tell me, finally, due to the madness of the 'technically' bits, I go crazy myself, scream that they are in breach of contract for not providing the service, tell the customer service person where to get off and slam the phone down. Two other shoppers are shocked by the conversation they have just overheard and tell me to just walk away to another provider.


Meanwhile, back at the ranch, my business continues to suffer the effects of the lack of phones. 'Luckily' I do have a separate personal contract with Orange so am using that phone, but so much business has gone belly-up due to the other numbers being cut off. However, I really can't pay out for what I don't owe in order to maybe, possibly, get them switched back on.


No reply to those letters I sent a month ago.


November's bill has just arrived. It has no clarification about anything on it, except it acknowledges receipt of that amount I paid over the phone for September.


So no-one can ever help me on the phone, in the store, by email or by letter. I surely have the right to walk away from it all - after all I think I have a pretty good case when I regurgitate all this (in much greater detail) when their solicitors start bullying.


What do you think?


Many thanks for reading all this!!

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