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    • We have finally managed to obtain the transcript of this case.

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      This is generally speaking the problem with using PackLink who are domiciled in Spain and very conveniently out of reach of the British justice system.

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      It would be very nice if the parcel delivery companies – including EVRi – practised this kind of thing as well.


      OT APPROVED, 365MC637, FAROOQ, EVRi, 12.07.23 (BRENT) - J v4.pdf
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Orange Charged for Premium Calls That Never Connected

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Hi there, was hoping to get some advice on a problem I've had with Orange.


I was checking my bank account yesterday and noticed Orange had taken out a whopping £202 for my last months bill. Now I knew I'd use a bit of excess data but nowhere near that much. Upon checking my bill I found I'd been charged for calls to a premium rate number that were never connected.


I'm in the process of emigrating to New Zealand (I actually fly next Tuesday) this has all been very short notice due to personal reasons I won't go into. On the 9th April I was at my fiancee's parents house putting together the evidence for my visa application and had a query I needed to raise with NZ Immigration. No big deal I thought I'll phone them, it's a Premium number but it's only a quick question, and I have to make the last post for the day to send my application.


When I dialed the number I got a recording saying something along the lines of calls to this number are blocked from my phone press whatever to speak to a customer service rep. So of course I did that, they said they'd unblocked it and to turn my phone off and on again and I'd be able to make the call, easy. So I do that, get the same message, hang up. Try again a couple of minutes later, same thing, few minutes later same again. Try resetting my phone again, same message.


So I phone again and choose the option to speak to someone, they tell me I shouldn't have been told it would be done there and then because it can take up to an hour. Not happy but it's still in time so I try again a few times over the next hour. Comes to an hour and 10 minutes after the original call and it's still not working, so I choose the option to speak to someone. This person then tells me they don't know why I was told this as it can take up to 24 hours! Obviously I'm not happy at all about that and ask to speak to a manager to discuss why I've been told 3 different things and the problems this is causing me, I have to wait quite a while and we go through a few things and in the end she says there's still a good chance it will work in time, and she'll phone me back.


I wait and make two final attempts just before 5pm and of course still not working. About an hour later the manager phones back and I make my displeasure known that if I'd been told originally it was going to take that long I'd have had the time to drive home to make the call (her parents are emigrating as well and had already had all their accounts closed and disconnected as they were leaving the next day).


In the end I had to pay to have a same day courier deliver my application on the Monday but I decided to let it slide as I'd be free of Orange soon anyway. it turns out though that after all of that I was charged for every single one of those phone calls at a premium rate despite none of them making it past Orange's blocked message. The half hour I spent on the phone to the manager cost me just shy of £60. After incorporating VAT I was charged £120 for calls that never went past Orange themselves.


Obviously being quite angry but figuring it was a fairly simple problem, I phoned Orange yesterday and explained all this. The woman on the phone didn't seem to believe me when I said none of the calls had connected, I mean, making a load of 5 second phone calls to a premium rate number, followed up by a 30 minute call, followed up two more 5 second calls is obviously what I wanted to do....... She explained she couldn't refund my money and that it had to be investigated by an "offline" team who would phone me back. Great I thought, what time will they call? Sometime in the next two weeks........ Given that they'd billed me just shy of 3 times what they should I explained I didn't think it was reasonable for them to sit on that money for 2 weeks and was basically told sorry but we can't do anything.


I contacted Barclays straight after and they reversed the direct debit within an hour, so at least I've got my money now, but has anyone had experience of something similar with Orange? It seems insane that they'd consider it acceptable to try and sit on that money for 2 weeks whilst they "investigate" what is a very obvious case. So I'm now left with a £202 outstanding balance on my Orange account that I'm going to have to deal with from outside the country, which is going to be a complete nightmare.


Sorry if this is long winded it's just a very stressful thing to have thrown at you a week before you move to the other side of the world!

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Looks like all might be ok in the end. Phoned Orange just not to ask for an update on the investigation and to pay what I considered the correct amount for the bill.The rep I spoke to said that she could arrange a refund and I'd get a call back from her manager later today to confirm the exact amount. Wish I'd spoken to this person the first time I called!

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