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Orange "contract" - HELP!


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Last march my sister (who was 18 at the time) entered into a 12 month pay monthly contract with orange with their "cashback" deal - as in she pays for 3 months and then gets the next 3 months free and then after that pays for the last three months. This seemed a good idea at the time because the free period would coincide with her starting at uni. Recently about a month ago,she was called by Orange to offer her some bundles, which as they seemed good she accepted. What she didn't realise at the time is that Orange had entered her into another 12 month contract. She wouldn't have taken the bundle if she had realised she would be entering a new contract as she is having financial difficulty as a student, and can't wait for her contract to end so she can go back on pay as you go.

 

Was Orange "unlawful" by renewing her contract? Especially as it's not up till March. Please help...she's in a right pickle and now owes them almost £200!

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There's nothing unlawful in extending a contract and accepting a different inducement/incentive. Was the cashback deal really from Orange, or a dealer connecting phoned to the network? I would challenge Orange on the restarting of the contract simply because she received a difdferent bundle of services (unless it was a really good one). You naturally expect a new contract when in receipt of a replacemnt handset, and if she still has her original phone and SIM card, she should rightly challenge Orange on their unterpretation.

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As far as I'm aware it was just a text message bundle type thing. She said it was definately Orange. When we signed up for the contract, she was informed by the sales person (it was in store) that after 6 months she would get a phone call to review her account and how they could "help" her. This call has happened to coincide with this "review" (I was present when she signed up so know they told her they would call her).

 

She has her original phone, original sim etc... I just think they are trying to boost their sales figures by signing her up again when she didn't know she had!

 

She's quite anxious about talking to Orange in case they say "tough". What can she do? She's already been disconnected as she hasn't paid a bill - partly her own fault - she didn't realise a promo offer of millions of minutes and texts was only for the first 6 months (even tho bill says this!) and she carried on using phone as if she still had the offer!

 

Please tell me what I can tell her to say to Orange. I'd happily ring up for her but they won't speak to anyone else about her account.

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The problem you have is she'll be seen as a defaulting customer, and using any attempt to wriggle out of her responsibilities. She might be able to cover this by saying she's disputing the account and will clear the balance when the matter is settled.

 

Write to Orange CS to the address on the bill, simply stating that at no time was she advised that her previously agreed contract deal would be modified, and as she has been told she effectively renewed her contract, ask for any documentation or recording that supports Orange's assertion. If they cannot provide this, then she will pay any amount outstanding after her bill is recalculated to reflect her original agreement.

 

That should at least give her some breating space and stop her credt file being trashed.

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I've transferred money to her account to pay the bills - as she's not disputing she owes them the money - she wants to pay what she owes them and then in March.....not renew the contract! She's worried that she can't get out of the contract as they've told her it's been renewed when she took these bundles.

 

Should she pay the bill and then dispute the renewed contract, or should she not pay the bill until the renewed contract matter is sorted.

 

I'm also concerned about her credit rating during all of this...she's only 19!

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I'd pay the bill and have an ongoing dispute, hopefully this will be resolved before the original contrract end date. But do make them aware the payments being made are under duress and NOT an acknowledgement that the 'new' contract exists. As an explanation (to Orange) your daughter could say that as she's going abroad in March, there was no way she would have knowingly entered into a contract extension that she could not make use of. I still think it grossly unfair for a contract to be renegotiated simply because of a 'bundle' (rather than an phone upgrade) but desperate times sometimes mean desperate measures!

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