Screw You!: Orange Customer Service & Policies

Why are companies with the word Orange in them so rubbish?! (I had previously complained about my ex-web hosts, A Small Orange – amazingly enough the post seems to have disappeared?!)


But back to Orange, the UK Phone network. Orange is one of the biggest networks in the UK, which is strange because they are quite hitler-eque in the way they run their company. They ALWAYS block their phones. O2 and Vodaphone do not – after all, when you have paid for the damn thing, why should it be locked?

I am only just getting started…All the damn phone companies now force people to get into 18 month, or even a ridiculous 24 months. That’s TWO years of being committed, plus these days not all contracts will allow you to change (not on Orange anyway) to a lower priced tarriff.

Anyway, I have still, stupidly been with them for 5 years. Quite a good customer, may I add. I’ve decided to open up to mobile blogging but my current blackberry doesn’t have camera facilites – so I coax the boyf, who is also with Orange into getting an upgrade to a Blackberry Bold phone, which does have a camera.

All was well – he ordered it (and paid £80 on TOP of signing a new contract – phone companies make their money back from your line rental so you are essentially paying back the cost of your phone so charging a fee on top of that is pretty cheeky). Everything was sorted, and we swapped simcards, which they had said, because are BOTH on Orange and BOTH have Blackberries is not a problem.

Wrong. My damn sim card would not work – only letting me make emergency calls. I had a search in the net and the problem that became clear to me was some kind of incompatibility with the sim card. As I had got my phone 6 months earlier, perhaps there was an issue with my phone using GPRS (web browsing) and not 3G (faster web browsing – I’m explaining this all in a basic way…)

Fret not, says the boyfriend, any company with a brain would sort it out, seeing as we are both loyal and good customers.

Readers – it too NINE long calls to Orange over the space of a day for them to tell me what I already know.

Orange call centres are PURE lottery. Sometimes you will get someone on the ball, 99% someone is just making it up. So you go back to the beginning and call again, trying to get someone competent.

Call One, AM. Mood: Tired

Me: Hi. I am trying to get my simcard to work in a Blackberry mobile. This is my boyfriends, it’s his upgrade mobile from Orange.

CS: Where did you get this phone from?

Me: It’s my boyfriends

CS: Did you buy it?

Me: No.

CS: Then where did you get it?

Me: It’s an upgrade my boyfriend got

CS: When?

Me: Yesterday

CS: I see. And you want to put your sim card in it.

Me: Yes. It’s an orange sim card too.

CS: Is it an Orange sim card.

Me: Yes

CS: Eeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrr………….it’s just not compatible?

Me: Are you sure.

CS: Yes definately

Me: Oh. Ok.

So now I’m a little irritated but not surprised. I tell the boyf who says he’ll call…

Call number 2 – Lady from Black berry dept says it can be done.

Boyf calls me back and I call orange. I have the same conversation with some dude as in conversation one. I shout at boyfriend using aggressive symbols:


Call 4 is made by boyf. Man from Blackberry dept says once again it is possible I need to call back again.

Call 5 is me. I have the same conversation again – a waste of time!

Call 6 is boyf, once again a woman says its possible and all we need to is register the phone with me. I can do this on the Blackberry website…

WRONG! I can’t.

Call 7 is me. This is after work as I am starting to pull my hair out.

Call Seven, PM. Mood: Pissed off

Me: *explains everything from before*

CS does a pointless diagnostic check – do you have reception (no, that’s why I managed to call you), is the phone on? etc.

CS: Ok I’ll call the tech dept and ring you back in half an hour.

Two hours later

Call Eight, PM. Mood: Suicidal

Boyf: *explains everything, mentions sim card error*

CS: Yes thats fine, it could be a sim card error maybe we can send you a new one.


CS: Let me transfer you…

*uh ho*

New CS man: Sorry but we can’t send you a new sim card even though this would solve the problem. Whatever sim card we issue you is the one you have to keep. The sim card you have is 2G and you need a 3G for that phone. That’s all.


Orange have now sunk into the very depths of moronism for me.

Firstly, it took ALL DAY and 8 hours for them to confirm what I had read on some stupid mobile phone blog. If it wasn’t for the fact we mentioned the sim card issue, they STILL wouldn’t have reached that conclusion.

Plus, since when did Orange have the right to dictate what phone you use anyway? They should be please I am still using a damn orange phone and not doing what every other sane person in the world does and buy an unblocked phone from 02!

Next – other networks like Virgin and Vodafone, I believe, issued 3G cards out years ago. 02 and T-Mobile WILL give you a new 3G card if you ask. Not Orange. Orange take the high and mighty god like stance, where they can give you a sh*t sim card and make you use it for the duration of the contract (remember this if you are thinking of taking out one for 24 months!!!!) even though sim cards probably cost them about £0.02p to make. This isn’t about money! It’s about CONTROL. And Orange must control your soul.

Then the customer service is not what it used to me. Staff don’t know what they are talking about – if in doubt, they don’t say, please let me refer you, please let me check – they just do the ‘computer says no’ trick. Hence, each time I called the responses varied widely.

Imagine behaving like that in other call centre environments?

Woman: So does the insurance cover my life?

Man: Er. Yes. No. Probably.

Other networks are nicking all the best phones anyway – Vodafone have the sexy Blackberry Storm and 02 have the blessed iphone.

Orange are super lame. My contract ends in September them I’m out. But you know, this is a sign. The Blackberry bold wasn’t supposed to be mind. The iphone on pay as you go however….

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  1. says

    omFg, I had a similar experience with my phones too! i ordered 2 refurbished iPhones on the ATT premiere website cuz they were $99 USD each.. great deal right? yea yea.. 2 year agreement, but it’s an iPhone for $99..

    ordered it and everything.. couple days later, no package, so i check the online status and it said “attention”..

    i called the 1800 for the premiere website, and the CS dude wants my account’s phone number.. i tell him, i just ordered the phones so i don’t have a phone number.. i’m checking up on my order, and i have the order number, can he help me with it? nope.. can’t do it..

    hang up, call the regular 1800 number.. was on hold for the longest time.. but the lady was able to help me based off my order number.. after a while of verifying with diff. departments, she says i gotta go to the store to verify my ID..

    i go to the store, again.. can’t help me without a phone number.. almost blew up, but the manager was helping us and she immediately got her butt to the phone to get me help.. we spent an hour on hold, talking to people at the 1800 number for maybe 5 minutes total, and guess what? the 1800 people said my social security # and name doesn’t match, and instead of correcting it there at the store when i’m facing the store’s manager with my driver’s license and social security card, they said they couldn’t, and canceled the entire order! they just said we have to order it all over again..

    sure, that’ll be great, if u still offered the same fucking deal!! but noo.. ur not.. and i aint getting a refurbished phone for $150 (the new offer) that only has a 90 day warranty when i can get a brand new phone with a whole year’s warranty for $50 more!

    then we had more problems trying to port our numbers over from our old phone service.. so when they were porting the numbers, an error propped up for them saying the system needed a password.. thing is a password was never set up.. so they had to call the other company, who told them that there was no password on file…

    but.. i have a brand new iPhone now and i love love love it!! u must get it in september!! it’s the new love of my life.. and i was happy to obliged to things like putting my clothes away.. u know, conditions the hubby set for getting me the iphone.. =D

    • Row says


      That sounds AWFUL!!!!!!!!!!!! Worse than my experience, by the way, the phone just didn’t work so I had to spend $25 sending it back by special delivery. :o( I want an iphone but its way to expensive over, here £500 unblocked which is like what, $1,000? I just can’t bring myself to do it, but I’ll wait untill the prices come down or when an amazing new iphone comes out!

  2. nea says

    sounds awfully familiar.

    i think all service-provider customer service is like that, through out the world!. (im in malaysia by the way)

    i too have recently gone thru the many lottery phone calls and when i do get thru, i get the answers i already know and at the end of the day left me helpless and pissed. sigh

  3. Howard says

    I’ve read the articles posted,and wish you luck in the future, has anybody been miss-sold a Anywhere dongle. I look forward to your replies

  4. Cate says

    OMG … having the exact same issue with Orange as we speak … iPhone contract ended with O2 yesterday, ported to Orange today with ‘pay monthly’ sim only deal which i bought from an Orange shop … switch phone on and no 3G signal … many many many many calls to Orange shop and CS, finally realised that they’d given me a 2G sim and could not provide me with a 3G sim which renders the iPhone practically useless as incoming calls are directed to voicemail if i’m surfing with 2G enabled so can only use wifi … i cried earlier it was that bad :o(

    • Row says

      Hi Cate – are you signed to a contract with your sim or can you pay month as you wish? Most phone companies must give you a cooling off period so you should with able to cancel the Orange contract no problems?

      Orange are the absolute pits sometimes – they are being unnecessarily petty by restricting customers to their shitty 2G card. These days, who the hell only needs a 2G card apart from say, my mother? That majority of new phones sold require the 3G functionality to work properly and ANY OF THE OTHER COMPANIES – O2, TMobile, even crappy THREE will automatically give you a 3G card or if you got a 2G, upgrade you for free, or for a small fee. Not Orange. Nope. Orange, like the most tyrants, have decided they will only give you the bare minimum of what you need and not anything more.

      Stupid Orange, stupid. So petty. Please get in touch with them and cancel, if you have trouble I am sure there is a law that states you have a right to a cooling off period (have to consult that bald idiot Dom from the One Show). Everyone who gets a pay monthly sim with Orange need to know they only give out 2G’s, you could get a pay as you go sim from O2 or T-mobile for £1 from the corner shop and it would still be 3G because barely anyone uses 2G anymore!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. kaze says

    snap but this one is the best wtf is a text recup, appearntly they charge for a message to say”message ent” etc i mean come on, that is bs, we didnt even go over the 25 pounds mark, but we got a bill at £120 NOR HAVE THEY TAKEN THE THE FREE NUMBERS THAT I KNOW I HAVE A LIMIT OF 100 MINS, final rant is then they seem to not able to “help” in a “HELPFUL” shop they picture themself, i been with a lot of companies and never have EVER been charged for a idoitic “pricing” ringing them up is a waste of time they n=now blame me for putting it on even when its a old vodafone last months statement didnt have it on and by hell i never ever been charged forbore, looks like orange are that stupid that they losing money, making US pay for their idoitic mistakes,

  6. adrian says

    Please do not take a contract out with orange, i have been with them for over 4 years now, but will be leaving for O2 as soon as i can. I have constant network issues with 3g and cant access the internet. When speaking to orange they state that their only obligation is if you can get on the orange homepage anything else is nothing to do with them. Also please do not trust their signal checker as i am supposed to have excellent signal at work but struggle to get 2 bars!! According to one of their “customer service advisors” this is classed as excellent reception. I have now logged a complaint with ofcom against them for their service and awaiting their outcome. I would rate them less than 1 star if i could.