I'm not at all happy with Orange right now. I've been a loyal Orange customer for over 4 years, keeping the same handset for all that time and paying them £30 per month on contract. With my phone coming to the end of it's life I wanted to upgrade to the best phone I could get and keep that for (hopefully!) the next four years.
Before I go into my experience - I'd love to hear how you've faired. If you have upgrade stories (good or bad) please either blog them or add comments to this blog.
OK - my story. Popping into the Orange shop there are a wide range of phones clearly available for free on contract. My choice - the Sony Ericsson k800i.
"Sorry sir, that's only available to new customers - you can have that phone for £100." What? The phones on offer for a free upgrade were singularly uninspiring. Phoning Orange and threatenning to leave dropped the price to £89 - the best they could do. They explained that while they would like to upgrade me they had to position their offers to attract new customers.
My understanding of business is that it is much easier to keep your existing customers than to find a new one and that you should *never* neglect your existing customer base. I was until that point a happy existing customer.
Close to moving to a new provider I phoned The Car Phone Warehouse to see whether they could upgrade me for free. They could - and sticking with Orange. Yipee! I was offered a 12 or 18 month contract and was happy to sign-up for an 18 month contract, moving to the Orange Puma 30 plan. I was told I'd get 375 any-network minutes, 450 land-line minutes and 75 texts per month. Great.
First statement arrives and I have 200 any-network minuts, 100 landline minutes and 100 fixed line minutes - that is a 12 month contract. A call to Orange. "Ahh - yes sir - you're on a 12 month contract. When you upgrade and get a new handset your 12 month contract is actually 18 months." Now I clearly had the choice from Car Phone Warehouse of 12 months or 18 months. I clearly requested 18 months and was clearly told the number of minutes etc that I would have.
A call to Car Phone Warehouse. Hmmm - they aren't sure what's happened but the person that dealt with me will definitely call back. Well of course they didn't.
So - have you upgraded with an existing supplier recently? Are they *all* as aweful as Orange? Do they all treat their existing customers as something they've scraped off the sole of their boot? Questions to ask:
I'd like to know because as soon as this contract is up I'm moving from Orange. They have lost a hitherto happy customer. The rest of my family will follow in due time so that will be 3 lost customers.
My recommendation is never upgrade with Orange. Always move away from them. What is your experience?
A mixed story about Orange.
First the bad news. I wanted to use the VOIP line on my Orange Broadband box. Would it work - would it ****. It took six months and the purchase of two new landline phones before Orange were convinced enough to send me a replacement Broadband "Livebox". Now its OK.
Now the good news. When my contract expired I upgraded my phone FREE to a Nokia Prism 7500 (SMART or what!) No problems!
My family all use Orange (I know - they are mad as well) BUT the VOIP phone calls to Orange phones are FREE so I have knocked £40 a month off my BT bill. Now THATS good.
FIRST TIME THAT I DID VISIT THIS SITE I HAVE SEEN A LOT OF PRODUCTS. IT GOT MY INTEREST.I HAVE BEEN WITH BRANDED TECHY GADGET. BECAUSE THAT IS ONE OF MY HOBBY AND IN THIS SITE YOU CAN SEE COOL GADGET TO LOOK AT.TRY TO FIND A LOT.
General wisdom says that's it's much more difficult to win a new customer than to keep an existing customer - so you keep your existing customers happy.
That's not the case in the mobile phone industry at least in the UK - so why not?
I think the answer has a lot to do with what are basically anti-competitive practices - and primarily to do with the extortionate cost of calls between operators and I think it works as follows :
A typcial family with a couple of kids ends up with four phones, a mix of contact and PAYG. In my case we are exactly like that. We have two phones on contract and the kids on PAYG. For us to move to another provider we all have to move, otherwise the kids are faced with ridiculous charges to phone one or the other parent. The end-of-contract for the two contract phones never coincide - with the result that when one contract is up for renewal there is a huge barrier to changing provider and leaving the rest of the family on the old service provider.
This in turn leads to the ridiculous situation where providers can treat existing customers with contempt while providing ever more enticing incentives to new customers.
These are the kind of issues Ofcom should be investigating - rather than the rather niche issue of cross-border roaming charges.
It is a complete shambles, the opposite of what business should be...
Existing good customer : to upgrade phona A : cost £100
New Customer : To get phone A : cost FREE
This just happened to me, with Orange. Are all other companies the same ?
I am simply going to get a new one, with someone else.
Its a funny old game
Similar stories as others here.
Was told I could upgrade today when I phoned orange last night. They said I was only entitled to 3 phones free of charge. Which off course I told them in no uncertain terms what I thought about that! Seeing that new customers get a dozens of free phones to choose from.
Decided to go into the orange shop locally to have a look. Was told the phone I wanted would cost me £99. Even though the ticket under it said free to new customers.
I also mentioned to them that the orange website said selected phones (including the one I wanted) had a deal where you get £10 off your bill each month if you go for the £35 tariff, seeing I currently am on a £30 tariff this would be dearer, but cheaper with the offer. Off course the shop assistant denied knowing about such an offer. I told her to bring up the orange website on her, she refused too. So I left the shop before I got myself arrested for breach of the peace!
Phoned up Orange and mentioned the phone I wanted and was told that would be £99. Then I mentioned that on there website in big bold letters it
After all that apparently the system then didn't
As my contract doesn't run out for another three months, I am prepared to fight Orange until that time to try and get what I believe an existing customer should get. And what Orangesay on there website an existing customer should get.
I really don't mind having to switch to a rival provider when my contract runs out. And have no problems with my current mobile, but if something is free, I'll have it. Really it's up to orange to offer me what they promise.