back to article Orange repeals unpopular price changes

Orange has scrapped plans to increase out-of-bundle call rates, as well as the cost of web access from handsets, after customers started deserting the network in droves. The changes included almost tripling the cost of minutes beyond the bundle, from five pence to 14.7 pence, as well as changing the way web access was charged …


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  1. Kieran 2

    Their Data Roaming rates are still horrific though.

    £3-8 per megabyte depending where you are. You can buy a 10M bolt-on for Europe for about £12, but you can ONLY BUY ONE so if you need more you're screwed, and the only data packages for Russia/Ukraine were MONTHLY 50M/100M packages.

    I had to turn off data roaming when I would have happily paid a (reasonable) premium for the service. I'll certainly be leaving Orange before I next leave the UK! They are clearly way behind the times and need to wake up or die.

  2. AC 4
    Thumb Down

    im on orange

    and I had heard about this about 10 days ago. I put off ringing them as I'm a lazy bastard.

    Last night I rang them to get it done and was told that they weren't making the changes any more.

    I was told it was because of "customer confusion" over the matter. They say people thought the change in charge related to calls made from within their bundles.

    I call bullshit. They pulled it cos they lost millions of customers!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    T & C's

    If the consumer only 'perceives' that the t&c's have changed, I think is enough to call foul on the contract.

  4. Busby


    Jointly laughing at Orange who obviously didn't correctly estimate how many people would use this as an excuse to break the contract earlier. Mainly laughing at the phone dealers, seen online and on the high street they were using this to get existing Orange customers to sign up to new contracts elsewhere telling them they could easily get out of their existing one by ringing up and even providing a print out of what to say to cancel the existing one. Can see a lot of people who have taken out a new deal who suddenly find themselves unable to cancel the Orange one.

    Footnote on the article "more likely to result in the telco overhauling its T/Cs to prevent such displays of people power in future" if the do try and change them to prevent this in future then the same clause that allowed people to get out because of the price change would apply. They can't make changes that are detrimental to one party without consent.

    What they should have done and probably will now is change it for new customers and existing customers will be migrated when they upgrade.

  5. Nigel Wright
    Thumb Down

    Serves them right

    Arrogant tw*ts. My other half recently bought an Orange phone and they have been absolutely rubbish. She's had no end of trouble registering it with them, them giving her the run around and making it difficult for her to claim promotion vouchers that came with the phone.

    It's just an effing phone. How difficult is it? I wouldn't touch them with a barge pole tbh.

  6. gautam


    Bastards all ! Wil tigers change their stripes? You bet - NO!

    They will change the or t&cs to thwart any such mass migrations. Would be interesting to note how many actaully switched successfully! Any statistics ?

  7. Jamie 19

    I am moving from Orange soon enough...

    I am moving from Orange soon enough, thier service is horrid

    According to the Bitter Wallet site

    "From what we can tell, the changes in charges are for all pay monthly contracts that commenced sometime after the end of May. A text message has been sent to some (but seemingly not all) customers informing them of the changes. Some customers are being told that if they haven’t received the text then either a) they can’t cancel, or b) they aren’t eligible to cancel, or c) they will have to wait until they receive a text."

    Thing is I started my contract at the end of October '08.

  8. Puck

    Great story, but the end is misleading

    'Variable call charges' would, I venture, be unenforceable, over the term of a consumer contract, as with any unfair clauses.

    Although Orange really, really shot themselves in the foot, if they wrote in a 'have a free handset' clause, as it sounds. Ho ho!

  9. John Murgatroyd


    Gone to O2 wiv an iphone....loads of inet usage.

    Insetad: Stuck wiv OrangeUtan and ridiculous data charges.

    Just cancelled all data and got it removed from my £1,50 for about 500KB it's too expensive to use.

    Changed the talk plan to the bottom line and am getting out as soon as the contract allows, or sooner.

    The billing system is garbage, it makes the banks habit of charging you for breathing look civil.

    Customer service is a contradiction in terms. Their "insurance" is a joke, there is a £16.00 charge for using the insurance. Whatever you use it for. It is an "admin" charge and is non-refundable.

  10. Lutin


    "Orange repeals..."

    Awesome work Reg.

  11. Bod

    Text message

    I got some text message about some changes which provided a link to a web site. Later decided to check it on my PC (for free), but the link insisted I had to access it from my handset (how much would they bill me for that I wonder!). Of course I was out of reception, so couldn't do that. I couldn't even browse to it via WiFi on my handset. It only works from an Orange GPRS/3G connection.

    Still haven't worked out what these changes are.

  12. Jimmy Floyd


    Quite correct; one party can't just arbitrarily change a contract mid-way through.

    More interesting from a legal standpoint is what would happen if they changed the T&C's to state that, in the event of an early termination, the phone would be returned to Orange. I'd be inclined to tell them to stuck it since I would have been paying the subsidisation cost for said phone up until that point and wouldn't be willing to give up the 'equity' in my phone (if I'm not confusing housing with telephones!).

    It's not Hire Purchase. That's a whole new ballgame.

  13. Agrado

    Orange can't change their T&Cs to prevent this sort of thing

    The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations prevents them from doing so. Orange have two choices - either they don't have the abillity to increase the pricing at all (during the term of a contract), or they do have the ability to increase prices, but they must offer the consumer the option of cancelling.

  14. Chris Pearson


    I have been looking for an excuse to bin my contract for ages and missed out:(

    How did I miss this.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No sympathy...

    I find it hard to have any sympathy for either side. Orange is like all mobile phone providers - they value a quick buck more than customer loyalty. But we all know that when we sign the contracts.

    But for the customer the answer is simple - don't sign contracts. The range of services such contracts support may well be vital for a tiny minority - but for most ordinary users it's all pure bling. We've talked ourselves into regarding many services as vital that didn't even exist years ago.

    After one dodgy contact after another I learned my lesson - there's not a mobile provider out there that isn't out to screw us. I've been payg for years now, and I'd buy a carrier pigeon before I'd ever consent to sign a mobile phone contract again.

  16. Julian 3

    Orange Is Not The Only Network

    Orange went down hill after Hans Snook left :(

  17. Terry Ellis

    Same with Vodafone last year

    Vodafone did this almost exactly this time last year. I think they put up the prices of thier premium rate numbers (and 0800) in some cases by about 40%.

    The T+Cs stated that if they put up their prices by more than 10pc you could get out of the contract. I had a number of 'chats' with useless call centre staff before being refered to a customer manager and then thier manager.

    They argued that the 10pc increase refered to the overall cost of the bill (i.e. if your monthly bill went up by more than 10pc) whereas the T+Cs simply said 'call charges' which was undefined in the contract. They wanted to monitor the effect of the changes on my next three monthly bills before deceiding if I could terminate. When I pointed out that this was ridiculous as I could just dial such numbers to artificially inflate my bill, they relented and let me free of the contract while keeping the phone.

    Their retention centre then called me a week later offered me a 75% reduction in my taffif (£40 > £10) and a new phone, which I accepted and gave to my other half, while I went and got a new shiny phone of my own on another network (I traded in the N95 that I got to keep).

  18. Anonymous Coward

    At least it's not as bad as Voda....

    I've been trying to get them to tie down their roaming data charges (in New York) for weeks, to no avail. I've had, so far, 4 different prices, which range from the guy in the shop in Fleet St who told me it'd be "£10 for up to 50MB per day", to their customer services who told me it would be "£8 per 1MB". So if I'd taken the shop assistant's advice and used the full allowance, I could have been charged the thick end of £2,000.

    I've still been unable to find the answers. Browsing this page: indicates a new price which I've not seen at all.

    They're slippery fookers, and the information is so opaque and obfuscated that I wouldn't use roaming data if I could afford it now, because I'd be fearful of getting shafted by some random bill.

  19. Puck
    Thumb Up


    Quite right - the UTCCR is a superb piece of legislation. It makes me feel patriotically proud to be British - we do good law round here sometimes.

    Then again one must reflect that we need it because 70% of our GDP (or is that GNP?) is domestic consumer spending...

    ...cos we're all down the retail park buyin' a new kitchin on plastic, innit...

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Ofcom complaints

    Er.. you guys do realise that complaints are sent to Ofcom, who compile them, and then forward them to special depts within each mobile operator, and they deal with the complaints themselves. Then, the operators decide if any of the complaints merit further investigation, and if they do they are sent to an intermediary company who decide if any wrongdoing has taken place and if action needs to be taken.

    So essentially, Ofcom is a mail-forwarding service, and the mobile companies police themselves.

  21. Steve Evans

    Didn't tell me...

    First I've heard of it. I had notification of a change to their off-tariff data rates, which basically means if you are an occasional user you'll get have your data bill doubled.

    Orange customer relations are pretty shit these days. Just ring them up and ask where the N97 upgrade is. Not only do they not have it (still screwing about breaking it with their orange firmware I guess), but every time you ring you get a different load of bolloxs explaining if and when they will have it.

    My PAC is sitting on my desk

  22. Busby

    Jimmy Floyd

    They wouldn't alter the contract, as it stands it states "your handset is acquired by you outside of the terms of your contract" this has been challenged in court and they have lost. However if they admitted that clause was worthless and the the handset was included in the contract then they would be responsible for any warranty issues which would be a lot more expensive than losing the occasional subsidy.

    Would be willing to bet they will change the price plans slightly the new plans will be identical but with the charges they tried to impose. Once these new plans are in place then any new connections go on them without choice and anyone upgrading would be forced to migrate. Most people when upgrading will be more exited about the new phone and wont bother to check the website to see the new terms that they are signing up for.

  23. Goat Jam
    Paris Hilton

    Q: When is a contract not a contract?

    A: When it is a telco contract

    In every other sphere of business a contract is an agreement that A will provide B with a service and B will pay A a predefined amount for that service. Why do telcos' get to change the terms of that contract after the fact?

    Surely, if they change the amount of money that they are charging then the contract becomes null and void?

    I don't get it, maybe I just need to go and get an MBA so I can understand such things.

  24. Puck

    @Goat Jam

    You definitely don't need an MBA but possibly a short course in business law (the MBA will I believe contain an intensive short module as a component only). Bloody interesting subject.

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