Orange Gone Bad!

In my last year of university (some years ago now – I know, I’m old), I decided to ’splash out’ with the cash I didn’t have and took up a monthly mobile phone contract with Orange UK, whom I had heard at the time was quite a good phone network. I had previously been with BT Cellnet (now O2 and had a ‘brick’ of a phone) and Virgin mobile. I even had a stint with One-2-One (now T-Mobile).

Over the years, Orange has gone bad and somehow has become the worst mobile phone operator in the UK. It’s as if I’ve been asleep and have only just woken. Maybe their network puts you in a trance, thinking they’re good? Its customer service is diabolical (as in, better than terrible), call centres that don’t work and incompetency. Orange UK should be investigated by Trading Standards for using the words ‘customer’ and ’service’ in the same sentence!

A couple of months ago, my partner and I decided to buy iPhones and were choosing which operator to go with, and we hadn’t heard the best reviews about O2 with the iPhone. We went into an Orange shop in Manchester and spoke with (well, ’spoke at’ as he wasn’t listening) a member of staff about the iPhone. He was so disinterested and clearly wanted to be somewhere else like the staff room, that we just walked out, went into the nearby Apple shop, bought our phones and signed up with O2 – then and there. Orange made our decision so easy and the service with O2 to date has been good, except when in London. To be fair, nothing works in London, but that’s another post…

Before cancelling my Orange mobile account, as I say after some ten years, I was saying to my partner, “should I cancel, as I’ve been with them for so long?”. The answer is yes. Sometimes loyalty gets you nowhere. It is true, some big companies like Orange don’t care about the little guy, like you and me, so why stay?

Today, I called up Orange UK via my O2 phone to further cancel my remaining accounts with them (namely my laptop mobile internet) and the lady (at the department ‘called’ customer service) asked why I was leaving (again). I said “Orange customer service is awful”, she replied “well each to their own, 20 million people can’t be wrong”. She made my point, no service, now no customer. How can an organisation be so arrogant and complacent?

Orange UK rely on customers needing it to communicate in today’s modern world, but it is Orange who need us and our business, not the other way around! I was going to ask the lady at ‘customer we-dont-care’ where these so-called 20 million customers where (Mars?), but her rudeness and customer no-service left me, well, not being bothered to waste anymore breath or my valuable free O2 minutes! This was a North East England call centre too, not a foreign land where many ‘UK’ call centres are now.

Bit of a shame really, as the only thing they were useful at was the 2-4-1 cinema tickets on Orange Wednesdays. Well, even I couldn’t mess that up! But hey, maybe I’ll just hunt down my friends who are still with Orange (and mad of course) and be their ‘Orange Wednesday’ friend!

So, the lesson for today is that… ‘the future is bright, but it’s definitely not Orange’.

This has been my ‘View from the Bottom’… Adios Orange, Max.

As always, for transparency I’ve sent a copy of my post to, not that they’ll care!

Published by My Mum. Copyright © Kevin Maxwell Film, Media & Performance 2010.