18 December 2012

Orange Sucks!

Nearly two years ago I made the big mistake of signing up for a two year contract with Orange to get a 'free' iPhone 4. As it happens I did save a lot of money because I was spending more than that on SMS messages with Vodaphone's pay-as-you-go service at the time. However, the combination of Orange and iPhone proved to be a terrible choice! Admittedly, I went for the iPhone after many personal recommendations and didn't do any real research into the iPhone, and I went with Orange because I could get cheaper calls to certain close friends who were already with Orange.

Initially I couldn't make any phone calls on my new iPhone, and that was very frustrating. The signal was there, three bars at home & five bars in town, but as soon as I answered te phone I barely had time to say, "Hello!", before the call was cut off. My iPhone indicated 'no signal' despite being able to see the antenna from where I was standing! Putting the phone on the table brought the signal back. Picking it up again caused the signal to vanish completely! At the time I phoned Orange who put me through to Apple. Apple said is was a known problem and all I had to do was upgrade my operating system.

Upgrading from IOS4 to IOS5 wasn't as smooth as Apple made it out to be. All my music was lost, along with some photos. Other photos became permanent in the sense that there was no longer an option to delete them. It just happens to be that they are photos of my ex! Connecting to the computer and 'exploring' the iPhone didn't help either. I could see new photos I had taken but couldn't find the 'undeleteables". Anyway, back to the signal problem, nothing change there. Sometimes I would get no signal for days & Apple told me to reset my phone when that happens. That hasn't happened since IOS6 though.

After some searching on the internet I discovered that the problem I had with my iPhone was common, and a number of people had been told to upgrade by Apple but it didn't seem to solve anybody else's problem either. Adding a horrible bulky case to the phone (as suggested by Apple) did help slightly in high signal strength areas but was no use at home.

Since buying the iPhone4 I have got used to using it for SMS messages rather than for making calls. I later got a VOIP number for free which works where I have wifi access, so it's better than it was. The iPhone is great for photos, satnav and a few other things I have found it useful for. As a phone it is terrible. It also lacks a lot of the features I had gotten used to on my old Samsung G600. I don't understand why that is, a company like Apple not having some of the most basic features of a smart-phone on what was supposed to be the smartest smart-phone on the market. Though I'm seriously doubting that these days. I think people are buying Apple because of their past reputation. Their future is looking bleak. Who wants a top of the range computer that has been glued together, and had all the components inside glued together so you can't replace them? I think the real Apple has died along with Steve Jobs, RIP.

Orange recently changed over to EE. About a week before the changeover I all but lost my signal at home. They sent me a letter with the good news that I had been upgraded to 3G in this area. Whoopie, a faster transmitter with a weaker signal! I would settle for being able to make phone calls from home. Now I can't even send SMS meessages most of the time. I don't need to pick up the phone to lose signal any more, it's just not there at all! When I first got there were a couple of places in the house where I could use the phone hands free but after the 'upgrade' I can no longer make calls from home at all.

Now, since a few weeks ago, it seems that Orange are on an aggressive campaign to try to phone me. It's annoying because I keep receiving missed call messages without any any message left by the caller. I only found out it was Orange by searching the internet for the number and seeing complaints from other people in forums. Of course, if I had a signal I could just call the number back! I am nearing the end of my contract so I guess Orange are trying to upgrade me. I logged into my Orange account online to send them an email but couldn't find any method of contact other than phone or post! There was a complaints option so I selected that and it downloaded a .PDF file. Reading through the file I did find an email address for customer services, which is the email address they recommend sending complaints to. So, I sent off a nice little email:

To: customer.services@orange.co.uk
Dear Sir/Madam

I keep getting missed calls from Orange on my phone number 0XXXXXXXX, at least one each day it seems. Could you please stop call me on my mobile phone because I don't have a good enough signal to receive calls. When I answer a call my signal disappears so I don't bother answering. From what I have read on the internet it seems to be a known problem with the iPhone but Apple won't do anything about it. My contract finishes soon and I will be looking into another option at that time. In the meantime I would appreciate it if Orange stop trying to call me this number.

Kind regards


And this was the reply I received:

Please accept our apologies, we are in the process of improving our e-mail service, and cannot deal with your e-mail enquiry at this time.

For the moment, can we ask you to use one of our alternative Customer Service channels, where our advisors will be happy to answer any question or resolve any enquiry you may have.

You can contact us, between 8am to 10pm by :-

  • dialing 150 from your Orange handset or
  • calling us on 07973100150 from a landline*
  • Our Text Service provides text message support on 150 - just send 'help' to 150
  • If your abroad you can also contact on 07973100150**
  • You can manage your account online, 24 hours a day at Your Account
  • You can also manage your account and get answers to most questions, using our Your Orange app, available to download for all smartphones
  • You can talk to one of our agents using our Click to chat services on our website
  • Alternatively, our Orange helpers are always ready to provide support if you visit our social media sites @OrangeHelpers on twitter or search for Orange Helpers on Facebook

Apologies once again, but we hope to be back soon with an even better email service, so we appreciate your understanding at this time.

*calls are charged at local rates if you're a BT customer, but if you're with another provider it may cost more so do check

** calls are charged at international rates.

This e-mail (including any attachments) is intended for the above-named person(s).  If you are not the intended recipient, notify the sender immediately, delete this email from your system and do not disclose or use for any purpose. 

We may monitor all incoming and outgoing emails in line with current legislation. We have taken steps to ensure that this email and attachments are free from any virus, but it remains your responsibility to ensure that viruses do not adversely affect you.

Everything Everywhere Limited
Registered in England and Wales
Company Registered Number: 02382161
Registered Office Address: Hatfield Business Park, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL10 9BW

This is one of the largest communications companies in the UK and they can't redirect their emails while they are upgrading their system! They can't supply an alternate email either, by the look of it. What are the staff who usually answer the emails doing? Twiddling their thumbs? Watching Xmas TV? It looks like I'm going to have to use the old fashioned method of snail mail, which they probably won't read if writing to other large companies is anything to go by. I will try their Facebook account if I can use it without logging in. Twitter is a waste of time with the tiny limit on how much can be written. I'm certainly not using my Facebook account to send a complaint to a company, and give them access to my personal information! Who thought mixing business and personal on a social website was a good idea?

Well, I have had a ol' good moaning session now. In a few months it will be bye-bye Orange and bye-bye Apple (unless ALL the problems with iPhone 4 have been solved on the iPhone5 AND the contract doesn't cost any more than I currently pay). Incidently, it seems Orange is perfectly ok to use around here with other makes of phone, but after their inability to provide me with a working solution I no longer wish to use them as my supplier.


I have tried to visit Orange's Facebook page but that is useless to me so I thought I'd have a look at the Twitter page. That is also useless but does have another web address for help from Orange. Have a look at the top of their Twitter page at https://twitter.com/OrangeHelpers and you will see the following paragraph:

We're here everyday, 8am to 8pm, to help with your questions about everything from handsets to contracts, apps to bills & tariffs to texts orangehelpers.co.uk/help

So, I clicked on the link for orangehelpers.co.uk/help and it took me to an off looking website that appears to have no connection to Orange at all. Looking up the domain name brings up the following:

    Domain name:

        Ronny Schmidt

    Registrant type:

    Registrant's address:
        Marktstrasse 1

        InterNetx GmbH [Tag = INTERNETX-DE]
        URL: http://www.internetx.de

    Relevant dates:
        Registered on: 07-Dec-2012
        Expiry date:  07-Dec-2014
        Last updated:  07-Dec-2012

    Registration status:
        Registered until expiry date.

    Name servers:

    WHOIS lookup made at 13:40:07 18-Dec-2012

I really don't think those are Orange's contact details, nor EE for that matter! I don't think Orange has a good idea about how to use technology. This is terrible! Even worse that I would expect from a 'one-man-band'!

Ah well, snail mail it is then. I just hope they have somebody in the mail department who knows how to read...