Written on: 18/05/2012
I entered into a contract with Orange for my son. The agreed monthly bill was £20.00. My son had his phone stolen in London in March. I assumed that as there was only 2 months remaining on the contract that I would continue to pay £20.00 for the remaining two months as I could not cancel the contract and I would then start another contract for him. I was not aware that if his phone was lost or stolen that I had to report it. Naive I realise now after being landed with a £900+ bill this month.
Upon checking my bank statement 27th April there has been a direct debit of £917.74 taken from my account. In horror I called Orange immediately and they informed me that as I had not reported the phone stolen I am liable to pay the fraudulent call charges. I explained that throughout the history of the contract the bill had never been more than £30.00 and that they had a duty of care to advise me when the bill went over this by a significant amount. The representative even confirmed that there was an alert on their system when the bill topped £645.00 in international calls yet they didn't deem it necessary to contact me.
They have now cancelled the contract to ensure there are no further charges on the account but I am still left with a bill of £917.74 which Orange have agreed to lower to £817.74 if we agree to pay the outstanding amount via a suitable repayment arrangement.
I have also checked with my banks direct debit guarantee which clearly states that if there are any changes to the amount, date or frequency of your Direct Debit the organisation will notify you (normally 10 working days) in advance of your account being debited or as otherwise agreed. If you request the organisation to collect a payment, confirmation of the amount and date will be given to you at the time of the request.
I was not notified that the amount of my direct debit had changed before the direct debit was collected from my account neither by my bank or Orange.
I have been in contact with Orange since 27th April calling more than 5 times a day trying to resolve this issue. Either the people I need to speak to are on lunch (at 8pm?) in a meeting out of the office ect. I have been promised a call back from a manager no less than 10 times but have not been contacted yet.
Shall get my partner, daughter and my friends out of contract with Orange as soon as possible. Absolutely shocking customer service.
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