If the future’s Orange…

…it’s really quite dark actually.

For the past year I have used O2 as my Mobile service provider. Since my contract was up, I thought I’d look around and go with a different provider, mostly because O2’s customer service was crap (it took them around 3 months to fix my account so I could send text messages online, and they reset by password multiple times so they could access my account) and their network is unable to send SMS delivery reports (which just about every other network can manage and is an integral part of the GSM system). After hunting around I decided to switch to Orange.

I told O2 I would be cancelling, and sent them my letter of cancellation and asked for my PAC code (a code that lets you take your phone number to a different mobile provider), which I got in the post a few days later. Then I got an SMS with the code in it. Then a second letter, and about 3 phone calls in the same day from O2 desperate to keep me with them (going so far as to offer me free service for 12 months if I didn’t switch). I had firmly decided to teach them a lesson, so I put my order in at Orange online.

I was asked all the usual details, along with my previous addresses in the last 3 years, of which there are 4 (Barnstaple, Huddersfield, Reading, then Huddersfield for those who don’t remember). I should get my phone on Monday, the form says. Great! A couple of days later (on Thursday), I get this email:

Dear Mr Boot
Thank you for your recent application to join Orange. Unfortunately in order for us to successfully carry out a credit check we need you to supply us with the UK residential address at which you currently reside. If you have been living there less than 3 years please supply previous addresses, including postcodes, and any flat numbers or house names.

We will not be able to continue with this order until you give us this information.
Please contact me at theorangeshop@orange.co.uk or alternatively you can contact our customer service team on 0800 079 2000 option 3, quoting the above reference.

Kind Regards
« deleted »
The Orange Shop Online

Bemused by such a request, what does one do but ask why it’s needed again?


All of this information was requested from me when I placed the order. If your ordering system somehow managed to misplace this information I shall be glad to provide it to you over again, but I fail to understand why such information has to be asked twice…

Chris Boot

On the Monday (2 working days later) I get the following:

Dear Chris
Thanks for your email and sorry for the delay. If you have lived at more than
3 addresses the system won’t record these. If you could confirm the details
it would be appreciated.

« deleted »
The Orange Shop Online

Completely ignore my question, why don’t you? I send them this:

Pardon my ignorance then, but why does the system even bother asking for the information in the first place if it’s not recorded?

« my current and previous addresses »

If you’re wondering why there are so many: I have been a student for the last 4 years.

Chris Boot

What I get back paints a great picture of what goes on behind the scenes at Orange…

Dear Chris

To be honest it is a question we have asked quite a few times ourselves. The order has now passed the credit check and you should expect delivery in the next 2 working days. With it being after 5pm I would say it is more likely to be Wednesday though.


« deleted »
The Orange Shop Online

“To be honest it is a question we have asked quite a few times ourselves.” Pardon?! And nothing has been done about this? Still, I somehow managed to pass the credit check despite two of the previous addresses having had previous tenants not pay council tax, electricity, or gas for an entire year… Great, I think, I’ll have it on Wednesday!

Wednesday comes and goes…Thursday…Friday and still nothing, so I phone them up. The phone was out of stock and I should have it by Monday. Oh, and while I’m at it I double-check the delivery address (my work address, so I can get it sooner and Jess doesn’t have to stay in). Good thing I do, since it doesn’t contain ‘Abacus Tree’ and the postie would definitely get confused without. I triple-check to make sure that it’s OK to get it delivered there. Right, I should be set to get it Monday or Tuesday. We go off for our weekend in the South East (which was great fun, btw).

On Saturday, once we got back from London, I decided to check my email. What sort of a gem might I expect to receive but this:

Dear Sir/Madam

Thank you for placing your order with The Orange Shop. In order to process this request, we require the equipment to be delivered by courier directly to your home address only.

If you wish to go ahead with the order under that criteria please call 0500 80 20 80 option 3 to advise

Thank you,

« deleted »

The Orange Shop Online.

Wha?!?! I’ll spare you the rest, but essentially I sent a stupefied email back to them stating that I had checked the address and was this a mistake? No, it’s not a mistake. Fine then, I’ll cancel my order please. Back to square one.

After more looking around, I can’t face going back to O2 and everyone but Orange has crap deals… I take a slightly extended lunch break from work on Monday and go to the local Orange shop. I hate myself for doing this, but at least the sales person was friendly and reassured me everything would be OK.

I give all the details again, but the Nokia N73 (which I’m now desperate for) isn’t available on the £30pcm contract. Eh? Hang on. Oh yes it is! Phew. She phones up the call centre to put the order through and gets hung up on 3 times! The fourth time she finally gets through, goes over all the details (do I want itemised billing for £1.50? I do, but not for £1.50 I don’t!). Something is wrong…

Apparently the chap on the other end put me on the £35 contract. Aarrgh! I’m reassured that I’ll be put on the £30 contract on March 16 and I’ll get my £5 back then, so I should make the most of it while I have it. Ah well, at least I’ve walked out with the phone I want and I’m not with O2 for much longer…

What are my recommendations? Stay away from mobile phone companies unless you really, really have to!

3 thoughts on “If the future’s Orange…

  1. Ha ha, I won’t say told you so, but… And of course you would be reducing the risk of your brain rotting.

  2. You think you guys have it bad, they lock us in for 24months on a contract in Australia. At least you guys get a new phone once a year 😛

  3. got the same email you did today, i was also quite confused so i googled round and found this article.
    i’ve sent Orange an email saying pretty much what you did in your first reply, but i’m worried as i’ve only lived at 2 different addresses in the last 3 years so why did i get the same email??
    and the email doesn’t even give you any instructions on how to give them the information they need!

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