A letter of complaint

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I’ll probably re-visit this post later, but I’ll post it as is for the moment.

I’ve been an Orange customer, on and off for over ten years (the longest I spent away from them was for one year). I’ve always been happy with the tariffs and offers, less so with the reception but it’s never been unsufferable. In short, I was a pretty happy customer.

Until now.

I’ll preface all this by saying that I’m STILL an Orange customer but there is a snippy letter being sent to their Customer Service department. If they don’t come up with something decent I’ll cancel my (new) contract within the alloted time period… but I’m getting ahead of myself.

I currently have a C500 model of phone. There are now, as of last week, two newer models of this phone. I like the phone and want to stick with it. The C550 has extra ‘music’ buttons and little else to offer me, the C600 has a new operating system, better camera, better this and that and the other. I want a C600. I don’t want extra buttons I’m not going to use. My current phone is starting to show the signs of age. One of the buttons can be a little erratic and the battery life has started to drop.

My current contract with Orange has been rolling from month to month for over a year now (that’s on top of the initial 12 month contract period). I have looked around from time to time for better deals but I got a good deal when I joined and I’ve been happy with it. It suits (suited) me fine.

Basically, I’m happy to keep the same tariff but I want a new handset.

So I phoned Orange, asking how much to upgrade to the new C600 handset. They said £50. Survey SAID!! EAHH EAAAHHHHH.

I asked why I was being charged so much when I know that others have gotten it for free and I was told that my bills aren’t high enough to justify a free upgrade for that model. I could have the C550 for free if I wanted though.

I said I didn’t want that model as I didn’t want the extra music stuff on it. I wanted the C600… but I understood their pricing model.

“But” I said, “You are offering the C600 to new customers for free.”

Long story short, my point is this. Orange are charging me £50 for the privilege of keeping my existing number. Orange don’t put it that way of course, as they have offered me an upgraded handset for free but I chose not to accept it.

The actual conversation went on for a lot longer, including me interrupting “Paul” several times as he started to tell me why Orange couldn’t just offer upgrades for free and why they’ve got to keep up with the competition by offering NEW customers free phones… “Frankly Paul, I don’t care about that, that’s not MY problem, MY problem is the money coming out of MY bank account”.

So, I’m changing my phone number. I get the handset I want, on a cheaper tariff with more minutes and texts than before. Yes I probably should have walked away but tariff wise I fall nicely into many many deals so that’s never really much of a bargaining chip. I do wish I’d asked for some better incentives to stay with Orange but, in truth, the handset is the overriding factor and I didn’t want to risk them just saying “Well sorry you are having to leave us”.

Should I complain? I did put up a fair old fight on the phone and they didn’t yield one bit. But what of this “looking after our current customers” speil on all the recent adverts? Ohh I’m in a quandary.

What to do, what to do.