Orange – Bright Stuff

What is it about big corporations. They think they can just do what they like and treat their customers like shit.

A couple of months ago Orange started sending me texts. They were jolly enthusiastic texts, promising all sorts of fun and games under the heading Bright Stuff. I hadn’t asked for this and it was annoying to get texts at all hours which I just deleted. There was an option to opt out – text STOP to some number or other.

I am not good at being asked to jump through hoops to stop something I didn’t ask for. Replying would add a level of legitimacy to these unsolicited texts, so that wasn’t an option for me.

I went on their website and eventually managed to find an email address I could write to. There were no numbers to call, apart from 150 from my mobile, but that’s pretty useless as there’s no Orange signal in this village. I sent a note saying I didn’t want their texts and they should stop immediately or I wouldn’t be renewing my contract when it runs out in October.

I got a phone call in response at work. A chap chasing down the problem, he sounds very keen. He asks me some characters from my password. Odd this – I didn’t think they ever did that. I give him a couple of letters which are apparently the wrong ones. But that doesn’t matter as I get the other questions right. He asks what sorts of communications I want stopped, I opt for everything but it takes a while as I have to be asked about each individually. We got there in the end and he promises that the texts will cease, it may take a couple of days but they will stop.

Hurrah. Sounds like a win. I login to the Orange site and change my login password. It seems that there is another password for use on the telephone, to identify me easily. I might have set it, but if I did I have no idea what to.

The texts slowed down, they never really stopped completely. Now, several months down the line I am getting them again, one or two a day. Today I shall complain.

I phoned the Orange shop in Fareham to try to get a number to complain to. The guy there tells me I can text STOP, but he interrupts me while I am talking so we are never going to be exchanging Christmas cards. Eventually I get the answer – I can call 150 from my Orange phone. I ask for a landline number and he gives me a mobile number. Useless.

No point ringing a mobile number from my landline, it’ll cost a fortune as I know it’ll be a long call. So nothing for it but to ring from my mobile. This means ringing from the garden. Luckily it’s not raining.

It’s the normal modern menu type machine…but no option for complaints. I try the Technical problems route but eventually it leads nowhere, no option for Other at all. So I try again, this time going down the Account line, eventually there’s an option for Adding or Removing extras. The phone is answered pretty quickly. Maybe I haven’t got through to Orange after all, some other call centre. No – it’s Orange.

I explain I am getting unsolicited texts from Orange which I want them to stop. He puts me on hold for a couple of minutes while he confers. Rock music for hold music, it’s OK, loud enough for me not to have to keep the phone to my ear. He’s back. The can’t do anything and they recommend I change my number. What! You can’t stop your own marketing texts? I can, I shall change provider! I reiterate that these are Bright Stuff texts. He disappears again, no hold music this time. Back again, then off again. Finally he’s back, he will set everything off on my account and ring me in an hour to confirm. Sounds good to me.

Haha – Orange Customer Service, as good as ever. My call with them finished at 1010 this morning and they have yet to get back to me. I shall have to look at O2 I think.

Note to Orange: while navigating through your telephone menu, in the Technical issues section, it said that I could find out all about coverage from your website. You jest. Your website says that coverage here is excellent. It isn’t. I can receive texts indoors, but have to go outside to send them. I have to go outdoors to send or receive phone calls, but even then the connection breaks up very easily. Call that excellent coverage, because I don’t. Your website is pretty crap too, whole areas often unavailable. I shall be changing operator when my contract is up. Can I pay it up now? I can’t wait to leave you.

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