You all might have noticed already that Orange UK has never been my best friend. Everything they did kind of ended in an even bigger disaster than it was before rather than in a solution.
Now is the time, that I can officially say that Orange UK and me are going separate ways. Coming to this state, was not as easy as you might think…
A few months ago, I decided to go back to Germany for good. Thus, I wanted to unlock my iPhone so that I can use it with my German card. There is a law in the UK saying that telecommunication companies have to unlock phones to make it possible for customer to use different SIM cards at the same time. That is why I called Orange the first time. They told me that I will have to give them the IMEI number which I can get from my phone when I type in the following code: *#06#. Since I was calling them with my phone, I had to hang up to get the number. The person on the phone promised to call me back so that I would not have to go through the whole system again…
Of course, this never happened. So, a day after, I rang them again to tell them my number and get this thing done. But when you call Orange another time, you obviously end up with a different person and this person then told me that this won’t work with the IMEI number and that I would have to go to the Apple store instead to get it unlocked. I was suspicious and asked several times “are you sure?” “is Apple even able to do this?” but he reassured me that this was the way to go. So I went to the Apple store (already asking myself what people do who live far away from a big city…) and got laughed at. The guy in the Apple store seriously started laughing and told me that they had nothing to do with that as I imagined before…
Totally frustrated I went to the next available Orange store in hope they would be able to fix it but as I learned earlier this year, people in the Orange stores don’t do anything apart from selling contracts! There is NO service whatsoever and the only answer to every question is “Call the hotline”. I told them that I was pissed off and over this and managed to get the employee to call the hotline for me. In the end, of course, I ended up with them again and had to give them my personal details. I explained what had happened and the new guy admitted that he also thought it was possible to get the phone unlocked by Apple. Seriously, what morons work in these call centers??? They do not know anything and they are obviously only trained to say their “calming customers down” phrases that they are reading out and that makes customers even more angry and aggressive!
He suggested another way – a new way… He told me I had to give him my email address so that they can send me instructions as an email… With almost no hope, I did that and waited the 10 working days he said it would take to send the instructions (really??? That is how long it takes them to write an email???) – and of course, nothing happened. I was in Germany for a while and while I was there, somebody from Orange must have called me because 2 weeks after I came back (!!!), I received a message that there was a new message on my voicemail (yes, you heard correctly, it takes over 2 weeks for Orange to let you know that…). I checked it and it was the guy from the hotline again telling me that – surprise surprise – I had to give them my IMEI number (have we not been at this point before???)
Yesterday, I called them back to give them this number again hoping that this issue would then be fixed and that I would finally be able to use my phone in Germany today… Well, of course, this is not what happened! (who would have thought that…) The new guy on the phone told me that the number was not matching my phone and seriously asked me if I really gave him the number of THIS particular phone…How many iPhones does he think I have??? After putting me on hold and after listening again to music that sounded horrible since the connection from my phone was terrible again, he finally told me after an hour that the issue has now been solved and that I would receive an email with instructions now. So I asked how long he reckons that this will take and his answer, believe it or not, was “up to 30 days”… After trying to get this done for over 2 months, I really really have to wait another 30 days??? I will be in Australia by then!!!! I honestly couldn’t believe it!!!
The last thing I still needed to do was quitting my contract which worked out in around 10 minutes… I am not sure if I will ever receive this email with instructions about how to unlock the phone from them – I honestly doubt it… but I will give them 1 more week and if I have not received anything, I will unlock it myself – I have tried the legal way but I need to use this phone when I am in Australia and I just don’t have the time anymore to wait!!!
Funny thing that happened after my call was that they sent me a text asking if I wanted to participate in a survey about their customer service – of course I said yes straight away and received a few questions like “On a scale from 0-10 (0 being the worst, 10 the best), how likely is it that you are going to recommend Orange to your friends” and “On a scale from 0-10 how satisfactory has your problem been fixed”. After giving a 0 to all these questions, I really received the following text message: “Thank you for participating in our survey! As a thank you, we give you a GBP50 discount if you sign up for Orange Broadband today!” Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! That must be a horrible joke!!!! After all this disaster, I am more than glad that I have no contract with them anymore and I can guarantee you that I will NEVER ever become an Orange customer again!!!!
In comparison, in Germany, I have a contract with ePlus (they might not have the best network but it is sufficient for me) and their customer service is absolutely excellent!!! No matter what issue I have, I can go into the store and they will fix it for me! I am with them since I was 15 which is 12 years and there has been no single moment in which I was unhappy with their service!!!