One Orange account means three times the charges

Proving that Orange is Bitterwallet's new Apple, we've the second post in a day about the mobile service provider and another about their curious charging policies,and lack of courtesy to customers.

Bitterwallet reader Dave got in touch with us over the weekend about his recent e-bills from Orange. Dave chooses not to pay his mobile phone bill by Direct Debit; that's entirely his choice, of course - plenty of people don't trust service providers not to pilfer huge amounts of money from accounts at a whim. Instead of discounting his bill as an incentive to use Direct Debit, Orange charge him for not doing so - it's described as an additional service to make Dave think he's receiving something of benefit for his money:

Bitterwallet - Orange bill 1

Except Dave doesn't have just one mobile phone - his family have three between them - so Orange are charging him three times for not settling up by Direct Debit:

Bitterwallet - Orange bill 2Bitterwallet - Orange bill 3

The thing that's got Dave scratching his head, is that the bills for all three phones are paid at the same time because they are all on the same Orange account:

Bitterwallet - Orange account 1
Bitterwallet - Orange account 2
Bitterwallet - Orange account 3

Instead of charging Dave over the odds once, Orange are charging him three times (plus VAT) for one payment. How many customers won't notice this particularly sly practice taking place?


  • Lumoruk
    Looks like an administrative error to me, one phone call should do the trick
  • SJT
    @Lumoruk you obviously don't know of this company about which we speak! "one phone call should do it" - bwahahahahahahahaha
  • Paul S.
    Dave phoned to clarify the "error" - and the charges still stand as a result :( three invoices for three phones somehow equals three charges, despite there being only one payment by non-direct debit means. Meh.
  • James
    Ha ha one phone call should do the trick. Come on bitterwallet, you need to get this guy on staff. One phone call to Orange achieves nothing....ever, other than to make me angry. I told the rep that I would leave if ever there was the smallest reason and low and behold bitter wallet gave me that getout when the call charges were changed. Now here I am basking in the munificence that is O2. Mind you, Orange are the free high class hookers of service compared to Three, who knew that a telecoms company could reduce a grown man to tears of frustration.
  • Rob
    I'd have thought the solution is obvious - signup for direct debit, 3 x the saving !
  • James
    @ Rob you might want to get that on Hotukdeals pronto. Heat and rep coming your way.
  • Steve
    Orange have always charged this by the phone rather then by the acc, Its in the T&C quite clearly.
  • Will
    I was with Orange once.
  • Jassen
    I too was with Orange once, until a simple problem took several hundred phonecalls, and dozens of letters to get fixed about 18 months down the line, affecting my credit, and nearly made me lose out on my mortgage. Yeah, thanks Orange.
  • Steff
    Orange sucks....after many emails/letters/phone calls I made them remove the negative points in the credit file
  • A. L.
    I left orange a while back because they were too expensive but I don't think this is that outrageous. I mean they are three seperate accounts so why wouldn't they charge him three times? This stuff is all automatic and there's no nice little man sitting in an office waiting to help you out and receive your payment. It's automatic and done on a per account basis just like anything else is. If you have a bank account and a credit card with the same bank and go into an unarranged overdraft on the former and default on a payment for the latter in one month, would your bank wave the penalty fee on one of them? No. Because they are seperate accounts. Doesn't matter if it's a single payment to all three as it's being processed into three accounts. To expect otherwise and then call the WAAAmbulence is pretty lame.
  • Big F.
    Hmmm Is Ryanair doing Orange billing ?
  • SimbaK2K
    Dave is an idiot obviously. He should of paid by direct debit and saved himself 3 lots of charge. The direct debit is then backed by the direct debit gurantee should anything go wrong.
  • tin
    BT do the same thing in a fashion. Pay your bills monthly, £1.50 per direct debit. Pay them quarterly, £4.50 per direct debit. Given whoever it was government wotsit department/quango that kicked the credit cards for unfair charges, surely this is the same thing, yet more blatant? If these companies are supposedly charging you for processing the payment, surely it's a per payment charge and anything else is clearly unfair. As per Orange. I once wrote to their MD (or something like) after I had an argument about overcharging with a customer service rep who proclaimed he "did not have the time to waste" looking into my problem. Their office left me a nice message on a Friday afternoon saying they did take the issue VERY seriously and would call me back on Monday. Still waiting 4 years or so later. That said, o2 are no better. Their customer service people are nice and understand what you're going on about (makes a nice change) but when stuff goes wrong, they have shit back end procedures to deal with it (and so you go round and round in circles until you give up). Question is who to go to next? They're all worse AFAIK.
  • Capn W.
    actually the terms and conditions dont make any reference to this being per individual numbers on a single account. get em rang up and escalate the call. payment methods 6.3.1 we reserve the right to charge an administration fee each month for payments not made by direct debit.
  • bright_sprk
    Don't worry Dave, it doesn't apply to your tarrif.... You on the squirrel (your money away) tarrif !
  • callum
    It also doesn't technically say it will come in the form of one charge per month, I don't see the huge fuss about Direct debit, I've been using it since the age of 14 and never had a single problem.
  • James
    This clause 6.3.1 we reserve the right to charge an administration fee each month for payments not made by direct debit. is in every contract. Just because they are linked to the same account they are not the same contract. The terms have been agreed to on every seperate occasion. Now I do work for Orange and since I have started they have made big strides forward and changing this is one that is already in the pipeline. In the words of one of the VP's "If it is on one account then why more than one charge". The truth is the back-end billing system is quite antiquated (but in the process of being improved) and at present cannot identify when a payment is already on the account under a different phone number.
  • Shooter M.
    Good on James for sorting out Orange since he started working for them
  • Jack
    Why don't you pay by direct debit? You are in a contract, and will need to pay anyway, why not do it automatically and easilly via DD?
  • gary f.
    can any body help me !!My son has taken out a contract with orange (and i thought i had brought him up better than that) he is now returning his hand set for the third time (htc hero) because of a fault is there any way i can get him out of this contract its, only 2 month old
  • James
    As far as I know you have no chance at all. Seemingly faulty handsets are not sufficient to reject service and being two months in makes it even less likely.
  • gary f.
    thanks james just confirmed my thoughts, cheers
  • A I.
    [...] One Orange account means three times the charges | BitterWallet [...]

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