What's wrong with this headline? In praise of... Orange

14 February 2011

Bitterwallet - Orange call centreWe're quick to jump on companies that dish out a serving of tough titties to their customers, and we've little time for those that refuse to play fair. So when a company does the right thing and peels back the layers of bullshit-baffles-brains to reveal they do have a heart after all, we think it's worth highlighting.

Avid Bitterwallet reader Zoe contacted us recently about a mobile contract she'd taken out with Orange. The phone wasn't intended for her use, however - it was a Doro handset for her mother, who had been diagnosed with lung cancer. The phone meant that Zoe's mother could stay in touch with friends while having to stay in hospital long-term.

Unfortunately, the cancer spread far quicker than anyone had expected, and Zoe's mother passed away a fortnight ago. Amongst all the head-churning business of saying goodbye to a parent, Zoe tried to cancel the mobile contract on compassionate grounds, but was told she'd have to pay a £400 cancellation fee like everyone else.

Fortunately, we managed to put Zoe in touch with our contact at Orange, who in turn passed Zoe on to the Executive Customer Service team. They saw sense, and while Orange has lost out on £400, they've done the right thing by a daughter who required a little sympathy, and will now no doubt be a customer of theirs for life.

Props to Orange - we'd like to think any company in their position would be as understanding, but you already know that's not the case.

TOPICS:   Consumer Advice


  • Marky M.
    Well-deserved tip of the hat to Orange -- others please note (yes Vodafone, I'm looking at you).
  • Delenn
    Well done Orange. These things that are small to companies, but big for customers make a lot of difference.
  • Natty
    Condolences to Zoe and family. Shame it had to get sorted via Bitterwallet, does this mean it will not happen again to someone in Zoe's position...
  • Darren
    Good on Orange, I was only recently recruiting for a sales contact centre in Manchester and I interviewed a girl who worked for Barclay Card she worked on what she called the death department, so if someone called to say his or her partner had passed away, Barclay would get soemone to call them back... the death team would call them and do everything to record them saying, I take responsibilty for the balance outstanding... shocking tactics she told me. but on another note, Orange do have excellent service and care, after 6 years of being with O2 its nice to see what customer care really is about!
  • James
    If this was good customer service they should have done it the first place. The only reason they acted like this was that they did not want to be featured on bitterwallet as the bad guys. Anyone else in this situation is going to be treated how Zoe was originally treated. Not good customer service at all.
  • Dick
    I'm with James on this one. Fuck Orange. They sorted it out as they didn't want bad publicity, not that they actually cared.
  • Who c.
    Am I the only one thinking why did Zoe take out a contract in the first place? If you know your mother is terminal, then why not use PAYG or 1 month contracts... Or take out the contract in her mothers name...
  • tin
    This is the same Executive Customer Service team that phoned me back in 2005 and left a message saying they take my complaint very seriously and they would call back on Monday.........
  • Chris
    I am agreeing with the guys above. If they were doing it out the kindness of their heart they would have agreed to waive the charges right from the start, not when threatened with bad publicity. And to Darren, you are talking bollocks. A credit card debt cannot be passed to anybody. It will be paid out of the deceased person's estate if there is enough money. If not then the debt dies, if you pardon the pun.
  • Stephen
    I agree Am I the only one thinking why did Zoe take out a contract in the first place? If you know your mother is terminal, then why not use PAYG or 1 month contracts… Or take out the contract in her mothers name…
  • Pat
    She should have paid it, why the special case? If she had the forsight to buy a PAYG phone this wouldn't have happened.
  • crumble
    I was a customer with orange for a while.......never again!!
  • Reverend J.
    Had this not had the intervened that it had, I very much doubt Orange would have budged. But one ounce of bad publicity and things actually get done, properly? My hat stays un-tipped. HOWEVER.. Why in our fathers name did you take out a contract? that was just plain daft! Under the circumstances, a little thoughtless.. Never the less, your heart was in the right place. Companies rarely have compassion, you have learnt this the hard way.

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