Cancel your Orange contract - official statement from Ofcom
UPDATE: Orange has now scrapped the ToS change following consumer upset and cancellations. Read full update and official statement here.
As promised, an update on our requests for statements from both Orange and Ofcom. So far, the service provider have told us they are "looking into it", but the regulator has been in touch. All of you who commented that Orange representatives told you Ofcom had approved the changes to their Terms of Service? That appears to have been a bare-faced lie. This is what an Ofcom spokesperson told Bitterwallet this afternoon:
I’ve looked into this and can confirm that Ofcom hasn’t approved any changes that Orange has made to its prices. We are in fact now talking to Orange to stop their customer service advisors from telling that to consumers.
This is where we are on it. General Condition 9.3 is one of the rules that all communications providers have to adhere to. Orange can charge for 087 numbers but if it makes changes to customers’ contracts it has to comply with GC9.3 which says:
GC 9.3 Where the Communications Provider intends to modify a condition in a contract with a Consumer which is likely to be of material detriment to the Consumer, the Communications Provider shall:
(a) provide the Consumer with at least one month’s notice of its intention detailing the proposed modification; and
(b) inform the Consumer of the ability to terminate the contract without penalty if the proposed modification is not acceptable to the Consumer.
Ofcom has not made any ruling on whether the current alteration to the charges are of material detriment, such a determination would be the result of an investigation.
We’re monitoring the complaints we’re receiving at the moment to decide whether to open an investigation into this. In the mean time, if a consumer wants to terminate their contract and are unable to, we advise them to follow the usual complaints procedure. This is set out in this booklet here: http://www.ofcom.org.uk/advice/guides/complain.pdf.