Cancel your Orange contract - Orange break their own terms?

UPDATE 12/08: Orange has now scrapped the ToS change following consumer upset and cancellations. Read full update and official statement here.

Over the last fortnight we've explained why you can cancel your Orange contract, and how to go about doing it. Armed with this information, Bitterwallet reader Scott phoned up to do just that. As you'll hear, despite the Orange operator telling Scott the changes to their Terms of Service will directly affect him, he's not allowed to cancel his monthly mobile contract until he receives a text (which... um... confirms he's directly affected... again).

This means Orange are deliberately ignoring their own Terms of Service over how you receive information from them. Here's what happened when Scott called:

As we've said, it seems are Orange are staggering the texts they send in order to deal with the demand to cancel. That said, cancellation is not dependent on receiving the text, as we explained in our trouble-shooting guide last week. If you signed a monthly contract before June (we don't have an exact cut-off date) then you're eligible to cancel, whether you receive a text or not. Read our trouble-shooting guide for all the information.

This is a brilliant effort by Scott, who keeps completely calm throughout - let's see what happens in part two.


  • Anon
    This recording is illegal as Scott has not got permission to record by the advisor. I'd advise BitterWallet to remove this content.
  • Tom P.
    @Anon it's not illegal to post, as the advisor is not fully identified. It would not be allowed in a Court of Law though
  • dvdj
    I received my text on the 5th August and cancelled last night. Well chuffed, was only 3months in and got a free phone and PS3 for my troubles! Thanks Orange.
  • Jim
    Chris the advisor, he was very rude to me when I spoke to him weird how I got him and this person makes a video about him
  • Gus
    @ Anon: BOOOOOOH!
  • Gus
    Moderation? I did not even swear (yet!)
  • o2 n.
    Received the following from o2 via text a few days ago. O2: From 10th August we're making changes to some prices. Please call 2202 free from your mobile to quickly find out everything you need to know. Thanks pay as you go! ;-P
  • Paul S.
    Did you call? What are the changes to O2's pricing?
  • Grant
    Hi, just wanted to thank this site for bringing the whole Orange thing to me. I called last weekend (without having received the text) and spoke with one advisor who was being very careful with how she worded her replies (ie: not admitting or accepting anything) - so I hung up. Called back 5 mins later and spoke to another advisor who was brilliant (the topic of the text never even came up). He offered me a better deal and was very helpful in finally closing my account. My tips? Be polite and to the point on the phone (not like you're reading from a script), and just give up and try again with someone else if the advisor just keeps squaking policies back to you like a parrot. The final advisor was so nice and helpful I actually felt bad for cancelling! Love my new iPhone 3GS though :)
  • Lutin
    So, if i get a free phone (say, for example, OMG! AN IPHONE!!!) with a contract and two months into the contract my provider changes their terms, I can just ring up, cancel the contract and then keep the phone? Is that right?
  • Happily O.
    I got turned down for cancellation last Friday as I had not received the text....but they confirmed I would get the text this week. Was not in the mood to argue, so waited for the text (Wednesday) and cancelled Thursday :-) Only offered £5/month discount, which does not come close to what I am now saving by going to O2 Sim only. Bye Orange, you used to be great (early 90's).
  • Jase
    @Lutin If the contract is like Orange's (which it probably will be), where the phone is specifically not part of the contract (it is a gift) then yes you can. If you read the above comments (here and previous Orange articles), some people walked away with a new phone and things like a PS3. Orange change their pricing on Sept 14th, which means you've got until 14th August to cancel the existing contract with them. If your contract is relatively new, it could be that the new prices were already written into the contract...or that you were already notified of the scheduled price increase in the near future (and signing the contract said you understood this).
  • Lutin
    Thanks for the info Jase.
  • o2 n.
    @Paul No, I haven't yet. I'll give them a ring over the weekend when I can jot down their waffle. I'll let you know.
  • SJT
    I'm abroad until August 27th. Can I cancel my contract when I get home? I don't fancy trying to sort out a new contract from across the pond!?
  • blue
    gud luck trying to cancel now u chancers! they've plugged the leak! and no wonder the operators u speak to are off with u! they are taking a big hit! taking calls that are screwing with there income! im blue & your welcome!
  • Anon
    What leak? Idiot.
  • Scott
    So it's 2:40am now. That's Saturday. *waits for text*
  • Shooter M.
    @blue: then perhaps they shouldn't keep altering the contractual terms to line their own pockets. I'm not blue but I can spell
  • Ten B.
    [...] Scott rings up Orange in a bid to cancel his contract. If you’re reading this Orange, this war ain’t over. Tags: bitterwallet, ten of the best [...]
  • Kirsty C.
    I phoned orange up today to cancel my contract as I had recieved the txt , They said they couldnt cancel my conract as I havent gone over my inclusive calls in the past 3 months. Surely they cant say this as they dont know wether I will go over my minutes in the future. I dunno what to do next! Can someone help me?
  • Scott
    It's gone! And it took 5 minutes, as soon as I mentioned the text, I got transferred over to their department, he checked if my account was 'eligable' and then when I was told it was, I was outty! It's getting unhooked tomorrow, and canceled on Monday.
  • Orange C.
    Oh dear, Oh dear! Scott my friend, it would appear that trying to make a name for yourself on the internet is solely for the likes of over obsessed Britney Spears fans! Orange are not trying to rip anyone off and as to the best of my knowledge all of the mobile providers within the UK will indeed be raising the minimum call charge (or call connection charge) for out of talk-plan calls. I have to admit that I field a lot of calls regarding this issue from angry customers and I am quite happy to help them exercise their right to disconnect. Orange have made the relevant customers who would be affected aware of the fact that charges may be going up. What about the prices that are dropping also? What about the fact that we have dropped the out of bundle per minute charges? People who do not go over their minutes are not eligible due to the fact that it doesn't affect them. If a customer is incapable of staying within the limits they agreed to than I suggest that maybe that customer either learns to use the ivr to check how many minutes are remaining or learn how to use their savvy when it comes to taking out a binding contract in the first place. Orange are a business, that is true but if you only knew the lengths Orange PCS go to to look after and put the customer first you wouldn't insist on this witch hunt! Good luck to those that have left, I wish them luck when the 'rivals' put their prices up also. You seem like an intelligent lad, maybe a bit more investigation as to the actual reasons surrounding this issue may have helped. Proud to be an Orange employee!
  • Youngy
    @Orange CSR Your post comes across as quite immature and bitter. As an (now ex) Orange customer myself for about 10yrs I found the levels of customer service decline substantially. Summer 2007 I phoned CS every week for 4 months attempting to sort an accounting issue. Each time I was put through to people and they had no record of previous conversations, I then made them make notes which still didnt work as the foreign call centre didnt understand. The discussing with UK Accounts dept each time they said would be fixed in next monthly account cycle and each time it wasnt. I got sick of phoning so once my minimum contract had passed I left, and moving to O2 I havent had any of the similar problems. Its all very well bleating about customers leaving, but if Orange actually gave a crap about customer service rather than the obvious 'just for money' attitude they would still be the leading provider they were back in 90's and early 00's. Costs and contracts may be the loophole for people getting out of contracts but I bet most are just fed up of Orange lax attitude to customers. Many people I know who used to be with Orange for years have left within last 12 months, Orange have a lot of work to start winning these customers back, and I get the impression those in charge dont actually care. Orange as a whole has really lost its way. Im sure many CS agents are conscientious and care, but as a company this isnt the perception nor the experience by many.
  • Scott
    @Orange CSR I apologize but your views seem to be slightly askew. My only objective in making this video was to provide evidence to what people (in their hundreds) were saying on Bitter Wallet's post. I feel, having read all of the information on that page that I had done adequate investigation. I was not, nor am I now concerned about the reasons surrounding them hiking their prices, I was concerned with the fact they seemed to be blowing people off, and not acknowledging the contract people signed up for, or their consumer rights. To address your point regarding not being eligible if you haven't gone over your minutes. Again, thanks to this website I learned that it doesn't matter whether you go over your allowed minutes, because the contract between the customer and Orange doesn't consider changes causing material detriment to you. In the contract it states: 4.3 You may also terminate your Contract if we vary its terms, resulting in an excessive increase in the Charges or changes that alter your rights under this Contract to your detriment. Not one of the 8 CSRs I called during the past week had any clue about any of the contract clauses regarding this issue, and as stated in the video - They were being told that if you hadn't received a text, you could not cancel. Oh, and I hate Britney Spears.
  • daniel
    @ youngy dont know who yiou been phoning but orange do not have foreign customer services...i had been with them for 4 years and never once was i put through to a foreign cutomer service centre. just pointing out the truth
  • Chris
    Quick one, I've been through the guide and quoted the relevant information and been told no 5 times by 5 different people. Is it best to just keep trying? The last rep said he couldn't check my 2nd account as 'someone' was in it! And that he would call me back, this was an hour ago and still waiting!
  • Scott
    @ Chris. Just keep trying, you'll get to someone who can help, eventually!
  • deejayone
    As suggested in the most current update of this issue on Botter Wallet - let's start using Twitter and Tweeting the bad experiences using the hashtag: #badorange @deejayone
  • Paul S.
    UPDATE 10/8 Ofcom have now responded to Bitterwallet's request for a statement on the current situation. You can read it here.
    I would like to give a tip to aanyone wanting to exercise their right to cancel there contract mid term. Firstly if you have braodband with orange you WILL be tied in in that contract, this is as it is a seperate contract all together, so you may be getting it free now but cancel the mobile you will start paying full whack for it. Gemeraly speaking this will be £10 more than the deal you are on at the moment but can be upto £18 depending on if you number is llu or not. Secondly check out what your moving to, if you actually look at the charges else where you will see hor we(orange) compare. Thirdly if you are some kind of retentions deal already the chances are you will be extremely hard pressed to find a better deal. (I actually had a customer who's average bill was £9.79,the linerental. who was getting 600xnet min ulimited texts and internet) Now if any one can post a link to a deal where you can get similar, not a redemtion offer, but what actually leave the account, I will be impressed. Finally when you come through to speak to us if you talk to someone like something you trod in they will do the bare minimum and make life as hard for you as they can. However if you come through and talk to us respectfully you will be much more likely to get what you want. With regards to the text policy the stance we have been given is that you must have recieved it and must have made calls out side you bundled minutes, if this is a fairly new contract you can request us to look at unbilled calls. texts are being staggered with the last being sent out on 15/08/09 if you haven't recieved one by this date then call. You may or may not agree with the way orange hhas chosen to handle this but when you call this is what you face. People are still able to write in or fax a request to disconntect due to changes is in the terms. While I work for orange I would like to make it cleare that these are my viewa on the subjet and are not to be considered in any way a statement on behalf of the company.
  • Paul S.
    Are you off work today or something, Mister Employee? Orange have cancelled the proposed changes to their charges.
    As it happens i work evenings so no I'm not in yet! I never saw that one coming tbh. Guess that means it will be aninteresting evening for me lol.
  • Orange C.
    :D Happiness all around then! hah

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