iPhone on Orange - you'll pay for MMS, and texting from abroad
Rather than gliding to the top of the mobile glitterati with the launch of their iPhone packages, Orange has stumbled onto the scene like a drunk baby giraffe wearing roller boots. Bitterwallet has now learnt of another significant difference between what Orange and O2 have to offer Jesus phone owners; MMS messaging and texting from abroad is going to cost you on Orange.
Bitterwallet reader Jamey got in touch to alert us to the charges, which aren't explained on Orange's iPhone brochure site. MMS messages sent on O2 - picture or video - will cost four text messages from your bundled allowance; send the same message on your Orange iPhone, and you'll be charged 25 pence - regardless of whether you have bundled texts remaining. O2 will also charge you four messages from your allowance for text messages sent while abroad - Orange will charge 10.8 pence for texts sent from Europe Zone 1 countries, 40 pence for messages sent from the US, and up to 50 pence to send a text from New Zealand.
If you're already an Orange customer you may be well aware of these charges. For O2 customers looking to make the switch, or indeed for anybody else considering signing up, not only is there no mention of MMS or roaming text charges on the brochure site, they're not even mentioned in the specific iPhone terms and conditions (which you'll only find through the link below the Pay As You Go plans). In fact the charges are ignored completely, the only reference to them being:
It's further evidence of how little thought has gone into offering competitive price plans, and how Orange are clearly hoping to retain and grow their customer base by doing nothing more than exploiting the product's brand. When Orange released details of the prices on Monday, near-identical tariffs to those established by O2 and bizarre data restrictions on wifi connectivity didn't draw kind comments, and two days later Orange have lifted the restrictions on wifi usage. They've also introduced tantalisingly low tethering charges from £4.89 a month - there's no information on how much data this will buy you, although we'd guess at 500 MB a month on an 18 month contract. One further point for those of you still considering going to Orange - if you order your iPhone online you'll have to pay a delivery charge; order it less conveniently by telephone and Orange tell us that delivery is free. Why? Go figure.
Being only the second service provider to support the iPhone should have made stealing O2's crown as easy as shooting fish in a barrel - how has Orange got this so wrong?