6000% price increase? Orange don’t mind if they do.
We know times are hard. We know businesses have been forced to put prices up just to stay afloat, even if that means they lose out on lucrative West Coast Mainline franchises eh Rich? Still, we have also seen some businesses, notably energy firms, coining it in, as despite the economic downturn, we all want to keep warm. But Orange’s new price increases on their home phone service are so huge, they can’t possibly be just to generate extra profits. Can they?
The latest price increases, due to take effect on 19 September 2012, can be found in their technicolour glory here http://web.orange.co.uk/documents/ice/termsandconditions/home_voice_price_changes_19_september_2012.pdf , but we’ve picked out a few gems for you.
First of all, never EVER ring directory enquiries from an Orange home phone. Take a look at this table of 118 number charges cut and pasted from their latest announcement:
This means that to call 118 247, the connection charge will go up 439% to £1.80 per call, and the cost per minute to call those chaps in the running vests has gone up 1125% from 16p per minute* to £1.80 per minute, on top of a new record £2.30 per call connection fee. Seriously, if you didn’t have the internet at home to find the phone number, it would be cheaper to drive to an internet café and pay actual money to log on than to pay the minimum of £4.10 for one number.
And what about 0844s? We discussed last month how difficult it is to find out how much these calls cost**, and Orange home have increased the price of some specific 0844 numbers (which we believe to all be dial up internet numbers). While increasing the daytime rate for 08440544020 (Virgin dial up) from 4.5p to 6.5p is quite hefty, the previous evening and weekend rate of 1p per minute is also replaced by 6.5p per minute. Which would be very bad news for anyone still using dial up. Although they probably live in the actual Dark Ages so they may not care.
But the biscuit has to go to the premium rate number increases. Being characters of unbeschmirked honour, none of us at Bitterwallet have any idea what premium rate numbers may be used for, but if you call Ree Perta, for example, who is “waiting to get down and dirty!” on 0982 879 3333 after 19 September, instead of paying out the not insubstantial 15.5p connection/4.5p per minute charges, you will be paying £2.69 connection and £2.69 per minute. That’s an unbelievable 5977% increase.
If you are an Orange home phone customer, who uses premium rate calls or directory enquiries, and are affected by these changes we would love to hear from you. Actually, we probably wouldn’t.
* these charges actually went up in April. Presumably Orange are repeating them here because no one could quite believe the increase.
** we would have given you a price comparable to the BT and Virgin prices we quoted, but we genuinely spent 20 minutes looking and could not find all the information we needed on the Orange website.