Christmas misery for former Orange customer

3 December 2009

Given that it's December, we honestly thought we'd seen the last of any complaints regarding Orange and their attempt to change contracts without offering the right to cancel-without-penalty. That was done and dusted back in August, wasn't it? Apparently not, according to Bitterwallet reader Robert:

My daughter cancelled her Orange contract on 8th August 2009 when Orange announced their proposed "Out of Package" increases.

Like many others she phoned to cancel because of these increases. She had six months left on her contract, but was told by customer services she could cancel.

Orange subsequently charged her £163.85 for the remainder of her contract. We have disputed this, but they have now passed this debt on to a debt recovery company, Moorcroft Debt Recovery Limited.

I have sent them hoards of information, mostly from your articles at the time, but they are insistent that Orange are continuing to say that the claim is valid.

Ah, debt collectors. Whether a third party has bought the "debt" from Orange or are being paid a percentage of any debt they  claim is owed, their involvement complicates matters.

So what can you do? First things first - call Orange and attempt to resolve the matter. Speak to a supervisor and escalate the problem to the Executive Office if you need to (08000 790 134). The difficulty is that at the time, Orange representatives were making things up as they went along, and often told customers information that may or may not have been correct. It's possible that promises of termination were made to customers, but the customer's file was not updated.

If Orange refuse to cooperate that's potentially a matter to discuss with CISAS, but then you have the problem of the debt collector. The first thing you need to do is dispute the debt in writing. The collection agency must follow specific OFT guidelines regarding the matter and investigate as appropriate. You are within your rights to request details of the disputed debt from the collection agency - the details of the debt as specified by Orange - and details of the investigation they carry concerning the dispute. If they don't provide this information and continue to actively pursue the debt, you can report them to your local Trading Standards Office. Finally, have a chat with Consumer Direct about other options open to you.

How many other former Orange customers are still have trouble regarding their account? If this happened to you, how did you resolve the issue?


  • Gregor
    sigh, orange again i hate them and cant wait to get off the contract, but im just gonna wait till feb and get my free upgrade
  • yoyo
    so you hate them so much your going to have another contract with them? sounds like a plan?
  • Jeffrey A.
    Who said his free upgrade was going to be with Orange?
  • Chwis A.
    an upgrade is with your existing provider. you can't upgrade on orange to vodafone for example.
  • The B.
    When debt recovery companies get involved it gets fecked because the recovery lads want their money and the company that set them on you don't care, I've been there. Lambeth neglected to bill me 6 months worth of council tax, 6 years later I get a letter telling me I owe for 7 years council tax, I explain that I'm willing to pay for the 6 months but not for 7 years, they ask for proof that I was there for 6 months, I phone the utility companies who say yes, that'll be £3 for replica bills, fine, 2 weeks later I get the baliffs sending me letters and a copy of my final bill for the time. The only thing you can do in that instance is to pay the money and then take them to court to get it back, it's an arse of a system.
  • Jase
    Gregor...your comment confused me too. You can't get a free upgrade and leave them. The upgrade is free because you are signing / renewing the contract and they are rewarding your loyalty.
  • Jim
    I work for a very similar company to morecroft. I can tell you first and formost that they are collecting it on a commission basis. This would be around the 10-15% mark mean that if they collect his balance in full it will earn them £24.57. This isn't a great deal to them, usually people get the letters, shit them selfs and pay. Lots of £25 commissions = big bucks, but when they have to pay their staff upwards of £8 an hour, have to make continual phone calls and letters, as well as their system and administrations costs it simply isn't worth their while. Cases like this would stay on our system for 60-90 day then be returned to orange, who at which point would either write the balance off, or occasionally issue a CCJ via another agency (they wouldn't want to tarnish their names doing ti them selfs you see). My advice for you would be this, collate all the evidence you can, send them a copy with a covering letter explaining your case. most likely you'll get a generic letter back. It may be worth writing a second letter including a copy of their reply to re-iterate your point, or you could threaten to speak with OFT, or though this will most likely reil them rather than intimating them. After 90 days, it will most likely be returned to orange who will just give up. Not a victory exactly but they would not issue a judgment for the amount they are collecting. It is all just talk. That said for every 100 people that speak with them threatening to take them to the small claims or take action against them, maybe only 1 does, and then it's only a 50:50 ratio its upheld. It sucks that the man can shit all over the little people but that is the power they have :(
  • Robert
    A bit silly of them not to cancel the Direct Debit. They should have known better
  • Numbnuts
    Have just narrowly avoided a similar situation, strangely dating back to August as well, when I signed up to an Orange contract through Dial-a-phone, and cancelled within Dial-a-phone's 7 day return 'guarantee', only the twats at Orange didn't get the disconnection notice or couldn't be arsed to cancel the contract, hence they started the billing process which I naturally didn't pay, cue an almighty battle to get the contract cancelled, with a letter to Tom Alexander, the Orange CEO, only a couple of weeks ago, doing the trick. I WILL NEVER SIGN UP FOR A MOBILE CONTRACT EVER AGAIN!
  • stephanie
    I have dealt with moorcroft before, my orange contract phone was stolen and the thief ran up one hell of bill phoning those scam numbers £1.50 per minute, £400 was owing and orange expected me to pay for it even tho i paid insurance every month. i refused was passed on to moorcroft, such a horrible company to get involved with they phone every 5 minutes letters left right and centre. they are nasty and i really felt threatened by them. i contacted my soliciter he reckoned they could have been charged with harrasment, so i took the matter further my soliciter wrote a letter to the company explaining that i was going to take legal action for harrasment, and i never heard from the company again it been 4 years now and nothing. they been on watchdog few years back, try to avoid all contact with them and if they keep harrasing you speak to a solicter
  • Ten B.
    [...] The Orange customer who cancelled her contract but is still being hassled by debt collectors [...]
  • The B.
    [...] we reported on the rock-vs-hard place conundrum faced by Bitterwallet reader Robert, whose daughter cancelled her Orange mobile contract in August and received verbal confirmation that she could cancel-without-fee. The mobile service [...]
  • Monkey_Boy
    Don't confuse debt collectors with Bailiffs. Bailiffs are proper, court appointed people who can come round and take your goods and worldly possessions. Debt Collectors are bullies who are paid by companies like Orange to collect debt. It's hard sometimes, but you need to stand up to them. They have no legal standing.
  • Marina
    this is the same thing that happen to my son ,he is studing abroad it was too expensive so my son saw out his contract he gave them notice that he would not be renewing his contract with orange .How convient, they have record when he paid his bills or any other conversation, but they dont seems to have a record when he gave notice to cancel his contract. It is so true I find their staff make things up .They reasure my son that his contract will be cancel,but they did not passed on the cancelation notice because they will loose a customer. Now he have a letter from moorcroft saying that he owes £350.00. He have spoken to a supervisor who was extremely rude.After a long conversation he said if my son paid £150.00 he will cancel the baliffs letter. It is true when people get a letter they get scared and pay up. I have not intention of paying orange any money on my son's behalf I will take it to watchdog if i have to .I remember orange being on watchdog. This is how they bully customer into paying up.

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