Christmas misery for former Orange customer
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?