Orange Any Time switching to broadband - a warning

  alpha femail 13:23 24 Dec 2007

For several years we have had a Freeserve Dial-up Any Time account.

In mid October, we received a paper letter from Orange, dated 15 October, informing us that Dial-up Any Time was closing in December. We were told that existing Any Time accounts were going to be switched to a 2MG "starter" Orange Broadband account unless we informed Orange, by telephone, within 21 days, that we did not want to be switched to Orange Broadband.

We were told that if customers did not phone to let them know that they did not want to be switched to Orange broadband that all the necessary kit, including a modem would be sent to them by Orange, in around three weeks' time from the date of the letter.

This left us very little time in which to find another "Any Time" provider or to set up an alternative broadband account as the 2MG package being offered by Orange for this "upgrade" was not in any case an attractive proposition.

We set up a Zen Active 8000 wireless broadband account and telephoned Orange on 1 November to tell them that we did not want to switch to their broadband; we asked them to cancel our Any Time account as we had activated a broadband account with a different provider on 29 October; we asked them to cancel the Direct Debit.

When we rang the dedicated 0800 number provided by Orange, on 1 November, to confirm that we did not want to be switched to Broadband and to cancel our Any Time account immediately, we were annoyed to be given a second paid for phone number to ring, having first been quizzed about why we did not want to stay with Orange!

We were told that our Any Time account would be cancelled immediately but that the Direct Debit payment for November had already been processed and would go through. (So the very short notice given to us by Orange of the forthcoming discontinuation of their Any Time Dial-up package had already cost us nearly £15.00.)

Today, we have received a paper letter from Orange to say that as they "didn't hear from you, we tried to move you to broadband, but the process failed and we couldn't give you broadband on your line. This could be for a number of technical reasons such as your phone line can't support broadband or you live too far from the exchange". We are told that we shouldn't worry as they would "keep the (Any Time Dial-up) service going into next year" and that they would give us "plenty of notice" before it closed.

We had been sent no paperwork, emails or equipment by Orange which would have suggested that they had failed to process the cancellation of our Any Time account and were in the process of attempting to set us up for broadband.

So this morning, we have had to spend time on the phone, trying to sort out this mess and write a paper letter, too.

The Direct Debit payment for December has apparently already gone through, so that's another £15.00. We are demanding a refund for December.

The call centre had been given all the information they needed on 1 November to register our wish not to be switched automatically to Orange 2MG broadband; to cancel our Any Time account and to cancel further Direct Debits. They were told that we had already activated a broadband account with another provider.

So what are this bunch of monkeys playing at?

I would be interested to hear from any others who were on the Freeserve/Wanadoo/Orange Any Time Dial-up package, have cancelled this account but are having similar experiences to us, this month.

And I would alert them to check their bank and credit card statements to establish that their Direct Debits with Orange have in fact been cancelled if they cancelled their Any Time accounts in October/November.

  Jackhammer John 00:54 19 Jan 2008

I moved home and wanted to cancel Orange Broadband and shop around, but was pursuaded to keep Orange Broadband by their 'Retention Package', offering me six months free internet, and upgrade to Livebox (with cheap second-line calls). I was told my line would be recognised with 48 hours of my signing up to BT, and Broadband would be accessible within 15 days. It turned out I had no BT line in my new place, so I paid £125 for the line to be installed on 27 Dec., then phoned Orange on 28 Dec. for internet to be installed (having already received the equipment). I was told my line was 'too far from the exchange' and I should phone back in 48 hours. I phoned back everyday from 28 Dec. to 17 Jan. and got the same answer. When I asked to cnacel my package, I was told I'd have to pay my year's contract as a penalty. I asked Orange who at BT Wholesale I should call to have my line rectified but Orange said I should not contact BT Wholesale - that is for them to do. I phoned BT Wholesale and they said the same - I must go through Orange. Then I emailed BT Wholesale on this email address: [email protected] as follows:
From: Partington John
Sent: 11 January 2008 13:32
To: BTWholesale Direct G
Subject: Internet access for Orange Broadband

Dear Sir or Madam

I have recently spent £125 to have a BT line installed in my flat in order to access the internet with Orange Broadband. The line was installed on 27 December, but since 28 December Orange has been telling me I am unable to have internet access as I am ‘too far away from the exchange’. However, they say that this is a temporary problem which relies on BT Wholesale to upgrade the line to cope with broadband. I have contacted Orange Broadband almost every day since 28 December, and they keep telling me that I am ‘too far away from the exchange’ – they say they have sent my details to BT Wholesale on several occasions but you have not corrected this situation. I phoned BT customer services and the BT fault line and they say they are not able to contact BT Wholesale on my behalf to rectify this situation. I have now been given this email address by BT customer services and told to contact you for advice, and to request that you enable my line for Broadband. My home phone number is 011*-******* and my address is *********. If you need to contact me, please phone me on 07**-********.

Many thanks for your urgent assistance.

Yours sincerely
Dr John S. Partington

and within 2 days got this reply:

From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] On Behalf Of [email protected]
Sent: 18 January 2008 13:37
To: Partington John
Subject: RE: 167993 Mr Partington 011*-*******


Many Thanks for your email. The Orange account manager has taken on this issue and Orange should be in contact soon.


BT Wholesale

That same day my Broadband was working fine.... I would urge anyone being messed about like this by Orange Broadband (or any other ISP) to email BT Wholesale and they seem to be able to fix things. Good luck!

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