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Orange warning
by tomdenne • Fri 15 Feb 2008 18:59
A nasty surprise letter from Orange yesterday entitled "trouvons ensemble une solution". The solution they offered consisted of either immediately paying them 50 euros, that I definitely don't owe, or talking to their customer services on a premium line at 34c per minute. What a great choice.

It doesn't help that most telephone companies have outsourced their services, so you can imagine how long it would take for a Brit to explain problems to someone from Morocco or the Ivory Coast for example. You can hear the meter ticking overtime already.

The story behind all this is as follows. On the 31 Jan 2006 I subscribed to Wanadoo's 25hr/10€ per month dial-up classic internet service. In July 2007, with the advent of ADSL in our region, I took out a new contract with Neuf and resigned from Wanadoo, who had by then morphed into Orange.

Yes, I had more than fulfilled my minimum contract of one year. Yes, I had sent my letter of resignation to arrive before the 20th of July and yes, thank heavens, I had sent it registered with "avis de réception". I had cancelled their standing order at my bank and I had confidently expected that my contract would terminate at the end of July. If only life were so easy.

I have written to Orange customer service at Bordeaux, which costs only a stamp, politely explaining everything and I hope that this matter will now end but I'm not holding my breath. I'll keep you all posted if and probably when anything further develops.

Finally, if you will permit, may I offer one small piece of advice? What ever you do in France, never discard any paperwork. Squirrel everything carefully away, because you never know.

Tom Denne
tomdenne
133
Jan 2008
Re: Orange warning
by Larch • Tue 19 Feb 2008 23:07
I read your post with fascinated interest, since I too am having a very similar experience with Orange. Though I don't wish to sound like a whiner, I feel I should recount my experience as a warning to others. Here goes...

In the autumn of 2006, my wife and I had to leave the Creuse and return to the UK for a time to make care arrangements for elderly parents. We're still in the UK (Scotland) at present, but looking forward to getting back to the Creuse soon. Before leaving for the UK, I closed my Orange account and paid all outstanding charges, however Orange appear to be refusing to accept my leave-taking and have been pursuing me for monthly rental ever since. For the past 16 months I have been receiving bills and threatening letters from Orange. Throughout this period I have written to Orange customer services in Bordeaux THREE times (recorded delivery) reminding them that our contract is terminated and asking them to stop sending demands for payment or else to explain themselves. I have had no reply. I have written to Orange's head office in Paris, again recording delivery, and finally in despair to Orange UK in London to ask if they would ask their French colleagues to stop sending me computer-generated demands and instead to talk to me. No-one has replied to any of my letters - except London, who refuse to get involved since they consider the matter none of their business. To cap it all, last month I received a letter from a French debt collector advising me that proceedings were about to begin to recover the 'debt' Orange are claiming I owe them. I wrote back, enclosing copies of all my previous letters and recorded delivery slips. So far, I have heard nothing further, and am keeping my fingers crossed that common sense will prevail at the end of the day.

I must say that I am appalled at Orange's attitude towards consumer relations - on both sides of the Channel - and would strongly advise anyone considering taking out a contract with them to think very carefully indeed.

You have my sympathy, and I sincerely hope things go better for you with Orange than they appear to be going for me. I agree wholeheartedly with you about keeping hold of all the paperwork. Good luck, and I hope this nasty experience isn't blighting your enjoyment of Creusois life.
Larch
3
Feb 2008
Re: Orange warning
by tomdenne • Tue 19 Feb 2008 23:31
Hi Larch

Sorry to read your sad story but glad in a way to know that I'm not alone.

I got private email reply a couple of days ago that might help us both. Apparently there is an English speaking France Télécom helpline. FT, of course, are the 'parents' of Orange and they can deal with their wayward sibling.

Now here is the other good bit of news. The number 0800346775 is freephone. You may have to try persistently to get through but my contact said that it paid off for him when he had a similar problem with Orange.

Best regards, Tom
tomdenne
133
Jan 2008
Re: Orange warning
by jasmine • Wed 20 Feb 2008 09:37
I have also had similar problems with orange as I think many others have and not only for the internet side of the business. My main hassle with them at the moment is the parental control they automatically supplied with the internet package. We recently moved house and Orange internet worked for no more than 2 hours per week and that was the broadband service!. After constant calls to them, speaking to many different technical advisors and having France telecom come and repair the line! I eventually decided enough was enough and decided to finish the contract. That actually went reasonably smoothly as I did it via a translator guy who is really good and I recieved an email to tell me exactly when the contract would be terminated (saved this to the hard drive - you never know with Orange) Since then I have had a new service provider and I have had a lot of problems with the orange parental control, it wouldn't let me look at the internet without a code which, I do not have. Eventually a French friend rang them for me and followed the tech mans advice to remove it....that ended up with with my losing all internet function and because he found out I was no longer a client of orange the tech man refused to help us any more he said I would have to pay, charming eh?. That night I had to phone a friend in GB, a computer guy to help re-set the computer to a day before all this started (thank god I have XP). I still have all the functions of livebox and parental control on my computer and I dare not touch it or try to remove it again as it may well start the problems all over. So beware do not let orange tell you how to take off parental control if you have it or you could end up with loss of internet functions completely and unless you can fix it yourself or you have a friend who can you could be in big trouble.
jasmine
94
Dec 2007
Re: Orange warning
by enbois • Wed 20 Feb 2008 18:42
Hi Jasmine

Noted from your posting re orange that you used the services of a translator, I wondered if he could help with a telephone call to EDF as on our last visit we found that we had been cut off and need to find out why.If this is not a service he provides do you or any other members know of anyone that can, as I am sure my limited but developing French will be of no use in such a telephone conversation as this.

Any help appreciated,enbois
enbois
10
Feb 2008
Re: Orange warning
by Larch • Thu 21 Feb 2008 09:20
Hi Tom,

Thanks for details of the FT helpline. I'll certainly give them a call if Orange don't call the dogs off. Another day without an unreasonable demand from them. You never know...fingers still crossed!

Regards

Larch
Larch
3
Feb 2008
Re: Orange warning
by rayh • Thu 21 Feb 2008 12:25
I can also confirm that the Email service works

They've sorted out my invoices very quickly

Ray
"Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" - Benjamin Franklin
rayh
167
May 2007
Re: Orange warning
by jasmine • Thu 21 Feb 2008 13:30
Hi Enbois
Riberac and rayh have given you good advice re- EDF. I have PM'd you the translators name and number incase you need it for any other problems. But, the guys on here are very helpful with names numbers etc. so always best to try here first its cheaper!

Jasmine
jasmine
94
Dec 2007
Re: Orange warning France Telecom
by CaroleandClive • Thu 21 Feb 2008 14:53
Hello

I thought I would just post my experience. I have been trying to get the phone back on (maison secondaire) it was cut off due to non payment of a 92 euro amount, which I had paid on my credit card.

Unfortunately, I've spent vast amounts of time on the phone or holding on with the English Speaking line to no avail. They cannot trace the payment that I made, despite copies of my credit card statement, etc. Sometimes it can take 20 minutes to get connected, and of course if calling form UK/work not good! Now I am chasing the payment they cannot find through my Mastercard to see if I can remedy the situation that way.

I will probably ask a translator to give them a call, once I've heard from Mastercard.

So not too much success there...

kindest
Carole
User avatar
CaroleandClive
31
Dec 2006
Re: Orange warning
by enbois • Thu 21 Feb 2008 17:52
Hello All

Thanks very much Riberac,Rayh,and Jasmine for your help and info Its like having the creuse Almanac at your finger tips "fantastique"

Vive Le Creuse

Daryl
enbois
10
Feb 2008
Re: Orange warning
by sable • Thu 21 Feb 2008 18:47
Hello
Can I just say in defense of the English speaking France Telecom / Orange line, there are only three people working from Paris on this helpline. I have had need of them on four occasions & each time, they have been polite, friendly & helpful & have sorted out my problem. It does take up to 40 minutes sometimes to get through, but it's a free call & I think a great service.
I have had the same service from the EDF English speaking helpline,& the CPAM, unfortunately I can't say the same for the Tax Office!
sable
9
Jan 2008
Re: Orange warning - Mastercard successful recall
by CaroleandClive • Tue 26 Feb 2008 12:32
Hello

I was not criticising the english speaking line, but it is not free from the UK and nor is my time from Monday to Friday 0900 to 1730. I did hold on for lots of time, and obviously you also pay from a mobile. Oh the devil of having to earn a crust...

The people were very helpful, but in effect couldn't help.

But, Mastercard have recalled my 92euros.
Still alls well that ends well

Carole
User avatar
CaroleandClive
31
Dec 2006
Re: Orange warning
by tomdenne • Fri 27 Jun 2008 00:33
An update.

Just when I thought that I must be in the clear a letter arrived from a debt collecting agency claiming 60€ for an alleged 6 months period of unpaid Orange internet connection.

This letter was dated on the 11th June and was delivered on the 16th with a deadline of 8 days in which to pay. A good pressure tactic.

I rang the English speaking Orange/ FT help line 0800346775, which was answered quickly. They looked at my account and said there was nothing outstanding to pay.

I then rang the debt collectors and was asked to forward a copy of the avis de réception for my original letter of cancellation. This I did and since then there has been no further news.

Now I rather hope that things will develop into an appearance before a court. It would be a big test of my ability to cope in French and a small test of the French justice system. I'll keep y'all posted.

Cheers, Tom
tomdenne
133
Jan 2008
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