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back to article Orange contract price hike angers subscribers

Orange has announced a price hike on UK pay monthly contracts, with fees rising by 4.34 per cent. Customers are not impressed. "Due to recent increases in inflation, we will be increasing the price of our monthly tariff plans by 4.34 per cent from the 8 January 2012," the company told customers this week. However, "call, text …

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Release?

I wonder if this will allow me to get out of my Orange contract. Since the merger with T-Mobile, reception at home has gone from good to hopeless. I suppose it was too much to believe that they'd keep both companies base stations running...

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Usually, yes.

Usually yes, but you might have to argue about it for a long while with customer services.

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FAIL

Unfair

Some might say it's only a quid or whatever, but I think it's unfair that Orange can unilaterally change the terms of a contract with you yet you can't do the same without expensive penalties. What's wrong with raising the price for new customers but keeping existing ones at the same price for the term of their contract? Oh, that's right; they don't care about existing customers, only about attracting new ones.

I'm pretty sure my next phone won't be an Orange one. Or a T-Mobile one, considering they're pretty much the same firm nowadays.

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Stop

"Orange insists that this rule does not apply because the increase was catered for within existing contract Ts&Cs."

I'm pretty sure that they cannot opt out of Ofcom regulations with their T&C's, and that the Ofcom requirement takes precedence. If their T&C's had said that they could increase prices up to 10x RPI per year without giving customers the ability to opt out, would that be ok?

I'm sure they will be let off though, because they are only breaking regulations 'just a little bit'.

My contract with Orange is due for renewal almost exactly when these changes were being pushed through, so I thought the price change was just for me at first.

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Anonymous Coward

Rascals

"unfair terms & Conditions" come to mind, even if buried in the small print, which no one reads. There are many court rulings on this in the past. Else its ablanket licence to fleece !

Bastards all.

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Silver badge
Meh

Oh, give them all another 200 free texts they will never use. That will shut them up!

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Facepalm

Vodafone did a similar thing earlier in the year...

...when they rounded up their contract prices for existing customers to the nearest whole pound after having applied the VAT increase.

The contracts include terms which allow for increases up to and including the rate of inflation without allowing the customer to walk away.

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FAIL

Orange are money scamming cons

Why does Orange need to increase the price for those already in a contract? People signed up for a contract for 12, 18 or 24 months with the intention that the price they signed up was what they keep paying. If Orange want to increase the price, then they should apply it to those signing up for a new contract only. Orange should take into account inflation costs into the pricing of their contracts so it is not an issue. When people come out of contract and upgrade, they can then offer the new pricing. Those who come out of contract and do not upgrade will be on a monthly rolling basis. However, Orange won't be subsidising the cost of a new handset for those users so that'll more than cover the inflation costs as the customer will be paying full line rental without the benefit of a subsidised handset.

I will not be joining Orange in future if they try to con even more money out of their customers.

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Thumb Up

You answered your own question.......

"Why does Orange need to increase the price for those already in a contract?"

Because you are in a contract (a legally binding agreement between the parties) and that contract states that orange can increase prices by RPI (or whatever) now I'm sure that if you didnt agree to that when you read the contract then you would have walked away from it?

Not saying it's fair or anything just that contract subscribers should read the contract before agreeing to it

Yeah right, Like ive ever done that! not even when I bought my house or car on finance and I'm sure there were even terms in those that some might find "unfair"

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Anonymous Coward

new tariff

vulture.

that is all

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Anonymous Coward

Goodee.

I work for a network who doesn't have this clause. I suspect a sharp increase in new customers very soon.

Thanks Orange, for consistently showing the world what bumblefucks you are!

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Which network? I'm sure there are lots of disgruntled Orange Customers.

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Silver badge

Heh, you ain't seen nothing yet

Wait till a couple of years when we'll all be running round with wheelbarrows to buy bread.

Increases in line with inflation sent with every monthly bill.

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They can reduce my free texts and calls by 4.34% if they want, I don't use it all.

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Limited Choice, Poor Contracts

Unfortunately you only have the option of Vodafone or O2 if you dont choose Orange (or 3 if you can trust the service to deliver a signal).

I think you can see a pattern here, pretty much every kind of large monopolistic business model always comes down to about 3-4 big players who never really try to compete with each other as that only hurts the bottom line. Once you get to that position you as a consumer are stuck with a limited number of similar offerings and generally weighted terms and conditions against the consumer.

I think a long term contract should not allow price rises, period. How can you judge a contract when each network can choose to levy a price rise at set points. I suppose we should be gratful that they didn't levy the full RPI % increase.Sigh...

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FAIL

Just called Orange - Ofcom? Opt-out for a T&C change?

I placed a call with Orange to find out if I could walk away from these guys without penalty but, I'm told, it wiould cost me £186 pounds to walk away or I could wait until my contract expires (early July) - Given its about £1.50-ish per month hike, I'm going to wait 'til July when I'm out of contract. I was also told I could move to some other tariff that would "side step" the increase but then I'd be expected to sign-up with them for another... F**k that! I'll ride it out then sign-up with someone else in July.

However, having checked the Ofcom site, it is VERY clear that CSPs have to provide a free Opt-Out when they make T&C and / or pricing changes as well as provide at least a month's notice (So they are clear on that last count...) - If Ofcom uphold the rule that Orange have to comply with thet free Opt-Out rule, I'll be off much sooner!

Sad, really, after having an account with them for 16 years but I'm obviously not a "valued Customer", worthy of retention nor is anyone else thats on one of their "pay monthly" deals, it would appear...

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Mushroom

Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts (UTCC) Legislation

I left Orange a few years ago when they hiked up the price of broadband - and they tried to charge a disconnection fee when I refused to accept the price hike.

However, the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts (UTCC) regulations mean that if a company has standard contracts that the customer cannot influence, and some of the terms and conditions are measurably unfair to the customer and biased towards the company - then those particular terms cannot legally be enforced (though all other T&C still apply).

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1999/2083/contents/made

http://www.oft.gov.uk/about-the-oft/legal-powers/legal/unfair-terms/

In my case I sent a letter to Chief Executive of Orange stating that they cannot simultaneously raise the contract price, and also charge me for leaving the contract as this would be unfair under UTCC. I expected them to either honor my original contract at the original price, or allow me to leave the contract without paying an exit fee.

Orange subsequently wrote back and whilst not admiting they were in the wrong - offered as a 'goodwill gesture' to cancel the account charges.

So if Orange try to apply exit fees for you to leave then wave the UTCC regulations at them!

PS - Writing to any companies Chief Executive usually gets results far quicker than dealing with the accounts department :)

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Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts (UTCC) Legislation

I left Orange a few years ago when they hiked up the price of broadband - and they tried to charge a disconnection fee when I refused to accept the price hike.

However, the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts (UTCC) regulations mean that if a company has standard contracts that the customer cannot influence, and some of the terms and conditions are measurably unfair to the customer and biased towards the company - then those particular terms cannot legally be enforced (though all other T&C still apply).

See the OFT website for more information on UTCC.

In my case I sent a letter to Chief Executive of Orange stating that they cannot simultaneously raise the contract price, and also charge me for leaving the contract as this would be unfair under UTCC. I expected them to either honor my original contract at the original price, or allow me to leave the contract without paying an exit fee.

Orange subsequently wrote back and whilst not admiting they were in the wrong - offered as a 'goodwill gesture' to cancel the account charges.

So if Orange try to apply exit fees for you to leave then wave the UTCC regulations at them!

PS - Writing to any companies Chief Executive usually gets results far quicker than dealing with accounts :)

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FAO Draksyl

Can you please send me details of your letter.. obviously omitting anything of personal information.. and also details of where to send the letter.. and for whom to make it out to.

thank you.

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FAIL

This is the reason I stick to monthly rolling contracts. I moved to Tesco after 10 years with my las provider because Tesco gave me a better deal than o2 were willing to give a customer that went back to Cellnet days, and I can get out in 30 days if Tesco start messing about with pricing too much. Same network, same coverage - far better treatment.

The big Networks would do better to concentrate on existing customers including rewarding loyalty with some REAL incentives to stay... o2 have failed repeatedly in this area, despite how unlimited its mind is.... maybe less stupid adverts would be a start

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Mushroom

Did they not know inflation happens??

"Due to recent increases in inflation" Were they not aware that there would be inflation before they set prices??

They tried this one a few years back when you had to pay 12p a text on pay as you go, they offered 5 texts a day forever if you paid £5 for a voucher. They then realised people like to keep the same number and would continue using the offer, they contacted all people who had taken up the voucher saying it was no longer valid, they got thier asses kicked as they had no right to do this and had to make an apology and reinstate the offer.

I’m sure it is buried in their Terms and conditions that they can do this but it is jsut plain rude and deceitful as they know there is far to much junk in there for people to read. I will be making a fuss on Twitter and hashtagging them (everyone else please do the same!) and will not renew my £500 or so contract next time

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Mushroom

Just rang Orange...

.... Was told their terms and conditions were clear; no cancellation.

Rang Ofcom, was told to ring Orange back and quote General Condition 9.6:

9.6 Communications Providers shall:

give its Subscribers adequate notice not shorter than one month of

any modifications likely to be of material detriment to that Subscriber;

(b) allow its Subscribers to withdraw from their contract without penalty

upon such notice; and shall,

(c) inform the subscriber of their ability to terminate the contract without penalty if the proposed modification is not acceptable to the Subscriber.

Ofcom also said if Orange refuse again, ask for the refusal in writing so that it can be provided to Ofcom and the Ombudsmen as evidence.

Off to ring Orange again now, got a feeling I'm going to be playing the long game on this one.

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