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back to article Ofcom sides with Orange over price hikes

Ofcom has ruled that it will not investigate Orange's controversial 2011 price-hike as the carrier's move is unlikely to have breached legislation. The industry regulator had contemplated action after Orange's sudden changes to pay-monthly contracts left customers fuming. An Orange spokesperson told Reg Hardware at the time of …

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Unhappy

Disappointing and not entirely unexpected but...

...as one of those that is affected by the pricing hike, I have already determined to vote with my feet, just as soon as my contract is up (2nd July)

The price rise is just one facet of a number of detrimental (to me at least!) changes that Orange have made, recently - "outsourcing"/transferring their wired Broadband to BT meant I lost and could no longer "enjoy" Orange broadband - a factor in my not going to some other provider but now that 'tether' is no longer applicable...

I did check with Orange about escaping my contract without penalty, as they have materially changed terms, but to no avail - They quoted £182 escape fee between December '11 and July '12 which means its economically sensible to wait (So much for encouraging competition..) - I'll have my day, then...

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Anonymous Coward

Think Carefully Before you move

it's virtually impossible to get an unlimited data tariff now. So I'd think very carefully before you move.. you may be better off staying put. or it could cost you significantly more in the long run.

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Anonymous Coward

Probably won't be unlimited for long but I'm really happy with GiffGaff.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC 12:17

Three do unlimited data as long as you don't mind them sharing your browsing habits with Bluecoat...

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Recent conversation with Orange customer service:

"I am unable to access my online account and I need to access my bills. There may be a problem with my login details".

"We are very sorry, but the online billing website is down at the moment"

"Has it been down for the last six weeks?"

"Er, yes.."

When I stated that I did in fact need to look at my bill, they immediately offered to send me a paper bill and waive the usual charge.

However, they have moved most of their customers over to online only billing, and there is normally a charge for customers who receive paper bills. They certainly have a legal obligation to provide their customers with bills, and having a situation where most customers have been moved to an online billing platform that does not work for months at a time is at best astoundingly crappy and at worst a serious breach of their legal obligations

That they have the audacity to raise prices for customers locked into long term contracts at the same time (a practice that regardless of legality, has not generally been practiced in this industry in this country until now) when they are simultaneously unable to demonstrate even basic competence is rather impressive, however.

Like the first commenter, I know exactly when is the end date of my contract.

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Anonymous Coward

Just...

... take them to the Small Claims Court under the Unfair Contracts Terms Act 1977 and the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999.

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Silver badge

Do you honestly think....

That a CPI/RPI increase is unfair?

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Anonymous Coward

"material detriment"

So if I prove my income has not match RPI inflation, I can prove that I am worse off, and therefore have suffered Material Detriment?

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FAIL

Hardly surprising...

Ofcom is more of a "watch puppy" than watchdog. The most it ever would have done to Orange was lick them to death.

As others have said; vote with your feet, although I suspect if you make enough of a fuss Orange will let you go earlier sans penalty.

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Anonymous Coward

Why oh why oh why?

I often wonder why people are with Orange, the only thing I have to do wiith them is that they provide nice cheap PAYG phones like the Monte Carlo which I purchase, unlock and move elsewhere as soon as I buy one. Sadly my network of choice at the moment is T-Mobile so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they don't get like Orange.

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Bronze badge
Facepalm

Too late...

T-Mobile is now linked with Orange under the name "Everything Everywhere"

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Let's try and be positive

More likely is that Orange will become more like T-Mobile, Orange network was struggling but has massively improved recently.

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See Link, that's all

http://www.dilbert.com/fast/2010-08-20/

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Flame

Time we had a watchdog with teeth...

OFCOM's remit, according to their website, includes: "...make sure that people in the UK get the best from their communications services and are protected from scams and sharp practices, while ensuring that competition can thrive,", and also: "...to further the interests of citizens and of consumers."

Orange justify their price hike based on a term buried in the fine print of their Ts & Cs, which was unpublicised and unknown to the vast majority of their customers, who believed they had agreed a fixed price for a fixed term. Sharp practice. So where are OFCOM?.

OFCOM dare to boast that we enjoy a competetive market. What planet are they on? Where is that free competetion, if Orange are allowed to put up their prices anytime, but I can't switch to another supplier until the end of the fixed term?

The "interests of citizens and consumers" demand a watchdog with the spine to stand up to these abuses, instead of bending over backwards to help their friends in Orange.

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