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back to article Orange is the new TalkTalk of the broadband complaints league

Orange is once again the most whinged about telco in the UK, the communications watchdog Ofcom confirmed today. The ISP provoked a barrage of gripes from bellyaching customers when it yanked its free broadband service away from punters who refused to pay line rental to the company. Ofcom, which has compiled and published its …

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FAIL

So 'free' doesn't really mean free after all.

"The ISP provoked a barrage of gripes from bellyaching customers when it yanked its free broadband service away from punters who refused to pay line rental to the company."

They've probably done the punters a favour. Why can't they just market it as a broadband plus telephony service?

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Re: So 'free' doesn't really mean free after all.

It did mean free. They changed it to mean "free if you get your phone line from us" which doesn't seem remarkably unreasonable, and providing people had the option to leave at no cost then I can't see the problem.

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Anonymous Coward

"free if you get your phone line from us"

I beg to differ, "free if you get your phone line from us" is NOT free as it comes with strings, and the strings are attached to money in your pocket, which you HAVE TO spend to get the not-so-free.

And no, I'm not complaining about having paid for this or that, I'm complaining about language misuse.

btw, if a "free" offer comes with strings which do not involve payment, say, "free if you suck my cock" - such offer wouldn't be "free" either, as it comes with a provisional clause ("on condition that..."). It would be just a normal, I daresay mundane, exchange of business services (broadband connection for cock-sucking), and I'd have no reasons to see it in any negative light whatsoever, so long as one party doesn't pretend that their cock is a dressed-up lollipop.

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Re: "free if you get your phone line from us"

By your strict adherence to the word "free" (which I'm not saying is a bad thing) then we have to acknowledge that just about all business offereings that include something "free" are false. We can't really hold Orange alone up to this one, especially as their "free" broadband required you to already have a mobile contract with them in the first place.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "free if you get your phone line from us"

By your strict adherence to the word "free" (which I'm not saying is a bad thing) then we have to acknowledge that just about all business offereings that include something "free" are false.

yes, this is absolutely correct. And it doesn't matter, if it's one business, or 10,000 of them, or "just about all" of them. They lie, it's a fact. But then, people will say: oh, well, it doesn't matter, it's cheap anyway, it's not much they won't, blah blah blah. It's like with any shit, from tabloids to tv, there's a group to offer the steaming pile, and there's a large group that tucks in.

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FAIL

Tell me about it.....

Had murder with them this week following a call on Monday informing me they are shutting off the second line service which is a voip line . Ok so can I port the number over to my mainline as I dont use that number . No . Right so can I port it out to a voip provider . No . So Im going to lose the number then? . Yes . But I use it for my business number! Well its going off on the 27th . Thats two days away ! . Cue raging and headbanging . Im seriously annoyed I have had that number for years .

Orange used to be great . Im now looking at moving both my broadband and mobiles away to other providers . Bunch of clowns these days .

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Stop

Re: Tell me about it.....

Did you have a special business offering from Orange? As far as I know their services are residential. You really shouldn't use a residential broadband service (including the VOIP service they bundled) for business purposes, you don't get the same level of guarantees or restitution.

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Is there a GOOD broadband provider?

Can anyone actually recommend a broadband provider. I want to move from Sky becuase the router you're forced to use is rubbish. Every other provider I consider turns out to be "the worst ever".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Is there a GOOD broadband provider?

There are a few out there yes, but they're expensive - you get what you pay for.

I've used IDNet for years and they're tip top, but you'll have to pony up...

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Re: Is there a GOOD broadband provider?

I know it's less than fashionable, but for me, VM are tops. On their basic package, can download an hours HDTV prog in about 4 minutes, and never had an outage.

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Re: Is there a GOOD broadband provider?

Yes there is, but it's none of the big names.

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Re: Is there a GOOD broadband provider?

I am in the camp of not being able to fault Virgin Media. Here in Scotland they are excellent. I have been with them for over 10 years, I have 2 Tivo's, 120Mb BB, 2 phone lines. The service is excellent and I can honestly say that in the time I have been a customer I have had less than 1 fault a year. For mobile, I use Three now , as I am running down an Orange contract for 4 phones after their in contract price hikes and their orange care price increase of 30%.

I think that Orange are putting the EE into GREED.

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Re: Is there a GOOD broadband provider?

I've used xilo.net for the last 30 months, they've been superb.

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Re: Is there a GOOD broadband provider?

Sky are good...oh, wait.

Had never actually heard about them forcing you to use their router until now. Can see how that may be a problem for a very small minority but most won't care. Otherwise Sky have been excellent - top speeds, decent customer service and really cheap.

As others have said, you can go to the smaller firms like AAISP and expect outstanding customer service and a high level of technical knowledge, but it'll cost you.

O2 were decent a few years ago but they've dropped their unlimited packages now and since they're soon becoming a part of Sky that rules them out for you too.

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Re: Is there a GOOD broadband provider?

LLU ISPs often prefer you to use the supplied modem, as it should match up perfectly with the equipment they install in the DSLAM. With my soon-to-be-Sky ISP BeThere, they are perfectly happy for you to use a different modem, but if you have line problems, they will want you to plug in the box they supplied to diagnose faults.

It's also possible for most supplied modems to be put in to bridge mode, so you can use whatever device you want as your gateway, bridged to the ISPs modem.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Is there a GOOD broadband provider?

Zen. They are expensive, but if you ever need to call them with an issue you will be presently surprised to discover that:

1) Your call is answered almost immediately

2) The person at the end of the phone is more knowledgeable than you are!

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Meh

Re: Is there a GOOD broadband provider?

Just out of curiosity - what is wrong with the Sky modem/router, apart from the fact that you cannot (easily) get at all the settings?

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Re: Is there a GOOD broadband provider?

Bad form to reply to oneself, but just to add about routers ....

VM supply a crippled rebadged router, which would be flattered with the epithet "pants". However (although I had to await a firmware upgrade for this) it can be put into "modem only" mode, which allows you to use your own preferred router.

Make sure you do use the VM supplied kit though - it's DOCSIS 3.0

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Anonymous Coward

what's wrong with Sky router ?

If it's anything like the Virgin one, it won't let you redefine it's IP address, or create a network of 192.168.1.x

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Anonymous Coward

2) The person at the end of the phone is more knowledgeable than you are!

This is SOOO rare these days. Or do they just pretend to be dumb, hoping that, in your exasperation, you will slam the phone down?

That said, I did come across competent on the phone last week. This was so unnerving, that it made me realize, I hadn't spoken to a competent person on the phone for the last I-don't-remember-how-many-years :(

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Re: 2) The person at the end of the phone is more knowledgeable than you are!

Personal experience both

Eclipse and Be have been great for me - no complaints.

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Re: Is there a GOOD broadband provider?

I'm not sure about anyone else...

*ANY* sort of torrent use and it crashes.

Too many devices trying to connect wirelessly and it crashes.

It also can't keep track of wireless devices, so has IP address confilcts.

Overheats/crashes all the time out of general spite.

The replacement isn't quite so bad, and only costs £20. Still not good at all though.

Probably more, but isn't that enough?

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Windows

Re: Is there a GOOD broadband provider?

You are aware there is a procedure to extract your user/pass from the sky router so you can then use your own!!!

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Re: Is there a GOOD broadband provider?

> Can anyone actually recommend a broadband provider.

I've been with PlusNet since they were Force 9, never had a problem with them.

The Thomson router they give you is crap (my ThinkPad refuses to even talk to it) but you can use your own.

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Industry Average?

How can you have a meaningful Industry Average when there are so few players? When you look at the actual numbers, TalkTalk and BT had broadly similar stats and Orange had a single issue bad rating so should the focus of the report not be praising Sky and Virgin for having so few complaints? They each had a third or less of the complaints of the next best ISP and well under a half of the 'Industry Average'.

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People aren't bothering to complain about Talktalk, they've just leaving!

It's shocking how bad the service is in the South East, the instant they move to another provider the speed jumps 10 fold and that's on a BT wholesale exchange rather than a LLU.

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I agree, didn't bother complaining about them after having 2.2mbs for a while then all of a sudden dropping to 1.2mbs. After ringing them 4 times and getting what was kind of a reason (they had dropped the speed on the exchange as "some" users were getting errors) they told me it would be fixed in a week. That was basically a ploy to get me off the phone. So I just changed to BT, who aren't actually bad so far and im getting 2.4mbs again.

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I have no idea why anyone in their right mind would ever use Orange for anything nowadays. They truly are an awful company, and their broadband service is so diabolical that they would actually have to pay _me_ quite a lot of money to use it.

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Just about to leave Orange...

They've decided to "simplify" my mobile charges which means that instead of a call to an Orange number being cheaper than one to another network and my getting free calls to my voicemail etc, *everything* is going to cost 25p a time which means that some things have effectively gone up in price by 500%!

Goodbye, greedy bastards.

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Flame

Re: Just about to leave Orange...

They've just done that to me also. I still have a contract with the old Virgin Tariff that I got using the old Orange Value Promise (remember that from c.2003?). First 5 minutes a day (orange/landlines) 15p/min then 5p/min for the rest of the day. No daily line rental charge and no voice mail charge either - just like the original Virgin mobile tariff.

Well the "no line rental charge" aspect remains, but the calls are now 25p/min all times as is voice mail.

I can't complain too much as I'm long out of my minimum term, but its just another reason to hate Orange even more than I did for their ever increasing greed (1p for SMS delivery reports anyone?)

Tell me again - was there any doubt who "Operator A" really is??

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/03/26/vodafone_ofcom/

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Orange are shit

Tried to charge me for two phone lines, I had transferred my number on the mobile across to them.

So they tried to charge for the original contract number as well, I say charged, they sent no bills they just sent baliffs round a year later with a big bill for a number I had never owned.

There customer service is atrocious, different departments that don't talk to each other, and who apparently don't share notes, so every time you phone up you can repeat your complaint again and again, then get passed round just to repeat again.

Their supervisors do not ever call back, (if you manage to talk to one).

They are a phone and communications company whose complaints department will only allow themselves to be contacted by a PO box number, this should be fair warning in itself.

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Re: Orange are shit

"They are a phone and communications company whose complaints department will only allow themselves to be contacted by a PO box number, this should be fair warning in itself."

They're not exactly the only one of the sorry bunch in the "most complained about" league who pull that stunt.

And yes, it should be fair warning.

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Anonymous Coward

First hand experience

I worked at a contact centre for Orange around the time they changed their name from Wanadoo. If they're the same now as they were then, I can't understand how they're still in business.

While studying for my A levels I worked on their 'Technical' team supporting the Livebox. Almost everyone was clueless. We were taught that too many people online at once were causing the DSL circuits to drop sync. One senile old man spent a day informing all customers that called "Oh you're getting the 'Page Cannot be Displayed Error'. Everyone seems to be getting that today, I think we must have a sever down. If you try again later it will probably be back online".

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Not just the UK, France also

A friend of mine waited two weeks plus to get them to fix their line.

By then she had had enough so being a switched on womyn she

erected a satellite dish and went on satellite broadband.

Cost for greater speed, but no phone line (or marketing calls), less than the Orange package.

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h3
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Re: Not just the UK, France also

The French Orange is owned by someone completely different the only things the two have in common is the branding / name.

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FAIL

Just change the Name ..

"Broadband from EE (formerly Orange Broadband) offers Orange, T-Mobile and EE customers, Broadband from £5 a month plus £14 line rental" (Error code: sec_error_revoked_certificate)

I phoned EE and they wouldn't quote me a price until I gave them my phone number, postcode and house number, then they tried to sign me up to T-Mobile ..

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FAIL

Crappier than a crappy thing

Orange are completely the crappiest mobile network in the UK. It beggars understanding why anyone uses them. And the unholy alliance with T-Mobile in the venture that is EE will go the same way.

The OFCOM ruling is only surprising in that it has taken this long to register.

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Flame

Bad and good

For several years now I have been on Plusnet (owned by BT, but operated independantly) I have had good service, and since I do a lot of my surfing after midnight, their 10Gb deal works out very good for me. Only spoken to them a couple of times - once for a phone line fault, and once to set up a service for someone else, and found them knowledgeable and willing to accept that I did not know what I was doing.

I also bought a smartphone a month ago on Orange - I didn't particlularly want Orange, but did want the phone offer. Orange were utterly useless, as I was unable to set up an account to spend money with them! Passed me from department to department, never called back, refused to accept that what I told them was possible, and seemed to be located on the far end of a very cheap VOIP link.

Sent off for a new sim - that didn't work either, as it was impossible to find out what it's phone number was until you had put money on it, and you couldn't put money on until you knew the phone number.

I didn't bother talking to customer services, just binned it and got a t-mobile sim, which worked out of the box, no problems, set up account, paid in money, made calls. Sorted.

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Re: Bad and good

I use PlusNet and have had reasonably good service. There are the occasional DNS issues but it's good value. I happen to have an Orange PAYG SIM for my dumb mobile, which is OK if you don't need their customer services and you can put up with stupid texts about magic numbers or dolphin something-or-other which I delete straight away. You can't even reply STOP to them.

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Re: Bad and good

> For several years now I have been on Plusnet

Other thing with PlusNet is that their support call centre is in Sheffield, so they speak English.

Unlike Orange, who are in India and unintelligible most of the time.

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TalkTalk customer service - cruel and unusual punishment

I was a TalkTalk customer, as well as my girlfriend.

Around the start of the year, my girlfriend's broadband connection went down. Solid green lights on the router, phone line active but no connection. Changed routers, same issue. 100% packet loss for pings, etc.

I called TalkTalk technical support (Indian call centre) and thus began the 6 week labyrinthine, soul-destroying attempt to resolve the issue until we threw in the towel, cancelled the service and switched to Sky. I've tried to erase the many hours I was asked to perform the same tests, by a variety of different technical support staff; the bare-faced untruths with different support staff contradicting each other in the 'advice' that they provided.

I was told on two separate occasions that there was not a fault with the line.

6 weeks later, after switching to Sky, same issue. Within 5 minutes of phoning Sky technical support (UK based), I was informed that there was a fault on the line and that an engineer would be sent out in 3 days. When I called back 3 days later, Sky technical support were still liaising with BT Open Reach to get an engineer to the exchange because my girlfriend's line was switched with another customer - hence, why there was a telephone line but no broadband connection. The next day, a BT Open Reach engineer popped round and within 15 minutes the broadband service was up and running.

I immediately switched my line and broadband from TalkTalk to Sky. As much as I hate to further line Murdoch's pockets, their deals are competitive and compelling, with UK technical support centres.

To date, I have never experienced anything as soul-destroying as TalkTalk technical support.

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Re: TalkTalk customer service - cruel and unusual punishment

Totally agree. I now have BT who, for all their faults (and these are few now that I'm on FTTC), are approx 10^28 times better than TalkTalk.

TalkTalk. Worst. ISP. Ever.

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