EE/Orange’s error has ruined my credit rating. Watch out it doesn’t happen to you.

Forgive my being so quiet on this blog for a while, and then using it for something like this, but it’s hard enough work at the moment getting a company off the ground without idiocy like this adding to it.

The email below, which I’ve just sent to the chief executive of EE/Orange, Olaf Swantee, and cc’d to their head of customer service, should be self-explanatory. Please publicise it widely – to help my case and to warn others who might find themselves in the same situation.

Thanks!

Mr Swantee,

Last year I took out an Orange mobile phone for my business, with a Samsung handset. I had so many problems with it, and so little help from Orange, that in June, out of desperation, I went to your store in XXXXXXXXX and asked for a figure to buy myself out of the contract so that I could switch networks and get a different handset. I was given a figure of around £560, paid this in full there and then, received a PAC code (which you would not issue to me if I hadn’t settled my account in full) and went next door to Vodafone to take out a new contract.

At the beginning of this week, I went to open a bank account for a new company I’ve started. The bank refused to open an account, stating that there was a problem with my credit record. To say I was shocked is an understatement, since I have never owed anyone money and failed to pay.

To identify the problem, I had to get my credit report from Experian. Everything on my report was green – except for a single red marker next to the entries for EE/Orange. This marker was there because you have tried, every month for 6 months, to claim £10-ninety-something and it hasn’t been paid.

It hasn’t been paid because I cancelled the direct debit because I paid Orange £560 to terminate my contract – the full and final figure given to me by your company.

For the sake of £10 that I don’t owe you in the first place, your company has ruined my credit rating, causing me enormous embarrassment and huge inconvenience as I’ve been unable to bank cash and pay bills on behalf of my new company.

It gets worse. On Tuesday afternoon I called your customer service line and ended up connected to an operative in India. After a long telephone call and a lengthy explanation of the problem, this operative acknowledged the error and said the £10-odd would be cancelled. So that I could correct things with Experian and the bank, I asked for an immediate email from Orange/EE confirming the error and advising that my credit report could be corrected. The operative said the system didn’t allow her to arrange it immediately, but I would receive it in 24-48 hours.

This evening, 50-odd hours after that call, I phoned your customer service line again. This time, after explaining the problem, I was connected to XXX XXXXXXXX. He was sympathetic but completely unable to help – and initially questioned whether my account of events was correct.

I invited him to listen to the recording of Tuesday’s call and was told that no calls to India are recorded. Not only was the call not recorded and I had not received the promised email – but there were not even any notes put on the account by your Indian employee about the call.

Mr XXXXXXX apologised but said that there was nothing he could do but put my complaint into the escalation process, but that this would take around 7 more days.

This is completely unacceptable. Your company made an error in trying to claim money on a cancelled direct debit when I had paid the full amount specified by your company to exit the contract. Not only that, but at no point in the past 7 months has EE/Orange written to me about the supposed unpaid ‘debt’.

Instead, you’ve tried to claim on a non-existent direct debit and have recorded warning markers against my name to the extent that I now have a red flag and am turned down for a company bank account.

I’m not prepared to wait 7 days. If this is not resolved tomorrow (Friday) with an immediate correction of my credit record and an unreserved apology from EE/Orange, I will contact a solicitor to take advice on initiating a lawsuit for defamation and for damages.

In addition, I write a blog that has been read around half a million times in the past year. As soon as I send this email, I am going to post a copy of it to that blog and ask readers to publicise it widely. This post will remain on the blog until I am satisfied with your reaction to this email.

I expect your urgent call on my mobile number below (the same one I ported to Vodafone using the PAC code you gave me when I settled my account in full), followed by the written apology and confirmation of action taken by post and by email.

Steve Walker

Thanks for helping spread this issue. Orange outsources to a foreign call-centre, decides it’s not worth recording the calls and then washes its hands when its cheap labour doesn’t do what it has promised – and damn the consequences, all you can do is submit to the ‘escalation process’ and wait 7 days before you even get a response, while yet more damage is done.

I’ll let you know what response I get.

EDIT: Appears this is far from an isolated issue. See https://www.facebook.com/OrangeUK/posts/590634674334296

Update 7/2/14 14.40pm:

Received, eventually, an automated response from EE’s executive office, advising me that I’d appreciate knowing my email was being looked at. Here’s the ensuing exchange, in reverse order:

Not good enough, I’m afraid. The urgency is clear from the content of my email – and I’ve already been waiting since Tuesday afternoon for a response that was promised within 24-48 hours.

Get to it.

From: Executive Office [mailto:Executive.Office@ee.co.uk]
Sent: 07 February 2014 14:10
To: Steve Walker
Subject: RE: Complaint email: Steve Walker 2

Hello

We aim to reply within 72 hours.

Executive Office

From: Steve Walker
Sent: 07 February 2014 13:47
To: Executive Office
Subject: RE: Complaint email: Steve Walker 2

Hi Angie,

An automated reply after this long is not particularly appreciated, no – not in the circumstances, when the clock’s ticking and I’m still unable to open a bank account.

Please get a proper response to me immediately.

Steve

From: Executive Office [mailto:Executive.Office@ee.co.uk]

Sent: 07 February 2014 13:41
To: Steve Walker
Subject: FW: Complaint email: Steve Walker 2

Hello.

I run EE’s executive office.

This is an automated response, but I thought you’d appreciate knowing that your email has been reviewed by the CEO’s office.

My team and I will investigate the issue and contact you as soon as possible.

Kind regards,

Angie Jones

Executive Office Manager

Customer Team

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37 responses to “EE/Orange’s error has ruined my credit rating. Watch out it doesn’t happen to you.

  1. Was once an Orange customer by accident – an ISP I was with was taken over by them – and it was nothing but trouble, culminating in me losing internet connection altogether. Customer service totally hopeless. Wouldn’t touch them with a bargepole.

  2. Appalling but not surprising. I’m glad to say I stopped using Orange some years ago. Good luck. I have tweeted just now and set a tweet for tomorrow morning as well.

  3. Bloody disgusting! I’ll spread it around as I too am an ex-customer of Orange, and thank goodness that I only had a PAYG!
    Hope the situation is resolved quickly…

  4. I had a problem cancelling my Orange Package and didn’t even have a contract with them, as it had expired long before. I cancelled and they were still drawing off my account, when I asked for my money back they just laughed at me, it was only two months worth in the end, but I will never use them again.

    This is private enterprise at it’s best just think how bad it could be at its worst.

    We never had this sort of nonsense with the GPO, for those that can remember.

    • orange one of the most robed company they robed me tow time verst time i had £47:00 credit i try to make a phone call they text me (you only have0:38p left ) it happened today also i had £52;00 credit they left me with 0;60p i strongly advice very one to avoid orange.bettr not dell with them any more //dan robin

    • orange one of the most robed company they robed me tow time ferst time i had £47:00 credit i try to make a phone call they text me (you only have0:38p left ) it happened today also i had £52;00 credit they left me with 0;60p i strongly advice every one to avoid orange.bettr not dell with them any more //dan robin

  5. Reblogged this on Vox Political and commented:
    THIS blog (Vox Political) had more than 130,000 hits last week – that’s why I’m posting this to show solidarity with my fellow blogger. It’s time these corporates were made to see they can’t have it all their own way.

  6. Its all so distant now it used to be that a quiet word with a manager would solve the problem that day but now it always seems to take weeks and often longer.

    Its a terrible thing when our reputation is damaged in such a way and often we don’t find out about it until we need something like a loan or new credit card. A horrible thing to happen these credit rating companies should not be able to red line your credit unless there is something official from the company to notify us or a court order in place to verify the facts. I hope your rating is restored and a full apology received quickly.

  7. Absolutely terrible!
    Demand compensation, but most of all demand they wipe your file clean.Dont take any shit like they cant because they can.It may take a few weeks but it can be done.
    Happened to me years ago with a catalogue company…1 year after I cleared the account! Suddenly got a letter from a DCA saying they were taking me to court unless I paid what I owed.
    Took me a few choice words, loads of calls and letters but it was eventually sorted.
    Re-blogged to my limited audience (new blogger lol) but I presume every little helps.
    Good Luck Steve

  8. Pingback: EE/Orange’s error has ruined my credit rating. Watch out it doesn’t happen to you. | Britain Isn't Eating·

  9. Pingback: EE/Orange's error has ruined my credit rating. ...·

  10. A similar event happened to my limited company some years ago, after weeks of argument frustration boiled over. At the time they had an office which I called to. Following some argument and bruising of the meathead security guard I got it resolved. They can be utterly stupid pigheaded and totally innefficient. The overseas call centres are a waste of time. Good luck and don’t let go. Only coalition politicians can equal their stubborn stupidity.

  11. Orange / EE / T-Mobile are a nasty company. I, and many others, have been in ongoing dispute with them following their mid-contract price-increases, which they based on the RPI.

    Orange’s Ts&Cs expressly rely on a document from the ‘Central Statistical Office’, which hasn’t existed since 1996, For T-Mobile they guessed what the RPI figure was going to be and then refused to accept peoples cancellations when they pointed out that the RPi when they increased their prices was lower than the price increase they imposed.

    Despite clear evidence that EE’s actions are in breach of both their and OFT guidelines, Offcome have been completely useless in addressing this (not surprising when you look at the makeup of their corporate-infested board). The only recompense we have is to pay the (exorbitant) cancellation fees and then take them to the small claims court. Something that I am doing now.

    Avoid this despicable, tax avoiding, company (although good luck finding a provider who pays anything like the corporation tax they ought).

    • We have exactly the same issue Adrian with my sons old contract tried to increase mid term now have DCA’s on our back but we are refusing to pay and hoping it will end up in court

  12. I sympathise with you Steve and don’t want to make you feel any worse but, apart from the credit rating bit, you could have been describing my experience with Vodafone last year (still partially on-going). They too use an Indian call centre. Due to an almighty c0ck-up when I tried to upgrade and buy a phone from them (I won’t go into detail or my comment would be as long as your letter), I moved my number to Tesco Mobile. I’ve been with them over 6 months now but, despite numerous phone calls to Vodafone (actually getting through to someone about 1 in 5 attemps without being cut off), they still send texts to my number asking me to text them on nnnn, a totally meaningless number on Tesco Mobile even if I was remotely interested. Vodafone’s CS help number from the mobile is advertised as free, which it is if you can get an answer from the automated menus, but, if you actually want human telephone support they charge you. Good luck with both companies!

  13. I know two people who have had much the same problem with Orange/EE, and I had a terrible time with Vodafone. They were putting me through to their own internal numbers that no longer existed. I’ve posted this story on Facebook and hope you get satisfaction soon. In the meanwhile, look at GiffGaff.com. They are great – contract prices on PAYG.

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  15. I have been in the same situation and recently had a default against me removed by Orange/EE. I started this epetition on the government site: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/59809

    It is my hope that a change in regulation to enforce notifications to be sent would prevent these problems from happening happening to others.

    It took over two years of writing and emailing both direct to Orange and via my MP and the ICO

  16. Pingback: Orange/EE pt 2: More damaging, irresponsible nonsense | The SKWAWKBOX Blog·

  17. I am having the same trouble with orange/ ee. A default on a account that was meant to be marked as default 2009 and marked as settled. For a small sum if £160. I’ve send all my paperwork off to them demanded they change it in accordance to the data protection act, yet still waiting on a response.

    • Hiya

      Exactly the same thing has happened to me. Default showing on my credit report since March 2013 all for the grand sum of £10.83. Emailed the credit file email address that Orange gave me, no reply. Called them today, no help whatsoever. I’ve not received any letters from them about this amount and the only reason I noticed is because we are looking to remortgage. Really at a loss about what to do, will write a letter and send on Monday but just wondered if your issue was sorted?

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