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The Future’s Bright… The Future’s a Lemon….

OrangeThe test of a company is not when things go well, but how they treat you and react to a problem once it’s been brought to their attention…

And here’s my tale of woe!

Approximately two years ago, I ordered a brand new Orange PAYG SIM for my iPad 3G, and in all fairness I got quite a good deal.  One of the conditions of the account was to set up a direct debit, and for nearly two years I was very happy with the coverage and costs of Orange’s service offering.

I get to travel with the work I do, which is exciting, but with hotels offering free WiFi these days, I turned the 3G off on my iPad.

Debits were being taken from my account monthly, and thought nothing of it, until I realised having spent a month in Australia that there’s no way any charges should have been levied on my account.  It was when I took a closer look at my bill, and was shocked to see that the Data Usage for that month was 0.00 mb (No Usage) but a Non-Direct Debit Fee of £3.58 a month was being levied on my PAYG (Pay As You Go) account for the privilege of supposedly not have a DD Set up!  

I wasn’t happy with that, and having checked my previous bills, discovered that Orange (Now EE) had been charging this fee for at least three months, even though they were happily taking the money from my account by Direct Debit, and that there was Zero 3G Data Usage on the iPad Sim Account.

I contacted their call centre, to complain, I was told in no uncertain terms that they make the charge to my account as I don’t have a DD setup.  I queried, how are you taking the funds from my account then? To which they had no reply.

I was far from happy with this situation, and requested they close all my accounts down.  I was put through to their account retentions team, I explained the situation, requested a full refund of these charges and followed up with a letter to EE.

Now the key to this is, at the time I signed up for the service, the terms on the PAYG sim was only pay for the data you use.  Orange have been taken over by EE, however the terms and conditions of my account had not changed from when I opened that account, nor had any change been communicated to me.

More importantly, if you have Zero usage on a PAYG account, how can you justify taking £3.58 for allegedly not having a direct debit and taking it by Direct Debit?

I received confirmation of the account closed, and their customer relations department did agree to refund these charges, however this was back in February, It’s not mid April and I’m still no closer to receiving my refund.  Despite calls to their contact centre.

So, if you took out a PAYG iPad Sim, please check your statements to ensure that you haven’t been levied this stealth fee unknowingly, particularly if this is a fee that you hadn’t been paying in the past.  If you are being charged then get in contact with Orange/EE Customer Services.

DirectDebitCharge1You are looking for a line item that looks like this :-

Check your contract, as EE have clearly changed their terms and conditions for a PAYG Account.

The problem was highlighted in January, and maybe by May I may get my long overdue refund…


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