An Awful, Orange World




A couple of days ago I talked about how awesome Aweber are. The focus wasn’t on their Brand, logo or product, but the customer journey they’ve created. Today I want to look at the flip reverse of this. When a company is good at everything else, but produces a huge FAIL when dealing with their customers.

That company is Orange UK!

Like most people, I have a mobile phone. I wouldn’t be able to live without it, and so choosing a network I trust is important. Orange has been that company for the past 10 years.

I love their Brand, their communications, and in general, never had an issue with their coverage.

However, recently I’ve had to deal with them on a more one-on-one basis. The result? Well, I’m leaving at the end of my contract, does that answer it for you?


What Happened?

Let me give you a quick overview of what happened:

*Early March: I received a letter conforming my early upgrade. I didn’t order an early upgrade so someone had clearly hacked into my account.

*The Next Day: I rang them the next morning, told them what had happened, and a very helpful girl told me it was fixed. In 48 hours I would receive a call. No money would leave my account. Everything would go back to normal. I was happy.

*A Week Later: No phone call had come so I rang them back. You know, just to make sure. Another girl asked the same questions, told me the same things, and said it would be sorted in the next 5 days. Apparently nothing had been done. I was less happy.

*Another Week Later: Still no phone call, so I rang again. Was once more asked the same things, told the same things, and promised the same damn things. I was angry and not happy at all. Still, they assured me everything would be ok and no money would leave my account.

*Four Days Later: £135 was taken from my account! I rang them again and was asked, and told, the same things. I asked to speak to a supervisor. She told me she would personally email the Fraud Department and get things sorted. Money would be back in my account within 48 hours. She would personally call me the next day

*Four Days Later: No phone call so I rang again. This time demanded a supervisor straight away. He asked me the same things, told me the same things, and I began getting irritable. He personally rang the Fraud Team to get things put back to normal. I waited on hold, he returned, and said it was sorted and my money would be with me by the 15th May.

*So I Asked Him: What would Orange do for me? I’m not one for free gifts or hand outs, but I wanted to know what I was worth. Would they give me a free month or two, a free gift, money toward a new handset? Nope, he said there was nothing he could do. He also said he had done me a favour by fast tracking things (aka, he did his job). I asked to speak to a customer service person, but he didn’t help.

*10 Minutes Later: I sent a ranting Tweet, got a reply, and asked to email their Customer Service Team. I did this and told them everything. I said I was leaving Orange, and even if they offered me a nice gift it was probably worthless. I did, however, demand a reply to my email.

As I write this:

*I still have no reply to this email

*No money has been put into my account


That’s Not All

About a week ago (late March) I received a text saying my early upgrade was successful. It was happening again! I rang straight away, and they told me it had been stopped in time. So they say.

Of course, they said they would ring me back, which they didn’t. They also said all the same things from before, so I have little faith.

Then, earlier today I received a phone cal from an Orange rep called Craig. He said someone was on the other line saying my phone was stollen. Mr thief was at it again. Apparently Craig suspected something, so rang me from his own mobile Phone.

He said he would ring me back, which he did.

He changed my secret questions (why hadn’t anyone done this earlier?) and apologised on behalf of Orange. He was a genuinely nice giuy and good at what he did. He also said the previous people shouldn’t have allowed an upgrade to be sent under a different name or address (oh yeah, did I mention that?)


Where It All Went Wrong

This isn’t a post destroying Orange (ok, maybe it is a little), but a plea to those reading this to not make the same mistakes. In my Free Ebook What Is Strategic Marketing, I discuss how Millenials expect engagement and good service.

Aweber does this

Orange does not

Somewhere along the way the Orange process fails. Call it CRM, Relationship Marketing, Customer Service, or whatever the hell you like. In the end of the day it’s about finding a process that represents your Brand and puts the customer first.

Where did Orange go wrong?

*Is it a poor process?

*Poor employees?

*Poor training?

*Poor monitoring?

I don’t know, but something isn’t right, and quite frankly, it disgusts me. I loved Orange. I sung their praises and would have stayed there forever. If I’d spoken to Craig in the first place, I suspect I’d still think this way

I feel sorry for Craig. It’s those around him letting things down.

So, the process of finding a new service provider begins. Happy days!


What Business are you?

Do you care about your customers?

Does your process work?

Are you Aweber or Orange?


Turndog Millionaire – @turndog_million


**Update** Still awaiting my money, a returned phone call, and my dignity!

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