A clockwork Orange?


Upper Cockenzie, —I don’t get paper bills anymore from Orange, haven’t done so for couple of years now. I am happy to see my mobile phone bills online.

Upon my recent trip to the US I knew my bill at the end of the month would be a fair bit more for data, text messages and calls so I wanted to have a good look at it. I don’t usually check as its more or less the same amount every month.

I went to the Orange website to login and couldn’t remember my password so I checked the Forgotten Password link whereupon it took my mobile number, CAPTCHA and then said it was sending a text message to my phone with a PIN number (to prove I was me). I waited ten minutes, nothing arrived. So I tried again, nothing. Then upon the third time, I got the generic “There has been a technical problem” screen.

Fail #1

I decided to tweet @orange on Twitter see if they could help. I got a reply from a different second account @Orange_noreply (worst use of Twitter I can think of by any organisation) telling me to use a third Twitter account, @orangehelpers.

Fail #2

Few hours later I decided to try the text message thing again and this time, surprisingly, it worked. I got into my account but now it said that my account viewing was limited, I would need to input the Account Number to unlock my bills, payments, details etc.

Handily this Account Number was printed on the top right of my most recent bill. As I mentioned right at the start of this complaint, I don’t get paper bills, I have electronic bills, so I have no idea what this is.

So I could not find out the Account Number because it was on my bill which I needed the Account Number to view.

Fail #3

I gave up.

Orange has managed to turn what should be a simple job into a Treasure Hunt. Websites, applications, software, whatever, its all about tasks for the user. In this instance, an Orange customer has a task they want to (need to) complete, and when they can’t, it frustrates them. If it frustrates them enough, they leave. Simple.

As for Orange’s Twitter Schizophrenia, they really need to sort that out. It genuinely is the worst Twitter response I have had from a company. It was worse than no response at all.

Once my contract is up, I will go elsewhere. Unfortunately I am not sure the competition will be much better?

Ed Henderson