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Oct 23, 2003 01:11 PM 2010 Views
(Updated Oct 23, 2003 01:11 PM)

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There has been enough Orange-bashing on MouthShut; but I guess one more won’t do harm! In fact, it is important that as many people as possible read this and understand that even these kinds of problems can occur.


I am an Orange Prepaid customer in Bombay.


Placed below is the written complaint I have sent to Orange on 04 July 2003. It is a bit lengthy, but I hope it makes the point clear. Other aspects of the review are at the end of the letter.


This letter is in continuation with the conversation I had with your “Hotline” on 01 July 2003 at 1930 hours.


At the outset I am totally fed up with your system and write this to express my disgust at your “service” and the subsequent ham-handed dealing with customers.


I would like to list out the flow of events as under:




  1. At around 1915 hours on 01 July 2003, I attempted to call up my friend on a local (Bombay) Orange number. Just prior to the call, the balance in my prepaid card was around Rs.153. I CONFIRM THAT THERE WAS NO PREVIOUS DEBITS OUTSTANDING, AND THAT ALL THE CALLS, MESSAGES AND / OR OTHER SERVICES THAT I HAD AVAILED TILL THE TIME HAD BEEN CHARGED AND TAKEN NOTE OF BY ME.




  2. When I attempted to call up the aforesaid number, I DID NOT HEAR ANY RING, LET ALONE HAVE ANY CONVERSATION. There was only a long silence followed by three loud beeps. Then the line disconnected. I just happened to check the duration of the call and it showed 3 seconds.




  3. Surprised, I once again called up my friend (the same number) with the same results, but this time the duration of the call was shown as 5 seconds.




  4. I tried it one more time as I had to desperately contact my friend, and met the same results, with the duration being mentioned as 1 second.




  5. It was at this point of time that I happened to check my balance, as each time although I had not connected the call there seemed to be a call duration involved! To my utter horror, the balance now showed Rs. 98 only.




  6. I immediately called up your so-called “Hotline”. I was put on hold for 22 minutes, following which I had a conversation with one person named Nidhi.




  7. This particular conversation was not only a total waste of time for me, but also it proved to be absolutely frustrating. Your person was in no mood to even accept the fact that I could be correct. She totally ruled out any possibility of any problem at your end, and laid the blame squarely on me, saying that I was to check my balance regularly (which I do).




  8. My repeated requests to her to tell me THE EXACT REASON FOR WHICH THE AMOUNT WAS DEDUCTED FROM MY ACCOUNT, was met with a standard reply that Orange was not in a position to do so! I wish to know, which customer will ever accept your statement that you are not in a position to tell him/her why you have charged him/her?




  9. Towards the end of the conversation I had asked your “Hotline” person what the odds were that such a thing wouldn’t happen again, and the reply I got was that such a thing couldn’t happen at all, and that your system was always perfect.




  10. I contest your far-fetched idea that there “could have been” some service I might have utilised and that the deduction was being made later on. There is reason behind such contention:






 As I had told you earlier, I CONFIRM THAT THERE WAS NO PREVIOUS DEBITS OUTSTANDING, AND THAT ALL THE CALLS, MESSAGES AND / OR OTHER SERVICES THAT I HAD AVAILED TILL THE TIME HAD BEEN CHARGED AND TAKEN NOTE OF BY ME.


 Secondly, I am aware that you do resort to delayed billing of services; and hence keep track of every service (call / message / other service) that I ever use.


 Thirdly, note the point 11 below.




  1. At the end of this frustrating conversation, the event for which I wished to call up my friend had long lost its relevance. However, I had to call him up and apologise. Finally, at 2015 on the same day, I called up the same number once again. The experience was exactly the same. A longish silence followed by three loud beeps, and the duration of call mentioned as 2 seconds. I checked the balance and found it to be Rs. 72.




  2. Later, from a landline, I called up my friend and he informed me that he did not get any ring on his mobile at that time. He says that for most of that time duration (between 1900 hrs and 2030 hrs on 01 July 2003) his mobile was free.




  3. Please note that this is the SECOND instance of this experience to me. Around the 30th of January 2003 I had faced an exactly similar experience when I attempted to call up my brother staying abroad. That time too, the call never did connect, and all of the three times that I tried, I only heard long silences. At the end of the ordeal then, I was debited around Rs. 45. I had complained to your customer service cell that time, and was given exactly similar replies. After a fortnight of me repeatedly calling you up and haranguing you about your lack of response on the issue, the whole thing turned into a case of “your word against mine”. At that time, you had absolutely refused to accept the possibility of such a thing happening.






I would like to raise a few questions:


a) Why have I been charged Rs. 75 when I have NOT MADE EVEN A SINGLE CALL OR AVAILED OF ANY OTHER SERVICE FOR THAT AMOUNT?


b) How can you state arrogantly that you will not be in a position to tell me what I have been charged for, both this time as well as in January? I demand to know the reason for which this charge has been made. And if found incorrect, these amounts should be reimbursed to me with due apologies.


c) Till when will Orange refuse to take their heads out of the sand and accept the fact that your system has a major error causing such instances?


d) How do you think you can bully the customer into accepting whatever you said? Haven’t you taught your persons the old adage of “The customer is always right”? When the customer tells you that he has faced this problem, and states the facts of the case, why can’t you believe him?


e) The control is entirely at the hands of Orange. There is no way the customer can have his say. If Orange states that the customer has utilised Rs. 75 by NOT having a conversation or NOT availing any service, the customer has no way to contest this! Is this what you call transparency in your functioning?


f) When will Orange now credit my account with this Rs. 75 plus the other Rs. 45 that I had been robbed of in the month of January?


As you are only too well aware, a satisfied customer is your best advertisement; so also, a dissatisfied customer who has been cheated is potentially the biggest threat to your business. I find it a piteous situation having to teach all this to a conglomerate like yours.


Looking forward to your early reply,


Dated: 04 July 2003


Needless to say, I am yet to receive any reply whatsoever from them. I have visited their “Orange World” at Andheri (West) and the effort led to nothing more than further frustration and irritation. When I asked them why they have not responded to my written complaint, their response deserves to be laminated, framed and cherished: “We do not entertain written communication with prepaid customers.” Very convenient, especially since 83% of their customers are prepaid!


Read the comments for ''Other aspects of the review'' and ''Closing statements''


^Intense^


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