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Orange repeals unpopular price changes

Customer stampede forces grudging change of heart

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Orange has scrapped plans to increase out-of-bundle call rates, as well as the cost of web access from handsets, after customers started deserting the network in droves.

The changes included almost tripling the cost of minutes beyond the bundle, from five pence to 14.7 pence, as well as changing the way web access was charged.

Some suggested a change of this magnitude would justify breaking their contract, and Bitter Wallet produced a useful guide to doing just that. Such useful advice prompted so many people to quit that Orange has conceded the matter and cancelled the changes.

The alert chaps over at Bitter Wallet not only noticed that Orange's own terms and conditions allow customers to opt out of their contracts, but also that those same terms and conditions meant that the operator could not demand the return of subsidised handsets.

As the number of people involved increased, Orange reportedly started refusing to allow customers out of contracts, prompting complaints to Ofcom.

This development was swiftly followed by the latest announcement, which doesn't so much admit that the company misjudged the situation as blame customers for failing to understand what the company was trying to achieve:

"Orange apologises to those customers who found the [price change] messages unclear and any subsequent misunderstanding this has caused. We will be reviewing all policies and procedures for price changes to make sure that they are clearer in future."

We'd suggest that rather than earning slapped wrists for Orange staffers, this review is more likely to result in the telco overhauling its T/Cs to prevent such displays of people power in future.®

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