Orange – Is the future really that bright for broadband users?

  Apparently the Government is to meet with Broadband providers soon to discuss increasing the speed of broadband connections in the UK to 100mbps – click here to read the article. A huge percentage of us are still getting our service through the original copper wires laid by BT which were never set-up for quick connections, so we may see new cables being fitted and our service improving. I admit this does all sound fantastic but I have found my broadband connection at home – although the advertising states speeds of up to 8Mbps – actually only runs at around 2.5mbps – which is OK but it’s not really fantastic. I know that only recently the providers were told by the regulator Ofcom that they would have to start advertising the average speeds rather than the top speeds and that has got to be better for all of us as consumers.

However, I have another gripe with this industry which I feel has to be shared and aired and this also includes very misleading advertising. Bare with me on this story, because if you are like me, I think you will agree that there is some form of injustice for consumers going on here.

My brother was really upset the other day over a dispute he had with his broadband provider and he felt he had been misled from the outset.

He bought an unlimited broadband package from Orange, together with a mobile phone, under a plan known as Dolphin. He chose the top unlimited broadband package as he uses broadband a little more than most people, so he wanted something which wouldn’t hold him back for his passion for music and movies. However, he received a letter from Orange informing him that his broadband connection was to be closed. The letter stated that he had breached the ‘fair use policy’ by downloading a measly 1.39GB over his limit. My brother was appalled, as for one he didn’t know he had a limit.

In fact, he had only actually taken the contract out to use the unlimited broadband and he hadn’t really wanted the mobile at all. When he opened the account, he deliberately asked them about the limits on it as he wanted to make sure he was doing the right thing. He was informed by Orange’s customer services representative to take the 8mb package which had UNLIMITED usage, so he took this option which was the more expensive alternative.

However, apparently In the reams of small print it states the following in very small font. “Allowance – we reserve the right (at our sole discretion) to suspend Home Starter until the start of your next monthly period. If your usage continues to exceed your usage allowance we also reserve the right to: (a) make a reasonable charge for additional usage above your Usage Allowance; or (b) give you 30 days’ written notice that we shall upgrade you to Home Max at a different charge; or (c) terminate Home Starter even if you are within your Minimum Period.”

Come on – this isn’t right – unlimited is surely unlimited. This is surely false advertising; making my brother sign an 18 month contract to get broadband and a mobile together and then closing his service down but sill charging him for a mobile phone that he didn’t want. He bought the package in good faith and he really feels let down by what used to be a reputable organisation.

I don’t know about you but it all seems a little unfair to me and I think that Ofcom should look into this issue sooner rather than later – I am all for new services and systems but surely if you pay for unlimited broadband you should get unlimited broadband!!

However, until we get there my brother will have to keep on paying his unwanted mobile fees for a service which he no longer wants or gets any value from.

If you have had the same problem – please do add a comment as I am interested to see how many other people have been treated in this manner.

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