What is Orange doing?
Orange is raising the cost of its pay monthly plans by 4.34% for existing customers. Orange states it has raised prices in line with its terms and conditions and therefore customers will have an increase to their monthly payments from January 2012. They are not increasing the cost of texts, calls or data.
Why is Orange doing this?
Orange blames high inflation and states that the retail prices index index (RPI) is at 5.4% and their increase is a mere 4.34%.
Can I cancel my contract?
Orange’s terms and conditions state that you cannot cancel your contract and they have a term specifically allowing them to make this increase.
So there is nothing I can do?
Hold on! According to Ofcom customers are only allowed to cancel their contract if a change causes “material detriment”. It is not clear if this fits however this is the first time Orange has invoked this term in the time it has been in contracts.
The term in their contract MAY also be unfair. The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 says a clause is likely to be unfair if it allows a seller to increase their price without giving the consumer the corresponding right to cancel the contract if the final price is too high in relation to the price agreed when the contract was concluded! This however will need to be tested.
So what should I do?
- First complain directly to Orange. You can write to them at Orange Customer Services, PO Box 10, Patchway, Bristol, BS32 4BQ. Alternatively their customer services are available on email@example.com you can also call them on 150 from your mobile phone. You will need to state that you believe this is an unfair term in your contract and you will be at material detriment (you will have less money than when you took out the contract)
- If that fails complain to Ofcom. Although Ofcom will not deal with individual complaints if enough people complain they are likely to to look at Oranges actions.
- Make sure other Orange friends and family read this and complain to Orange and Ofcom. Things will only change if enough people take action!
- Share this on Facebook and Twitter.