UK contracts - Orange being weird

I am Sampson

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 16, 2007
370
64
Plymouth, UK
Ok, just wanted to check what others thought of this.
I have an iPhone 4 due to be out of its 2 year contract this month, so I went into the store to ask to downgrade to their £15.50 a month contract (as it is only a monthly one so I can upgrade to iPhone 5 later if I decide to).

They said "No".

Not only would they not change my contract for me "You have to ring Orange on 150", but they said I could only downgrade to a £30 a month one (from my current £36) as Orange only allow gradual steps down in contracts!!!

I said "Well what if I just leave Orange then and join up again on the £15.50 deal?"

"Oh," Said they, "That would be fine".

:confused::confused::confused::confused::confused: Madness.
 

bandofbrothers

macrumors 601
Oct 14, 2007
4,780
328
Uk
That would be fine as you would be a new customer taking out a contract thus earning that employee commission !

I would ring Orange direct as instructed and ask to speak to their retentions team. This way you have a better chance of obtaining a deal your wanting.
 
Comment

MarkHarrisonUK

macrumors newbie
Jan 17, 2009
15
0
Here's what I did...

I phoned up, and asked for a PAC code, and refused to talk to retentions.

Then, about one week before the PAC code ran out, I phoned up to talk to retentions, and said that I'd been and compared but thought I'd give them one last chance.

I got, ahem, a somewhat better deal than any advertised :)
 
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VulchR

macrumors 68020
Jun 8, 2009
2,363
10,968
Scotland
I have had very little luck with Orange with respect to the contract for the iPhone (the service so far has been very good). They seem to think that anybody who can afford the iPhone can keep affording the rather high price once the contract runs out. I let my contract stand when I upgraded to the 4S, but if Orange think I'll show them brand loyalty when they do not show me any loyalty, then they have another thing coming....

Aside from asking for the PAC number, does it help to ask them to unlock your phone once the contract's fixed term is finished?
 
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Gav2k

macrumors G3
Jul 24, 2009
9,217
1,606
If I was you I would ask them to unlock your phone and leave them. Move to 3 and enjoy unlimited data, 5000 texts etc for 15 a month or 25 if you want tethering (one month rolling)

Problem with orange is the rolling contracts are advertised minus the £5 a month for email. If you turn that off you don't get emails pushed to your phone. Stupid I know.
 
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Moonjumper

macrumors 68020
Jun 20, 2009
2,101
1,706
Lincoln, UK
Another option if you get your phone unlocked is Tesco Mobile. I trust them more than Three and they use the O2 network. I am on one of their Sim Only iPhone deals. They have dropped it since I joined (assume I am at my original 600 minutes, I'll need to check), but it is still 250 mins, 5000 texts, 1 GB data, 3 month contract.
 
Comment
Ok, just wanted to check what others thought of this.
I have an iPhone 4 due to be out of its 2 year contract this month, so I went into the store to ask to downgrade to their £15.50 a month contract (as it is only a monthly one so I can upgrade to iPhone 5 later if I decide to).

They said "No".

Not only would they not change my contract for me "You have to ring Orange on 150", but they said I could only downgrade to a £30 a month one (from my current £36) as Orange only allow gradual steps down in contracts!!!

I said "Well what if I just leave Orange then and join up again on the £15.50 deal?"

"Oh," Said they, "That would be fine".

:confused::confused::confused::confused::confused: Madness.
I see two potential problems here:

1. The tariff you want is probably not available for iPhone.
2. Strangely, Orange extend your contract when you change tariffs!

Be careful. I wouldn't want to extend my contract without being sure of walking off with a new phone (at some point). Even on the cheapest monthly plans, there's a significant network subsidy and in terms of your total cost of ownership, that matters.

I went through a similar process this week but decided to move over to the other side and see what bleeding edge Android is like for a while. Orange happily let me move down to the Panther 15.5 tariff and walk off with a heavily subsidised, suitably bleeding edge Android phone.

My advice? Call 150 (it's their job) and say you're thinking of leaving. Their retentions people can probably do what you ask. What you want (if I'm reading your query correctly) is:

1. Keep your iPhone 4 for the time being.
2. But on a better tarif for you.
3. <My caveat> But without committing to another 24 months.

Possible issues? If you get what you want, it may lower your stock with Orange. When it comes to an upgrade, your monthly spend with them matters and can impact the cost of the new phone.
 
Comment

yetanotherdave

macrumors 68000
Apr 27, 2007
1,767
3
Bristol, England
It's likely they can only step you down a bit at a time because you are still (just) in contract, try again on the day/after your contract is up and they'll have a different answer, if they don't, get the pac code and change to someone else.
 
Comment

apolloa

Suspended
Oct 21, 2008
12,318
7,796
Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
I called Orange, wanted to change from pay as you go to a rolling 30 day contract with my existing iPhone 4.

I forget to mention it was an iPhone until AFTER the lovely lady had entered all the details on the system, she had to then go and ask a manager as they only did 'limited number or iPhone contracts. So I now get for £10 a month rolling 30 day contract, unlimited text, 250mb data and 150 anytime cross network mins!! result!
 
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I called Orange, wanted to change from pay as you go to a rolling 30 mont contract with my existing iPhone 4.

I forget to mention it was an iPhone until AFTER the lovely lady had entered all the details on the system, she had to then go and ask a manager as they only did 'limited number or iPhone contracts. So I now get for £10 a month rolling 30 day contract, unlimited text, 250mb data and 150 anytime cross network mins!! result!
That's a good point. Once out of contract, they should be able to treat any customer on a bring your own phone basis. Good result.
 
Comment

cambookpro

macrumors 604
Feb 3, 2010
6,523
1,983
United Kingdom
If I was you I would ask them to unlock your phone and leave them. Move to 3 and enjoy unlimited data, 5000 texts etc for 15 a month or 25 if you want tethering (one month rolling)

Problem with orange is the rolling contracts are advertised minus the £5 a month for email. If you turn that off you don't get emails pushed to your phone. Stupid I know.
FWIW, the £15/month 3 plan includes tethering. The £25 one just gives you more minutes and texts I think.
 
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cambookpro

macrumors 604
Feb 3, 2010
6,523
1,983
United Kingdom
They can't physically stop you tethering, they'll just send you a £mahoosive bill for all of the data you used whilst tethering if they find out.
If I'm on an unlimited plan, how does it matter if I use 20GBs on my laptop or 20GBs on my phone?

I only use tethering to check my school email which for some reason doesn't work on my phone, so I've probably used a grand total of about 20MBs over a year. Might be a cutoff or something?
 
Comment

matttye

macrumors 601
Mar 25, 2009
4,956
30
Lincoln, England
If I'm on an unlimited plan, how does it matter if I use 20GBs on my laptop or 20GBs on my phone?
Anyway, been tethering regularly for a year and it's all good, so... ;)
Laptops use more data as they access the full internet. Mobiles, even smartphones, are often directed to mobile versions of websites. Smartphones are also slower at processing data.

Maybe tethering is actually included in your plan; I'm just saying that if it's not, Orange will probably bill you for the data you've used per MB outside of your plan.
 
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cambookpro

macrumors 604
Feb 3, 2010
6,523
1,983
United Kingdom
Laptops use more data as they access the full internet. Mobiles, even smartphones, are often directed to mobile versions of websites. Smartphones are also slower at processing data.

Maybe tethering is actually included in your plan; I'm just saying that if it's not, Orange will probably bill you for the data you've used per MB outside of your plan.
It wasn't really directed at you, more at the phone companies! If they offer a truly unlimited plan, I don't get why they think the data can only be used by the phone. I understand that full sites will be larger, but in this day and age I regularly download gigs over 3G which would be no different to using a laptop.

Anyway, touch wood it's all been fine so far. Will look into whether tethering is technically allowed at a later date. However, I know when I was with O2 tethering was disabled all together, so why don't 3 just do that?
 
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matttye

macrumors 601
Mar 25, 2009
4,956
30
Lincoln, England
It wasn't really directed at you, more at the phone companies! If they offer a truly unlimited plan, I don't get why they think the data can only be used by the phone. I understand that full sites will be larger, but in this day and age I regularly download gigs over 3G which would be no different to using a laptop.

Anyway, touch wood it's all been fine so far. Will look into whether tethering is technically allowed at a later date. However, I know when I was with O2 tethering was disabled all together, so why don't 3 just do that?
I do agree with you; if it's unlimited you should be able to use it however you like. I think that realistically the networks aren't capable for all users to download unlimited data, which is why they implement these restrictions on tethering, and introduce throttling etc. for the highest users.

I'm not sure how they go about detecting whether you're tethering or not, but if they just check the user-agent string sent by your browser, you could simply spoof that so that it uses your smartphone's user-agent string and get away with tethering anyway! The only downside would be that you'd start getting directed to mobile versions of websites.
 
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Chic0

macrumors 6502
Jan 16, 2008
344
9
UK
When i was looking for sim only, voda had the best deals and still do i think. I pay £26pm for 1200mins, unlimited txts and 1gb data
 
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matttye

macrumors 601
Mar 25, 2009
4,956
30
Lincoln, England
When i was looking for sim only, voda had the best deals and still do i think. I pay £26pm for 1200mins, unlimited txts and 1gb data
Three UK's "the One Plan" has that beat mate. It's £25 a month for 2000 minutes, 5000 texts and unlimited data (truly unlimited, but top downloaders are throttled).

If you're an insane texter and send 167 texts a day then you might go over the 5000 texts allowance :p
 
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Chic0

macrumors 6502
Jan 16, 2008
344
9
UK
Three UK's "the One Plan" has that beat mate. It's £25 a month for 2000 minutes, 5000 texts and unlimited data (truly unlimited, but top downloaders are throttled).

If you're an insane texter and send 167 texts a day then you might go over the 5000 texts allowance :p
That is a great deal, but I'm unsure about reliability of Three's network.

Being with vodafone works out best for me though. Recently I started working for them, so I get 50% off. Also if/when I leave this will change to 30% discount for as long as I keep the tariff.

I regularly go over my data allowance too, but Voda dont charge extra or throttle.

Currently they are doing the same deal, but with 3000mins which is very tempting. I normally use all my mins and sometimes go over, so this seems like a no brainer for me. It's only same price for 12months though, before it goes up to £31. Still a great deal for anyone, but i'd also be getting at least 30% off too.
 
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cperchard

macrumors 6502a
Jun 15, 2010
795
7
I'm with orange.....when my contract ran out they offered me a sim only deal for £25 a month for 600 mins, unlimited texts and 750 meg data.......so I said "right I'm off then cos can get so much better elsewhere".

So they crumbled and kept me by offering me 500 mins, unlimited texts and 1 gig data for £15 a month indefinitely!!

All u gotta do on the phone to them is threaten to leave and they will wanna keep u somehow!
 
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bandofbrothers

macrumors 601
Oct 14, 2007
4,780
328
Uk
I'm with orange.....when my contract ran out they offered me a sim only deal for £25 a month for 600 mins, unlimited texts and 750 meg data.......so I said "right I'm off then cos can get so much better elsewhere".

So they crumbled and kept me by offering me 500 mins, unlimited texts and 1 gig data for £15 a month indefinitely!!

All u gotta do on the phone to them is threaten to leave and they will wanna keep u somehow!
On balance tho i know people who have pushed that little bit too hard and the operator has simply accepted their instruction to provide a PAC code oraccepted a months notice to close the contract.
 
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ckc

macrumors regular
Nov 13, 2010
108
10
If you leave Orange Vodafone are also worth looking at.

I have a 30 day rolling montly contract with; unlimited texts, 300 mins cross network calls )including all mobile to mobile calls), 500MB data for £10 per month.
 
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