Welcome to Orange (as if)

So the DPA pledge I setup succeeded. My thanks to everyone who signed up. But now I have to follow through. In fact I've been a little tardy in doing so but I am getting my act together at last.

I've selected my cellphone company Orange Personal Communications Services Limited as the target for my Subject Access Request. I've been a customer with Orange for about 14 years, should be quite a juicy stack of info they have about me.

I need to send the SAR to their company secretary so first of all I need their registered company address. Should be no problem, right? Let's go look at the website... Okay having scoured their websites including personal, business, and corporate I can't see a sign of it. I thought that, even if it's not a legal requirement to publish it, that it's good practice. Orange desparate to communicate with people again I guess.

Now with some trepidation I called Orange customer services: the dread 150. The IVR had nothing to offer me and Orange have no interest in hearing from customers so I had to pick my way through to an option where I would reach a human being. After 3 calls including 1 disconnect, 1 connection to a line full of static, and then a long wait on hold (about 25 minutes in total) I finally got through to an Indian lady in billing.

First of all I had to explain I didn't have a billing enquiry but wanted the registered address of the company. Then I had to explain to her that, no, I didn't have to tell her my mobile number for her to give me the registered address. Then with some spelling out of F as in Foxtrot she managed to convey the following address:

50 George Street,
London W1 H5RF

along with, I was surprised to say, the corresponding telephone number:

020-7984-1600

Wasn't I pleased. The information I wanted plus a telephone number for Orange HQ!

But there was something about it that made me a bit... I don't know... suspicious is the wrong word but, given my long history of dealing with Orange, it would not surprised me in the least if I'd just been given totally duff information either deliberately, because the information wasn't right on their system, or because of operator error. Since I had the phone number, why not check it out?

So I dialled the number:

The number you have called has changed.
Please dial again using our new company number of 0870-373 followed by the last 4 digits of the number you dialed

Hrmm... okay these things happen...

The number you have called has changed.
Please dial again using our new company number of 0870-376-8888

Okay aren't you supposed to be a telecomms company? And you can't redirect the numbers yourself? Well, okay...

Welcome to Orange.
If you have a mobile query, press 1. If you have an internet query, press 2.

ARGGG! The hell that is Orange's IVR and exactly what I wanted to escape. It would give me great pleasure one day to meet the Orange IVR and introduce myself with a few well choosen epithets and a flamethrower.

I thought for a few seconds and then went back to that 0870-373-xxxx. I guessed that 1600 used to be main switchboard number which probably means there would be a 1601, 1602, ... so I decided to poke around.

I called 0870-373-1601 and got an earfull of FAX bweooping. Sounds promising.

Next I called 0870-373-1602 and got a human being. The receptionist at the Orange headquarters no less. He gave me the following address for their registered office:

50 George St,
London W1U 7D2

So it seems like it was a good idea to check it out and, in the process, I now have useful information for when I want to escalate my complaints beyond Orange Customer services (asking for the CEO is usually a good place to start).

This afternoon I shall write my nice letter to Oranges company secretary.

01/08/2006 12:00 by Matt Mower | Permalink | comments:
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