Thursday, April 15, 2010

Well that didn't work out too well!

OK so as promised a replacement phone turned up yesterday just after 1pm. After some banter with the courier I came back to my desk and opened the replacement. To my suprise I found I had been given a Blackberry 8520 in exchange for my 9700.
Running to the window, stopped the courier, swapped the phones back, checked the couriers paperwork, which stated "replace Blackberry 8520" and placed a call to Orange.

Unfortunatly the guy I have been speaking to was at lunch, so I left a message for a call back.
By 4.30 I had not heard back, so called again, only to again be told he was on break again. I left another message. This time the callback came. Which is quite a suprise based on Orange's track record. I informed them of the mistake, and was told that there had obviously been a mix up and my account showed an 8520 on it. Yup thats right, 3 weeks talking about a broken 9700 and all I really wanted was an 8520. Which would have been totally useless to me, as they are only replacing the handset, not the battery or cover.

So, I sit here again, waiting to see what will turn up today. I will be sure to update to see what Orange can come up with on what is now about Day 24 of the whole matter.

I am so tempted right now by a white 9700 which is NOT available on Orange right now. Could the time be right to jump ship? I wonder what else Orange have that could tempt me right now.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Drum roll please....

The phone is due to arrive with me today between 1 and 6, so lets see what happens here.
Yesterday I tried the SIM in another 9700 on Orange and it worked fine, so therefore there is no reason a replacement will not work for me.

So the clock is ticking again. I look forward to the arrival of the phone so I can call Orange back to discuss the closing up of this whole issue.

Fingers crossed, I will be back on the grid shortly.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Well that was an effort!

Apologies for no entries over the last week, was just taking a break from the WWW.

Well I have spoken to Orange a couple of times over recent days now, been lied to by a handset support agent, telling me 2 days no longer, regarding a final decision. Only to be contradicted by the executive office. Which is what I expected anyway. But I am sure people appreciate that when you are pissed off with a situation, the last thing you need is a call centre telling you lies.

I got a call back from Orange Exec Offices this morning to confirm after a discussion with management they have decided to replace the handset. Over riding tech support in the process, and going against the way they operate. But due to the time the whole matter has dragged on for they are, I quote "willing to try replacing the handset to see if that helps the matter in any way". Meanwhile tech support remain positive that the matter lays with RIM, and replacing the handset will NOT give me a fully serviceable 9700.

So lets see what happens. I will of course update as soon as I have tested the new handset.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Michael Snasdell Blackberry 9700

To whom it may concern. I write to you this evening with a heavy heart and a certain degree of annoyance.
The account in question is attached to my mobile account.

It has now officially been 2 weeks since I first reported the fault with my Blackberry 9700 not sending/receiving data, and to date there has been no resolution of rectification of the issue. I have spoken to numerous people about this matter, from tech support, to handset faults, and all to no avail.

I have now reached the stage of not wishing to verbally discuss this matter any further with anyone from Orange. The conversations seem to repeat on themselves, the outcome invariably the same "we can't replace the handset at this point" and the level of frustration for me rises each time.

So instead I would rather communicate via email so I have a record of any assurances given, actions taken, and if one should ever be given, a time scale for resolving this whole matter once and for all.

I have reached the point of sharing the details of the issue with online communities and my blog, in order to seek further advice on the whole issue.

I would be grateful if someone could review the matter and get back to me to let me know where we are with the matter and if resolution can actually be reached, or if the matter is not possible to resolve.

In the meantime I feel if only fair to express my acute disappointment with Orange over this whole matter, and of my intentions to seek alternative provision of mobile services. Vodafone are offering a very similar package, and should it not be possible to resolve this issue in the very near future, I will begin transferring my contracts to Voda as soon as practically possible.

I should point out that this email is being sent from the account which I have the issues with. Simply putting the SIM into a working handset (my Blackberry 8520) allows me to use the full data service. I hope this in some way provides extra encouragement for Orange to replace the faulty 9700 once and for all. As it is clearly an issue that replacing the handset WILL resolve.

I look forward to receiving a response full of hope and promise very soon. Or at least an honest appraisal of the matter and some form of decision.

Kindest regards

Michael Snasdell

Sent using BlackBerry®

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

OK well thats Easter out of the way... lol.

... time to move on and change a few things about.
Ordered a new bed over the weekend, hopefully this one will be worth the money and provide a good nights sleep. Cost a pretty penny, but hopefully its money well spent. Sadly though, that change has also inspired me to make some more changes in the bedroom, so no doubt that will cost me a bit more too. Doh!
I have booked the kennels for our trip to Florida this year, so thats another thing out of the way. I am scaring myself at just how organised this trip is so far. A few more things left to do, but the majority of things out the way. Hoping to get the house paid for by the end of this month, which will be a god thing, and will only leave the cars left to pay for once we travel. Looking forwards to this break now. A long way off, but I can hold out that long. 85 days or so left.

Also over the weekend we bought a WiiFit which I have to say is both fun and addictive. I am already trying to break records I set, and beat any record Chantal sets too. I like using it, and am aiming mainly at flexibility and muscle toning for the areas I usually miss at the gym. I have to say, after 3 days I am already feeling the difference.

Speaking of the gym, I have been a couple of times over the 4 days of Easter, and managed to train hard. Today doing biceps, and coming home and feeling knackered, but somehow feeling good too. I have also started using Cardio Trainer on my MotoDEXT phone. An Android based app, which copys what some far more expensive devices do, and provides a great record of indoor and outdoor exercise. So another helpful tool to keep me on track for my 90 day plan.

From today food intake is taken seriously, exercise regime followed closely and gains and improvements will be the reward.

Right im done for now, so catch you later, have a great short week.

Oh just to say, 11am, no call from Orange, and no data on the 9700 yet!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Clock starts ticking again in the morning..

... not that I really give much of a damn anymore, but hey I have to show interest, right?

Easter holidays officially draw to a close tonight, and people start working again in the departments that are dealing with my wonderful Blackberry 9700 which does not work!

Heres to hoping that at some point over the next few working days, someone can grow a pair, make a decision, fix my damn phone once and for all, or just replace the stupid thing.

Nothing much more to say on the matter really, other than just looking on the Orange website now at what I WOULD upgrade to if I had any faith in the network. So in the meantime I will have a look on and see what they can offer me instead.

Friday, April 2, 2010

From today I am giving up caring.

Caring about the whole Orange thing that is.
It is really not worth stressing myself about now, if they cant be bothered, and I have managed to get another Blackberry to use, what is the point in worrying and stressing myself about it all.
I was seriously wound up about it all last night, but on getting out with the dogs, and taking a breather, I realised a few things.
Its only a phone. I have my services on another handset now, so am only losing out on paying for what I'm not getting, and having to use a lesser model. But this works at least.
This is the first serious issue I have ever had with Orange in 6 years. OK yes its a bloody serious issue (as far as I am concerned anyway) and getting beyond a joke as we rumble into day 9, but worth leaving a carrier for? That in itself could be more hassle still.

So I am left dithering.
The plan now, leave Orange to their own devices, just wait for the call back to say they are ready to resolve the issue, and see how they are going to reimburse me for my time and loss of service, as well as the hours of calls which I will no doubt get billed for.
Once that is done, I will call retentions when the first contract ends, and see what they want to do to retain me as a customer.

The only downside with this plan is, if it takes til the end of next week and I have heard nothing back, do I just assume I have been forgotten, and chase them up. Or just leave it? I'm not sure I'm THAT patient.

Lets see eh, have a great Easter break.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My experience with Orange UK customer services

OK, so I know I have already blogged about this, but wanted to get it all into one entry. Reason being is, I want to copy it and send it to any organisation, governing body, or media body that wants to read it. As a whole I feel the way Orange have dealt with this matter is ridiculous, so it deserves as much attention as it can get. So here goes.

On Thursday 25th March I awoke to find my Blackberry was not sending or receiving data. Its not the first time it has happened, but usually a battery pull or re-registering it on the network solves the problem. However on this occasion it didn't.
After doing all the usual things I decided to call Orange and report it as a fault. I called them at about 11am, and spoke to the handset faults team, who after running some basic diagnostics were unable to resolve the issue. The matter was then escalated to the next level, and I spoke to someone else who ran me through a whole host of diagnostics, including deleting settings, resending things etc. None of which worked. At this point he suggested purging me from the network was the last resort, and set about getting this done. Sadly this didn't work either. He then said he had exhausted all the options and needed to speak with someone about replacing the handset, and he would call be back..... The call back never came.

I made a couple more calls to Orange, that day, but nothing was resolved. I spoke to another guy that evening, who again ran through some ideas, but was unable to resolve it either. He too said replacement would be the best call on the matter. Just wanting to be sure it was a handset fault and not a network fault, I asked if he could call me back once I was at home, so I could try and alternative SIM in the handset. 30 mins later he called back, and I tried the SIM..... Nothing.

The strange part in all this is, both my BIS SIM's work fine in my other Blackberry (8520) Full BIS service, no issues. But when put in the 9700 neither can use the data service. Giving him this information he too was satisfied that it was the handset, and requested a replacement be issued. To my surprise the request was denied, and the matter was passed to networks as that is where is was now believe the fault lay. Quite how this could be the case, with both SIM's operating fine in another handset, I do not know, but then who am I?

I was told it could take a couple of days, so left it until Saturday afternoon to call back. When I called back I was told network were aware of the issue, but had not finished with the matter yet, and I would have to wait until they have made their decision on the matter until it could progress any further. Over the weekend I was told networks work normal hours, networks work limited hours, networks run a skeleton crew, and finally networks don't work at all over the weekend, so nothing will be done with the case til Monday.

Sunday comes around, I call Orange to ask what the outcome is with network. They tell me that its just being looked at now, and hopefully I will get a call back that afternoon, but to give them til late, as they work til 10. 10pm comes and goes, no call back. By this time it is about the 4th time I have been promised a call back, and it has not come. Monday now rolls around and to my shock I get a call. A voice says "hi I'm from customer relations, I have someone on the line who can help with your faulty Blackberry", seconds later I am connected.... To level 1 tech support, in what sounded like India. I don't make that assumption from the fact I am speaking to an Indian guy, but more to do with the loud native chatter in the background drowning out his voice as he tries to speak to me.
Now at this point again I get a little wound up. Firstly, I have been through level 1 over and over with numerous people over the last few days. And secondly that the instructions he is giving me (screen prompted of course) are wrong. Telling me to "press the trackball" errrm, the 9700 has a pad, not a ball. Eventually, as expected he admits defeat and passes me to the next level.
I am now connected to a guy who says he hopes he can help me, as its his first day. GREAT!
After a few mins of explaining that the SIM's work fine in other handsets he also states that its not a network issue, but a handset issue. However they cannot replace it at this point.
I ask for an escalation and a call back as its now getting stupid.

Somewhere along the line, I forget where now) the matter is passed to RIM themselves. As it is now believe this is where the real issue lays. (I will come back to this in a bit)

(at this point, forgive me if I contradict myself with dates etc, with the hours of calls I have honestly lost track of time)

On Tuesday, its now been 6 days, no data, no replacement handset, no sign of an answer to it all. I am getting fed up now, so I place another call to see what is going on. I also ask for the matter to be escalated to a manager or team leader the day before. This is the second time I have done this, and for the second time, surprise surprise the call back never comes. I also called retentions to see how much it would cost me to leave Orange. By this point I am really starting to get fed up of messing about with a broken phone, pulling the battery out etc to satisfy the curiosity of a tech support guy who is sure he can fix it.
The guy at retentions was very nice and polite, disappointed the Orange have dealt with it so badly and says he wants to make some calls and get back in touch with me and hopefully he can speed things up for me. No shocks, but no calls back, no resolution, nothing. Yet another department full of empty promises.

Tuesday afternoon rolls around and I am searching the web to find a way to speak to someone more senior, who can maybe just over ride the ongoing stupidity, and agree to replace the handset. I find a complaint site about Orange (seems there are a few of these now) with the email address so I give it a go.
I fire off an email of annoyance, explaining the situation in a much detail as I can, and cross my fingers. An hour later I get a call from the executive office who want to discuss the matter further. My hopes rise for the first time in a week.

On speaking to the guy all seems well, sounds like I have someone on my side finally, and the name "executive" would kind of indicate that the matter is finally serious. At this point I should mention, I have been a loyal customer to Orange for about 6 years now. With 6 contract with them, and an average annual spend of £2000+. While I don't expect "special" treatment, I do hope that they will take the case seriously, and try and look after a good customer. Apparently this has no bearing and they don't give a toss.
The call ends with me agreeing to give Orange and RIM til Thursday afternoon to try and decide on the matter, and get my phone working again. I wait all Thursday afternoon with baited breath, hoping to see GPRS appear in upper case..... it does not happen.

I call the same guy at Orange back, and tell him the bad news. Now at this point its day 8 (yes EIGHT) of this charade, so surely with Easter holidays looming (the next 4 days) something is going to be decided now. We start the conversation, but I can tell its going nowhere. As he continues to talk, I can tell there is NO intention of replacing the handset for me. He goes on to explain that they will use this to learn from, and will make changes if deemed necessary to the way they handle these matter in future. Now I'm all for change, and improvement, but how the hell exactly does this help my case right now. Eight days without my 9700, and I'm meant to be impressed about promises about the future?
I explain that I am frustrated beyond description now, and just want the Blackberry away from me. I am sick of being the test dummy for the tech guys asking me to go through menu's and pull the battery, and just want the phone out of my sight until they have fixed it or replaced it. The response I get to this is amazing. They refuse to take the handset back until RIM have made their decision of if the fault lays with them, just in case it can be fixed over the air. The funniest part is the reason for this... Apparently Orange would not want to cause a delay getting a working phone back with me!! Are you freakin kiddin me or what. Its been 8 days, when exactly did you start caring about that !
Then the killer blow. Now I don't expect to speak to a nerd with knowledge of every handset out there, but I don't expect to be spoken to like a complete a-hole either. He starts to tell me what they believe the fault is, and why they cannot replace the handset at this point. Its something like this.

Exec: The fault is with the account, so even if we send you a replacement handset out, it would still not fix anything.
Me: Yes it will, both accounts are working fine on my other handset, so replacing the handset clearly does work.
Exec: No it wont, the problem is with the PIN, so if we replace it the problem will remain.
Me: The PIN is tied to the handset, if the fault is with the PIN, then its a handset fault, and replacing it will solve everything.
Exec: No, the account is the problem, you wont be able to use another Blackberry on that account.
Me: I already am, I'm using my 8520 just fine. I can log into either of my Blackberry accounts, and assign them to the 8520, and they both work perfectly, data, email, BBS etc. So its nothing to do with the account, its the handset, so replace it!
Exec: The issue is with the PIN......

I give up trying to explain at this point as its becoming very frustrating now, to be insulted, to have your understanding of the way it works questioned, and to be messed about to such an extreme.

Now from what I have learned from places like Crackberry (thanks guys for all your help) the PIN could be the issue, as RIM could have a block on it for some unknown reason. Which is unfortunate, but Orange know that they CAN issue a replacement to me, to get my service back up and running, then take the issue up with RIM about why it was blocked. But instead I have to sit around for 2 weeks with a bricked phone sitting on the side, waiting for someone to finally decide I can have a new phone!

So, its Thursday night now. The end of the 8th day of no phone (thank god for keeping my 8520). The outcome is I have to wait for RIM to contact Orange to tell them what next. Then at that point Orange MAY finally decide to replace the handset. But with my luck the whole matter will turn another corner. I mentioned 2 weeks without a phone earlier as tomorrow is Good Friday, so all customer services are closed. Then its the weekend, then Easter Monday, so no services resume til Tuesday. So days 9, 10, 11, and 12 are wasted. Who will day 13 be unlucky for.... Somehow I think me!

So my sincere thanks to Orange, for taking 7 hours of my life, wasted talking on the phone to people pretending to give a damn, promising to call back, then not bothering. I am now left with a talk plan WAY over its allowance, due to the hours spent on the phone to your tech support. A seriously bitter taste in my mouth over how you treat big spending and loyal customers, and a ticking timebomb in my head about if I bother to remain with Orange or not. Although grasped by the balls due to the dates on all the contracts, I am not going to be had over a barrel and will not stop until I have told this story to anyone and everyone who will listen.

Letters have been sent now to all the appropriate bodies, as well as the customer services, and head office of Orange. I have contacted RIM directly to ask their opinion on the matter and their part in the issue, and will just keep going.

The chances are I will stay with Orange if this gets resolved soon, all my expenses are reimbursed, and we talk hardball about where we go from here.

After so many years of loyalty, and singing the network praises, I am left with just one thing to say..... Orange UK, right now YOU SUCK!

PS I have missed out lots of things here, most of which can be found in earlier entries, but I hope it gives a rough idea of the crap I have been putting up with for over a week now.

Orange UK, you are a complete joke!!

8 days after reporting the fault, no resolution.
8 days after reporting the fault, no replacement handset.

Lame excuses, indefinate time lines, and piss poor customer service. Constantly blaming RIM for the issue, constantly refusing to listen to me when I explain why a replacement handset WILL fix the problem.

I have asked for notes to be added to my account of my intention to leave Orange with all 6 of my contracts as soon as financially possible. They refuse to allow me to cancel FOC as they feel they are NOT in breach of contract to supply a service, as they are still supplying a GSM service to the phone.

I will be shocked if I stay with Orange after all this.

Today is D Day, for Orange that is.

Well after a couple of days of grace for them to sort the matter out, today is the last day that was agreed I would wait for them to sort the issues out.
Its 8 days now, this all started over a week ago now. After loads of diagnostics there is still no joy with the matter. Suggestions have been that maybe RIM has accidentally blocked the wrong PIN as the phone seems to be behaving as if its data is blocked on purpose. (or its just bloody broken!)

Either way, I agreed with Orange Executive Offices that I would wait til this afternoon before chasing them up again, and its coming up for 1pm. So in a couple of hours time I will be calling them back and asking what decision they have come to. Either way, with Easter just around the corner (tomorrow) I am likely to be without my Blackberry for a few days more until a replacement is sent out, if they even agree to send one out.

If there is no resolution agreed today its gonna get a little bit messy. I understand that networks have grace in-built into the contracts to allow them time to sort stuff like this out, but I am not sure it is quite this long, certainly not without them even having diagnosed the issue.
So if I am told they are still waiting on RIM, the response will be something along the lines of, breach of contract, failing to provide a service or reasonable timescale for resolution, and so on.
My solution offered to them will be, I will return the phone in the next available mail service, they can keep it and sort the problem out at their own leisure, and either replace it or return it to me repaired. In the meantime they can suspend billing on that account, reimburse me for the calls made to tech support, and discuss how they are going to convince me to remain with Orange as my contracts begin to run out.

I will update as it all unfolds, but either way, I am past caring too much about it now, the whole scenario has dulled my enthusiasm for Orange by about 90%, and if they are not willing to talk about it, I will start to pull the contracts as soon as economically viable.