2016 - We relocated to France and set up a contract with Orange for Internet and Fixed line telephone. The previous owners of the house had left their box behind so I knew we could connect but as it was old I planned to upgrade to a newer Livebox. When I discussed the Contract with the ‘friendly’ English helpline I specifically stated that I did not require box rental and from then until now I was not charged. I found a Livebox on the French Ebay and purchased and used this one from 2016 until present. Saving myself 3 Euros per month for over 5 years = 180 Euros (minus cost of second hand box). I returned the old box to Orange.
2021 - I have just received an email from Orange informing me that their records show that I have not been charged rental for ‘my’ Livebox for the past 5 years and from now on they will charge me 3 euros per month for the rental of ‘my’ Livebox. They will not charge me retrospectively for the last 5 years (good of them for not charging me for rental of my ‘own’ box).
I telephoned the Orange English speaking Helpline to discuss this issue and I might as weoll have spoken to a robot. The person was totally unfriendly and unhelpful. I tried to explain the situation and to get an answer on why they had suddenly done this. All I got was “Orange does not SELL the Livebox it RENTS them”. I said that I had bought mine on Ebay. and it was mine not theirs. The same repeat phrase " Orange…etc." I tried several time to word my question differently but it was all I got from the ‘helpful person’. After a few more attempts by me to get any advice or resolution the person hung up on me the customer!
So has anyone else gone through this situation?
How could they have allowed me to not pay rent and use ‘my’ Livebox for so long before changing the goalposts?
Does this mean that they have changed the Contract?
Would this give me the right to cancel the Contract?
Important question - Is the Livebox mine or theirs?
The only comment I would make is that the box was rented and not the property of the previous owners and should have been returned to Orange. The same applies to your newer box. In effect you are using stolen property. Orange have recently sent out their latest boxes and you are missing out on on faster internet and other features. Just be thankful you got away with it for so long.
Agreed. Every time we have upgraded our livebox we have taken our old one into the shop and they have taken it back, giving us the latest version. Even if the livebox is not working it needs to be returned to them. Our contract with them is for rental - NOT purchase.
From what I understand, Liveboxes are never the property of the line rental subscriber. The fact that you bought one from a seller who was unauthorised to resell probably means that whilst Orange have decided not to charge you rent for the last 5 years doesn’t mean that you have a continued right to rent-free usage once they found out about it. Reading the fine print in the rental contract would probably be of use here though, at least just to check.
Yes I agree, as Orange dont sell but rent then it sounds like the box that @gregca bought was actually the property of Orange and the seller was selling a box that wasn’t theirs to sell, buyer beware!
Ok saving 3euros per month since 2016 does add up but much better IMO to pay the 3 euros knowing that any fault or zap by adverse weather or upgrade and Orange will oblige FOC.
Thank you for all the comments thus far and advice.
Why was I allowed from the start to set up the Contract with NO RENTAL charge for the box if Orange does not allow this?
I connected MY box to THEIR system and registered it.
Why did they not flag up that I was not allowed to do this if the box was not my property but theirs and (possibly) registered to someone else?
The box I purchased via French Ebay was brand new, even now it still has the film protection over the front facia. I also have the Ebay record of purchase.
Does anyone know what the minimum notice I have to give Orange to end the Contract?
Would this sudden change by them be grounds to end my Contract from my side?
This probably won’t help but illustrates some of the illogic applied by Orange.
I used to have my home ADSL internet through Orange and paid the monthly subscription plus Livebox rental charge - a total of 42.90€. I then changed to Sosh (a subsidiary of Orange). They do not charge a separate rental fee for the Livebox so my monthly charge is now 19.99€ - the price for the Internet +Internet phone service alone.
It does help a little.
I am trying to find a cheaper alternative to ‘rip off’ Orange,
Can you explain is your Internet telephone different to Normal line telephone?
All I want is Internet access and a landline type telephone number that is not a Mobile telephone GSM.
I’m known to be a belt and braces person… be prepared is my motto.
If the power goes off for any length of time… it seems I am also known as the “official keeper” of an oldstyle phone, which I simply swap over to … and folk can (and do) use it…
during covid we’ve thankfully not had any incidents… other than that, it’s another reason for folk to visit/chat and often arrive with edibles…
I have one of those too but if you just have an internet line not a fixed line, you’ll still need an UPS to plug into the router to keep it going in a power cut as @Mat_Davies pointed out. If you still have a fixed line there is no problem at all
What a very sensible girl you are - I deeply regret succumbing to Orange persuasion to switch to a VOIP phone. Otherwise I think I could rival you on the belt and braces approach (plus extra piece of string of course )
Sorry to hear that Angela, we’re just so grateful we’re paying less. We have two properties and when we had two landlines and two liveboxes it was costing us a fortune. mind you, our internet and power are pretty reliable these days. Lots of touching wood.
I agree, @SuePJ - it’s noticeably cheaper and a great deal more reliable than it once was! I think my belt-and-braces approach in these areas comes from working in the electricity supply industry for many years when I became aware of just how flakey the grid could be. As a result I had batteries and inverters in the house and at least 3 different energy sources. I’m a bit more relaxed about it these days