Last month I went back to Orange from Free. New phone, Livebox, TV, the top domestic package in fact. For some reason the order failed to go through due to an error on the part of the shop assistant. I called Orange and they said I had to go back to the shop as they couldn't do anything about it on the phone, and when I get there to call them back, whatever. I go to the shop tell the guy the order hasn't worked, he say yes it has etc etc. After some to and fro he must decide that I have better things to to than make crap up to waste his time and believes me. I get on the phone back to Orange customer services as requested. I wait 20 minutes in a queue for the call to be answered, different guy, no idea what you're talking about. 5 minutes later he decides I may have a point and agrees to be put on the phone with the shop guy. Some progress at last.
Shop guy and phone guy argue it out for another 20 minutes and eventually I'm told that my presence is no longer required and I can go. No 'sorry for wasting your time' of course.
Some days later (not the three days I was told but whatever) the internet comes on, good. Mobile stops working, go back to shop to get told that I have obviously messed with some setting so it's my fault, eventually guy from previously sees me and realises I won't stand for much more of this, comes over and fixes it.
I leave the shop and actually have all of the services that I am paying for working at the same time. Good.
Except there is no signal in the house, that's ok, there never was. I know I can get a gizmo from Orange which will improve matters, it's called a Femtocell. That's ok too, I need another mobile anyway so I'll arrange that when I go to the Orange shop again.
Arrive at Orange shop, sign in, told it will be at least 20 minutes. Go to buy a sandwich eat it and I'm back at the shop in ten. Wait a further 20 minutes (I now have a wheelchair having had a foot operation since the beginning of the story so at least I'm seated) and having watched a number of people get served in front of me I ask why am I not being served despite the fact that you can see me sitting here waiting? That is because we called you and you weren't here. Breathe.
Finally I'm getting served, as I am an existing customer I think this will be a doddle, they have all of my details already...
No, it doesn't work like that, we even want a copy of your bank details (I can see the last one I sent them ON THE SCREEN!). That one won't do apparently. They say can you get your bank to fax one? Yes I say 'what is your fax number' and call the bank, they agree and I hang up. She then tells me that their fax machine doesn't work and I have to call the bank again and get them to email it. She's still not sure that will work as they are having email problems today! Thankfully it does. We have now been in the shop for 90 minutes! We're in no particular hurry today so that's ok too, she fills out all the rest of the stuff online and submits the file. Computer says no... As I have recently taken out a new contract with them I am deemed to be a bloody brilliant customer and they want to offer me a free bottle of champagne for my loyalty potential criminal. I signed a contract with them last month you see, two contracts in as many months? Clearly there is a master criminal mind at work.
No worries, that's ok she says, we can continue, there is a way around this (2 hours in). All we have to do is fill out all of the paperwork again, but this time by hand, with a pen. I ask if they need my grandparents DNA too.
Another 20 minutes on and it looks like we may leave the store with our liberty intact and a phone to boot, so I go for the hat trick. Bearing in mind that I'm now paying way over a hundred euros a month for a couple of phones and a splash of internet etc. they still won't work in the house. Orange don't see that as a fault of theirs though so instead of giving you the thing that will make the service that your'e paying through the nose for actually work, they're going to charge you for it. It's 79 euros she says, I give her my best 'I am going to place your terminal somewhere the sun don't shine' look. She appreciates that visual cue and disappears for a conflab. Wait! As you are an existing customer you are entitled to the gadget that makes the expensive service that you've already paid for work for the bargain bend over and insert price of just 40 euros!
I take her hand off at this sterling news, yes give it to me and let me get out of here. There are punters in the shop who have visibly aged since our arrival.
Can't do that sir, you have to call customer services on 3970. Whatever. Credit where it is due, the assistant is so appalled at their lack of service by the end of this 3 hour debacle that she throws a 30 euro headset in to our bag on the way out of the door! We all leave on good terms due in equal part to the early sandwich, the mobile wheels and the free headset and perhaps a little mutual incredulity.
I've just called 3970 and asked for the 40 euro Femtocell. Tut tut, it's 79 euros sir. Now I need another new phone to replace the one I just threw at the wall.