Orange screws student, but pretends it helped

Massive multibillion dollar phone firm, Orange, has magnanimously offered to halve a whopping £8000 bill to a student who accidentally managed to rack up the bill on his dongle while in Paris.

The student – William Harrison of Nottingham University – reckons the Orange rep who sold him the Dongle assured him it should be more than adequate for his mobile web needs, but failed to tell him that using le Dongle in Paris may prove a bit on the tres chere side.

Harrison used his dongle daily, dialing home on Skype to save a bit of cash on those pricey international phone calls. A month later, he owed £6101.56. Orange then decided to charge Harrison a premium rate because he continued using the Dongle after his first bill’s cut-off point. Problem is, the extra £1547.21 was charged to Harrison before he’d even received the bill.

Orange charges £3 per megabyte of data transferred in roaming charges, something Harrison would likely never have signed himself up for had he been aware of the consequences.

But Orange, trying to paint itself as the hero in all this, has said it will cut the bill down to ‘just’ £4000 and give Harrison two years to pay it off. Along with his student loans.

This benevolent gesture would have perhaps been easier to swallow if the EU weren’t about to impose a £44 per month charge for punters who go over their allocated data allowance on March 1st. Next week.

Orange, however, maintains it is in the right, telling Mobile Today that all its roaming charges are available on the firm’s website, “and literature which advises that these are separate to the inclusive UK data allowance accompanies the dongle at the point of purchase.”

The firm also maintains that its “customer service and retail staff are also trained to advise on the associated costs when travelling abroad, and our dongles are not activated for roaming unless specifically requested by the customer.” Which is a little hard to believe considering the situation Mr Harrison found himself in.

Orange also says its dongles come with a usage tracker alert option, “which allows users to manage how much data they are using.”

May we suggest you just send an email or get a rep to call next time Orange? Or would that be too much to ask of a big, rich multinational firm like yourself?