The Future’s Orange? not likely!

For the last 4 or 5 years I’ve been using HTC smartphones and pocket PC‘s – a brilliant way to keep hold of my data, take notes in meetings and keep track of my diary (which I invariably lose in paper form!).  Oh yeah, and to do the usual phone stuff – calls, text messages, you get the idea.

For most of that time, I have been with Orange, starting out on the SPV range of phones (their own branding on HTC smartphones – I had the SPV 200, 500, 550 before before graduating to pocket pc.).  Then I upgraded to the HTC Tytn with its nifty silde-out QWERTY keyboard, and all that work  became so much easier.  It was great for a while – a wee machine I loved to use and work with, but unfortunately as is often the case, the closer I came to the end of my contract the more unreliable it became.  Hard resets, screen whiteout (which required removal of the battery and allowing the machine to cool down) became a regular occurence.

So off I went to the orange shop to upgrade to the HTC Tytn II.  Additional features include GPS navigation and a tilting screen (makes typing more natural and cuts screen glare). On my contract the phone is advertised as free.

However – Orange have changed the way they grade upgrades and because I never went over the free call time (and didnt make more money for them), they were going to charge me £130 for the phone.  Despite the fact that they were advertising it as a free upgrade for my level of contract not 5 feet from where I was standing!

The young salesman was extremely helpful however – “call and upgrade over the phone, tell them you’ve seen it cheaper elsewhere and haggle with them for the same deal as you are on now”, he said.  “That’s the best thing to do”.

“No” I replied. “the best thing for me to do is to call them and cancel, and go elsewhere where it is cheaper and customers are not mislead”

I stomped down the road, fuming and mumbling, and walked into the vodaphone shop.  “Can I help you?” asked the weary looking salesman who’d just chased a group of teenagers out of the shop.

“I want to see your range of pocket PC’s and smartphones please”.

“Certainly, centre stand, plugged in and live so you can check out the features as well as the casing.”

I spied the one I was after, called over a salesman and asked about tarrifs.  10 minutes later I left the shop with the phone I wanted (no charge for the phone), the tarrif I wanted (which was cheaper than orange), and a direct line to the business help centre (despite not being a business customer) “because they would know what I was referring to if I called to say I had a problem with my Tytn II, or as we brand it the V1615.”

There was no hard sell – I knew what i wanted and left with it, without hassle or pressure to go for a more expensive/popular/trendy model or contract.  Great customer service, and so far a fantastic peice of kit to use.  A breath of fresh air compared to Orange.

The future may be bright – but for this disgruntled former customer, it’s definately not orange!

(those of you who had my old number and didn’t get my new one – email me 🙂 )

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