Back at the start of October 2012, I phoned them to let them know that I wanted to end my contract, since it was due to end 21st November. I wanted to keep the number, so I asked for a switchy-over code.
I was told yep, fine, we'll send you that code.
All was good, till I was told by someone else that I could only use that code and keep my number if my Orange phone was still active. Since I was unemployed and didn't know when I'd be able to GET a new phone, I phoned again and asked them to switch my phone to a pay-as-you-go when my contact ended. Was again told yep, fine, no problem, it'll switch over on the 21st, or if you want to you can ring up before that and activate it but you'll have to pay the rest of the month anyway, and you can keep the same number. No one at any point said I HAD to activate the SIM. (Important for later!)
Come the 18th November, my phone stopped working. No calls or texts going in or out. I was out at the time, and was left with no way to contact anyone for a couple of hours. When I finally managed to get to a phone, I asked my mum to ring Orange to find out wtf was going on.
Apparently, my phone SHOULD have been working. There was no problems on their end. When my mum then tried to activate my new PAYG SIM, so I could actually have a phone that worked when I got home, she was told nope, no can do till the 21st, sorry.
I am then angry, and say f-it, I dont want anything to do with Orange, I'll get a cheap phone somewhere else.
So I cancelled my direct debit, and thought nothing else of it.
Had a letter dated 6th December, saying "Your direct debits been cancelled, you owe us £35.96". I ignored it because I figured I've cancelled it, I have letters SAYING I've cancelled it and the phone stopped working on the 18th anyway. I now know this wasn't the best thing to do.
Another letter dated the 10th Jan arrived on the 14th Jan, saying "Pay us £75.92 or we'll cut off your service" led to me being confused, and phoning them to ask what the heck.
Apparently, my contract was still going. It had been disconnected and shut off in every way possible on the 21st, but because I hadn't activated the SIM, I was still being billed. I explained that no one had said I HAD to, that I COULD activate it if I wanted the number, but seeing as how they'd screwed me over, I hadn't wanted to. The guy I spoke to pretty much said "Well, someone SHOULD have told you, you tried to activate it on the 18th (when your phone was working according to my screen) so should've called back three days later so sucks to be you".
He eventually took off £30, leaving me to pay £45.92 on my credit card, which I could ill afford but he kinda implied that my account would stay active and keep being charged if I didn't. So I paid, and was told that he would get my account closed that day.
Wrote a letter to Orange (since their complaints by email was down for some reason) on the 16th, explaining everything.
Got a call back from some nice, apologetic lady on the 24thish saying that they wwere sorry, they'd investigated my complaint and that something somewhere had gone wrong, that I would be refunded this amount, and that amount, and then this bit too, so I was actually going to be a little bit up from the £45.92, and Id get that refunded to me on my next billing cycle, the 17th February.
Since she seemed to know what she was talking about, I didn't write any details (like who she was or excatly how much) which I now regret.
I gave them a week, just to see if the money would appear back on my credit card or a cheque would show up. Nada.
So I phoned them again today.
My mum spoke to them first (since I wasn't in the mood to be polite, and she knows what to say to get results), and they gave her the complete run around. First saying that they didn't send it back to my account because they don't have my details, and then saying that it could only be done by cheque, and that it would be this much, and then that much, and then that and transfering her to different departments.
When I took the phone, I could barely hear the guy, and when I asked him to repeat himself, the line went dead.
When I phoned back, I eventually got through to someone in billing, who said that I would only be refunded £44.67, because everything was billed in advance so it was a refund for the contract between 24th Jan and 16th Feb. Because apparently, even though I was told on the 14th that that was it, my account was closed, shut down, done, completely dead, it actually takes 10 days for everything to close, so yeah.
And that because the cheque had only been started when my mum phoned earlier, it would only be sent out tomorrow and would probably take 10 working days, so I should have it by the 8th March.
He gave me two email addresses I can complain to, but it's just, GRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!! I am unemployed because of health issues, I was expecting that money to be back in my account on the 17th. I couldn't really afford to pay that £45.92, and now I've got to wait even longer to get slightly less than that back
Orange tell me account will be closed, they don't close it, try to charge me £75.92 for an account that has been disconnected for two months, ring me a week after I complain promising I'll be fully refunded on the 17th, it never happens and more run around is given