This weekend I managed to spend 40 minutes on the phone waiting for Orange to bother to talk to me. 40 minutes. After that length of time you start to wonder if it's stupid to give up. You've invested 40 minutes, should you hang up? I had to. I had other things to do. I couldn't just sit there on hold all day. 40 minutes, I declared it; "40 minutes and I'm hanging up". The music* they were playing down the phone to me didn't respond and all the people in my girlfriend's mate's house agreed that I'd spent too long waiting for an answer. They probably thought I was a bit rude sat in their house ignoring them, but I'd been taken by surprise.
Two months prior to all of this I'd changed my billing arrangement. After being stung with a bill for £140 one month I thought perhaps I needed to know in advance about big sums of cash like that leaving my bank. So I switched from direct debit to good old fashioned billing through the post. Then I forgot all about it.
It never occured to me that I hadn't been billed by them. I'd never had a bill, reminder, or a final reminder. I did get lots of nice letters, texts and phone calls** from Orange though. I got an exciting 'blokey' letter telling me how me and the lads could watch England on my phone (at some extra cost) and how I could follow my favourite teams on it as well (at some extra cost). I got various texts about virus protection*** on my phone (at some considerable extra cost) and about how I could get exciting Big Brother updates on my phone (at some extra cost). But I never got a bill.
Infact rather than any sort of warning about the impending crisis I got a text telling me my services had been updated and that I needed to switch my phone off and on. I switched off my phone and they cut me off. No warning. No explanation. Nothing.
After failing to get through to these c#nts on their helpline number I went into the Orange shop to sort out my cut off phone I got told they didn't have my correct address.
"Erm, how come I get so much annoying junk mail off you then?"
"Yeh, it's two different databases"
"Of course, it would be wouldn't it? Well I want to cancel my contract."
"You can't do that here, you need to do it over the phone."
"But, as I've already explained, I spent 40 minutes on that phone line."
"Would you like to pay your balance now sir? It's £312."
Obviously I'm going to change my mobile company. They're all a#ses. I'm just sick of the stench of this particular one. Once I'd paid my bill and had a little cry I got a text telling me about something or other else which I could spend more money on. I'm a bit annoyed at myself for deleting it without reading it as a bit of extra detail here would perfect this entry.
*Rubbish music. Why only play bits of songs? If you're going to keep people on hold for 40 minutes you may as well have an album on the go. Entertain people a bit. Also I was surprised at the absence of The Corrs. They seem to be stalwarts of the inoffensive "putting you on hold" music scene.
**They've been a feature of my Orange phone for ages now.
***Can I be the first to express a very obvious WHAT THE F#CK on this one. Viruses on your phone. That is the stupidest thing I've ever heard of. Who would write a mobile phone virus and why? Who would stand to make any money out of such a thing? Erm. Oops. That's a bit too obvious isn't it?