one step at a time.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Final (hopefully) installment of the Orange Internet Saga

What I love about blogging is visiting fellow bloggers and seeing what they have to say every few days, building up friendships online. I also love to have a diary that I can look back on easily to reflect on what I have been getting up to.

Since the advent of Broadband Internet, blogging has evolved so that many of the sites I visit are highly decorated, often with pictures, videos and music as part of the template. On top of this there are often posts about music, or posts involving You Tube videos etc.

This makes for a great variety in content, and therefore an interesting read for the blog-hopper.

Until you lose your broadband access.

When you have no broadband Blogging becomes much less of a joy. You hang around internet cafes drinking coffee as slowly as possible to allow you more access. You write a post then return later to see whether anyone has left a comment, only to find that you cannot view your own comments due to your continued lack of connection.

You return to the internet cafe every couple of days until you call your internet provider again and point out that you are having to pay £2.50 every two days whilst signed up for internet that only actually costs £5 per month. Therefore this is going to become very expensive for you very quickly.

You are offered free dial-up internet while your broadband access is down. This does not really improve your opinion of the company, but removes the urgency of your calls to them and allows you to access information you NEED.

You use your free dial-up to visit friends and fellow bloggers (because blogging is an addiction). Each visit takes longer as you need to wait for each blog to load. Once loaded if something tickles you and you want to let the owner know you attempt to leave a comment. You cannot do this due to your slow internet connection. You try again. No luck. Eventually you either succeed in leaving a throwaway remark that seems entirely unnecessary when you have spent 10 minutes trying to leave it. Or you fail and give up altogether.

Consequently blogging becomes a chore. Perhaps even an irritation.

Each day your blogger’s instinct (which is now to jot a few notes down in your online diary) acts as a reminder of the lack of service you are receiving from your internet provider. If you are of an irritable disposition you are riled by this and attempt to fix the problem with phone calls to customer services or technical support.

It is possible that each phone call may well last at least half an hour. These calls may not always be free.

Imagine then that the company - without any notification - removes your free dial-up access. You call them to find out why. The person who has removed your access has not left ANY comments or indication as to why they have done this. You ask to have your access returned. You are directed to 11 different people in an attempt to do this. Some of these people may well work on a 50p per minute 'narrowband' (thought it was called dial-up) helpline. After 1 & 1/2 hours of phone calls you fail to have free dial-up set back up on your account. (you are given a variety of reasons for this)

So it's back to the internet cafe with a greater sense of urgency, to find a new service provider.

Rest assured that a blogger of an irritable disposition who has been paying for broadband access that she has not been receiving for a month will most certainly be checking her mobile phone and landline bills for any call charges, and writing to the internet provider (and OFFCOM if necessary) to have all her call charges and internet fees returned.

She will also make sure that she points out that she is currently on a £35 per month mobile phone contract with them which she took on the basis that she could get broadband for £5 per month on it. She will mention this, as she would prefer not to have this contract as the broadband contract has been broken. She will let you know the outcome once she is able to access the web again!


Turnbaby said...

Funny to read but not funny to deal with. We had a storm and my DSL went down and I freaked! Hope yours is fixed soon.

Travis said...

Do you have a Better Business Bureau to whom you can complain about this company? I've heard of other bloggers in the UK who have had this trouble with Orange.

I have become completely intolerant of bad customer service. In fact, I'm more likely to speak up when faced with poor service now than ever before.

TopChamp said...

I've given up. I have cancelled the connection and transferred to Talk Talk. I have heard mixed reviews of them too, but they're also quite cheap....... Hoping it's not always the case that you get what you pay for.

Unfortunately the connection does not go live til 19th September so I have pay as you go dial-up til then.. which is expensive and slow so I'll be taking a break from visiting you all as much for a while.

Bond said...

Can totally relate to the mine had been going in and out all last week...

We are here when you get yourself settled back in....

Edward C. Foster said...

It sucks to be you.

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

I am so, so hearing you on this. I have had virtually no internet for almost 10 days at home. I can't get no satisfaction:-(

GaryTheScubaGuy said...

This is great information. I found a good broadband speed checker at

Anonymous said...

Here’s a Broadband Video that will show you how to check availability by postcode, how perform a broadband speed test and where to find broadband forums to answer your questions. There are also offers for TalkTalk Broadband.

Here is a broadband beginners guide and below are common broad band questions;
What is Broadband?
Types of Connections?
Connection speeds and download limits
How to compare ISP’s

Anonymous said...
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