Cellular Agony

Dealing with Phone Companies

And I’m paying insurance…WHY?

Posted by Paula on August 28, 2010

The thing about small cellular phones is that they break. Here. There. Often. Not often – eventually, they break. If you are smart (and you don’t belong to Orange), you pay for insurance. The thing about insurance is that it is supposed to mean you pay a set fee and with all the profit the cellular phone company makes on you…PLUS the insurance you pay each month, they figure they’ll at least break even on the fixing phones deal.

So you pay – they fix. You make more calls with the fixed phone. Everyone’s happy…unless, of course, you belong to Orange. Their concept of insurance is about as bad as the rest of their service.

The screen on my middle’s son’s phone broke. He went to Orange to have them fix it. The problem, of course, they told him, is that we haven’t been paying the bills. Well, that’s true. After months and months of their taking money without explanation for lines we didn’t have, we sent several emails asking for explanations (nothing), threatening to stop payments if they didn’t explain (no response), begging them to meet with us to explain how they managed to assign 66 lines to us when all we brought to them was 16 (no response, nothing). And so finally, after email after email threatening to stop the automatic payments (a way that allows them to take any amount of money they want from our account without justification or explanation), we ended up stopping Orange’s free ride.

So my son went to get his phone fixed. And they refused to fix it. They will fix it – if we pay them 200 shekesl (about $60). Anyway, they explain, the screen is not covered by insurance.

When my older son was in the army, (read M16 vs. N95) he accidentally dropped his M16 on top of his Nokia 95. As one would expect, the gun smashed the screen. To their credit, Cellcom immediately fixed the N95, and the service people actually laughed when they heard how it had happened.

We left Cellcom after 14 years because we felt we were not getting good service and there were accounting problems (they continued to charge us for several items we had canceled months before – total “mistaken” fees amounted to 8,000 NIS, which we eventually got back from them). We were tired and Gal and his Orange cohorts sounded so positive that we thought we were finally going to get decent service.

Who would have thought Orange would actually make Cellcom look like paradise? Ah well – another test for Orange; another failing grade. If you are dumb enough to buy into Orange, don’t expect to get your phone fixed if you pay for insurance.

My son returns to the army tomorrow with a broken phone – thanks, Orange!

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