Over the past 2 weeks from 13th May I knew my contract was coming up for renewal so I started to think about what I would want to do next. I’ve been thinking about getting a Galaxy Note II as it would fulfil all my requirements and more!
My current contract, which I originally signed back in August 2008, is as follows:
18 Month Contract Samsung Galaxy S2 White Loyalty Discount 10% Cross Net Mins 700 Texts 100 Unlimited Landline Unlimited Data Insurance £6 p/m Orange Wed saves us: £216.00
I admit that this contract by todays standards is incredible and impossible to beat so I have been thinking that Orange might try and bully me out of it. When you think the mighty EE was launched in the last 12 months it would be no wonder really. I decided to log on to the website to see if I was in fact due to finish my contract and to see what I would be eligible for. This would mark the beginning of the current farce that is my upgrading/renewal experience.
I logged on to the website and followed the links towards the upgrade process and to my delight I was informed that I would be able to upgrade straightaway. I would also get to increase my loyalty discount from 10% to 15%. The image below shows all the handsets offered to me and you will see which ones are free and yes the NOTE II is free!
LOOKING GOOD ORANGE!
Due to my experience with Orange I decided I would call them up rather than risking doing anything on the website because, lets face it, their website performs about as well as a vegetarian zombie chasing a brainless rhino.
On the 31st May, having rechecked the offer on the website, I decided that based on this information I should go for it so I rang them but there was a problem. I’m not referring to the usual “inability to listen” characteristic so common with Orange customer service advisers. I joined Orange in September 2002 so I’m well used to them.
No The problem was that the offer on the website was not available to me from the guy on the phone. The best he could offer me was the same contract but the phone would cost be £79.99! When I asked him about the website offer he told me that if I tried to process that order that I would not even get to the checkout page as this offer should not be offered to me. He was unable to give any reasonable answer as to why this was the case. I decided I would try going back to the website to check so while he was still on the line I processed my order, got to the checkout page and successfully placed my order.
The chap was quite surprised and we agreed that there was no point in continuing the call as I had successfully placed my order and it appeared he was wrong. So the wait began…. …then ended the following day with a text message:
This was not good! I decided to try on the website again. The original website offer was still there so I tried again but was immediately met with an error once I tried to checkout so it meant another phone call was in order.
So it’s Monday, 3rd June 2013 at 7:30pm. I call now because I think if I can get the order processed before 9pm I might get it delivered the following day. At this stage I have created a spreadsheet comparing the cost of handsets and the offset with contracts which shows clearly that charging me for a handset is silly but I paid £50 for my S2 so I’d be happy to pay that. My aim is to get a better offer or the web offer.
The chap I got through to was less than helpful. Now I don’t like name calling so I won’t go there but the best way to describe his demeanour was obnoxious. I explained that I had had some difficulties and this somehow seemed to upset him but I can cope with that so ignore his short unhelpful answers but when we get to the crunch I am stumped! The long and short of it was that he said that categorically I would not be allowed to upgrade at all. He said that in no uncertain terms would I EVER get a phone upgrade from Orange on my current contract and that I should go buy my own phone because I would not be able to get one through Orange…..
I asked him some questions about this and tried to get some details of what Orange would offer me. This involved him having to check his system and refresh it to see what was on offer and then we got cut off…..I’m not so sure he didn’t cut me off on purpose but that would be speculation so lets leave it there.
I recorded these conversations so I have them on file – overkill I know but just want a record of it all.
Offer 4 & 5 – This time from someone helpful.
So having been cut off and very frustrated at the information given I had to call back which I did within minutes and this time I got on to a chap that was MUCH more helpful!
- Best offer with Orange –
- Same contract but phone would now cost £129.00
- Second Offer –
- 24 Month EE Contract EE £36p/m
- Free Note 2
- £3 addon fo 3GB data
- 10% Loyalty discount carried over.
Both of these offers have been added to my file so that I can go back to them. I’m wondering what will happen if I let my contract roll over a few months till the Note 3 coves out. Will there be better offers?
Insuring the final blow
While looking at all the options I followed up with one last question. I had already looked on the EE website to see my options and I processed an order right up to the checkout point. Insurance was going to be £8p/m which I thought was an acceptable hike up from the current £6 p/m.
Alas this was to be yet another surprise. As with their own tradition, the website and actual price were to be very different. The advisor told me that the insurance would actually be £14p/m…
I guess we’ll be looking elsewhere for insurance.
You would think that Orange might want to treat it’s long term customers with some sort of dignity and not like something annoying on the bottom of a show. The thing that is most troubling is that I have had different information from 3 individual agents and from the website.
At the end of the day – I don’t want more than I’m due but if an offer is made I expect Orange to stick with it. They seem to have no consistency and for a communications giant – they still suck at communications.
I’m left feeling like Panda:
Be sure to checkout my soon to finish “OrangeFail” tag! I’m gonna hope it doesn’t tun into a “EE-OrangeFail” tag instead.
Yesterday evening I was setting out to head down to Sydenham for the first night of an Alpha course that a friend is doing. I gave myself plenty of time to get there and had the route planned and plotted in my phone via Google Maps navigation.
It was a beautiful evening, I had the radio playing some music and the windows down.
On my first left hand turn this gloriousness was to be short-lived when my phone decided that it wasn’t quite comfortable in the cradle and decided to launch itself out of the previously mentioned open window. It then skated across this quiet residential street only to be met by some very uncharacteristic traffic for the street in the form of a van and two cars.
The above is what was left of it.
What have I learnt?
This has left me feeling incredibly silly even if it was a freak turn of events but in future it makes me want to advise others what I have learnt:
- Always Always Always check your phone is sitting snuggly in its cradle
- Good idea to keep your phone plugged in so the charger acts as an anchor.
- Keep the cradle below the car’s widow line of the car if possible
EDIT – I have got phone insurance so a replacement will be sent to me in next few days!
Friday eve 13th Apr 2012 – I arrived home to this sight!
A brief explanation. Having not seen our downstairs neighbor since late November I went to the police station in late January to see if we needed to report this or not. We also got in touch with the landlord of the flat. Long and short is that he was a massive hoarder and the flat needed clearing.
So – this sight – it was the beginning of the clear-out but there was no-one about so I assumed they’d finished for the day.
The following morning I woke up, went to look outside at the weather to see one of the work-men arriving to continue the clear-out so I went to have a chat and got to see the state of things and it was quite grim.
The floor was covered 3ft deep – and i really am not exaggerating – of junk. This explained why, when we had seen our neighbor, he had been entering the flat through the small side window. He was unable to actually open the door itself.
The most alarming thing was the fact that in the middle of all this stuff was an oil radiator that was powered on but the cable was beneath the pile. Its a miracle that there was never a fire cause if there ever had been, we would have been toast!
By the end of the sat the view had transformed in to this:
We found this quite impressive for all of this to come out of such a tiny flat but by the time we returned from church on Sunday afternoon it was even more impressive. While it was a little alarming the lads had said they’d be back to take all the stuff so we were cool with that but then we woke up on Monday morning to this:
You might just be able to make out Ruth to the left of the shot! You’ll also notice that some of the bags on the edge have been tampered with and we had to clear away some of the stuff to the left that people had rummaged though.
We braced ourselves expecting that it would all be cleared away by the end of the day when we got home.
Not happy so we agreed that if not done by the following day we’d get in touch with the landlord.
Cut to the following morning and more (what I;m gonna call) looters have visited and wreaked havoc on our access.
The following morning we had a repeat performance.
EVERY MORNING we have had a repeat performance and they still have not been back yet!
Have some more pics to see the joy we are experiencing:
Today is quite significant because it hurts… Today was the due date of our baby who we lost during the summer.
There are lots of emotions whirling around my head today and there is a knot in my stomach that is seemingly tightening as we go through the day. It’s as if by the end of the day something is going to happen… but then tragically I’m reminded that it’s not.
The day we learnt our baby had died is on repeat in my head this morning. It was the day of our first scan. I’m remembering the concerns because of the previous night’s scare. I remember the nervous excitement. I remember praying before we went in. I remember thinking I couldn’t wait to meet him (we always thought our baby was a boy). I remember trying to figure out how the photo machine worked. I remember walking in with Ruth clutching my hand tightly. I remember the Sonographer greeting us, putting us at ease and noticing that we were a couple who seemed very much in love with each other. I remember her starting out, applying the gel to my wife’s stomach and running the gizmo over it and then her expression changed. She was very good, she was excellent in fact. You would hardly have noticed that tiny subtle change in her expression that I can’t even describe, but it was there. It was that moment when my heart began to beat harder. Then I remember the utter horrific, memory of seeing the empty void on the screen of where our little baby was supposed to be. It didn’t look right. I’d seen enough ultrasound pics to know that it wasn’t supposed to be just black. I didn’t know what was wrong but I knew something was dreadfully wrong. Then I remember that realization creeping through me like a massive icicle penetrating my body to the very core of my soul. I remember realising before the sonographer said anything that our baby wasn’t alive…
. . . n u m b . . .
She told us she needed to check a few things and not to worry just yet. I remember looking at Ruth and seeing the confusion spreading across her face, I remember seeing the calm before the storm of turmoil begin to brew in her face. The anxiousness, worry and for her too, the initial numbness. I remember that I began to pray. It felt like a hopeless desperate prayer ; “Please God, Please God, Please God……”
. . . n u m b . . .
I remember Ruth getting dressed and us getting our things with the shock flooding through me like some sort of emotional paralysis. I remember walking through the reception. I remember being given the refund for the photos as if this was some pathetic kind of consolation prize. I remember sitting on a bench outside the hospital not speaking for a while. I remember having to make those first few calls to the friends and family who knew we were expecting. I remember driving home feeling cold and completely devastated. I remember sitting on the sofa at home with my wife sobbing so hard that her sobs shook the whole sofa. I remember feeling so completely lost, empty and in disbelief.
. . . n u m b . . .
I wanted to scream in anger, I wanted a hole to open up and swallow me in to nothingness, I wanted to run away, to cry, to shout, to hold on to Ruth with all my might. I wanted to stop time, I wanted to go back in time and fix it, I wanted God to stop this, I wanted to punch Him in the face for letting it happen….
. . . n u m b . . . I was so so so angry with Him. And yet, I prayed.
I prayed for His protection on my wife, on our marriage, on the two of us as we came to terms with it all. I prayed that He would ease the pain, that we would know His love and that He would take care of us. I knew that the following months would be full of pain and angst and I asked Him to help me deal with it all. All I could do was pray – there was nothing else left to do.
Reconciling this pain with my faith
This whole thing has been a really painful process and its been difficult to figure out how to reconcile the pain with my faith but it hasn’t been as hard as some might think. The only thing I could do to keep a hold of my sanity was to hold on to God and my faith in him. The song below was a major anthem during the last 6 months and it still has such a powerful message.
I need to make one thing very VERY clear:
God does not give us suffering
I cannot believe that God would put us in a situation of suffering on purpose. God does not give people diseases and he DOES NOT KILL BABIES! I cannot believe that he does any of these things as it goes against what we are taught about him in the New Testament so much. I believe he allows bad things to happen because in order for us to have free-will there will be consequences and in a world where people make selfish choices that ultimately lead to heinous actions it is in this world that we live and operate. Sometimes he does intervene and that is where the debate really is – Why does he sometimes intervene and other times not? I’ve asked myself this a thousand times and I’ve asked Him a thousand times and I think I will do so for the rest of my days. As long as I live on this earth I don’t expect to fully understand why he let our baby die.
What I do know is this: We have a very big God. We have an amazing God! We have a sovereign and gracious God without whom this whole experience would have been unbearable. It is with great Thanks to him that I, for the briefest of moments, have been a Dad. I never got to hold or touch or even see our baby but for the brief time that Ruth was pregnant, I was a Dad and that makes me so incredibly happy! I feel so privileged to have experienced it so briefly knowing that so many people will never have that experience. I feel privileged because I know that we may never have another pregnancy because we took a long time to get pregnant and so for us, our little baby was a precious miracle, but we still have hope that we will get pregnant again and soon. It doesn’t mean that this doesn’t still hurt. I miss our little baby. I wish we had a little bag in the car packed with all the hospital stuff ready to go. I wish I was helping Ruth up off the sofa each day. I wish we were in a place of excruciating excitement instead of this drab disappointment.
This time has grown my faith
This time has grown my faith. It has not been easy though. This is not a blind ignorant faith. I’m talking about a faith that comes from experiencing something that is bigger than me, than my ability to explain and bigger than this situation. I’m talking about the darkest times during this experience where I have felt so alone and yet I have felt God let me know that he has my back. The knowledge that it would get easier and things would be better.
The above song is about holding onto God with everything we have in the hardest of times but the bigger picture is while there have been times where it has felt like I’ve been dangling by a thread, desperately trying to hold on to Him, I’ve seen that it is He who holds His big and mighty hand underneath us holding us like a massive safety net.
And so I pray – I pray for those who have lost in this way. I pray that they would know some of the Father’s love in the way I have. I pray that they would find comfort in God and I pray that they would not pose blame on God or themselves. I pray that they would have another chance and I pray that we will have another baby too.
That’s the number of women that are raped each hour in the Dominican Republic of Congo.
We heard more about the DRC this morning at staff prayers but this fact stood out. So glad to be a part of an organisation that’s working to try help.
Holidays are great aren’t they! They are time for relaxation, rejuvenation, recharging, recouping, and other re-‘s. A time to sit back and have a great time.
Our holiday in Dublin was such an experience. It was wonderful. We had great times with friends and family and on the plane I was thinking to myself that I felt like i had had a great time off and felt recharged and ready to get back into the thick of things.
When we got off the plane we made our way towards the long-term parking coach pick up point. I had in my memory that we’d parked in “K2” and on mentioning this to Ruth she agreed and so we were fine. We knew we were in Blue and so we waited for the journey to complete.
The bus entered the car park complex and immediately announced zones K and J as the first stop which just didn’t feel right. My gut sense of direction was telling me we had to be in another area. We had driven quite a way through the complex when we arrived first and this bus was saying we were in the first stop.
Sure enough our car was not in the lot we had thought. Back in October we were here and had parked in zone K and i think it was that memory which was at the forefront of our minds. So we started to walk.
and we walked around a lot. I think we walked around this car parking complex for aver an hour using a combination of my gut instincts and a systematic approach with the intention of searching every lot if we had to. This started to get stressful when my phone started to give its battery warning. The GPS was sapping the battery hich was not a good sign. I think the pinnacle was when we climbed through a hedgerow to avoid having to go the long way around yet another lot we had already searched.
Eventually as we were walking along the road to another lot an empty bus passed and the driver asked if we needed help. We sheepishly explained that we had absolutely no memory of where we had parked. He invited us on board, out of the cold which, at this stage, was a life saver. I was frozen and Ruth was going blue! He then radioed the depot to help us out:
So when you arrive there’s loads of lots that are closed. This is to make sure that on any particular day, you can only end up parking in one particular lot.
Within seconds the radio chirped back informing us of which lot it would have been, I distinctly heard the word “Lima” and secretly cringed inside. I was thinking “How silly could we have been to not have made a note of where we parked.” I mean, its just silly! I guess we had been tired due to the early start we’d had that morning. The Driver informed us that ach bus stop had a phone which you can use to call the HQ if you cant find your car. This made me cringe a little more as i wished we’d thought of looking for something like that.
The kind driver waited to make sure we could find our car. Much to my relief I found the car quickly and we thanked hem greatly. We got to the car and loaded the bags in the boot. I had to find my charger so a little rifling through the bags had that sorted. While the cars engine warmed the interior up. Once i had the phone mounted, the windscreen was clear, i’d checked round the car for any car-park-clangs (of which there were none) I finally removed my coat and we were ready to set off from this awful place….
..then it happened…
Ruth turned to me and had a guilty look on her face…
she passed me the parking ticket, but she wasn’t showing me the front of the card which we had both scrutinized carefully to see if there was any indication of where we may have parked….
no she was showing me te back of the ticket…
And there written in Ruth’s glorious handwriting were two digits
” L 6 “
She had in fact written where we had parked on the back of the ticket in the spaces provided but NIETHER of us had even thought of looking!!! I think we both just stared ahead for a few moments before both of us fell apart laughing. It was too late, too ridiculous and too silly for us to be angry with one another and laughing was the best tonic.
And so we set off after having had a very stressful and dull adventure around the Stansted Airport Long Stay Car Park but we had learnt a very valuable lesson that day.
Sometimes the best place to look is the most obvious place
SO our car has been a bit on the blink recently and there’s a growing list of things that need doing to it and it makes me worry that she’s just dying a slow and soon-to-be expensive death. I could be wrong but i like the melodrama i’m generating as its matching my current mood.
The fault list is as follows:
- Speedometer Dropping: The speedo occasionally drops down to nothing while driving coupled with a drop in power. Usually this only lasts a few moments but this past weekend it don’t come back. Even after pulling over and turning the engine off it still didn’t play. It was only after i disconnected the battery, and reconnected it that it worked properly again. Luckily I have a speed app on y phone which is a temp backup if it goes again.
- Engine inconsistently running very hot: The engine normally runs at 70but I’ve noticed more and more i look down and its up at around 90. The inconsistency is that later on in the same journey it’ll be down to 70 again. If anything i’ve only seemed to notice this while in heavy traffic.
- Sticking Clutch: This has only happened a handful of times but it’s been unpleasant to deal with in heavy traffic. The clutch sticks halfway down the stroke. This means i have to hook my toe under the pedal and pull it back out. This again has only seemed to happen in heavy, slow moving, clutch busy traffic.
- Sometimes very smokey: Sometimes it’s really smokey at high revs but it’s not all the time so its difficult to figure out why.
- Internal Blower not working: Just after we arrived at New Wine i noticed that the fan blower had stopped working.. It’s just completely dead. With colder weather creeping in this needs to get sorted soon!!!
- Drivers side key lock gone: Our car was broken in to a couple of weeks back and they smashed the lock in so that still needs sorting.
- Groaning Brakes: It’s like a low frequency groan that only happens at certain speeds and sounds like its coming from the left front brake.
- Rear wiper: It’s supposed to be intermittent. Since we’ve owned the car its inter-working. It would be nice to get to work properly.
Hopefully it wont all cost us the price of a small car…
THE ORANGE FAIL SAGA CONTINUETH
Faults on this 2nd Vivaz handset:
- Random Hanging up during calls but especially just after picking up calls.
- Constant Dialing a call failure
- constant crashing / rebooting – at least 2-3 times a day.
- inconsistent connection to mail accounts
- GPS is inconsistent
- Auto Screen orientation has slowed down considerably.
- Struggles to reconnect to service when passing through an area of poor service to an area of good service. (this can take the phone more than 5 minutes to reconnect).
- Phone doesn’t power off properly when trying to power it off – it reboots – inconsistent occurrence.
Recurring issues from last phone
- music/pod-casts stutter
- Audio goes out of sync when recording video
- Screen goes glitchy in camera mode
- Constant freezing
Now i have to go back to Orange AGAIN and tell them i want to change it AGAIN and i will probably have the same argument AGAIN and it will be fun!
Father I pray that you will help and guide me through this process and that my anger will not take control.
See the last post about the phones faults here.
THE ORANGE FAIL SAGA
With the on going saga or rather my ongoing battle with Orange I have come up with series of posts. I know how you have all enjoyed the serialized posts to date. 50 Reasons & Poetry Too boosted the traffic to this website a long way so I thank you readers fopr the ….um….readershipness!?!?
Anyway – the point of this is that if you troll through this site you will see a bunch of posts with me moaning about the crappy service that Orange has provided form time to time. When its been bad its been diabolical. It’s almost inspired me to douse my own eyes with a vinegar and lemon c**ktail with extra salt to boot. I plan to email each of these posts to Orange in an attempt to get them to do one of two things.
- Hire me as an Special Undercover Customer Services Operative (SUCsO for short).
- Change their ways
Sadly I’m not hopeful either will happen – It’ll be a great and creative way to vent though!
Maaaaaan this is getting tiresome! Can people please stop hitting vehicles we are responsible for!!!!
So I was driving down Chase Road, as i do every morning at about 8:35 and i was coming up on the junction of Sunbeam Road heading north. As I approached I saw a car attempting to pull out of Sunbeam road onto Chase road. As I approached the car was stationary. The driver of the car was looking north while she was pulling out and not south thus she did not see me approaching. I had to swerve to avoid her but this was not enough and she hit the rear left wheel arch.
Photos of both cars:
Our courtesy car:
The conversation was a little barbed as i was quite angry with her to be honest and she was also quite defensive. I felt bad about being quite agitated with her so I apologized for my reaction and behaviour. I guess it was just shock. It was an easy mistake to make and we are all only human after all.
I prayed for her later as i was driving on top work but I should count my blessings really that it wasn’t worse! Had she pulled out any quicker it could have been quite messy.
The past few days have been quite stressful actually due to my quest to see if I can get an iphone as my upgrade!
Orange, YET AGAIN. have failed me…
Bless them but they have about as much integrity as a spoon trying to be a marshmallow.
They have this deal on their website which seems to be quite a good. Its offering to combine your Mobile, Landline and broadband all in to one unit at a cost of £60 per month. Sounds quite good so far, The real sweetener is that they’ll throw in an iPhone3GS 32GB for free!
Wow! – yes, that’s what i said, and out loud too!
…that is about as good as it all got as it got bad from there on in!
- The page on which the offer is on had some small print which was designed to be missed! On this I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt and to carry on….i should trust my instincts more.
- Small print says nothing indicating that you wont get a 32GB handset if you only sign an 18 month contract.
- I tried really hard to find a positive review on-line about their broadband service. I know in most forums when people write reviews its mostly bad stuff but usual;ly there is one or two kind souls who will write about their positive experience – NOT ONE!
- The phone call was next – it didn’t go well
- The guy was cagey when i asked about the “fair usage” policy for the broadband
- I had to ask him 7/8 times for the info i wanted
- then he lied to me… i caught him out when he was feeding me bull and contradicted himself
- i still had to ask him another few times for the information i wanted
As you can read – I am not exactly filled with confidence with them. I still want to stick with Orange as we save quite a bit of money with their Orange Wednesday deals but i have lodged a complaint and will see if that lightens the situation any more than it has.
I don’t feel like I’m getting the creative time i used to get when i was freelance. Well, i know i’m not.
Don’t worry, this is not me thinking of jacking in my job here at Tandem. God put me here and i’m not getting any vibes that he wants me elsewhere for the time being. What is happening is that i am getting quite fed up with the processes one has to put up with in a small production company. This has become quite tiresome and i’m beginning to fear for my creative abilities.
The creative mind is much like a muscle. If you don’t exercise it it will grow weak and less productive. When you do use it it will be a real effort to get anywhere. I use this analogy cause I’m also really unfit! I need to get in to some routines where I can get on my bike. Last few times i was out, i was left out of breath alot and it wasn’t as enjoyable as it used to be. I’m finding the same result with being creative.
At work my job is still very creative. Its just that it’s also very constrained. Constraints and creativity don’t get along very well. Within the corporate environment the constraints are mainly budget and time.
Budgets don’t usually allow for very adventurous things
Time is usually too tight to have any fun with ideas.
I feel like i’m completely done!
THIS IS SO WRONG!!!!!!
This is not what it should be and I think i need to go back to one of my original functions here at Tandem. That function was to bring a fresh perspective to the company. We need to go back to the roots of why we do this. I remember when i was freelancing with my bro. It was obviously very different for us as we didn’t have as many overheads so we were alot more free to try things but we did try things. I remember we used to sit and talk about ideas and when we realised we couldn’t afford to do something we would work out a way of doing so….it was great!
I want us to do this at Tandem. I need for us to smash out of this oppressive feeling we’re under and start being creative! REALLY CREATIVE. We need to be completely bonkers creative, think of the ludicrous, the obscene, the stupid, the funny, the outrageous, the bizarre and even the un-related!
WE NEED TO THINK!
WE NEED TO BE CREATIVE!
I’ve been thinking of all this stuff and what it all mans and trying to hear what God has to say about all of this. One of the cool things coming up is the iamsecond project. We will be doing the production on the UK version of this which is really awesome and a real answer to prayer. I’ve been praying that we get some new Christian projects and this landed in my lap in a way that could only have been from the Big Man.
This has had me thinking and praying more about where God is taking me. I’m seeing people serving Jesus full time and I’m so envious. There is a large part of me that just cannot be faffed with doing corporate work as I find it really difficult to see how a film on a tunnel or the construction of a building can further the Kingdom. I would love to be able to work full time on films that directly further the kingdom.
I pray that this feeling will go and I’ll be able to get my creative mojo back!