Orange bliss

After our recent  successful trip to Orange in Cap 3000, we now have a fully functioning LiveBox with service restored to its former glory, new iPhones and a smaller monthly bill. I call that a result. Or I would, if it were not for the chaos which ensued exactly one week later.

I had woken feeling very unwell the day before we were to leave for San Sebastian. I decided I was going to take it easy and emailed our friendly car service to ask if he could collect my beloved from the airport. I sent him an email telling him it would be Christoph, not me, picking him up. He didn’t respond, but that’s not unusual.

After a day spent resting and sipping water, I was feeling better though not wholly restored. Christophe rang just before 17:00 to say unfortunately he couldn’t collect my beloved. I said not to worry, I was feeling better and I’d do it myself. I messaged Richard with the change in arrangements.  His plane was due in from London City at 19:20. I knew traffic would be bad en route and left at 18:45, hoping to sweep in, pick him up and head back home.

He’ll typically message me when he lands. I checked my phone, no message and, for some reason, no service on my phone! While circling the airport, I managed to reboot it but it made no difference. After circling for 30 minutes, I concluded my beloved had seen only my first message and had gotten a taxi. I drove home, but there was no sign of him. I rang him from the fixed line, no service on his mobile. So he was having similar problems. Thirty minutes later, I was about to call BA to check whether he’d been on the flight, when he arrived back by taxi.

The plane door had jammed, so it had taken 45 minutes just to get off the plane, plus another 15  minutes to get through the terminal to our usual pick up point. He’d waited 10 minutes then gotten a taxi. He too had no mobile service. It appeared that both phones had been cut off at the same time. I tried in vain to contact Orange but no one was home or, if they were, they were constantly engaged! We were leaving for Spain at 05:30 the following morning so would need to contact Orange on our arrival.

Once we were settled into our hotel, I had managed to find a telephone number for the Orange store in Cap 3000 and we tried to ring them on Skype, but no luck. I had found the Facebook page and Twitter handle for the shop, so sent them messages – no immediate response!

Meanwhile, my exasperated beloved had decided to engage with the Orange chat line. The first person he contacted promised our service would be restored within a couple of hours. It wasn’t. We couldn’t contact anyone the following morning as, horror of horrors, the internet had gone down in the whole of San Sebastian.

Once WiFi was restored, my beloved was chatting once more to the Orange help line, a chap called Valentin who, after 20 minutes of emailing back and forth, told my beloved he needed to contact the business help line and promptly disconnected! I wouldn’t have minded but he had asked upfront which type of service we had and my beloved had advised him we were business customers.

Undeterred, though by now muttering under his breath, my beloved located and logged into the business help line only to discover it demanded tons of information on the company which we don’t usually carry around with us. However, I knew I’d provided that information by email recently and was able to retrieve it. We were back in the game!

Or were we? My beloved kept getting logged out of the system. Eventually he got through to someone who suggested we go down to our local Orange shop. Did he not read the bit where my beloved explained we were in Spain and had indeed popped into the local Orange shop. No queue and the staff were extremely helpful but, after checking both our phones, had advised someone back at HQ in France had cut off our service although they didn’t know why. Sadly, Orange Spain is a completely different legal entity (so much for EU) and they couldn’t assist us further. They would have been happy to call the French help line for us but could only make local calls from the shop.

After lunch, I discovered I’d received a reply from Orange at Cap 3000 from the lady who’d set us up. She had sent me her mobile no. so we could call her. We did so on Skype and she asked us if we’d changed over our SIM cards? The penny dropped. She had said we’d have to do this but I’d assumed the technician had done it down at the shop when we’d left him with our old phones, passwords etc to change everything over. My beloved had gone back down to fetch everything on his own so I hadn’t checked – rookie error!

As a result of an error on our part, we’d incurred a taxi bill of 45 Euros and lost several hours of our life, which we’d never get back. On the plus side, I now have the email address and mobile phone no. of the most helpful person I have ever met at Orange. Plus, the six days no one could get hold of us on the phone were otherwise pretty blissful, maybe we should do it more often!