Orange admits to 69.5% failure rate on mobile phone mast

! This post hasn't been updated in over a year. A lot can change in a year including my opinion and the amount of naughty words I use. There's a good chance that there's something in what's written below that someone will find objectionable. That's fine, if I tried to please everybody all of the time then I'd be a Lib Dem (remember them?) and I'm certainly not one of those. The point is, I'm not the kind of person to try and alter history in case I said something in the past that someone can use against me in the future but just remember that the person I was then isn't the person I am now nor the person I'll be in a year's time.

The Orange rip-off saga continues unabated.  I eventually got Orange to disconnect my phone after a prolonged battle with customer services eventually got me talking to their network support people.  But I haven’t escaped Orange yet.

When I left Orange I changed to Three and it all went well for a couple of months until Three decommissioned a mobile phone mast near my house and left me unable to get a Three signal in my house.  And when you can’t get a Three signal, your phone roams onto Orange.  Same shit service at home, different name on the bill.

Orange, in their infinite wisdom, decided to turn off one of their masts a week later even though they’d already acknowledged a few months earlier that the network was congested.  If your car is running on 3 cylinders, you don’t take another spark plug out … unless you’re Orange.

Mrs Sane is still on Orange and tearing her hair out since they turned the mast off.  Since that weekend the pattern is the same – about lunchtime on a Friday you can’t make and receive phone calls or send and receive texts with any degree of reliability.  Most of the time it’s not possible to use the phone as a phone which is a bit inconvenient.  This goes on until Monday morning.

Mrs Sane complained to Orange and they agreed to release her from her contract if she wrote in to their head office.  She wrote in to their head office and I put a letter in the same envelope for #1 son’s phone which is also on Orange.  I haven’t had a reply but Mrs Sane got one denying there was a problem and insisting that their networks people said there is no problem.

The level of service is unacceptable.  I provide 24 hour cover for work every other week and the on-call phone is on Orange.  The last two times I’ve been on call I’ve had to give my house phone number to my employer because the mobile phone doesn’t work.  Mrs Sane can’t use her phone and neither can #1 son.  I can’t use my Three phone because roaming connections are dropped off first and neither can #2 son who’s also on Three.  My brother-in-law says that whenever he comes to Telford – and particularly where we live – he has the same problem.

Things came to a head today when Mrs Sane and I were trying to call each other this morning and couldn’t so I phoned Orange to complain again.  Five times.  It took about 30 or 40 attempts to make the five calls.  The first time a supervisor was going to call me but didn’t.  The second and third times I got cut off while I was on hold.  The fourth time I asked to be called straight back on my landline because I kept getting cut off but nobody called.  The fifth time I asked to be called back on my landline while I waited on the mobile and when they called me I didn’t bother wasting time explaining myself again and insisted on being put through to a network support person.

To my surprise I was put through to a network support person who was very helpful.  He checked the repeater mast at the end of our road and found that it was a bit poorly.  Well, when I say a bit poorly, what I mean is absolutely buggered.  The connection failure rate on that mast yesterday was 69.5%.  You haven’t read that wrong – 7 out of 10 attempts to connect to the network to make or receive calls, send or receive texts or use data resulted in a failure.  That is amazingly bad – a critical failure rate according to the networks person at Orange.  But according to Orange head office, there’s nothing wrong!

The nice networks man raised a ticket for an engineer to go and check it out next week.  He said it’s a line of sight repeated and it may have lost sight of a proper mast (the one they’ve turned off perhaps?) or just not be up to the job and needs cabling up instead.

It’s understandable that the first line support people don’t have access to that sort of information because they wouldn’t know what to do with it but it shouldn’t be so damn hard to get through to someone who can check out that sort of thing and deal with the problem accordingly.  I really hope they can sort the problem out because if I can get a reliable Orange connection at home, that means I don’t have to change from Three who I’m still really happy with, lack of connectivity at home notwithstanding.

Orange should have known there was a problem because that level of failure is just ridiculous but the big problem is people just accepting shit service and not reporting it.  If everyone who had a problem – and there are a lot of them – reported it they would have been more likely to have spotted a problem before now.

I’m not convinced that they’re going to fix the problem – certainly not in the short term – but let’s see what they say next week.  I am assured that I will have a phone call by Thursday at the latest to give me an update.


  1. Anoneumouse (9 comments) says:

    Mikom…repeaters are crap

  2. jameshigham (87 comments) says:

    I thought you were going Vodaphone?

  3. Kevin Cole (6 comments) says:

    No issues with T-Mobile. 🙂

  4. wonkotsane (1133 comments) says:

    Kev, come round to mine and see how good T-Mobile is. 😉

    James, I was waiting for Mrs Sane to get sorted out with Orange. Had a last ditch attempt at sorting Three out on Monday and hey presto they’ve managed to get coverage at my house! Had a phone call today from Three saying yes, turning off the mast was causing a problem, they’re putting a new one in in the next 3-4 months and in the meantime they’ve done something at the mast to get me coverage.

  5. Home Rule for England (10 comments) says:

    I’m on Orange and have experienced no probs until a couple of days ago when the snow started. Now without service.
    FYI Orange have arranged with T-Mobile for a shared network facility to sign up.

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