EE/Orange’s error has ruined my credit rating. Watch out it doesn’t happen to you.

Forgive my being so quiet on this blog for a while, and then using it for something like this, but it’s hard enough work at the moment getting a company off the ground without idiocy like this adding to it.

The email below, which I’ve just sent to the chief executive of EE/Orange, Olaf Swantee, and cc’d to their head of customer service, should be self-explanatory. Please publicise it widely – to help my case and to warn others who might find themselves in the same situation.


Mr Swantee,

Last year I took out an Orange mobile phone for my business, with a Samsung handset. I had so many problems with it, and so little help from Orange, that in June, out of desperation, I went to your store in XXXXXXXXX and asked for a figure to buy myself out of the contract so that I could switch networks and get a different handset. I was given a figure of around £560, paid this in full there and then, received a PAC code (which you would not issue to me if I hadn’t settled my account in full) and went next door to Vodafone to take out a new contract.

At the beginning of this week, I went to open a bank account for a new company I’ve started. The bank refused to open an account, stating that there was a problem with my credit record. To say I was shocked is an understatement, since I have never owed anyone money and failed to pay.

To identify the problem, I had to get my credit report from Experian. Everything on my report was green – except for a single red marker next to the entries for EE/Orange. This marker was there because you have tried, every month for 6 months, to claim £10-ninety-something and it hasn’t been paid.

It hasn’t been paid because I cancelled the direct debit because I paid Orange £560 to terminate my contract – the full and final figure given to me by your company.

For the sake of £10 that I don’t owe you in the first place, your company has ruined my credit rating, causing me enormous embarrassment and huge inconvenience as I’ve been unable to bank cash and pay bills on behalf of my new company.

It gets worse. On Tuesday afternoon I called your customer service line and ended up connected to an operative in India. After a long telephone call and a lengthy explanation of the problem, this operative acknowledged the error and said the £10-odd would be cancelled. So that I could correct things with Experian and the bank, I asked for an immediate email from Orange/EE confirming the error and advising that my credit report could be corrected. The operative said the system didn’t allow her to arrange it immediately, but I would receive it in 24-48 hours.

This evening, 50-odd hours after that call, I phoned your customer service line again. This time, after explaining the problem, I was connected to XXX XXXXXXXX. He was sympathetic but completely unable to help – and initially questioned whether my account of events was correct.

I invited him to listen to the recording of Tuesday’s call and was told that no calls to India are recorded. Not only was the call not recorded and I had not received the promised email – but there were not even any notes put on the account by your Indian employee about the call.

Mr XXXXXXX apologised but said that there was nothing he could do but put my complaint into the escalation process, but that this would take around 7 more days.

This is completely unacceptable. Your company made an error in trying to claim money on a cancelled direct debit when I had paid the full amount specified by your company to exit the contract. Not only that, but at no point in the past 7 months has EE/Orange written to me about the supposed unpaid ‘debt’.

Instead, you’ve tried to claim on a non-existent direct debit and have recorded warning markers against my name to the extent that I now have a red flag and am turned down for a company bank account.

I’m not prepared to wait 7 days. If this is not resolved tomorrow (Friday) with an immediate correction of my credit record and an unreserved apology from EE/Orange, I will contact a solicitor to take advice on initiating a lawsuit for defamation and for damages.

In addition, I write a blog that has been read around half a million times in the past year. As soon as I send this email, I am going to post a copy of it to that blog and ask readers to publicise it widely. This post will remain on the blog until I am satisfied with your reaction to this email.

I expect your urgent call on my mobile number below (the same one I ported to Vodafone using the PAC code you gave me when I settled my account in full), followed by the written apology and confirmation of action taken by post and by email.

Steve Walker

Thanks for helping spread this issue. Orange outsources to a foreign call-centre, decides it’s not worth recording the calls and then washes its hands when its cheap labour doesn’t do what it has promised – and damn the consequences, all you can do is submit to the ‘escalation process’ and wait 7 days before you even get a response, while yet more damage is done.

I’ll let you know what response I get.

EDIT: Appears this is far from an isolated issue. See https://www.facebook.com/OrangeUK/posts/590634674334296

Update 7/2/14 14.40pm:

Received, eventually, an automated response from EE’s executive office, advising me that I’d appreciate knowing my email was being looked at. Here’s the ensuing exchange, in reverse order:

Not good enough, I’m afraid. The urgency is clear from the content of my email – and I’ve already been waiting since Tuesday afternoon for a response that was promised within 24-48 hours.

Get to it.

From: Executive Office [mailto:Executive.Office@ee.co.uk]
Sent: 07 February 2014 14:10
To: Steve Walker
Subject: RE: Complaint email: Steve Walker 2


We aim to reply within 72 hours.

Executive Office

From: Steve Walker
Sent: 07 February 2014 13:47
To: Executive Office
Subject: RE: Complaint email: Steve Walker 2

Hi Angie,

An automated reply after this long is not particularly appreciated, no – not in the circumstances, when the clock’s ticking and I’m still unable to open a bank account.

Please get a proper response to me immediately.


From: Executive Office [mailto:Executive.Office@ee.co.uk]

Sent: 07 February 2014 13:41
To: Steve Walker
Subject: FW: Complaint email: Steve Walker 2


I run EE’s executive office.

This is an automated response, but I thought you’d appreciate knowing that your email has been reviewed by the CEO’s office.

My team and I will investigate the issue and contact you as soon as possible.

Kind regards,

Angie Jones

Executive Office Manager

Customer Team


  1. For what its worth….

    Its now Decemeber 2016, and Orange/EE are still up to very similar tricks.
    They have toady sent me a chreque for a credit on my accont which thay had alleged was “in Debt” to the sum of £54.

    This “Debt” has damaged my credit rating from very good to very poor, and I have been turned down for a very modest loan from a bank where I have been a customer for 30 years!

    we need some sort of class action against these idiots?

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