Here your Editor is publishing a new email thread opened up with Orange, picking up from an earlier one between our new Parish Council Clerk, Greg Burt and 'Customer Relations' at the Company. Of course there is no guarantee that there will be a reply, especially as they now realise that whatever they say will be published. However if there is a lack of response, it will also tell a (sorry) story.
Please Note: Editorial comments are highlighted and the newest email in the thread will always be the one at the top of this article. If the correspondence becomes protracted, older emails will be archived as links.
Subject: Cocking Signal Loss - Attn: XXX XXX and / or XXX XXX
Date: 22 October 2014 11:12:02 BST
Dear Orange Customer Relations,
Sadly you have not been able to reply to my recent email yet, but I thought I would keep you informed of the latest developments in the village in relation to the 10 week absence of an Orange mobile phone signal, even if my emails become a monologue.
BBC South Today re-visited Cocking this morning, calling first on early riser, local farmer and Parish Council Chair, Richard Marks before conducting a ‘vox pop’ on the green by our children’s playground. Luckily it was a pleasant sunny morning and the footage should therefore be good. This gave local residents and customers such as myself the opportunity, once again, to air their dissatisfaction not only with the longstanding lack of signal, but also by the singular lack of clear communication between Orange / EE and its users.
Please remember that my invitation to you to communicate to your customers via the village website - cocking.org - remains open. I do hope you take advantage of that opportunity soon as you silence is becoming deafening.
From: Nick Birch <my email address>
Subject: Attention: XXXXX XXXXXXX
Date: 20 October 2014 13:27:12 BST
Cc: Burt Greg <cocking parish council's email address>
To: <orange customer relations' email address>
I have seen your email to Greg Burt, the Cocking Parish Council Clerk, about the 10 week lack of a mobile signal from the mast overlooking our village.
Frankly at this stage your reply is entirely inadequate and in fact it didn’t make any sense technically. Your suggestion that customers dial 150 is also ridiculous. Many have done so and are irate at the time that has wasted to no effect.
I am about to post your email on the village website along with a report of the second round of BBC Radio Sussex interviews about your service that was aired this morning. We have also been featured on BBC TV South Today and you will no doubt continue to receive adverse publicity from many quarters (e.g. BBC’s Watchdog who did a piece last week on 16th October) as apparently this sort of problem is common.
Your failure to field anyone on BBC Sussex this morning was emphasised by their presenter, but it came as no surprise I am afraid.
If you want to discuss this with me or can find anyone who really knows what is going on you can do so on my landline 01730 XXXXXX.
From: <orange customer relations' email address>
Date: 20 October 2014 11:16
Subject: Re: Re: <no subject>
To: Cocking Parish Council <cocking parish council's email address>
Good morning Mr Burt
Re: postcode GU29 XXX
As discussed please ask your parishioners to call our Customer Services on 0845 41250000 or if they are in an area with signal, 150 free from their mobile phone. We can then get a clearer picture of what is happening and get our engineers on the case as soon as possible.
Yes, Orange are actually saying that after 10 weeks, they really ought to find out what is happening and get their engineers on the case as soon as possible. How reassuring that is!
If you have a contract with Orange by all means contact them if you have a spare hour on your hands. Take the opportunity of letting them know what you think of their customer service and arrange a rebate of rental while you are on the line.