Questions of Cash: 'I feel I've been mugged by Orange'

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Q. I signed a 12-month contract with Orange for broadband services, starting in February. In June, I logged on to my Orange online account and clicked on an icon labelled "upgrade your package for free". It said higher speeds were possible and would take about 10 days to go through. I tried to go back and cancel, but an online message said since I had an order already that was not yet processed, it was not possible to amend it. The next morning, I rang to say I wanted the request undone, but was told I had entered into a new 12-month contract. The website did not make this clear and also I was in the cooling-off period, but Orange demanded a £200 cancellation fee. I feel mugged. JK, Sheffield.

A. Your account has now been closed and all outstanding charges have been cleared. Orange apologises.

Q. At the beginning of September, I agreed a deal with Orange to provide internet services in a package which included the Wireless & Talk service. On 3 September, I was emailed to say that the service was " ready to go", but it didn't work. My wife was repeatedly told the fault had been referred to the "escalation team", but nothing happened. Eventually she was told the fault would be referred to "front-line control" and the problem would be sorted out in a few days. We heard nothing. Two months after we signed up for the service, we can't get it. RC, by email.

A. We had similar difficulties in getting Orange to deal with this. The problem was with your modem, which has now been reset and your Wireless & Talk service been made operational. Orange is crediting your account with three months' free broadband use – not over-generous given your service was down for two months.

Q. You previously helped me with Orange, about a sum of money they were chasing me for which I didn't owe, and which they promised to write off. I then had a call from the chief executive's office saying my balance was now zero and it was cancelling the debt collectors. But I have since had a letter from their debt collectors, Moorcroft, demanding payment. FC, by email.

A. Orange says it did as it promised, clearing all charges from your account and advising the debt recovery agency accordingly. It seems there was a failure of communication between Orange and the agency.

Q. I ordered a camera from Pixmania for my son. The website shows 48-hour delivery and I paid extra for this. The order was made before 1pm on 8 August and it was not received 48 hours later, when we were going on holiday. I cannot get a response from Pixmania. SS, Stourbridge.

A. You are correct that the Pixmania website shows that paying for express delivery "allows you to receive your package in 24 to 48 hours". However, you appear to have paid less attention to the next sentence, which states "when you place your order before 10am, it will be handled the same day". So, if you place the order after 10am, the 48-hour clock starts ticking the following morning. On this basis, Pixmania met its own expectations of service by delivering on the afternoon of 10 August. We can understand why you are miffed and the terms and conditions could be clearer – but this is what it says and Pixmania is not willing to provide compensation.

Questions of Cash cannot give individual advice. Please do not send original documents. Write to: Questions of Cash, The Independent, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS;

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