In a few weeks my mobile phone network Orange plan to delete all my contacts and messages. Which in view of the fact I spend around £150 per month, more than all my other utilities put together, I feel is unforgivable.
Even if you don’t use the service, and wouldn’t be too upset if it went away, Wildfire is a symbol of the days when the Orange mobile phone network would innovate. Orange were the first network with caller ID in the UK, the first to price match any other operator’s price plans, the first to offer free call forwarding (Orange anyphone) which they later cancelled, the only network to send you free wine if you used your phone enough (which they also later cancelled), the first with free customer services, still the only UK mobile phone network allowing one to have a second line on the same handset, etc. Orange were probably the most innovative of the UK networks in the years 1994-2000. But following the change of hands away from Hutchinson the network has steadily gone down hill with the increase in waiting times to customer services, and withdrawal of services such as: Orange Equity, Orange Anyphone and now Wildfire. If you are a mobile phone user, no matter which network, the cancellation of Wildfire is another blow to innovation and customer service.
At the end of this month Orange will switch off wild fire. And in doing so will delete the thousands of contacts and messages which customers have stored in the system. Should telephone networks be allowed to destroy personal data like this without any apology or compensation? I guess they can do whatever they please.
I have set a termination date for my Orange contract. I don’t want to leave, but Orange’s conduct leave me with little choice.
Please support the Wildfire campaign. I don’t expect it will change Orange’s decision to pull the plug on Wildfire, but it will register as a protest vote, and maybe next time Orange decide to crap on their customers they’ll think twice before doing it.
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