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Extra charges on Orange.fr Internet Bill

in Technology

Do you have ‘achats ou prestations ponctuels’ on your Orange Internet Bill?

Have you seen anything like this on your Orange Internet Bill: ‘achats ou prestations ponctuels’? If you have, I doubt very much that you requested these extra services. Unfortunately the ability to get charged like this is turned on by default. If you read on I’ll show you how to turn it off and to get reimbursed if you have already been charged.

Orange Facture

This specifically applies to my Orange Livebox Internet account in France, but I think it will be the same in the UK and any other countries.

My internet contract with Orange.fr is the Livebox Zen, which is the internet connection and a VOIP phone. This should have a basic cost of 36,99€/month. This includes free international calls to landlines and free calls within France. There’s normally a little bit extra which is usually something like a call to foreign mobile, these are in the section ‘communications hors forfait’. So for my December bill the extra was just 0.93€. So I was highly annoyed to see the additional 18€ in the ‘total auprès d’autres fournisseurs’ section. What the hell was that? In the detailed section 3 mystery calls were shown:

total auprès d'autres fournisseurs

The first of these confused me a lot; Christmas Day morning at 8:00, who made that call then? I can pretty much remember where we all were then. It turns out this is not a phone call at all, but a payment option called Contact+. You can read more about this here http://www.gibmedia.com/what-we-do/contact-plus/ but all you really need to know is that these payments cost 0.418€ + 1.045€/minute + VAT!

Disabling Contact+

Do this before doing anything else:

  • Log in to your Client Space on orange.fr
  • Go to ‘Vos Contrats’
  • Go to ‘Contrat Internet’
  • click ‘paramétrer vos services’

Orange Client Space

Now you can disable the services you don’t want:

Orange Extra Service Settings

Contact+ is the important one, but I disabled Internet+ too.

Getting Reimbursed by Orange

This was much more simple than I thought it would be. Go to this Contact+ Contact Form. Select ‘une contestation d’achat Contact+’ and fill in your account number and email. Your account number is on the PDF bill on the first page where it says ‘Vos coordonnées’ below this you will see something like:

n° client : 007 264 xxxx
n° de compte internet : 20160xxxx 

You want the latter of these numbers.

In the detail section I wrote: “En Décembre 2015, j’ai payé 18€ pour les services que je ne voulais pas. Je crois que cela est une erreur. S’il vous plaît rembourse 18€. S’il vous plaît me dire comment empêcher que cela se produise à l’avenir.” I then added the details of the calls.

The following day I received an email saying that a one-time reimbursement had been made and the Contact+ service had been disabled.

How did this happen?

I’m not 100% sure, but I know my eldest daughter was watching quite a lot of TV shows and movies on the internet, mainly Harry Potter and Doctor Who. A few weeks later her PC had become very infected with malware and when I quizzed her about it she mentioned certain ‘players’ that she downloaded. I’m pretty sure this is what happened. This is exceptionally worrying as she was not aware that any extra charges would be incurred. She’s only 11 but she is not stupid or dishonest.

I am assuming that Orange responded so quickly because this happens a lot. I can’t think of any reason they would turn these services on by default other than to make more money. If people ignore these extra charges Orange.fr must make a lot of money.

About the author: Rick Lomas, a internet addict, researcher, publisher, bass player and search engine optimisation expert from England, but now living in The French Alps. Rick can help sell your products and services online, publish books and pretty much anything like that.

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