What Happened To My Orange Jordan Internet Connection Lately

So since last week’s attempt to start a little campaign regarding the incredibly bad level of service Orange Jordan offers its Internet customers, my Internet connection has been down. Some people have even fueled my head with conspiracy theories but I wouldn’t go that far. It is however ironic that just when I was starting to complain about how bad and slow the service was, my service came to a stop all together. It’s like asking for a salary raise and getting fired instead.

The past week I’ve been sporadically leaching the Internet off a neighbor who is luckily not in the country (hey, someone’s got to use that connection), but the connection is fairly weak so my net usage has plummeted.

I’ve called Orange Internet customer service several times. During the past week there was one day that the connection did work and I wanted to celebrate its return by trying to get my Mac to work as for some reason it refused to connect wirelessly. I called them up for the second time and just then, my other computer wouldn’t connect wirelessly.

After a pretty condescending conversation – you know the one where the IT guy expects you to know everything he knows and uses his raspy voice to chastise you when you inquire as to what arabized word he just used in the middle of a sentence? – the customer service representative ended the conversation by saying that he had been on the line too long and gave me a random instruction to carry out, which we both knew wouldn’t work. “And if you need anything more, call back, someone else will help you,” he says. “And you have to take your Mac to the dealer – it’s not our problem,” he continued.

Essentially, the 10 minute or so conversation ended with him being unable to help me connect wirelessly, and telling me to go deal with the Mac situation on my own. Brilliant.

Oh, after speaking to a friend who is a Mac user that experienced the very same problem (who was apparently also rejected by an Orange customer service rep), the solution involves changing the settings on the Orange Livebox to accept more than one computer – so technically it was “their” problem.

Nevertheless, for 95% of the week I’ve had no Internet connection. Two days ago I got that dreadful message that said I had used up 70% of my download capacity. The one that asks you to call their customer service center, who in this particular department would probably be very eager to help me.

The connection came back on for about 8 hours yesterday and then, last night, it vanished once again. When I called them this morning they said I hadn’t paid my bill. And like 95% of the time, they never sent a bill in the first place.

At this point, I’m thinking of sleeping at the office just for the Internet connection.

What annoys me most is probably not having a proper solution to this problem. How do you deal with someone who doesn’t care about your business – who could care less if you go to a competitor? This, by the way, is an attitude that is deeply ingrained in the Jordanian business mentality. Even the tomato guy in the vegetable souk will tell you to go to Safeway if you think their tomatoes are cheaper. Why is that?

If Orange doesn’t care about improving its level of services then maybe it should introduce a pay-as-go system where we only pay for the amount of Internet we actually GET to use as opposed to the amount that we’re promised. Then again, if they could care less then there’s no reason to change, right?

I can only take comfort in knowing that the theory in such cases does usually work out: people who do bad business and never improve will almost always, eventually fail in their business. Orange may be, by birthright, the chosen child right now, but they’ll eventually suffer a loss to a competitor. Not because that competitor is bigger in size, just because they’re better with the services they have to provide.

Companies in Jordan need to be aware of that. They need to be aware that complaints are not sporadic and random in nature. They need to know that there is a reason for these complaints. That these complaints are collective in nature. My decision to use social media tools to voice my complaints was exactly that – an attempt to try and bring those voices together in whatever medium available to us, the average customer. In one week, a single Facebook group garnered 150 members voicing their support. If you do a simple search you’ll see more groups with more members and more complaints. Whether you like it or not, whether you believe it or not, it remains an indicator at the most basic of levels. The comments left by users customers on this blog and other blogs around the Jordanian blogosphere this past week are another indication of that.

I would love to call on a day where all these people cancel their subscriptions in a united fashion, but I somehow doubt Orange would care if it suddenly lost 500 members in a day. However, I do hope people continue to voice their concerns collectively and respectfully. Change doesn’t come over night.

Anyways, Just thought I’d share my experience this past week with all of you.

I doubt that I will pay my bill to get my service back, as I will be shopping around for a new service provider until further notice but that’s a misadventure that will probably have to wait till after Eid.

If you don’t see me around online for a while, now you’ll know why.

34 Comments

  • Amazing.

    I think it is a conspiracy – our net is down too. We’re getting the message that we haven’t paid… even though we paid more than a week ago, more than was due.

  • Orange seems to be having a billing problem, same happened with a friend of mine.

    Anyway, just go get Zain e-go or something, you can get back online before Eid!

  • Nas, try UMAX or WI-tribe… I have been using UMAX for a while and constantly complained. However their customer service people always call back no matter how rude or angry I was and ask if the problem was fixed. Also the wireless connection route means no land line needed, less bills and with wi-tribe theyt send you monthly SMSs if you are a monthly subscriber!

    BTW- I also realized that my wireless router was a major contributor to the problem so now I connect directly to my modem and all is well.

  • forget orange, try witribe. they are awesome, their sales rep who installed my connection was nice and uber professional and the connection is perfect.

    SCREW ORANGE I SAY

  • @wakawaka: i did try witribe a few months back as i mentioned in the last comment but it wouldn’t take where i live. but i do remember thinking that their sales rep was pretty cool.

  • I couldn’t get witribe to work for me, and as for Orange… it’s the irony of ironies, this whole thing, really. I don’t think there’s a conspiracy, it’s just that fate is not without a grim sense of humour.

    All I can say, Nas, is that I certainly know how you feel.

  • How about suing them? Or is it hard to have 30 customer to log the downtime and then collectively sue the company? and then taking it very public with the media?

  • The customer service said he had been “too long on the line”?! And it was only 10 minutes. Wow, we Jordanians really value the time. I guess this customer service behavior takes us back to the pre-big-companies-era (individual traders) were the only customer service you get is “If you don’t like our product find someone else!”

  • Your experience with Orange is absolutely amazing. I’ve experienced similar things but nothing to that degree. I agree with all but one thing you mention.

    “I can only take comfort in knowing that the theory in such cases does usually work out: people who do bad business and never improve will almost always, eventually fail in their business. ”

    I don’t think Jordanian businesses (in general) think that Orange’s behavior is “bad business”. I say in general because you said it yourself that it spans the gamut from Orange down to the tomato seller.

    The reason I say that Jordanian don’t think it’s “bad business” because it’s not contradicting their core values. If it were, then they intuitively would avoid it (generally speaking). People do what they really deep down value and believe in.

    I believe that this poor customer service behavior extends from core values in the culture. It’s not that they value poor customer service. It’s that they value other things that are more important to them. I’m not a Jordanian, nor have I done ethnographic research on the culture to understand what motivates such decisions from sellers. I also don’t think that the core value(s) have to be “bad” just because customer service isn’t like you experience elsewhere. I would conclude that supply/demand and competition are not the only major factors for how Jordanians make business decisions. People who really understand the Jordanian deep core values (difficult to know consciously and articulate even if you are Jordanian) should explain how those core values are expressing themselves through this type of behavior. This kind of analysis is out there somewhere.

  • I think whatever company you choose next, you should not sign up for their highest level of bandwidth, because they won’t be able to deliver it either. Internet in JORDAN is slow no matter who your ISP is, because it all goes through the same overworked bottleneck. You probably already know this, but just a reminder 🙂

  • Wireless internet isn’t working with me, Dad can’t use his laptop to do his work, As for me WIRE internet isn’t working, I don’t know how to explain, But there is some sort of RED LIGHT on my router, When i called the Customer service they told me make a internet icon, Since then it has been working fine.

    I call for a demonstration in front of the MAIN ORANGE OFFICES, We have to show them how much we are bothered from what they’re doing.

    The problem is that my contract ends with them after 9 months!, Dad renewed there contract a month ago, If i knew back then, I wouldn’t let him do that, I’m forced to stay with ORANGE, God help me!

  • Dear Nsnas

    Hit your head by the first wall you face.

    Orange Cutomer Service Manager
    link al wasaslah

  • What is this, a divestment camping? I’m with you all the way!

    Maybe capitalism just is not Jordan’s thing ..

    Can’t complain myself, I sit here enjoying a 23-25 mbps connection for the low fee of $28 a month 🙂

  • well im sorry things didnt work out but honestly now .. you didnt really expect things to change did you?

    i like the guy who suggested a protest in front of orange hq .. just remember u need permission to do that .. otherwise u might get beaten and even thrown out of a speeding car 😀

  • Sorry to keep bugging you with the same argument,
    but your outrage should be directed at the lawless state that not only allows big corporations (along with many other parties) to treat you like that, but actually makes money out of it as well.

    Ya zalameh, even Lebanon which supposed to be as lawless as it gets don’t let service providers get away with that kind of attitude.

    http://al-akhbar.com/ar/node/157103

  • Didn’t they tell us the so called liberal minded economists that if we privatize thing will be more efficient?? what happened, another prove that “Free” market is complete failure..

  • Sorry, this is random, but I saw you had a Mac, so thought I would ask.

    How do you make Ø° and shadda on a MacBook? The key next to the 1 that usually makes it doesn’t make dhaal or shadda in Arabic-PC mode. To make dhaal I have to press option-3, and can’t figure out how to make a shadda. Please help.

  • A couple questions for you readers.

    #1 I’m about to take the plunge and sign up for internet service with Wi Tribe. While I’m encouraged by the praise for it here, is there anyone who’ has had any bad experiences with it?

    #2 A someone newly residing in Amman, I’m just shocked by how poor the quality of the internet service (both in speed and reliability) is. I keep thinking that there must be some intense collusion between all the carriers and the government regulators to keep the internet so far behind the richer countries. If some new company came along and offered, say, 10 mbps speed with reliable and friendly service, they would conquer the entire market. I really know nothing about how internet works , so I have no idea if this is actually feasible. There may be good reasons for why the internet in Jordan is stuck about 10 years behind the internet in the States or 15 or so behind Northern Europe and East Asia, but I’m trying to figure those out.

  • george. since the 90s the telco infrastructure is owned by Jordan Telecom (the incumbent).
    all other isps lease the internet from their network. so basically everyone is limited with what their network has to offer.

    as for witribe, you can try them but i can tell you that its not any different in terms of speed, a friend have a 1mb witribe connection and its no different than my 1mb dsl with same slow downloads most of the time.

  • Hey all i guess there is a way to end this problem once and for all .. review site which includes everything u can find in jordan .. every god damn product .. and a big amount of jordanian users .. after that when a bunch of rubbish sit in a meeting they would make sure to give us a good service .. as long as there isnt such a thing for u as a user to know if this service is good or poor it will remain the same

  • Zain customer service is awful. I cant get a representative on the phone unless I pay 50 piasters per minute. I have to pay them to buy their services!

  • I couldn’t get witribe to work for me, and as for Orange… it’s the irony of ironies, this whole thing, really. I don’t think there’s a conspiracy, it’s just that fate is not without a grim sense of humour.

  • I thnk maybe he is right:
    24 tero on Sep 30th, 2009 said:
    george. since the 90s the telco infrastructure is owned by Jordan Telecom (the incumbent).
    all other isps lease the internet from their network. so basically everyone is limited with what their network has to offer.

    as for witribe, you can try them but i can tell you that its not any different in terms of speed, a friend have a 1mb witribe connection and its no different than my 1mb dsl with same slow downloads most of the time.

Your Two Piasters: