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Orange spews out spam texts, says 'whoops'

James Temperton
22 Jul 2014
Girl using iPhone 4
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EE-owned network blames technical glitch after it sent some customers 90 promotional texts in just four days

Orange customers have vented their spleens having spent the entire weekend eagerly dashing to their phones expecting an invite to a BBQ only to find another promotional message. The EE owned mobile phone network relentlessly spammed its customers, with one person complaining that they received more than 90 marketing messages in just four days.

The messages were a constant and seemingly never-ending reminder from Orange to add people to its Magic Numbers scheme. Customers complained of being "bombarded" with promotional messages from Orange "for several days", with some people receiving 40 to 50 messages a day.

The company's forums and the Twitter accounts were inundated with disgruntled customers reaching breaking point. The spam text message read "Hi from Orange. Congratulations: you can now add another Magic Number." - along with a link to do so. EE explained that the Magic Number service allowed customers to call friends and family for free.

Responding to complaints on the EE forums a community manager explained that the reminder to add new Magic Numbers should only be sent once but for some reason people were being sent "multiple reminders".

An EE spokesperson later apologised for the spam messages, blaming a technical fault:

"The text issue that was affecting some Orange customers has now been fixed. The duplicate texts were caused by a script issue with one of our database suppliers. We're sorry for the inconvenience caused," the spokesperson said.

Orange parent company EE was the most complained about pay-monthly mobile phone provider in the latest industry figures. Regulator Ofcom said that EE's complaint volumes were twice the industry average at 0.12 per 1,000 customers. Complaints were mainly related to complaints handling, billing and issues with changing provider.

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