Orange, which is owned by Britain’s biggest mobile operator, EE, angered customers in the three months to the end of September after it changed the rules around its home broadband service. The company had been offering free home broadband services to its mobile customers but said in September that they would lose the free service unless they agreed to pay £14 a month to rent a telephone line from the firm.
Ofcom received around double the number of complaints about Orange than in the previous quarter, largely from customers who had expected to keep the free service until the end of their mobile contract.
“The spike in complaints came at around the same time as the company withdrew its free broadband offer, which reflects how customers felt about the changes,” said an Ofcom spokesman.
On average, 0.5 customers in every 1000 Orange customers complained about the broadband service in the three-month period, compared to an industry average of 0.24. At the other end of the spectrum, Sky and Virgin Media had the most satisfied broadband customers.
Grupo Gowex GOW, a Spanish provider of Wi-Fi wireless services, is moving funds to Germany because it expects Spain to exit the euro. German machinery maker GEA Group AG is setting maximum amounts held at any one bank.
“I don’t trust Spain will remain in the euro zone,” said Jenaro Garcia, founder and chief executive officer of Madrid– based Grupo Gowex, which provides Wi-Fi access in 15 countries. “We moved our cash and deposits to Germany because Spain will come back to the peseta.”
European companies spent billions preparing for the euro when it was introduced in 2000 by 11 countries. Contingency planning for an unraveling of the currency involves cutting investment, moving money to Germany, transferring headquarters to northern Europe from southern, and even going out of business, according to interviews with more than 20 executives.
The Bundesbank, Germany’s central bank, registered capital inflows of 11.3 billion euros $15 billion from non-banks in September, according to the breakdown of its current account published Nov. 9. That helped transform a deficit of 47.3 billion euros in Germany’s balance of other capital flows in August to a surplus of 700 million euros in September.
Strange Random Currency Quote:
“The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.” – Ernest Hemingway
- European CEOs Move Cash to Germany to Guard Against Euro Breakup (businessweek.com)
- The Entire European Summit In One Genius Venn Diagram (businessinsider.com)
- Irish Euros or German Euros? (brianluff.wordpress.com)
- Eurozone crisis: European voices (bbc.co.uk)
- ECB takes centre stage before summit to save euro (france24.com)
- Forget Europe… Germany’s Got Its Own Problems to Deal With (zerohedge.com)
- ECB Shows the Bazooka, Targeting Liquidity (news.firedoglake.com)
- Market Spooked by Banks Taking Tons of ECB Cash (blogs.wsj.com)
- While Europe Slides, Germany Plays Hardball (forbes.com)
- Editorial: The Wrong Fix (nytimes.com)