DNS problems with Orange, the worst technology company in existence

A while ago we needed to change the DNS records for our websites from A records to CNAMEs. Immediately after this we started getting dozens of calls from customers using Orange broadband who couldn’t get to our sites. Upon investigation, it looked as if the DNS change had triggered a problem caused by a bug or config error on Orange’s DNS cache servers; when trying to do a DNS lookup for our sites, the servers were trying to return the no-longer-existent A records instead of returning the new CNAMEs as they should have done. Consequently no Orange customers could get to our sites.

We tried to notify Orange about this, and what followed was an absolutely staggering display of total incompetence and utter disinterest. They didn’t seem to remotely care that their customers couldn’t access our sites. It took them weeks before they even tried to take responsibility for the problem, and then the results were laughable. I could write pages detailing our constant efforts to get them to help and the dreadful results which caused no end of total frustration both for us and for Orange’s customers, but unfortunately I don’t have time to write the paragraphs and paragraphs which would be needed to describe all the incredible, awful stuff that happened. It will have to suffice to say that words simply cannot express how bad they are.

After four weeks of this problem, Orange’s ‘customer service’ was still telling some customers that they didn’t even know about the problem, and their technical teams were apparently incapable of performing a simple flush of their DNS cache servers to fix the problem. I have never known any other technology company to come even remotely close to this incredible degree of incompetence and uselessness.

As we’d tried everything else by this point, I actually went as far as to move our DNS hosting to a different DNS hosting provider (from Register.com to DNS Made Easy). This is a very extreme thing to do, but I hoped that doing something this extreme would finally kick Orange’s broken DNS cache servers into updating themselves with the right information. This took a lot of time and cost us money, but thankfully it did have the desired effect. If this hadn’t worked then I can only assume that Orange customers would never have been able to access our sites again.

After this experience, I sincerely hope I never have to deal with Orange ever again for any reason. I won’t ever be using them again for anything, and I’ll be taking every available opportunity to very strongly advise people to stay away from them at all costs. If you’re an Orange user who is suffering from their appalling ‘support’ then you have my sympathies. If you’re someone who is considering signing up with them, then take my advice and STAY WELL AWAY FROM ORANGE. Scratch them off your list right now, and never consider them again – you’ll save yourself a whole world of pain in the future.