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Orange to Charge for Smartphone Customer Care Services

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Orange has announced that it is to charge its smartphone customers who seek support for handset specific issues. This chargeable, dedicated hotline assistance will also include a remote assistance service which allows orange agents to remotely connect to a customer's device and offer real time, technical set up and support.

The expert assistance service will be staffed by specialist customer service representatives who can offer telephone guidance and answer queries, such as how to set up web and email access, how to synchroniseand back-up a device and how to connect accessories.

Orange said that it will continue to offer free support to customers through standard customer service centres and the Orange portal. The chargeable service is opt-in for new smartphone users who prefer to pay for dedicated support for their smartphone needs.

The service will be available as an Orange Care package to smart phone customers or provided on a per call or per act basis. Specific launch timings and pricing structures will be confirmed as the service rolls out in each market. Launching in Q2 2010, the service will be available in France, Switzerland, UK, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Romania, Moldova and Belgium.

Orange experts will also be able to connect directly to a customer's device - in the same way that IT helpdesks can remotely control a PC to solve performance issues - offering real-time, hands on help to customers. Customers are sent an SMS text message, allowing them to download a small applet to the device. Once this is accepted by the customer, the Orange Care technician can connect directly to the device. The Remote Assistance service is being launched first in France, Poland, Spain, Romania, Moldova and Slovakia with other countries to follow.

Olaf Swantee, senior executive vice president of Orange's global mobile business, comments, "With the rise of the smart phone, the mobile marketplace has changed. We now have over 30 touchscreen devices in our portfolio. Orange Care aims to provide support in such a way that is easiest for the customer. With Expert Assistance and Remote Assistance, we continue to revolutionise our Orange Care portfolio of customer care services to ensure that we help our customers enjoy and get the most from their new mobile internet experience."

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