It's got to be one of the most confusing mobile phone promotions around – Orange UK's Magic Numbers scheme. Getting to the bottom of what is on offer is almost impossible.
The idea is simple. As a payback for your loyalty to staying on the Orange UK network, the mobile operator invites customers to nominate a 'magic' telephone number.
For pay monthly customers Orange says that they can get unlimited calls and can nominate a new Magic number every six months. The Orange adverts also promised 'unlimited calls'. Check the ad out on YouTube.
However, the terms for PAYG customers are different. As Orange points out here that such customers should "Choose your three bestest Orange friends and chat for up to an hour, and only pay for a minute."
Which has led to at least one independent 'help site' to declared this rule applies to pay monthly customers who "can call your Magic Numbers for up to an hour and pay for just one minute."
Obviously the way to clear up the confution is to look on the company's web site.
This is what the terms and conditions on the Orange UK web site say ... "Free and unlimited calls to your Magic Numbers' ("The Promotion") is open until the 31st January 2007".
It doesn't say, however, what applies at the moment. You have to guess that as a pay monthly customer you initially have two less Magic numbers that PAYG customers, but calls to that one number are unrestricted. And it only rises to three numbers after 12 months.
What Orange doesn't offer any help with, is how to determine which members of your family or friends are on Orange. Ask many people who they're with and they commonly reply "Nokia".
Try searching for 07973 and see who comes up. If you're sensible and have entered your numbers in international format, you have to search for 447973, of course.
There's no absolute guarantee that somebody with an 07973 number will be on Orange, though. Thanks to number portability that person might have transferred his or her number over to a different network – such as 3UK, for example.
So as you can see, as promotions go, Magic Numbers takes the biscuit for confusion.