The incompetencies have mostly been Orange's fault. I bought a new phone on Saturday 17th March. My old number was supposed to be transferred to my new SIM card "within 24 hours". When it got to 26 hours without anything having been done, I called Orange Customer Service. The woman I spoke to said I shouldn't have been told 24 hours - it's actually 48 hours at the weekend due to the sheer number of people upgrading.
When I still hadn't had my number transferred by Tuesday 20th March at 8pm, I rang Orange again. This time I was told that the transfer should have happened at 5pm on Saturday 17th March, and because it hadn't gone through automatically it "would have to be escalated to the I.T. Department". I was quoted another 48 hours.
I gave them until Saturday to sort themselves out, in case it was 48 working hours or something, but when I still hadn't had my number transferred by Saturday 24th March at 2pm, I rang Orange again. Guess what? They had no record of my previous calls, the transfer should have happened at 5pm on Saturday 17th March, and because it hadn't gone through automatically it "would have to be escalated to the I.T. Department", and take another 48 hours. This time I thought to get the name of the person I spoke to.
When I still hadn't had my number transferred by Wednesday 28th March at 11.30am, I rang Orange AGAIN. After the woman on the phone demonstrated that she had no clue what was going on (i.e. told me it wasn't possible to transfer a number from an old Orange SIM to a new one, never mind that my old SIM was 4 years old and couldn't do 3G, and this was a regular phone upgrade purchased through an Orange retail shop) I asked to be put through to a supervisor. The supervisor told me much the same thing that all the underlings had said, so I gave her a list of all the times I had called Customer Services, said "I'm leaving the country tomorrow, so this absolutely HAS to be done", and said that this whole fiasco is making me seriously think about leaving Orange.
So then at 3.30pm, I went to make a phone call and found my phone was dead - and the new one was working. Hoo-bloody-ray.
So, the moral of this story: if you're unhappy, always ask to speak to a supervisor. They have codes and menus inaccessible to the ordinary customer service droid, plus they can talk directly to other departments.