Runes only have an effect once they are inserted into empty armor/weapon "sockets".
Charms only have the specific listed effect once they are completed and equipped in one of the two "active" charm slots. Anything inserted into a charm, be it a rune or another charm, is "consumed" by the charm they are inserted in.
Or, to put it simply: what you were told is correct.
On the plus side, attack speed runes can be found or shopped at 10% on purple runes around lvl 30 (perhaps even earlier?) and lvl 50 armors and weapons, so no great loss on the orange rune.
thanks.... here I was thinking I was making my character uber powerful because I thought the "bonuses" stacked up, hell I was waiting till lvl 50 on each one so I would have the good purple orange red runes... :( you would think if they did that the game would be a WHOLE LOT EASIER!!!
Although the game is pretty easy 90% of the time. Then you get inflicted with multiple status effects and meet the valkyrie yet again. It would be nice if you had more of a defense against DoT rather than maxing armor and health and praying your fierce attack hits the right goblin...