I have been a loyal customer of T-Mobile for some time. There is an element of them being based locally and, more to the point, they offered the phones I wanted at the best price – their service was good, coverage was good and everything just worked.
Then T-Mobile became EE. Nothing really changed – except their selling style became a little more aggressive. At the beginning of November the ‘loyalty’ team started bombarding me with calls – and I mean one or two calls a day. Two different loyalty teams – one offering me an extra phone and a tablet (I took the tablet offer, it’s amazing) and the other offering me their home broadband service.
We had been loyal TalkTalk customers for several years but were looking to move as their prices continued to rise for their ‘loyal’ customers and their deals for new customers got cheaper and cheaper. It seemed a good time to move.
I spoke at length to the EE ‘loyalty’ advisor (ie telesales team) about the fact that I already had Fibre broadband and that I didn’t need fibre connecting, especially for the sum of £50. A long time ago I worked in telecoms and although technology has moved on, I knew the basic principles were the same – if a house is connected with the correct socket in the house, that connection is there.
I got so frustrated with the EE Customer Service/telesales team and their inability to confirm, understand or help that, on the 11th November I resorted to visiting our store in St Albans. You know, talk to a real person, face to face (and upgrade my mobile phone at the same time).
I was there for well over an hour (why does it take SO long??). I knew what I wanted, I knew the pricing – to summarise:
- I wanted to upgrade my mobile phone, move it to EE (officially) and keep the same number and direct debit payment
- I wanted to move my home phone and broadband to EE on their “Fibre Plus” package with unlimited calls whilst keeping my landline number. I wanted this all to be billed from the same direct debit that was already set up and I didn’t want to pay a £50 connection charge for fibre when my house was already connected.
- I wanted to have my number taken off the ‘loyalty call’ scheme as I was sick of being pestered.
I signed the contracts in store with the broadband contract saying that I would receive a text within 10 days for me to claim my 7″ android tablet as a reward for signing up. (This is/was the Cheetah Keeper’s Christmas present).
The EE customer service in store was ok – they were helpful, far more constructive than the telesales team and all paperwork was duly processed. The changeover date was set for 27th November between 8-1 with an engineer booked as apparently he was required to sort something in the exchange/box at the end of the road. But there should have been no need for him to visit.
On the 22nd November I got a text saying that there was a delay in my fibre broadband order and I needed to contact EE. So I did. They denied all knowledge of sending that text and said it must have been BT. With much faffing, consulting colleagues and time on hold, I was assured that it had been passed to a BT Manager and they were going to project manage it through to ensure it all happened on the 27th.
I now know what they should have asked me for at the time was a MAC code. Except nobody did, not in store, not on the phone, not. at. all.
The 27th duly arrived and at 10.30 I thought I would give EE a ring, I had a sneaking suspicion things were not going to go as planned. “Oh no, we’re not coming today there’s a delay in your order”. But TalkTalk had already cut me off so I was down to no main broadband (bear in mind I am self employed, working from home) and left guzzling up my data allowances hotspotting from my phone/tablet.
Oh, and I had no landline either – although I had a dial tone.
I think it took 8 calls back and forth that day to get the order sorted out and ‘expedited’ so that the engineer could come on the 29th – but he had to come to my house (and that was therefore chargeable) to connect the fibre broadband I already had.
He came – he hadn’t needed to visit, he did something in the box at the end of the road and came in to test the line – no modem needed, no new face plate for the socket – that was all. Except I think now that he only connected us to the fibre line and not the fibre plus line because I am currently paying for the same speed as I had with TalkTalk (therefore I know I can get it) and only getting 1/3 of it. That annoys me. A lot. (more on that to come)
The engineer also had a different number for our landline – no-one had ported our number from TalkTalk to EE, simply assuming we wouldn’t mind having a new number and especially not be told what that number was. I have had this number for 16 years, it is on every hospital record we have. Keeping it is important. So I had to ring EE again – to be told that the number was locked. Not one to accept this sort of blunt answer, I quizzed further – only to be told it then had to go to another team to be unlocked and then it had to be transferred back to me, the person who owned it.
That took until the Monday – so 3 days with no broadband and 6 without our correct landline number. Not happy.
The 10 days from our broadband going live have passed and we’ve heard nothing about claiming the free tablet.
Then I got a text saying I hadn’t paid my mobile phone bill. I ignored that as I pay by direct debit. Then I got another text so I rang them up. “Oh no, the direct debit hasn’t been transferred across”. Really????? Nope. So I paid by card over the phone and apparently the DD is set up now. Except it wasn’t when I checked online last night. I will give them a couple more days to ‘process’ it.
Today, frustrated to the core, I abandoned paid work for a trip to the EE store in St Albans, hoping that listing my catalogue of errors would result in a helpful chap coming to my aid, sorting everything out and getting us the tablet before Christmas.
I took my “Important Information” card that EE sent me with my account details on for the broadband, but no, I should have taken the contract because they are a retail store and have no access to my account. Except they set it up, and printed the contract, in store. They did have a hard copy of the contract but it took some, erm, assertive behaviour on my part to get them to get it out.
The customer service assistant has yet to grasp the concept that repeating the same thing to the customer over and over again and not listening to the answer does nothing to build the trust of the customer who is already rather angry. His best line, at the beginning of the 75 minutes I was there was
We are a retail store, we are not here to offer customer service
So, after nearly an hour on the store phone to firstly technical support (who cannot assess my broadband speed whilst I am ringing from the store, only from when I’m calling from my mobile at home?) – she was well meaning but her English wasn’t good at all – I was then passed to customer services.
The lady I spoke to was apologetic. In the sense that she believes that EE contract that I signed (yes, the EE one, printed in the EE store) was incorrect and that I wasn’t entitled to the tablet reward within 10 days. I had to go to the EE reward site and claim it from there – but that says you can claim it only after 30 days of your broadband service going live. I’d already been through this process last night (use my initiative, try to avoid store visits, earn some money instead) and received an email this morning saying that the package I had bought did not entitle me to the free tablet (that was in the contract I signed – just so you’re not questioning what you’re reading).
Apparently the contract is wrong and I have been subject to a ‘mis-sell’ in store. It will take up to 21 days to investigate this and I will have to have a conversation with their standards team that will be recorded. I will have to give them all the information, again, that I have given to the customer service team on the phone and in store.
And it will be highly unlikely that we will see the tablet before Christmas which means the Cheetah Keeper will not have his main present.
EE – you have taken me from loyal to furious in 6 weeks. What are you going to do to redeem yourselves?