EE is one of the fastest expanding mobile networks in the UK, as well as the most complained about. Ofcom officially named the network as the most complained about in a recent report, apparently 0.12 customers out of every 1000 who use EE have complained to the regulatory body about the network’s service practices.
Many customers have also now been alienated by the network’s new feature, which allows customer service users to jump to the front of the queue to be first in line for help, ahead of others. In order to do this, however, a 50p charge is levied to be paid immediately.
Not only does this smack of opportunistic money grabbing, but customers are taking it as a slap in the face to callers who simply cannot afford to spend the extra money (on top of regular call charges) to avoid being prioritised lower than customers who opt to pay extra.
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The service has been in action for a week now, and the Twitter and blog communities are not happy. The general vibe on Twitter is that the customer service department at EE should be quick to answer calls at a high standard, as standard, without feeling the need to offer customers a better service at a price.
An EE spokesperson defended the move in a recent statement:
“We’ve already committed to returning over 1,000 roles to the UK from overseas call centres, and have already opened two new UK centres. To contribute to this and other investments in service we have introduced some small charges for certain customer services,”
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The news about the service has reached the BBC, with an EE customer featured on the You and Yours program, Andrew Griffiths, summarising public outcry in a profound statement: “I thought it was a bad idea for a company to offer to provide what really ought to be a standard level of customer service for a fee. It makes you think that perhaps they might not be trying too hard to answer the non-prioritised calls.”
No matter the ethics behind the new service, one thing is for certain. EE must do better. Charging people for queue jumping doesn’t seem like a constructive way to accomplish this.