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EE angers customers with 50p queue jumping charge

by Mark Tyson on 15 August 2014, 11:41

Tags: Orange (NYSE:FTE), Everything Everywhere, T-Mobile (NYSE:DT)

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Mobile firm EE has recently introduced a paid queue jumping option for its customer service helpline, charging users a 50p fee for access to its "priority" queue, according to a report by the BBC. Under the new initiative, named 'Priority Answer', an additional automated message has been added to the UK largest mobile phone company's customer service line, offering callers the ability to queue jump. Those who accept the charge will be put straight through to an operator. The charge is said to be used by the company to improve services.

Priority Answer is not the only charge customers may face when calling customer services, as EE already charges 50p for calls which land outside its 8am-8pm weekdays and 8am-6pm weekends curfew, and 25p for all calls from pay-as-you-go users.

"EE’s goal is to set the highest standard for customer service in the telecoms sector. To support that ambition we’re investing significantly in our retail stores, contact centres and account management websites and apps," an EE spokesperson said. "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."

However, some of its 28 million customers, which include those on its T-Mobile and Orange brands, are unconvinced and unhappy that the company are not treating all calls equally. "EE, disgusting that you're charging for priority on query calls. Everyone should be treated equally," Tweeted John Masters.

Others fear that it means non-queue-jumpers will have to wait on the line for even longer. "@EE tells me its call jumping option "theoretically" means others will have to wait longer to be answered," Graham Hiscott Tweets.

EE recently topped the charts of Ofcom research findings for being one of the most complained about telecom companies in the UK. The new Priority Answer service is currently only available between 9am and 6pm, and EE clarified that it does not employ separate operators for the service.

What are your thoughts on this additional fast-tracked EE service? Would you ever use it? Let us know in the comments below.



HEXUS Forums :: 36 Comments

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Disgusting business methods, still not as bad as in America where companys have to pay for ISPs route their traffic with sufficient bandwidth for their data or more so.
Oh wow, glad I got out of there earlier! To be fair to Orange, the only reason I left was because of their poor data offerings. The service was always good and their customer service was decent when I needed it, too.

In other news, GiffGaff is posing a question to its users about charges: it presented 3 ‘options’, none of which is at all competitive, and is facing a massive backlash from its customers.

I've just moved away from them in the wake of this proposal for changes to their service/charge structure, I think it was handled abominably so am taking my (very profitable) custom elsewhere. I paid £12 a month for unlimited data and used around 300-600MB per month. I only paid that much for the peace of mind of unlimited data so that I actually use my smartphone rather than not using it for fear of running over the allowance.

So EE isn't the only provider in the midst of a controversy at the moment!
That is utterly disgusting. Im tied in with them for another 6 months though i think :( Not that its an expensive contract or anything… Might see how much it costs to buy me out.
Biscuit
That is utterly disgusting. Im tied in with them for another 6 months though i think :( Not that its an expensive contract or anything… Might see how much it costs to buy me out.

Buyout costs full price, i.e. 6 months' full contract price, unless you move to another EE contract, where you get 25% off.
I don't see the problem, don't pay the 50p to queue jump……