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Why you shouldn’t trust EE

Service. In one word, service.
Every company with call centres is going to give varied levels of customer service. It’s almost impossible to avoid.

What you don’t expect though is for such varied levels of service.
In January 1996 when I joined Orange their service was exemplary. They would bend over backwards to ensure you were happy with both the technical and the customer service. Nothing was unachievable. If you had a problem it would be fixed. If it was a more serious problem they’d keep you in the loop. It was brilliant. The service at the time was close to faultless.
Of course, back then Orange were relatively new, and it showed. They offered the same customer service as many startup companies.

Fast forward seventeen years and now EE are in control. Because I hadn’t upgraded my tariff for a while (over a decade) when EE took over their computers had an issue recognising the tariff. Instead of auditing every active tariff, EE got lazy and only included tariffs available to buy at the time. Any tariff that had been retired simply wasn’t included, irrespective of how happy the customer was.

[I used to be able to upgrade, get a new phone and stay on the same tariff. Unfortunately EE no longer recognise my tariff, thus forcing me to change.]

While in the EE shop I was advised that because EE failed to recognise my tariff, my years of loyalty were valued at 53p. This had to be a mistake. After visiting other shops I found it wasn’t.

I called to get a MAC code. Something that you give your new provider when you want to switch provider and retain your phone number. I got through to a helpful guy, Tony, who judging by his accent hailed from Middlesborough. The sort who works there because he loves his job, not his wage.
Tony saw how long I’d been with them, describing me as an ‘extremely loyal customer’. He offered me a tariff that would suit my needs and I went away to think it over.

An hour later I called back, spoke to Dan who told me the phone, a 4G S3 was out of stock. I was promised a call back two days later, even if it was to keep me in the loop.

After hearing nothing from EE, four days later I called back to find out what was happening. I was advised the phone was still out of stock and I would be notified once it was available.

Again, no call back. Five days after that another call to EE was placed. Paul told me he couldn’t find any record of the tariff Tony had created, his tone changed when he asked why didn’t I take it at the time? His manager, Karen, who managed to find Tony but not his notes told me she “couldn’t put me on that deal anyway, not with what (I’m) spending”. I asked her to email Tony requesting he called me.
A few hours later another call was placed to Barry. He too was unable to find the tariff but thankfully he “worked down the isle from Tony”. He’d ask Tony to get in touch.
Tony rang back explaining he’d been in meetings, remembered the tariff. As agreed, I paid the £50 excess and the phone order was put through.

Unfortunately the warehouse sent the wrong phone, the S3 Mini. Another call told me my phone was on the system, the LTE S3, but I would have to post it back to EE in order for my phone to be sent out, EE was unable to send a courier to collect it and refused to have it swapped at the door for the correct phone. I posted it the following day.

It is now a week after the phone order was put through and once again I have to call EE to sort out their mistake. I’m far from happy. I just hope the phone is in stock when I call back!

[UPDATE] I’ve just called to get my phone. After much explaining and waiting while notes were read I’ve been told the phone is out of stock. I can’t even pick one up in town, they said I would have to start all over again. I have been promised the money paid will not have to be refunded and paid again as for some reason EE state a refund can take up to 28 days.  It shouldn’t need to be refunded, they just need to send out a bloody phone!  Once again I’m promised a call in a couple of days.

[UPDATE] I waited another day to see if the phone was in stock on the off-chance.  It was.  They then said they need to refund me so they can take the money again.  They were told not to.  A manager overrode the system so the upgrade went through and I’ve been promised the right phone will be delivered in a few days.  All in all it will be over three weeks (22 days) from calling to receiving the phone.
Assuming I ever get it.

I’ve posted this in the hope that EE improve their service enough so that this doesn’t happen to anyone else.
That’s probably too much to ask for.

Banks

Some time ago Santander took money from my account that they shouldn’t have.  I wrote to them.  After Chinese Whispers within the company completely twisted the content of my letter they wrote back responding to something which held only a vague resemblance to my original complaint.

 

I responded, they ignored it.  I tweeted and emailed them, they ignored that.  I’ve tweeted and emailed them again, they emailed saying how sorry they were my previous correspondence had gone unanswered but they still haven’t followed that up.

 

I’m now of the opinion that they want to brush this under the carpet entirely.  I’m over £400 out of pocket but Santander aren’t doing anything about it.

 

I’m now thinking about moving banks.  I’ll be damned if their apathetic nature is going to be supported by me any longer.  Tonight I’ve called six banks, Lloyds TSB, Barclays, Nationwide, HSBC, Nat West and First Direct asking for them to post out application forms and leaflets that would help me decide which of them to go for.  Of those six, only Lloyds was able to post out what I’d ask for without setting me up as a new customer, requiring my date of birth and other information which is entirely unnecessary.  I appreciate that we’re living in a computerised, automated world but not even I want to compare six web sites with only selected information available.

 

Of the six, Nat West have been ruled out immediately due to the attitude of their staff.  Barclays refused to “send out any paperwork at all until I going to a branch showing identification”.  HSBC took the time to explain that they don’t do paper forms any more, apologised profusely and highlighted it as an area of improvement.  First Direct, however, shone through better than all others.  While they too don’t do paper forms I was offered help finding the online section showing me where their information could be found.

 

It’s been a number of years since I’ve had good quality service from a bank.  Before joining Santander in 1998, Halifax had breached the Data Protection Act.  I’ve had a number of annoying experiences with Santander but until recently nothing to warrant moving.  We’ll see how Santander respond to my complaint (if they respond at all) before deciding whether or not they deserve to have my continued loyalty.

Sky are the absolute limit.

Most people who follow me on Twitter will know of the horrendous issues I had with Sky.  After five weeks of utter incompetence, being lied to and uneducated attempts to resolve their speed issues they released me from my 12 month contract.  I was promised verbally and by email that I would not get any further charges from them.

Unfortunately, like other Murdoch projects, Sky appear incapable of telling the truth.  Not only can they not keep their promises, I’ve had letters welcoming me to their service months after changing suppliers.  Their bills for the non-existent service come through each month and after speaking to them on Twitter and their own help forums, marginally less than f**k all has been done.

I’m now back to naming and shaming them.  They’ve had enough chances.  From here on in, each time they bill me, I’m going to post it.  Announce it to the world that they still can’t keep a promise.

F**kwits!

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