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EE’s UK Customer Service Solution – 50p to Jump the Phone Queue

Friday, Aug 15th, 2014 (10:00 am) - Score 1,653

Some operators seem to have a knack for finding new ways of annoying their customers. As a case in point, EE has decided that broadband and mobile customers who call their support line will be offered the ability to jump in front of the queue for an additional one-off fee of 50 pence.

Until recently most customers who called EE’s support line would have done so without charge, although some still had to pay a standard call fee (depending upon the number dialled and whether it was from a home phone or mobile), but all would have been treated equally. The new 50ppriority” fee changes that.

As the BBC points out, customers of EE aren’t terribly happy about the move and some understandably fear it suggests that the operator might not be trying hard enough to answer non-prioritised calls or that the queue for everybody else will simply take longer to clear. Indeed if a batch of new callers all jumped the queue at once then we could imagine the situation becoming quite annoying for those left on hold.

All of this at a time when, according to Ofcom’s data for Q1-2014, EE remain the most complained about provider for both mobile and home broadband services (here). In fairness they have been improving, but this latest adjustment could potentially generate more complaints from customers who simply give up trying to get through. But so far the system hasn’t been live long enough to measure its true impact.

On the flip side operators are facing mounting pressures from the threat of higher licence fees for their radio spectrum (here) and Ofcom’s demand that calls made to 0800, 0808 and 116 numbers are FREE from mobiles as well as fixed phone lines (here). Not to mention Europe’s ever growing moves to wipe out roaming fees. So, at the same time as revenues are being hit, operators are also being asked to improve. Difficult.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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