EE introduces 50p queue jumping charge

EE Mobile Phone Stores As U.K. Companies Agree To Cap Unexpected Charges
EE Mobile Phone Stores As U.K. Companies Agree To Cap Unexpected Charges

Got 50p to give away? Then give it to EE. You'll queue jump all the other customers hanging on for service at an EE/Orange contact centre.

Think of it as a kind of priority boarding, but for mobile customers.

If you refuse to stump up the cash your wait for EE call service contact will likely take longer. A good idea - or one that will test the loyalty of EE customers?

The future's...50p extra

EE have a lot of customers to lose, potentially. Around 26m in all. We asked EE if they could confirm that EE customers who refuse to pay the 50p fee will wait longer for attention in future. "I"m afraid I don't know off top of the head," said a press officer. "We're monitoring the situation."

The move could be a risk on the PR front, rather than a profit earner. Also, how would you know your call had been properly upgraded?

Rob Kerr from uSwitch was not impressed: 'It's all very well slashing waiting times for those who pay the 50p premium - but EE's not made it clear, if that means non-priority queuers will be left hanging on for longer than usual as a consequence," Kerr told the Mail.

Incentive to offer bad service?

He added: "Paying extra to get bumped up the queue for customer support is slightly adding insult to injury, as most people are calling when they need help the most."

EE said, in response to the news, that they were bringing back 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".

A Vodafone press spokesperson told AOL Money it had no current plans to introduce this service. "We already make sure customers can get in touch with us whenever and however suits them best: by visiting our website or our online forum."

Different routes

Regulator Ofcom said it was aware of EE's services charges. "We are in contact with the company to understand fully the impact these charges will have on their customers."

It added: "Our complaints handling rules require that communications providers offer different ways for customers to contact them, although this does not include specific requirements on the costs of calling customer services lines".

Read more:
EE racks up 300,000 4G customers
Orange refuses to cancel phone of dead 14-year-old
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