EE faces customer backlash over new ‘priority' service charge

As you may have read earlier this week, EE has introduced new fees charging its customers to speak with operators at its call centers under certain circumstances. Earlier this year, the UK’s largest 4G network began charging for ‘out of hours’ calls, asking £0.50 for the privilege of speaking with a customer service representative between 8pm and 8am, outside of the company’s normal operating hours.

More recently, it has introduced a flat £0.25 fee for all SIM-only customers to speak with an operator at any time and, more controversially, it has introduced a new optional fee for all customers that call its 150 and 07- and 08- customer service lines.

Now, anyone in a queue on the phone to speak with an operator at its call centers will be given the option to pay £0.50 for a ‘priority answer’ service, allowing them to jump the queue and speak with the next available operator.

But EE customers have reacted angrily to the move, as The Independent reports, with many questioning – as we mentioned previously – why the company was not doing more to improve its service for everyone, rather than just providing a fast-track for those willing to pay.

Tweets such as these are common:

And it’s not like EE is exactly in swimming in the love of its customers at the moment. Here’s a selection of angry EE users furious at the poor customer service they’re getting from the carrier – these are just a few tweets from the last three hours alone before this article was published, which should give you some idea of how many people are complaining:

EE evidently believes that it’s doing the right thing though, and promised that, despite the new optional call queue-jumping charge, they will “still process calls as quickly and efficiently as we can.” An EE spokesperson said of the charge: “It’s not that literally they would go straight through, all I know is it’s a queue-jump… ‘priority answer’ is what we’re referring to it as.”

The latest changes to EE’s customer service call charging structure came into effect on August 6. 

Source: The Independent | top image via EE

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I might have followed suit and gone SIM only from Virgin etc but I've had an Employee discount from a friend who used to work for them so I get 50% off my line rental permanently. This makes it too good for me plus mine is an old tariff that I can call internationally and 0800/ 0844 / etc out of my allowance, which just can't be beaten. Paying £17.50/month plus I get to upgrade for free to my S4 when the time came.

This is the only reason I stay with EE as I couldn't believe they had the temerity to introduce this 50p surcharge.

It has taken me 5 months and hours on the phone to them so far to try and get another phone I took out with them unlocked. They finally managed to send the unlock code but no surprise that it does not work!

Sadly, it won't stop people using their phones and networks.
People moan about this but continue to renew with them. No cause to moan if you don't leave when you have the chance.

GiffGaff used to have amazing deals, but even when they had there service was bad and always going down. Now they have not so good deals and services still always going down.

Literally went with them for a year and every month i was without phone signal for like 3 days that month as they were always "working on upgrades in my area". Ended up swapping to another provider and get full signal no issues.

Just the heads up for yeah ;)

Vester said,
GiffGaff used to have amazing deals, but even when they had there service was bad and always going down. Now they have not so good deals and services still always going down.

Literally went with them for a year and every month i was without phone signal for like 3 days that month as they were always "working on upgrades in my area". Ended up swapping to another provider and get full signal no issues.

Just the heads up for yeah ;)


What area do you live in? I've used GiffGaff for the last 4 years, never had any problems, probably only had 4-5 short outages the entire time I've used them.

Amazing the length they go to for even that small change and the lies and crap they say to smear what they are doing.

When I read the original article I was really shocked, I'm on EE at the moment and was already peed off by the annual RPI hike every March, my partner was (as of 2 days ago) on EE but now has moved to giffgaff through my pushing, as I wanted a test mule before going over myself.... if they keep on with price hikes and extras like this then they are going to lose a lot of custom

Sounds like most companies these days, Install (more efficient!) IVRs, cut staff to increase profits, and then deny there are any problems with their call centre. After all these CEOs and Beancounters know we LOVE spening the first 3 minutes of a call for help, listening to their inane IVR systems, who's options have always changed, and waiting to be served (NOT!), and whats more their statistics PROVE we are being answered in record time, their IVRs ALWAYS tells us that when we ring that we have rung at an UNUSUALLY busy time!