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EE forces people to pay 50p for good customer service

James Temperton
15 Aug 2014
Kevin Bacon in an EE advert
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People calling EE's helpline can now pay 50p to jump the queue, but customers are furious at EE's "disgusting" scheme

Mobile network giant EE has enraged its customers by asking them to pay 50p to jump the queue when calling its helpline. The new 'priority service' allows customers unwilling to sit on hold for hours to hop straight to the head of the line and get help more quickly.

Furious customers took to Twitter to complain, with some threatening to leave the network altogether over the "disgusting" new fee. EE said that people who didn't pay would be forced to wait longer as queue-jumpers head to the front of the line.

EE's new system has two tiers – ordinary customers who will have to wait their turn or premium callers who pay 50p to speak to the next available operator. Pay-monthly customers can all EE's customer service line for free, while pay as you go customers are charged 25p. The 50p queue-jump fee will be charged to people's mobile phone bills.

Customers calling the helpline outside of office hours will also be charged. All EE, Orange and T-Mobile customers calling between 8pm and 10pm on weekdays and 6pm until 8pm on weekends will be charged 50p just to connect.

EE, which uses Hollywood actor Kevin Bacon in its TV adverts, said it had invested heavily in customer service by bringing overseas call centres back to the UK and hiring more staff. Angry customers said it was wrong to ask paying customers to then pay more to receive better customer service.

Official figures show that EE is one of the most complained about telecom companies in the UK. It has regularly been ranked dead last for broadband complaints while its mobile phone service received double the average number of complaints during the last quarter.

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