Mobile phone network EE has made a controversial move by offering customers the ability to “skip the queue” for support, angering many customers.
Premium support is not a new idea, but for a company where forums are filled with complaints of people struggling with slow speeds or getting any connection at all, it looks very much like giving two fingers to their customers.
People put up with poor support (and paying for it) from companies such as Ryan Air because they are offering budget basement prices – you get what you pay for. However, EE is not marketing itself as the budget phone network and ISP and does not offer any significant discounts over its competitors.
Support may be one of the more expensive parts of a phone network to run, but if a company is offering a communications service that people rely on, then they need to be prepared to offer support to everyone or offering a discount to those that choose to have a lower tier. Instead, EE has introduced a “priority support” option where users can pay £0.50 to get their call answered more quickly, as an extra charge.
Offering a higher tier of priority support is not an evil by itself, but people are not apying to be put through to a specialised team here, they are simply jumping the queue and making those that don’t pay the charge wait even longer. Rather than investing in more support staff to deal with the long queues, EE has decided to make support another “hidden charge” to users of their services.
There’s no support refunds for when the issue is EE’s fault, and what happens when everyone pays the 50p? Then the support will take just as long and users will just be paying more for actually getting their service to work.