Quick to ask me to upgrade. Slow to be upfront.

Posted on January 16, 2014

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I work with so many businesses that are trying to get their employees to focus on the customer. “Be customer obsessed” they say. “Remember that a great customer experience will drive our revenues up.” “It’s not chicken and egg. It’s customer first and the golden egg will follow.” And so on the clarion calls go.

At the end of the day, everything a business does is driven by its people. Until the Japanese crack these robots that are going to do our work for us, brands will be populated by people. So, we can blame process or machinery for brand errors.

So, Everything Everywhere, why are you taking money from my account that you don’t need to?

Two years ago I took out a contract with Orange – EE didn’t exist then – whereby I purchased a Blackberry Curve and a nice little bundle of unlimited texts and data (have you noticed how unlimited data devices suddenly get used by all and sundry in the house like some free for all food trough?) Anyway, I digress.

I agreed to pay £29 a month for the device and the bundle for a 24-month period. After a year or so, this went up to £35 a month, but hey, this was in the small print and I hadn’t noticed it.

Had I wanted a SIM only for the data, texts and calls then I would have been looking at around £17 – half the price – but I needed a device, and so the Blackberry came along for the ride. So, I was the higher monthly fee to cover the cost of the device. Over 24 months I’d pay for the cost of the device. This is the important point.

Now the ride is over, and 2 months ago I got a text and a call from EE telling me I was entitled to an upgrade should I wish one. It wasn’t top of my list of priorities, so I’ve done nothing about it, BUT what I have just noticed is that EE are still taking £35!

But hang on!

The SIM only deal is only around £19, so why are EE still taking £35 from my account. After all, they know my contract period is up, they contacted me, so why have they not automatically dropped my monthly payments. That would be a great gesture – it might even have encouraged me to go back into the store.

So, here’s the rub. The guy that called me from the store was very polite. He wanted to help. He did his bit. The text message I got was equally helpful. BUT, somewhere along the line nobody has taken that next step. Nobody has been brave enough to say, we’ll drop that guys monthly charges without him asking. The question is, which person inside EE knows about this?

Overpayments are nothing new, but isn’t it time that companies saw that they can drive loyalty by being upfront and honest. Their take is that they are letting me continue to use their network even though I’m out of contract – that’s a poor argument as far as I’m concerned.

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