Dear EE, it really shouldn't be this way
We've known each other for a long time, you were called Orange when I first got to know you. A work colleague said we'd be good together and he was right. We've been through more than 12 years and five pay as you go mobile phones together. Then you decided to change your name to EE. What's in a name? I thought, a change to what was shown on the screen of course, but the service seemed the same as before so we carried on and I was still happy. Until I decided I needed a new phone.
I went to your website which had a shiny new look, alarm bells really should have started to ring at this point -- I'll come to that in a bit -- but it was Black Friday, you were offering good deals and I placed an order.
You emailed me to say there'd be a delay due to strong demand but that was okay. Then a few days later you send me a message, displaying high levels of apostrophe misuse, telling me that you didn't have the phone I ordered in stock but that you’d be in touch within 21 days to tell me what was happening or suggest an alternative.
I waited, Christmas came and went, so did New Year, you didn't email me any more. Had I done something wrong? Then in February a chance visit to your website revealed that the phone I'd ordered was back in stock. I called customer services -- a process that involves one of the most labyrinthine menu systems known to man -- and spoke to someone who said the phone was indeed in stock and I could have one next day, still at the Black Friday price. Good, although I really shouldn’t have had to chase you over this you should have kept in touch. But a new phone is on the way so everything will be all right. I thought...
The phone arrives, and this is where I knew your website should have rung alarm bells. On your old Orange site I could log into my account before ordering, the new phone came with a SIM programmed to my old number, I just activated it and all was good. On your new site there seems to be no link between my account and your shop. The new phone arrives with a SIM that has a new number and I have to get my old one swapped across.
Still, that shouldn't be a problem, there's even a page on your website to do it. Except the page doesn't work, it asks for a 19 digit SIM code, the new card you sent me only has 12. So I call your customer services line again, another trip down Menu Lane, and talk to a pleasant chap who doesn't really know what he's doing and has to keep putting me on hold to talk to colleagues. Eventually he tells me the transfer is set up and will take up to 72 hours, after which my old SIM will stop working and I can switch to the new one.
The following day I receive a text from you saying my credit is low. I knew there was about £20 on there when I started so I assume this is evidence of the transfer happening. Switch on the phone with the new SIM and I have credit, but I have the wrong phone number. Another call to customer services, "press three if you're losing the will to live," and I speak to someone else. She tells me this is normal, that the credit will move first and the number will catch up.
The problem is I now need two phones. One with credit to make calls, one with my old number to receive calls and texts -- which I can’t reply to because it has no credit. Another day later and the old SIM stops working but if people ring my old number it comes up unrecognized so no one can contact me. My online account login no longer works either. None of this would be so bad if you properly explained the process or sent updates so I knew what to expect.
At last! After two days you’ve finally managed to put my number and credit back together but, EE, I’m afraid that you and I are drifting apart. I still can't login to my online account and it really shouldn't be this hard to switch to a new phone with your existing provider.
Maybe things will be better when you merge with BT but I’m not holding my breath.