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EE offering to buy up customer contracts to win new business

Samantha Tomaszczyk
December 4, 2012

Angry accusations from dealers who claim the operator is spending hundreds, if not thousands of pounds to acquire new customers by buying up contracts 

EE is paying “hundreds of pounds” to buy out customer contracts connected to other networks, angry dealers have claimed.

Mobile News has been contacted by a number of dealers – all of whom asked to remain anonymous – claiming EE is taking the extreme measure to win new business, regardless of the time left on the contracts.

One dealer claimed EE called him up offering to buy him out of his contract at a cost of just under £1,000, despite only being four months into a 24-month deal.

One said: “It was strange that I was contacted as I have only just signed with Vodafone. And they [EE] did draw a sharp breath when I told them how much it would cost them to buy me out. It is an unusual tactic.”

Another said: “I’m getting very frustrated with EE. It’s been going on since they launched. They seem more than prepared to spend huge amounts of money to get customers on board.”

A spokesperson for EE said: “Yes, we are calling people up. We encourage as many businesses as possible to review their contracts. It doesn’t matter whether they are at the beginning or end of existing contracts.”

Teething issues
Meanwhile, dealers claim sales of EE’s 4GEE tariff are being hampered by poor levels of knowledge and understanding of its tariffs.

According to dealers, while interest in the 4G tariff has been strong, a number of deals have stalled as a result of confusion over some of the price plans – and even EE staff are struggling to understand them, they say.

The main problems stem from confusion over shared business deals and outstanding questions over whether certain services, such as tethering, are free or chargeable add-ons.

One dealer said: “There have been some teething problems. You have to question the training of EE staff because they are the ones we turn to if we need answers and we aren’t getting them.

“There are shortfalls in knowledge – corporate tariffs seem to be a grey area.

Another dealer added: “It is a bit of a mess right now. The response times in terms of us getting information back from EE are simply too long.

“We have waited two weeks for a response on whether we can offer an add-on for free, and they keep contradicting themselves. The problem is we seem to know more than customer services do.”

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