It was only a few years ago that your mobile network operator wanted to keep you, and so offered you the best deals and your loyalty was actually worth something.
They used to see the threat of moving to another network provider as genuine, and many had actually set up a ‘customer retention’ department which you were passed to when you asked for your PAC code.
Those were the good old days, it was a buyers market. In effect you could dictate the price you wanted to pay on the pretense that this is what one of their competitors was offering you.
These days it’s a sellers market, and mobile operators do not feel the need to fight for your custom. Instead when your contract is up for renewal, they offer you something which is close to, but doesn’t match a better deal somewhere else, in the hope that you stay with them and avoid the hassle of moving your number over.
But the truth is that it’s not that hard to move networks, and the whole process can be done in a matter of days with minimal disruption.
Up until a week ago, I was on Vodafone, and had been with them for just over a year, and was very happy with them. My deal was £10.50 for 300 minutes, 250mb of data, and unlimited texts. Considering that I used FaceTime or Email to communicate, and spend the vast majority of my life attached to wifi, this was a perfect deal.
I am aware that at the time I moved to Vodafone over a year ago, and even before moving from Vodafone under a week ago, there were cheaper deals out there that offered more data, more minutes, and kept the unlimited texts.
But unlike the majority, I don’t mind paying a little bit extra to receive good customer service. I won’t recall every single bad experience that I had when I was on 3, but let’s just put it this way, I would rather have a chimp remove my spleen with rusty scissors than go back to them.
Vodafone had UK call centers, when I rang them I got through to a human in under 5 minutes, and was always compensated for the issue (and time taken to resolve it) appropriately. So in moving to another network, it was vital that I continue with what I deemed to be important, and looked to EE.
I actually upgraded to EE when on holiday this winter, when they had a ‘Managers Christmas Special’ on. £16 a month got me unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB of data on 4G speeds.
So yes my monthly bill had increased by nearly £6, however I had noticed that I was using more of my minutes as I made work calls form home, and there were times when I did go over my data allowance, which because it wasn’t part of by account on Vodafone, did add a significant cost.
The switchover was painless, I got my PAC code from Vodafone within 10 minutes of ringing them up, which was followed up by a rather pathetic apologetic text the next day saying how sorry they were to hear that I was leaving.
The same day I rang EE, and to say I was impressed with them is an understatement. I was in the EE shop at the time of ringing their call center (as transfers have to be done centrally), and I timed the amount of time it took for me to get to speak to a person.
1 minute 3 seconds after dialing the number I was speaking to a lovely lady with a Geordie accent. She took my details off me and gave me a transfer date of the 30th.
This was 4 calendar days, or 2 business days which is about average to transfer your number between networks.
On the day of the transfer I rang up EE to make sure things were going to plan as I could make outgoing calls but not receive incoming calls with my old number. Within 47 seconds of dialing the customer support number I was speaking to a lovely Scottish man. He reassured me that this was normal, and the transfer would be completed by 8pm that day, midnight at the latest.
That is what you call good customer service. Especially when you consider it that I rang during the holidays, when staff are usually at an all time low.
So what do I think of the EE coverage?
As I live in two major cities, Leeds and Manchester, I have 4G speeds all the time, and as you can see, they are blistering fast. The top speed is on my home broadband, the bottom one is over the mobile network, when I only had 2 circles of reception. Quite impressive.
So far I’ve not experienced any issues with the network, and when 4G is not available, my phone drops down to 3G within a matter of seconds. Calls are connected instantly and I’ve not yet heard of people being unable to contact me.
Yes I am happy, and if I did encounter a problem I am confident that EE will follow in Vodafone’s footsteps and resolve them efficiently.
One thing which people have been saying, which I don’t understand is “being on 4G means that you will use more data”.
How can that be true? My life hasn’t changed, I’ll still be using my phone in the same way, I will still load the same things, the only difference is that they will load quicker.
So far, EE gets two big thumbs up from me!