Tuesday, 24 January 2017

How I overpaid £300 to EE (and why I won't get it back)

How did I over pay EE by £300? By not paying attention.

If, like me, you travel abroad a lot, you'll have got used to paying a little extra to make your phone work while you're over there. Most of the time I pay £43 a month to keep my iPhone working on EE, which works out better than the old Pay As You Go plan I used to have.

It got a bit nut-nut when I went to Geneva in October 2015, when my bill came to £92 - double what it would usually be -  but I think that was because I logged into a French network when I landed, then had to log in again to a Swiss network once I reached my destination. I don't know, I can't see my statement that far back.

Whatever, my statement reverted to its usual £43 in November 2015 and I thought no more of it. That month I spent 4 days in Jordan, so I wasn't surprised when my December bill was £99. I figure a few days of travel makes my bill double, I'll look into it someday. And then I don't bother.

After that came 2016 when, with a trip to Ireland in January, another in May, and a trip to Romania in March, I wasn't overly surprised when an EE bill came through at £70 a time. And I stopped looking at the amount of my EE bill. Not being a paper bill, merely a text from EE which didn't mention a figure, and an item on my Bank statement which didn't draw attention to itself amidst the dozens that go out every month, I didn't register consciously how much my monthly bill was.

Until this month, when I chanced to look back over the year and realised that, since January 2016, I've been paying a minimum of £70 a month. Every month. Not the £43 I signed up to. But nearly double that. Every month. It's peaked at £79, and not gone as high as those £90+ bills. But £70 a month, even when I've not left the country?

So I rang them up.

It transpires I've been paying for the "120 mins to the UK from anywhere" and "100 texts to the UK from anywhere" that I added during my 4 day trip to Jordan in November 2015, SINCE my 4 day trip to Jordan in November 2015.

That's £21.67 plus VAT, 13 times over. That's over £300.

If you'd like to read the whole Live Text conversation I just had with them, it's below in its full glory. Meanwhile, caveat emptor. Be very careful when buying any phone add-ons abroad. You need to set an end date - and check those bills every month!

Live Chat to EE Jan 24 2017

Me: Hi, just been on phone to you guys. Been overpaying approx £26 every month since Oct 2015. They have now removed "100 anywhere to UK roaming texts" and "120 anywhere to UK roaming mins add on". These didn't cancel after I added them in October 2015. I was paying £43 a month until Sept 2015. Then £92 Oct 15, £43 Nov 15, £99 Dec 15, and since Jan 16 it has been £70-£75 every month! Why didn't this cancel, and can I get a rebate?

I was in Switzerland for 3 days Oct 2015, then Jordan for 4 days Nov 2015. Ireland 2 days Jan 2016, Bucharest 3 days March 2016, then in the UK until Paris 2 days Nov 2016.

Also when I did go abroad (Nov 2016) I paid an extra £2.50 a day, which I clearly didn't need to, but was texted by EE saying I did need.

EE  Sure, I will help you with that. I really apologize for the inconvenience you have experienced.

EE I can see two bundles were added for 100 text and 120 minutes from  16/11/2015

Me: Yes, 16/11/15 was 4 days in Romania.
Sorry Jordan, 4 days in Jordan.

EE Yes, I can see you also went to abroad in EU and you added a bundle for £3/day for 500MB of data per day. Which is a separate bundle.

Me: Yes, I've added that daily payment for visits in 2016 to Ireland, Romania (Mar 16) and France (Nov 16).

EE Kev, would also like to inform you that the bundle for 120 minutes and 100 text was  added from your end via self serve and you didn't add the end date for this bundle.  

Me: I didn't know it needed an end date. It's never needed one before.

EE I really apologize however, as the bundle was added from your end and you also didn't contact EE ever. I'm afraid but we wont be able to give you the refund for all the charges.

Me: Why did EE tell me I needed to pay £3 a day when I went to Europe?

EE That's because the data that you are getting in your plan doesn't cover you for roaming in EU.

Me: Why charge me every month for these 120 & 100 items? Surely they were a one-off amount of items, and were never used?

EE The data only work in UK and for EU there is a separate data bundle which you added.

Me: The "120 mins from anywhere" & other one, were added while in Jordan, yes?

EE I do understand that you never used it however, we generate the bills every month. If you would have contact us earlier, we would have get that checked.

Me: So there's nothing I can do about these overpayments for unused items?

EE Kev, I really apologize however, we have just reviewed your account and as the bundles were added from your end I'm afraid but we cannot rebate the amount. Sorry Kev.

Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who et al, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries and art centres - email for details, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. View the promo video here.

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