MY LATEST STORE VISIT:
EE STORE EXPOSED
at STRATFORD WESTFIELDS SHOPPING CENTRE
I visited this store on three occasions over the month of
The first thing to greet you is the queue. It takes around 20 minutes or so to get to the front of this queue, to find that they have a customised computerised queue control system. This clearly demonstrates that extensive waits are an expected part of a visit to EE Stores. Although I am using a crutch to support myself, and clearly had a physical disability, I was not offered a seat.
When you reach the front, they ask your name, and the nature of your visit, which they enter into their little digital notepad programme, and ask you to take a seat at one of two circular tables. There are already ten or so other customers who are already on the ‘hold’ station. It takes another 20 minutes or so before their ‘advisor’, who then takes you to a little alcove to deal with your enquiry, sees you, greeting you by your first name!
I explained that I was looking to upgrade from my pay-as-you-go Blackberry Curve to a budget pay-as-you-go ‘I’ phone, as I am on a very limited budget.
I was looking at an Huawei phone which was on display, but I was advised that the EE Kestrel would be a better deal for me, and would provide the same if not better service. So I arranged a ‘paper bill’ monthly contract cash payment account, which runs for two years.
On arriving home and familiarising myself with my new phone, I noticed that a lot of the aps on the system were Huawei. No wonder it would provide a similar service!
I also noticed that there was no protective casing for the phone provided, so I hunted the local suppliers for one, but none of them had one for this model, so I returned to the EE Store to buy one. I was informed that they only sold one case for the Kestrel, and that is only available as part of a £20 set which included a car charger (which is useless to me, as I don’t drive!), and a screen protector. I had no option but to buy the set very reluctantly.
On attaching the case, I soon realised that that there were no cut-outs for the notification light at the front top of the front cover flap. I also soon discovered that there was nowhere I could attach the stylus, which I depend on. I also damaged the screen protector whilst trying to work out which sheet was the protector itself.
So I returned to the EE Store to buy a screen protector, and guess what – they only sold them as part of the £20 set with a cover and car charger. Brilliant. In order to buy what is normally a £2 item, I would have to spend yet another £20. No chance! What a con!
So to summarise –
If you are going to buy a phone or anything from EE Stores, you must expect it to take around or over an hour!
Whatever you are buying, make sure that you are not going to get seen off on the future purchase of peripherals and accessories.
You should remember that these shops are no more than most other retail outlets, and their ultimate aim is to make profit. I forgot that, so don’t you.
N.B. Since writing this article I have found that the Data level on my account, which I was informed by the ‘advisor’ would be enough for me, wasn’t. I now have to buy extra data at ridiculous prices! This was clearly another money making scheme for EE.