Looking through my bank statement I saw that Orange had taken a payment of £26.35 a few days ago. Only I don’t have any services with Orange or EE. I used to have EE Broadband but that was cancelled months ago. Surely they wouldn’t be taking money now…
I phoned EE. I quite liked Kiera at first. She said how there hadn’t been a recent charge as the account is fully closed, but last month there’d been one for that amount, and one the month before. I told her what my bill said, and she said that it was for the mobile service. She was about to give me their number, but I wanted to sort out these payments she’d said about first.
To start with, I was never paying them that much anyway – I’d paid the line rental upfront; second, I switched from them in November; third, the payments are exactly the same amount as the recent withdrawal. She said at first that I was charged more because I was out of contract so my bill increased. Yet I’d called previously and asked exactly when my contract expired so I knew when I could switch. But I was out of contract because I hadn’t informed them that I wanted to cancel. Apparently the fact that they no longer provide you with a service isn’t enough. I said that I thought BT (who I’m now with but am also having issues with BTW) informed them. She told me that other people can’t cancel a contract on your behalf. I pointed out that that’s not true – when you switch electricity providers the new provider handles everything. She told me that’s a different sector and then said, and I quote: “I can’t walk into an EE shop and say, ‘I’d like to cancel Jodie’s contract’”. No, Kiera, you can’t, but you’re an individual, not a company taking over a service. But she was adamant that the only way the account could be closed and charges stopped was if I phoned them. So I asked how come it’s now closed. But that’s because it can eventually be closed but it took that long for BT to inform them and for it to get through on their system. Of course, I should have known! But, basically, she couldn’t refund the money they’d taken from me. So I asked to speak to her Manager. She informed me that he’d just tell me the same, but as I like wasting my time on the phone to Customer Services I was happy to wait.
She came back on the line – her boss was on another call and not available. She said how she shouldn’t do this but she’ll refund me £26.35. I think that I was meant to be grateful. However, while I was waiting I’d done a search on my emails and found one from BT on 4th November – we’ve informed your previous supplier and you don’t need to do anything. But this wasn’t enough for Kiera. Until their system knows I’m no longer a customer then I’m still a customer, even if their system does take two months to act on information. So I had a look at letters EE had sent me – one on the 7th November. They’ve been informed that I am switching. If I’d changed my mind, please call them; if not my contract will terminate on the specified date. Kiera’s response: I should have told her about the letter at the start of the conversation! She then asked me to read the letter out to her. Did she not have it on her system?!? No! (By this point I was pretty sick of both EE and their ‘system’.)
Once the recital was over, things changed. Suddenly, informing them isn’t the only way to cancel your contract – the company you’re switching to can cancel for you. Oh, and now she can refund the two lots of money that they’d taken from my account when I wasn’t even a customer. I asked about the one that had come out a few days ago. You guessed it – it’s not on their system yet and she can’t refund it until it is! And I’ll get the money at the end of this month, because, as you’d expect, they can’t do instant transfers.
But every cloud has a silver lining. While I was looking through the emails from BT I read one about claiming my reward – something I’d forgotten about. But I’ll now be being sent a £150 BT Reward card – thank you EE!