The phone, the EE contract and the Apple TV
For Sale: Apple TV, 4K 32GB, new, sealed, unused.
Wednesday evening, I went to spend some time with my Godparents. We often hang out, catch up or go out for a meal... I help out where I can and in whatever capacity I can, be it sourcing things online or dealing with tech issues in general.
We'd not been able to meet up much, predominantly because of COVID vulnerabilities. Wednesday was one of the first times, in a long time, that we were able to properly sit down and catch up.
Through conversation, I learned my Godmother (GM) had upgraded her handset/contract via one of the local EE phone stores (not sure which - I didn't ask). As she talked me through her experience, I could feel my blood starting to boil. 🌡️😠😡
Long story short, the "Sales advisor" or as I like to think of them - Sales Pusher in essence actively engaged in miss-selling products my GM didn't want, didn't ask for and didn't need!
I'll spare you the long version (ha!), but know this... The Pusher (in an attempt to promote the bundle) spoke of being able to watch movies and sports on TV, whenever she wanted - i.e. on demand, to which my GM explained that she has no time to sit and watch TV (for context my GM is a fiercely independent 'person about town' who rarely sits still, always active, always doing something - NEVER idle).
The Pusher went further, suggesting she could always give it away if she didn't want or use it. Upon hearing this I actively wanted to do bad things to that EE employee! How dear they take advantage of a senior citizen in this way. Why would she take out a contract for something she didn't need?
Despite my GM's rejections, I wouldn't be surprised if the Pusher placed the order anyway.
Needless to say, a few days later an Apple TV (pictured) arrived through the post. Fast forward 12 months to our get-together... The Apple TV has sat in its shrink wrap, inside its original delivery packaging - untouched.
You know me, always up for a fight to defend the "little people", the vulnerable, those in need of help... I told GM we need to get EE on the phone to discuss this situation - now!
After clearing security, GM told the dude on the phone that I'd like to speak with him...
He was polite throughout and made all the right noises... Apologised whilst suggesting the in-store staff shouldn't/wouldn't do that - whilst simultaneously accepting my GM's account of what happened.
As of July 2022, GM is approximately 12 months into a 24-month contract with EE. Dude on the phone confirmed this, then said there was nothing he could do.
Unacceptable! I don't care about the; grace or cooling off period, or even that the time period to report a miss-sold item "deadline" had elapsed. Something needs to be done (and still does btw) about an EE employee taking advantage of a senior citizen in this way.
I now want to raise a formal complaint and escalate to the next level. Dude tried to paint a picture suggesting his supervisor was the only - and final - decision maker... I play along, but man doesn't know who he's talking to... we all know that's BS... they must think this is my first rodeo. In my head I thought, go ask TalkTalk, those ******* paid out too after I took them to the Ombudsman! EE clearly want to be next!
I'm now on hold, my man is "speaking to his supervisor". We can't speak directly to him - he's busy on another complaint (go figure) but he can authorise a refund for the Apple TV element of the contract for the SECOND HALF of the contract... Remember, I said we're about halfway through the contract.
So, after a few minutes on the call, I managed to secure a 50% refund. It's a start, but I'm not happy yet, I don't think it is enough - under the circumstances... But it's not my decision to accept or reject, that lies with my GM.
I tell my man to hold, while I confer with my "client".
TOP TIP: Whenever they put you on hold, be sure to put them on mute. Otherwise, they could still potentially hear what you're saying through your phone's microphone.
Phone now muted, I told GM, I'll do whatever she wants me to do. Accept the offer or fight on. I'm ready for the crusade, just give the word and we ride at dawn. 🏇🏇🏇
I can't lie, I'm disappointed. GM chooses to accept the offer. I seek confirmation... Final answer? She locks it in! 😞
Crusade cancelled 🏇🏇🏇🚫 until further notice boys and girls. Return the horses to the stables! 😡
I relay the response back to my man waiting on mute... not content, I ask him, how much of the monthly bill is made up by the Apple TV element? He responds (for reference it's more than £10/month)!
I probe further, so what happens with the device we have sitting here? I repeat the fact that it is still in its sealed shrink wrap. Never used, never opened and if they check the serial number sent out, I'm sure they can confirm the unit has never been activated (if indeed it needs to be activated - you know I'm not an Apple fanboy). I wanted to clarify that we were willing to return the device to secure a full refund of the Apple TV subs paid thus far (the first half of the contract).
That approach didn't yield any further advance on my part. I was wasting oxygen on the monkey 🐒🐵 I needed to get in front of the organ grinder.
I made one further attempt to change GM's mind.
The options were now (from EE's point of view): Accept the offer or speak with the Supervisor the next working day - with no guarantee today's offer would still be available... and go from there.
My horses were itching to ride 🏇🏇🏇 but my GM was glad I was able to get 50% back. She wanted to close the chapter and the book - safe in the knowledge that once the contract ends, she'll be off to a different provider - but with my assistance this time around.
So here we are.
Apple TV Box For Sale.
Goods in hand, looking to recoup the unused portion of the contract outlay.
One careful owner.
New - seal never cracked!
So this is the part where I hand it over to you...
- Do you know anyone looking to buy one of these?
- Would it make a great Christmas present for you or your significant other?
If you can answer YES to either of the above, get in touch or put your contact in touch.
So, what are the takeaways from this story?
1. Yes, there were missed opportunities to resolve fully. But was it a lost cause? I'd argue no.
2. Never trust in-store Product Pushers - especially in mobile phone shops. They're on a sales plan. They're incentivised to sell sell sell!
3. If you know someone who may be in a similar position to my GM, classed as vulnerable... offer to accompany them in-store. Pushers won't pull that 💩 quite as easily.
4. EE has been blackballed 🎱 they're dead to me and my GM!
If you've made it this far, thank you for reading and allowing me to vent!