Skip to main content

EE now lets people pay to skip the wait when calling customer service

EE now lets people pay to skip the wait when calling customer service

Share this story

If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

No one likes waiting on the phone for customer support. It's always a miserable experience, and EE thinks it's one customers will pay money to avoid. The UK carrier now offers callers the option of forking over 50 pence (roughly $0.83 USD) to jump ahead of everyone else waiting to speak with a representative. And what does that money go towards? Improving EE's customer service, of course. It will help the company open more support lines and thus, in a perfect world, cut down the wait for everyone — whether they're paying to cut the whole line or not.

But it's a questionable approach any way you look at it. Just think about the complaints and outrage that would result if Verizon Wireless, AT&T, or any other major US carrier were to pull a similar stunt. That's not to say EE's customers aren't speaking up; the priority system has been in place for a week, and people are already voicing resentment towards the penny-pinching idea on social media. And keep in mind that unlike in the US, customer support calls to EE sometimes aren't toll-free. So theoretically it wouldn't be hard to wind up paying twice just to have someone answer a question. That's service.

The Kevin Bacon line is in reference to this, if you were wondering.