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EE 5G WiFi mobile broadband cancelled in cooling off period dispute


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We've had broadband problems for years, likely poor copper connections from the street (FTTH not available), so we tried EE 5G WiFi Mobile Broadband (£55 pm) to get away from using a copper connection. EE 5G was no better we cancelled in the cooling off period... or so we thought.

  • 20/9/2023 signed up by phone (EE 5G Wifi Mobile Broadband, unlimited data)
  • 22/9/2023 equipment received
  • 28/9/2023 phoned to cancel due to poor service, requested returns box for the equipment
  • 2/10/2023 equipment disconnected and returned (cert of posting retained)
  • 25/10/2023 received snotty letter "Suspension Warning - Final Reminder", ignored assuming equipment return not yet processed.
  • 25/11/2023 (today) received snotty letter "Act Now - DCA Warning", my daughter doesn't want DCA on her doorstep.

It seems EE did not cancel the service as requested (how hard can it be?). Their snotty letters did not give a postal reply address, just phone numbers and a web address. Since DCAs are threatened and CAG advise not to give an email address, we only want to communicate by post. I found a Sunderland for EE on the Internet.

We never verified our email address nor activated our online account so we've not seen any bills because it was clear from the first day the service was of no use for us.

Advice for the best response would be appreciated (by donation)!

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Start off by something a subject access request immediately.

This may produce evidence of an error or some kind of inaccurate data processing which will then give you an opportunity to take your own action against them.

Do you have any evidence that you cancelled?

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DCA's are not BAILIFFS 

and have 

ZERO legal powers on ANY debt - no matter WHAT it's type.

its just a threat-o-gram.

ignore it.

dx

 

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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We have screen grab of the call history and a certificate of posting for the equipment return.

I'm not worried by their DCA threat but the letters have upset my family and they want me to reply. Their threat-o-grams make no acknowledgement that there might have been an error nor what to do if the alleged debt is disputed.

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Have you sent off your SAR?

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If all you do is send a letter of complaint than it will end up in the bin and have no effect at all.

 

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Agree with @BankFodder on the DSAR etc - Get your ducks line up in a row. 

However - Dont write a letter of complaint to EE - 

[email protected]

 

Its likely to get a response from their Exec Customer Relations Team. Make yourself heard rather than going through the process of their CS drones. 

 

We could do with some help from you.

 

Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

**Fko-Filee**

Receptaculum Ignis

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

The SAR has just been submitted. The letter of complaint was already sent (based on a template from Citizen's Advice). The complaint has been acknowledged by email from a 'Customer Executive' :sorry:

A first 'letter' (looks like a typical phone bill) was received from Arvato DCA a few days ago (just passed to me today).

Edited by Silverspar
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Good that you got an acknowledgement. It will be itching to see if it gets anywhere though.

Let us know what the subject access request produces. Keep a tight eye on the deadline and if they exceed the deadline by more than about five days, that will give you a foothold to a more serious complaint

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Will do... and fkofilee correctly predicted that 'Executive Complaints' was deeply disappointing (trying to be diplomatic). At least the complaint is ackowledged. I also helped the customer add a notice of correction to her credit file (2 missed payments showing). Thanks also for the CEOs e-mail address.

A bit of background: EE and BT are now one (I think). When the customer requested a box for the equipment return it had a BT address. BT and EE share the same CEO and when you submit an online EE SAR, the webform domain shows 'btprivacy.my.onetrust.com' . It can be confusing.

Also Arvato (DCA) changed their name on 18 December (yesterday) to Everyday People Financial Solutions Ltd, aka EP Financial Solutions.

 

1st reply from EE Executive Complaints (by email):
 

Quote

 

What we’ve decided to do
I’ve checked everything carefully and have been unable to locate the device you returned on the 02/10/23... I would like to cancel the account and confirm the return has been completed, to do this can you call me with the relevant information to locate the device. Currently the account remains in Collections and you may receive further correspondence about this until we manage to locate the device.

How we made our decision
Since you got in touch, I’ve looked at all the details of your complaint. We received correspondence from a [daughter's name] on the 25/10/23, advising she was receiving debt collections letters. She was unable to pass security as the account was registered in your name. We advised to clear the balance until the return had been processed at which point any adjustments could be made. The details you sent with your letter were for BT Returns this is possibly why we haven’t received it yet. I have forwarded this to our returns team to investigate but really could do with more details if you have any.

What else you need to know
Missing parcel disputes normally have a small window of dispute, so if you could also confirm with the Post office you’re investigating a missing parcel. The reference you provided didn’t locate any parcel, possibly I entered a wrong digit.

If you would like to talk to us
If you’d like to talk to me about your complaint, or anything in my letter, please call me on 08009563067
*. We’re open 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, 10am to 6pm on Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sunday.

If I don’t hear from you within 28 days, I’ll assume you’re happy and close your complaint. If you’d like more
information about our complaints process, please go to ee.co.uk/complaints.

 

 

The customer has the original certificate of posting but unfortunately doesn't have a scanner and took a poor photo. I have just seen a better photo (by email). The tracking number is clear but not recognised. No idea why, this is a matter for Royal Mail. EE need to inform her of the parcel value for her to file a claim with Royal Mail.

 

 

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If BT / EE generated the returns label then they should have the ref available. It is up to them to work out where its going. 

Royal Mail have had a speight of missing parcels and delayed deliveries due to their own internal turmoil recently.  

But at least you have someone who is dealing with it and that's what most of these Customer Service Teams miss, is that your change of tariff is okay but more complex issues need people owning it and the only true way to do that these days is to complain high. 

 

Hoping you will be able to sort. 

 

 

We could do with some help from you.

 

Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

**Fko-Filee**

Receptaculum Ignis

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks, I have a correction; the equipment was dropped off at her local Post Office using a bag and pre-paid DPD label supplied by EE through the post. The customer conflated Post Office with Royal Mail and didn't pay attention to the courier name (understandable IMHO).

Also the Post Office receipt looked like a Royal Mail receipt. The equipment was returned by DPD.

She received the SAR return today 🎉 including wav files of all voice calls.

During an 11 minute phone call on the 7th day of the contract, the cancellation was processed, as the adviser correctly paraphrased "Coverage not as advised".

The customer asked for the IMEI, "look for it on the box or delivery note", she had neither (and was not asked to examine the modem for the IMEI).

The customer could not find the IMEI (although it appears in account notes revealed by the SAR).

The adviser stated an IMEI would normally be required but a bag and label would be sent by post as the customer did not have a printer (true, her daughter has one but it never has any ink).

The account notes for this call state:

Quote

Channel Returns: DSR DPD Pre-paid Label
POSTED  requested for IMEI 356xxxxxxxxxxxx,
CTN 07xxxxxxxxx, Bag No. 03xxxxxxxx.
Customer advised return will only be accepted in
the next 30 days otherwise the line or contract
will continue to run

The last sentence is not true.

I listened to the recording carefully twice, the closest to this statement is near the end of the call when the customer asks about her Direct Debit, she was informed it would be cancelled automatically when the equipment is received by the warehouse.

EE have offered as follows:

Quote

I have consulted further with the returns team and they confirmed they still haven’t received the device back. But have been advised I can overturn the decision to pursue you for the remaining balance of £118.87. This would include the pending charge of £1087.61, before I request these adjustment and contact the debt collectors, can you confirm your acceptance to the above?

The customer has not responded yet.

If I understand correctly, EE accept the contract was cancelled inside the cooling off period but will not call off the dogs until she agrees to above offer.

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£1087.61??

whats that for?

dx

 

 

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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they cant charge for 2yrs of contract payments... what $&%*%(^()

just because they didn't get the modem back it doesnt keep the contract open and the fca would be spitting blood if they knew they were doing that!

dx

 

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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I know! It's lucky I'm helping because I'm more able to be diplomatic, avoiding rants or long emails of irrelevance that make it harder for an ombudsman to wade through (bless them).

Also the implied acceptance the contract was correctly cancelled while keeping the DCA dogs on the case. Harrassment? Beggars belief!.. and no mention of correcting the credit file nor any "time and trouble" compensation.

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i would be asking for the credit file to be wiped, then accept their offer.?

dx

 

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Share on other sites

Definitely. Do you have any opinion on financial compensation or is this barred (e.g. by cancelling in the cooling off period). I read that the Comms Ombudsman refers to this as a 'time and trouble' payment.

Also part of the stress was caused by not having a copy of the T&Cs. The SAR shows the customer viewed the T&Cs (giving her IP address) but she didn't keep a copy. In the call she can be heard asking for a copy of the T&Cs many times but this was unanswered until the SAR response today. All the advisers needed to say, as explained in the SAR, was go to ee.co.uk/terms

The Ombudsman can order EE to change their practice but the Ombudsman won't know if the customer accepts now.

I'm thinking how best to advise, I'll sleep on it for now

Sorry one more thing,

here are the T&Cs 'viewed' by the customer as revealed by SAR. Page 2 (deleted for privacy) showed an audit trail of who viewed it, when, and from which IP. Notice the section "14 days distance selling" doesn't state anything about the contract continuing until the equipment is received.

Sales T&Cs.pdf

Edited by Silverspar
Grammatical
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Telco companies tend to be less giving with Compo rather than financial institutions - Rules are different. 

Id get it cancelled like now - Get the default and DCAs off their back. All solved. 

 

We could do with some help from you.

 

Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

**Fko-Filee**

Receptaculum Ignis

 

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Many thanks, I always value advice from the site team. I'll advise the customer tomorrow. Hopefully the taste of blood in our mouths will have gone by then (but probably not)! She was so worried and upset in the beginning.

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Postscript:

I've advised the customer to reply 'yes' - job done.

I posted the case here because I had a feeling something similar might have happened before. Unfortunately 'EE' is among the worst company name to search for (with the possible exception of 'Three').

I found a similar topic on CAG from 23 Jan 2023:
Lowell/EE "debt" issues following EE failure to terminate contract as instructed and confirmed by them.

In this topic EE cancelled a broadband account but failed to cancel a mobile phone account. The call recordings had been deleted by the time the CAGger noticed the problem. From the SAR in this case I believe both failures to close the accounts are likely due to a failure of the warehouse to acknowledge equipment return. Whether this is right/fair/enforceable - I can't comment.

I hope others in a similar situation might find this useful.

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