So, a few weeks ago I tried to buy an EE 4G Mobile Wi-Fi unit, an E589, and I think I tried about every EE shop on the Yorkshire coast, with no joy, none of them had stock. So, I was in Ipswich today and as we are off for another couple of weeks in the motorhome shortly, I thought I would pop in and grab one.
So, I am not a huge fan of EE in Ipswich I will admit, as all the windows and shop dressing shouts about “4G” and of course, no sign of it in Ipswich yet, like many places. It all seems a little bit of a con really. Anyway, just want an easy sale, an E589 with a 30 day rolling contract, main aim is to cancel it straight away, unlock it and run it with a 3UK sim. Main advantage is battery life and I had some trouble with my old E386 last time.
So, went in, usual lack of assistants, and the two that were there were busy, but soon managed to nab one. So, I have located the E589 and it has a little label on it saying From Free, £15.99 a month, also available on FALSE and FALSE (very helpful EE, ever heard the saying that Retail is Detail?)
Me: I want one of those please on 30 day rolling contract (points to E589)
Asst: OK, they are £39.99 plus you have to buy £10 top up.
Hrmm, I think, that does not sound like 30 day rolling, but its a bit better, they were £49.99 plus first month at £15.99 on that plan so this is better.
Me: OK, great, thanks.
Asst: I will just go get you one.
Comes back and proceeds to open an E5332 unit. I stop him with a cheery….
Me: Oh, sorry (not sure why I am apologising!) that is not the right one, I want the one on display that I pointed to.
Ast: Oh, this is the same.
Me: No, its really not.
Ast: Well, you are right (no shit Sherlock) but that is the 4G one, we don’t have 4G in Ipswich
He said that bit quite proudly, as if he was presenting an excellent reason for trying to sell me the wrong one.
Me: Um, but that is a portable unit right? I can use it other places right?
Ast: Err, yeah, I guess so.
Me: Well, no problem, just get me the right one.
Ast: But you can not get that one on PAYG. Its £69.99 and £15.99 a month.
Me: I did not ask for it on PAYG, I asked for it on 30 day rolling.
Ast: OK, so do you want one?
Me: Hrmm, it was only £49.99 a few months ago, and it was out of stock everywhere I tried, seems harsh that it is £20 more now.
Ast: (no reply)
Me: Well, OK then, I can just cancel the 30 day right away and reinstate it anytime can I?
Ast: No, if you cancel it and want to reinstate it you have to buy another unit. (is that even true?)
Me: Well, I think I will have one anyway.
Ast: Oh, right. (long pause)…… we don’t have any of those are we are not a 4G store.
Me: So, you shout about 4G stuff on all this promo signage, you have 4GEE plastered over everything, and you have this 4G Mi-Fi on display with a price, but you are not a 4G store and do not stock 4G models?
Ast: Um, yeah…….(not really embarrassed as such, more annoyed with me I felt)
I simply shook my head and left the shop. How do they stay in business?