EE Top-Up Nightmare

Confusing, Broken Mess

To be fair, all the EE staff that I’ve spoken to recently have been very helpful, but EE’s website is a confusing, broken mess. Yesterday I registered with EE online then logged in to my account. The first thing that I tried to do was associate my EE device with the account, but unfortunately the process failed. I tried to work out what was going on, but eventually had to telephone EE. They didn’t seem at all surprised that I was having a problem, and used their own internal systems to set up the association for me. I then had to do the classic ‘log out and log back in again’ trick, after which I could see the device. However, the whole experience was draining, so I decided to stop messing about with EE for the day and do something useful instead.

Make a Mistake, Then Blame Me

Today I decided to log in to my EE account and buy a top-up for my EE device. After choosing the top-up amount, I filled in all my payment details on the next screen. I expected the payment to sail through, but when I clicked the ‘Pay now’ button, I got a warning message saying that I’d entered an invalid character in the ‘City’ field. Actually I hadn’t entered anything at all in the ‘City’ field, I’d simply entered my postcode and house number then clicked the ‘Find address’ button. The website had filled in my address for me then complained that there was something wrong with it. This turned out to be the full stop in ‘BURY ST. EDMUNDS’, so I removed it.

‘Oops’ is Not a Useful Message

On clicking the ‘Pay now’ button for the second time, all I got was an unhelpful message saying ‘Oops, something’s gone wrong.’ I telephoned the card issuer to ask what could be happening, but they had no record of any payment even being attempted, so it seemed as if the problem was with EE. Telephoning EE again for over half an hour got me nowhere, and they didn’t have any ideas about what might’ve gone wrong as their systems didn’t provide them with any information about failed payment attempts. This was all very similar to trouble I had with EE years before, so not much effort seems to have been put into investigating significant problems or working to improve things. Any business that won’t even take your money isn’t concentrating on the important things. Perhaps they should spend more on troubleshooting their awful systems and less on Kevin Bacon.

Executive Summary

  1. Register an account with EE.
  2. Log in to ‘My EE’.
  3. Wonder why your login attempt seems to have failed.
  4. After a minute or so, see a new web page showing that you are logged in after all.
  5. Click ‘Add a device’ to associate your mobile broadband device with your account.
  6. Enter the mobile number of the device that you want to add.
  7. Click ‘Confirm Number’.
  8. Get stuck in an endless loop on the next screen, with no clue what to do next.
  9. Click ‘Need help connecting your device?’ to be shown useless, generic help.
  10. Log out of ‘My EE’.
  11. Telephone customer services to report the problem.
  12. Give customer services the mobile number of your device.
  13. Wait while customer services associates your device with your account using their internal systems.
  14. Log back in to ‘My EE’.
  15. Click ‘Top-up’.
  16. Select the amount you want to top up.
  17. Click ‘Continue to payment’.
  18. Enter payment details, including card number and verification code.
  19. Click ‘Pay now’.
  20. Receive irritating message saying ‘Oops, something’s gone wrong.’
  21. Telephone customer services again to report yet another problem.
  22. Get told by customer services that they don’t have any way of finding out what went wrong.
  23. Log out of ‘My EE’ again.
  24. Research the problem on the web.
  25. Discover that EE customers have been suffering from this and similar problems for years.
  26. Decide to move to another mobile network that has a clue how to run a service.