Will BT’s Takeover of EE Affect You?
There’s no denying that when it comes to convoluted histories, EE has the competition beat. Formed from the coming together of two British mobile telecoms giants in Orange and T-Mobile (a duo which have changed hands 9 times between themselves), EE became the latest chapter in a long and, frankly confusing, story.
Their merger completed in 2010, creating the single biggest mobile network in the UK. Alongside that came a new name, Everything Everywhere, which quickly became EE. The years of cosy co-operation between one time rivals in Deutsch Telkom and France Telecom would soon come to an end, as rumours of BT’s interest in the mobile giant emerged.
At a cost of £12.5 billion, the merger finally completed in 2016. BT officially became the owner of EE, becoming the biggest combined telecoms company in the UK by a long, long distance. It certainly wasn’t cheap, and it was met with scepticism from business and customers alike. Questions like whether BT would keep EE’s name, whether the takeover would affect the cost of your contract and more arose.
So, with BT not doing the best job at explaining their plans for EE, we’ve decided to put together this guide of frequently asked questions and their answers. So, let’s dig in.
Q: Will EE be renamed?
A: Thankfully, for those of us who’ve dealt with the transition from Orange to Everything Everywhere and then EE, BT have signalled that there will be no change to the name of the service. We can all expect EE as a brand to stick around for a long while to come, BT Mobile just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
Q: Will this affect EE’s roll out of 4G and WiFi calling?
A: EE have made a number of promises in recent years, but few as prominent as their planned rollout of 4G and WiFi calling for customers. The good news is that despite the significant cost of buying EE, BT have no plans to slow down or halt their rollouts in this area. We might, however, see an end to initiatives like EE TV, which directly compete with BT TV.
Q: Will BT take over EE’s customer service department?
A: EE might not have the greatest record for the EE contact number in regards to customer service, but BT are significantly worse still. That’s sparked fears that BT might consolidate their customer service teams, further reducing the quality of help offered on the line.
In this regard, EE have been quick to downplay that possibility, saying that EE’s customer service will remain independent.
Q: Will your phone number change?
A: No, your phone number will remain exactly as before, unless you opt to change it by dialling 150 or moving to a different contract. Equally, there won’t be a change in how easily you can access a PAC code.
Q: I don’t want to be a BT customer, can I cancel my EE contract?
A: Some people have strong feelings about BT, leading some to question whether they can leave their EE contract early because of the takeover. The answer is yes, but not without paying a cancellation fee if you’re still within the terms of your contract. Early termination charges are commonplace, and you’ll likely be forced to pay one if you want to leave your contract early
Q: You’re already a BT and EE customer, will you save money?
A: Because you’re tied in to EE and BT contracts, there’s no way for you to get a better deal at present. In the future, however, it’s expected that BT will have some combination deals with EE which will deliver saving. So, when it comes time to renegotiate your EE and BT contracts, keep an eye out for ‘quad-play’ deals which bundle TV, mobile, home phone and broadband.
Q: Can you now get help for my BT products and services at EE shops?
A: BT have signalled they would like to keep EE shops specifically for EE customers, and won’t be training EE staff to deal with BT issues. They feel that blending the two together would create confusion and customer congestion, and they’re probably right in this regard.
Q: Will your bill change because of the takeover?
A: No, your bill will remain exactly as it was. BT are operating EE as a subsidiary, which means that the structure of EE has remained largely unchanged since the takeover. As such, your billing and statements will be as before. No need to worry about your direct debits either, because the payment location hasn’t changed either.