So BT have acquired EE in a deal worth £12bn. Why is it a big deal? Why am I unhappy about it?
OK there is a lot of convergence being talked about within the UK mobile markets. I have been in and out of the UK mobile phone market for the past 11 years, several times. This can be a good thing. I am looking forward indeed to 3’s proposed takeover of O2. But lets get back to EE and BT. I am not the only one to have had a large number of run-in’s with BT over the years both professionally and personally. I know of a large number of people who feel the same. Customer service is non existent and they seem to make bills up out of thin air as a matter of habit. Professionalism seems to be a dirty word within BT, the mantra being our way or no way. On a professional level a large number of BT staff that I have come into contact with over the years seem to think that an attitude that holds up that 1970’s scourge of British industry, Red Robbo as an idol is an acceptable attitude to have in modern business. This will not do.
Once BT get their claws on EE they will decimate the organisation. I have known EE since they days when they were called one2one and have been a client since. They don’t always get it right but bless their cotton socks. They really do try and generally speaking their staff are an absolute pleasure to deal with and will try and go that extra mile when they need to. It is the EE workers I feel sorry for. They will be pushed into a 1970’s time warp and they will feel the pain. I think a lot of the younger workers will become quickly disenfranchised and leave the organisation fairly swiftly for new challenges because they will not want is to have to deal with the silliness and bureaucracy of senior BT management. They will not tolerate it. BT are specialists at flushing customer service down the toilet at every level of the organisation.
I have long vowed never to deal with BT as my blood pressure is high enough already. BT have this as a widely held reputation hanging over their heads. I telephoned EE yesterday to discuss cancelling my contract with them for this very reason. Normal;ly I am on hold for a shade over 5 minutes when I call EE and need to speak to a human being. This time I was holding for 30 minutes and I know the reason why. I am not the only one who cannot abide BT. I heard from one of my sources that EE were handling over 1,000 calls an hour yesterday about contract cancellations in the light of the takeover. I really hope BT have shot themselves in the foot on this one.