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'I sent my faulty EE mobile to be fixed and got a bill for a cracked screen instead'

Friday, October 2nd 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

An EE customer was billed £114 for repairs to her phone – despite it being damaged on its way to be fixed.

Samantha Lowe's phone was sent away to be fixed after it developed a fault.

But she was then billed more than £100 by EE for a cracked screen that happened on the journey to be repaired.

The ensuing dispute between EE and a courier firm meant Ms Lowe has been without her phone for nearly 10 weeks – despite being only three months into a new contract.

Miss Lowe, from Upper Norwood in London, took delivery of a new Samsung Galaxy S6 on 25 June but less than a month later had to send the phone back.

“One day a black dot appeared on the screen, so I turned it off and on again but by the morning it had gone completely black,” she told Cable.co.uk.

The 45-year-old took her phone to the EE store in Streatham on 22 July but was told to try another branch as they had no loan phones.

“I drove to the Tooting branch and two guys inspected the phone before taking it,” she said.

“I then got an email on the 27th from EE repairs with a picture of my phone with a cracked screen and a bill for £114.”

Miss Lowe, who works as a foster carer, said she refused to pay the bill as she had pictures of her phone and a receipt from EE saying it was in good condition.

“As they were in a dispute with the couriers because they believed my phone was damaged in transit, this continued for six weeks.”

It took Miss Lowe a further two weeks of arguing with an EE executive to get the company to pay for the damages.

“They offered me £50 off my bill as a goodwill gesture – it’s better than nothing but I was still annoyed,” she said.

'So upset'

“I’ve been treated so disrespectfully by EE and have cried down the phone because I’ve been so upset."

Ms Lowe said she has been without a phone for nearly 10 weeks but is still paying the full £39.99 a month for her contract.

“EE have had the phone longer than me. I’m three months into the contract and they’ve had it for two months," she added.

Miss Lowe’s phone was eventually returned to her on 20 September, only for her to find that she couldn’t get a signal and would need to send it for repairs once again.

“I said I’m not taking it back to an EE shop – they broke it last time. So they said ‘we’ll send you a jiffy bag and you can send it in the post’.”

Miss Lowe has posted her phone to EE for a second time, but said she has lost all faith in the company.

“What’s happened to ‘the customer is always right’?.

“They could have just given me a new phone, I’ve spent ages trying to sort this out and I’ve got more important things to do. I’ll never take out another contract with EE.”

Cable.co.uk has contacted EE for comment.

Update: A spokesperson for EE confirmed that Miss Lowe was asked to pay for repairs to her phone while EE investigated how the screen came to be damaged, but would later be fully reimbursed.

"We're sorry for the delay in repairing Ms Lowe's handset and the inconvenience caused," the spokesperson said.

"We explained to Ms Lowe at the time that she would be fully reimbursed for any payment made following our investigation into the cause of the damage. We have reimbursed her for this cost and have and offered a gesture of goodwill as an apology."

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