by martin451 Contributor
Contributor

From EE to EE

It doesn't have to be this way...


I wanted to keep my mobile number with EE (I have been a loyal EE customer for a number of years and currently have three different contracts/phones with EE) and was informed by an EE customer adviser that the only way to retain my number with EE (with my new monthly contract/phone - also with EE) was to transfer my number to another supplier and then port it back again to EE. This differs from the procedure I used 18 months ago with EE, when an adviser I talked to over the phone transferred the number I wanted to keep to my new phone and new contract. It was live within an hour.

 

It sounds simple to port your number to another supplier then port it back, but it is not. And probably deliberately so.

 

This time, I had to request a PAC number from EE, then go out to a supermarket and purchase a Pay As You Go SIM card (99p from Tesco), put the new card into my phone, contact the new supplier (Vodafone in this case) by registering my personal details with them (i.e. setting up a new account) and filling out an online form to port the number that I wanted to keep.

 

When I contacted Vodafone the same day to request a PAC number (to enable me to port the number back to my new phone on EE), I was advised that I couldn't transfer my number back to EE until 24 hours had elapsed. I didn't want to spend £10 on a minimum top-up, so I was basically stuck with a dumb phone for a day. Thanks EE.


I then contacted Vodafone the next day (I couldn't access a call that someone had left because I had no credit on the PAYG SIM). They explained that EE was the only company that uses this ridiculous process when customers want to keep their number when starting a new contract with a new phone (as opposed to an upgrade directly with EE - which is always much more expensive than going through third party sellers such as mobiles.co.uk - crazy!). Incidentally, internal number transfers from Vodafone to Vodafone do not require a PAC. EE take note.

 

I received a PAC number from Vodafone, eventually found the online form on the EE website and put in the new PAC number to transfer my mobile number back to EE.


When I submitted the form on the EE website a message advised me that the transfer back to EE "will take up to five working days." This is ludicrous. Thanks again EE for all the inconvenience caused - your customer service is really impressive.


If EE do not make this process any easier then the next time I have to port my number to another supplier in order to keep it, I will definitely not be porting it back to EE. So much for retaining your customer base.


I note on some other posts concerning this issue that the EE advisers always state that it is easier to simply upgrade with EE rather than take out a new contract elsewhere (which coincidentally always seems to result in a more expensive contract/deal for the loyal customer). For example, one adviser stated: "We are unable to transfer a pay monthly EE number to another EE contract. This would have had to be an upgrade not a new connection with us."


If this ridiculous process is simply a cynical ploy by EE to try and make it as difficult as possible for existing customers to keep their numbers when taking out a new contract (also with EE), I would suggest it is a bit disingenuous. However, if EE is actually trying to send its loyal customers to other mobile networks - to encourage them to take out contracts with their competitors rather than staying with EE - then I congratulate them on a job well done.

 

I wonder: Does Ofcom have anything to say about this...?

38 REPLIES 38
by martin451 Contributor
Contributor

Re: Transfer number EE to EE

I'm afraid that answer is not strictly correct.

 

I wanted to keep my mobile number with EE (I have been a loyal EE customer for a number of years and currently have three different contracts/phones with EE) and was informed by an EE customer adviser that the only way to retain my number with EE (with my new monthly contract/phone - also with EE) was to transfer my number to another supplier and then port it back again to EE. This differs from the procedure I used 18 months ago with EE, when an adviser I talked to over the phone transferred the number I wanted to keep to my new phone and new contract. It was live within an hour.

 

It sounds simple to port your number to another supplier then port it back, but it is not. And probably deliberately so. This time, I had to request a PAC number from EE, then go out to a supermarket and purchase a Pay As You Go SIM card (99p from Tesco), put the new card into my phone, contact the new supplier (Vodafone in this case) by registering my personal details with them (i.e. setting up a new account) and filling out an online form to port the number that I wanted to keep. 

 

When I contacted Vodafone the same day to request a PAC number (to enable me to port the number back to my new phone on EE), I was advised that I couldn't transfer my number back to EE until 24 hours had elapsed. I didn't want to spend £10 on a minimum top-up, so I was basically stuck with a dumb phone for a day. Thanks EE.

 

I then contacted Vodafone the next day (I couldn't access a call that someone had left because I had no credit on the PAYG SIM). They explained that EE was the only company that uses this ridiculous process when customers want to keep their number when starting a new contract with a new phone (as opposed to an upgrade directly with EE - which is always much more expensive than going through third party sellers such as mobiles.co.uk - crazy!). Incidentally, internal number transfers from Vodafone to Vodafone do not require a PAC. EE take note.

 

I received a PAC number from Vodafone, eventually found the online form on the EE website and put in the new PAC number to transfer my mobile number  back to EE. 

 

When I submitted the form on the EE website a message advised me that the transfer back to EE "will take up to five working days." This is ludicrous. Thanks again EE - your customer service is really impressive.

 

If EE do not make this process any easier then the next time I have to port my number to another supplier in order to keep it, I will definitely not be porting it back to EE. So much for retaining your customer base.

 

I note on some other posts concerning this issue that the EE advisers always state that it is easier to simply upgrade with EE rather than take out a new contract elsewhere (which coincidentally always seems to result in a more expensive contract/deal for the loyal customer). For example, one adviser stated: "We are unable to transfer a pay monthly EE number to another EE contract. This would have had to be an upgrade not a new connection with us."

 

If this ridiculous process is simply a cynical ploy by EE to try and make it as difficult as possible for existing customers to keep their numbers when taking out a new contract (also with EE), I would suggest it is a bit disingenuous. However, if EE is actually trying to send its loyal customers to other mobile networks - to encourage them to take out contracts with their competitors rather than staying with EE - then I congratulate them on a job well done.

 

I wonder: Does Ofcom have anything to say about this...?

by martin451 Contributor
Contributor

Re: Transfer number EE to EE

I'm afraid that answer is not strictly correct.

 

I wanted to keep my mobile number with EE (I have been a loyal EE customer for a number of years and currently have three different contracts/phones with EE) and was informed by an EE customer adviser that the only way to retain my number with EE (with my new monthly contract/phone - also with EE) was to transfer my number to another supplier and then port it back again to EE. This differs from the procedure I used 18 months ago with EE, when an adviser I talked to over the phone transferred the number I wanted to keep to my new phone and new contract. It was live within an hour.

 

It sounds simple to port your number to another supplier then port it back, but it is not. And probably deliberately so. This time, I had to request a PAC number from EE, then go out to a supermarket and purchase a Pay As You Go SIM card (99p from Tesco), put the new card into my phone, contact the new supplier (Vodafone in this case) by registering my personal details with them (i.e. setting up a new account) and filling out an online form to port the number that I wanted to keep.

 

When I contacted Vodafone the same day to request a PAC number (to enable me to port the number back to my new phone on EE), I was advised that I couldn't transfer my number back to EE until 24 hours had elapsed. I didn't want to spend £10 on a minimum top-up, so I was basically stuck with a dumb phone for a day. Thanks EE.

 

I then contacted Vodafone the next day (I couldn't access a call that someone had left because I had no credit on the PAYG SIM). They explained that EE was the only company that uses this ridiculous process when customers want to keep their number when starting a new contract with a new phone (as opposed to an upgrade directly with EE - which is always much more expensive than going through third party sellers such as mobiles.co.uk - crazy!). Incidentally, internal number transfers from Vodafone to Vodafone do not require a PAC. EE take note.

 

I received a PAC number from Vodafone, eventually found the online form on the EE website and put in the new PAC number to transfer my mobile number back to EE.

When I submitted the form on the EE website a message advised me that the transfer back to EE "will take up to five working days." This is ludicrous. Thanks again EE - your customer service is really impressive.

 

If EE do not make this process any easier then the next time I have to port my number to another supplier in order to keep it, I will definitely not be porting it back to EE. So much for retaining your customer base.

 

I note on some other posts concerning this issue that the EE advisers always state that it is easier to simply upgrade with EE rather than take out a new contract elsewhere (which coincidentally always seems to result in a more expensive contract/deal for the loyal customer). For example, one adviser stated: "We are unable to transfer a pay monthly EE number to another EE contract. This would have had to be an upgrade not a new connection with us."

 

If this ridiculous process is simply a cynical ploy by EE to try and make it as difficult as possible for existing customers to keep their numbers when taking out a new contract (also with EE), I would suggest it is a bit disingenuous. However, if EE is actually trying to send its loyal customers to other mobile networks - to encourage them to take out contracts with their competitors rather than staying with EE - then I congratulate them on a job well done.

 

I wonder: Does Ofcom have anything to say about this...?

by martin451 Contributor
Contributor

Re: Porting number from EE to EE

I'm afraid that answer is not strictly correct.



I wanted to keep my mobile number with EE (I have been a loyal EE customer for a number of years and currently have three different contracts/phones with EE) and was informed by an EE customer adviser that the only way to retain my number with EE (with my new monthly contract/phone - also with EE) was to transfer my number to another supplier and then port it back again to EE. This differs from the procedure I used 18 months ago with EE, when an adviser I talked to over the phone transferred the number I wanted to keep to my new phone and new contract. It was live within an hour.

 

It sounds simple to port your number to another supplier then port it back, but it is not. And probably deliberately so. This time, I had to request a PAC number from EE, then go out to a supermarket and purchase a Pay As You Go SIM card (99p from Tesco), put the new card into my phone, contact the new supplier (Vodafone in this case) by registering my personal details with them (i.e. setting up a new account) and filling out an online form to port the number that I wanted to keep. 

 

When I contacted Vodafone the same day to request a PAC number (to enable me to port the number back to my new phone on EE), I was advised that I couldn't transfer my number back to EE until 24 hours had elapsed. I didn't want to spend £10 on a minimum top-up, so I was basically stuck with a dumb phone for a day. Thanks EE.



I then contacted Vodafone the next day (I couldn't access a call that someone had left because I had no credit on the PAYG SIM). They explained that EE was the only company that uses this ridiculous process when customers want to keep their number when starting a new contract with a new phone (as opposed to an upgrade directly with EE - which is always much more expensive than going through third party sellers such as mobiles.co.uk - crazy!). Incidentally, internal number transfers from Vodafone to Vodafone do not require a PAC. EE take note.



I received a PAC number from Vodafone, eventually found the online form on the EE website and put in the new PAC number to transfer my mobile number  back to EE. 

When I submitted the form on the EE website a message advised me that the transfer back to EE "will take up to five working days." This is ludicrous. Thanks again EE - your customer service is really impressive.



If EE do not make this process any easier then the next time I have to port my number to another supplier in order to keep it, I will definitely not be porting it back to EE. So much for retaining your customer base.



I note on some other posts concerning this issue that the EE advisers always state that it is easier to simply upgrade with EE rather than take out a new contract elsewhere (which coincidentally always seems to result in a more expensive contract/deal for the loyal customer). For example, one adviser stated: "We are unable to transfer a pay monthly EE number to another EE contract. This would have had to be an upgrade not a new connection with us."



If this ridiculous process is simply a cynical ploy by EE to try and make it as difficult as possible for existing customers to keep their numbers when taking out a new contract (also with EE), I would suggest it is a bit disingenuous. However, if EE is actually trying to send its loyal customers to other mobile networks - to encourage them to take out contracts with their competitors rather than staying with EE - then I congratulate them on a job well done.



I wonder: Does Ofcom have anything to say about this...?

by
EE Community Support Team

Re: From EE to EE

Hi @martin451,

 

Welcome to the EE Community.

 

It's not necessary to take a new contract with a new number if you are an existing customer.

 

Just let the retailer/third party dealership know that you would like to upgrade and they'll make sure you keep the same number.

 

The website you mentioned has it's own dedicated upgrades section - https://www.mobiles.co.uk/mobile-phone-upgrades.

 

Thanks

 

James

by martin451 Contributor
Contributor

Re: From EE to EE

Hi James 

 

Thank you for your response.

 

I think you’ve kind of missed the point.

 

Every phone deal offered through the link you suggested costs at least £100 per year more than the new deal I arranged through mobiles.co.uk. And many of them have outrageously high upfront costs as well.

 

I did look at the upgrade options before choosing a new deal - but I would have been paying a lot more money for a lot worse deal.

 

The point that you missed was the ridiculous and deliberately inconvenient process an EE customer has to go through to retain their number with EE when starting a new contract with a new phone on the same network. Other networks do not force their customers to do what EE requires to keep their numbers in such cases.

 

That is why I will be porting my numbers to other networks (and not coming back) when I take out new contracts for new phones in the future - unless EE changes this nonsensical procedure.

 

Regards

Martin

by
EE Community Support Team

Re: From EE to EE

Hi @martin451,

 

I understand your frustration. It's just not technically possible to transfer a mobile number from one active pay monthly plan to another and this isn't unique to the EE network.

 

It's only possible to transfer a mobile number within the same network if it's from pay monthly to pay as you go or vice versa.

 

Thanks

 

James

by Brilliant Contributor
Brilliant Contributor

Re: From EE to EE


@martin451 wrote:

 


I then contacted Vodafone the next day (I couldn't access a call that someone had left because I had no credit on the PAYG SIM). They explained that EE was the only company that uses this ridiculous process when customers want to keep their number when starting a new contract with a new phone (as opposed to an upgrade directly with EE - which is always much more expensive than going through third party sellers such as mobiles.co.uk - crazy!). Incidentally, internal number transfers from Vodafone to Vodafone do not require a PAC. EE take note.


I think you'll find Vodafone lied to you. (They are good at that) It would be the same wth them and every other network.

 


@martin451 wrote:

 

 

I wonder: Does Ofcom have anything to say about this...?


Not really its common practise and not really breaking any rules.


BrendonH (Android Expert) Samsung Galaxy S10+ (Android 10/One UI 2.0)
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by martin451 Contributor
Contributor

Re: From EE to EE

Oh well... if it’s not breaking any rules then that’s ok then.

 

Perhaps the rules should therefore be updated to prevent such anti-competitive behaviour?

 

Going by the previous obsequious response, it obviously doesn’t matter about the massive inconvenience caused to loyal EE customers who wish to take out a new contract but still stay with EE: as as long as EE are maximising their profits while their customers pay the unnecessary and exorbitant costs of staying with the network (by “upgrading” rather than taking out new (cheaper) contracts) then that’s fine.

 

If EE thinks it is acceptable for their customers to pay hundreds of pounds more every year just to keep their numbers on the same network then they should perhaps think again.

 

It’s about time EE customers decided to do something about this if EE are not willing to change their arcane and obstructive practices.

 

The easy answer is simply to take your business elsewhere. Which is what I fully intend to do once my current contracts with EE expire.

 

Has EE not heard of customer service? Or is this what EE actually considers to be perfectly acceptable customer service? I think that might have been a rhetorical question...

 

by martin451 Contributor
Contributor

Re: From EE to EE

That’s strange. 18 months ago I was able to phone up EE and an adviser was able to transfer my phone number from my current Pay Monthly EE contract to my new Pay Monthly contract (and my new phone). It took around an hour for the number transfer to take place.

 

I would therefore be grateful if you could explain why this procedure has been changed - and also explain exactly why it is no longer possible to transfer from EE to a new EE contract without porting out the number via a PAC to another provider (and then putting it back - with the inevitable delay by EE - I’m still waiting for the process to complete). Why can this process not be carried out internally by EE advisers? What are the technical restrictions/limitations? Or is it simply a procedural limitation deliberately imposed by EE to try and force existing customers to take out expensive upgrade packages?

by
EE Community Support Team

Re: From EE to EE

Hi @martin451,

 

There has been no change in procedure.

 

As I mentioned in my earlier post, it's not possible to transfer a mobile number from one active pay monthly plan to another, within the same mobile network.

 

Thanks

 

James

 

 

by martin451 Contributor
Contributor

Re: From EE to EE

Hi James

 

Thank you for your non-reply.

 

Rather than simply stating “it's not possible” - perhaps it might be more helpful to explain why this actually is the case.

 

Is it not possible for an EE adviser to copy and paste two phone numbers into an online form and hit the enter button?

 

Why has your procedure changed from 18 months ago? What are the technical reasons (if any)?

 

And why am I still waiting for EE to change my number when Vodafone produced the PAC number (and I filled in the relevant online form on EE’s website) two days ago?

 

Consider this as a complaint.

 

Regards

Martin

by
EE Community Support Team

Re: From EE to EE

Hi @martin451,

 

There has been no change in procedure, our systems simply do not have this functionality I'm afraid.

 

Our customer service team will be happy to check up on your number port from Vodafone.

 

Please visit our ways to complain help article for assistance with lodging your complaint.

 

Thanks

 

James

by martin451 Contributor
Contributor

Re: From EE to EE

I tried to use your online complaints form and it wouldn’t let me submit my complaint - it simply issued a message stating “Field is not valid” for the “More details” box that I had entered my complaint into. Please sort it out.

 

The only alternative provided was to send my complaint to EE by post. No email address was provided - and I have no desire to enter into a protracted phone conversation to simply repeat everything over and over again - I prefer my complaint to be in writing.

 

It’s a very backwards complaints system you have in place. No doubt there is a very good reason for that. 

 

It’s certainly a great way of preventing complaints being submitted or registered. I wonder what Ofcom would have to say about that...

 

Update: I have just phoned up EE to find out why it is taking so long to process the number change via the PAC I submitted to EE two days ago. The advisor asked me to state the PAC again - it sounded like the process hadn’t even been started by EE (cf. Vodafone who processed the number transfer within one day of submission). The transfer back to EE of my original number is now unlikely to take place until Monday morning. Very efficient.

 

Because of the inconvenience and frustration caused by EE over this fiasco, I have now given 30 days notice to cancel one of my other mobile contracts. I will be cancelling the others as soon as I can and taking my business elsewhere.

 

Well done EE - that’s a great way to treat your loyal customers.

by
EE Community Support Team

Re: From EE to EE

Hi @martin451,

 

Did you try the live chat link at the top of the page?

 

Thanks

 

James

by paullemonidis
Visitor

Re: From EE to EE

This is a deliberate tactic by all the networks as far as I can see. Basically in an attempt to get new customers they offer them far cheaper deals than existing customers get. Thus they have created the situation where the cheapest way to upgrade is to drop your current network and switch to a new one. In essence your reward for loyalty is to pay more for less than brand new customers unless you are willing to change your number. So like it or not what you're actually paying extra for is purely the advantage of keeping your current number when you upgrade compared to a new connection. If that is not the definition of an absolute and total rip off I don't know what it is.

by
EE Community Support Team

Re: From EE to EE

Hello there @paullemonidis

 

Have you spoken to our customer service team to see what is available for you?

 

If not, I would certainly suggest giving us a call so we can get this looked into.

 

Thanks, Leanne.

Highlighted
by Bruisah Investigator
Investigator

Re: From EE to EE


@James_Bwrote:

Hi @martin451,

 

I understand your frustration. It's just not technically possible to transfer a mobile number from one active pay monthly plan to another and this isn't unique to the EE network.

 

It's only possible to transfer a mobile number within the same network if it's from pay monthly to pay as you go or vice versa.

 

Thanks

 

James



Hi James,

 

I'm afraid this is simply not true.

 

From a purely technical perspective, porting a mobile number (MSISDN) is a very straightforward process involving a couple of record updates in a couple of core network node databases. Indeed, porting an MSISDN within the *same* mobile network is typically an even easier task (if the MSISDN is originally an EE one, then it really is a simple case of updating two subscriber records within the HLR/HSS(s) involved - trivial).

 

I'm in the same situation - an old EE contract coming to an end, and upgrade options are significantly more expensive, long term, compared with a brand new, but otherwise identical contract.

 

It strikes me that this "can't port within the same MNO" claim is simply a cynical mechanism to dissuade existing (loyal!) customers from trying to take advantage of cheaper deals that are designed to entice new customers away from competitor networks.

 

The end result is that either your loyal customers:

  • pay more than they need to (a bit daft!)
  • give up their existing MSISDN (unnecessary)
  • port out to another network just to port back in (keeps their MSISDN, but is hassle)
  • or simply leave, and join a competitor (good for business?)

Indeed, compare the internal support costs of porting a number within the EE network versus porting a number out, and having to port it back in again later. Efficient and cost effective? I think not...

 

Just my tuppence...

by
EE Community Support Team

Re: From EE to EE

Hi @Bruisah,

 

Welcome to the EE Community.

 

As we've said before, there is no functionality in our customer service systems that allows a number to be transferred from one active pay monthly subscription to another.

 

You can upgrade your EE phone, keeping the same mobile number, via third party dealerships as well as direct with EE. This means you shouldn't be in a situation where you need to port you number out and back in again.

 

Hope this helps.

 

James

by Bruisah Investigator
Investigator

Re: From EE to EE


@James_Bwrote:

Hi @Bruisah,

 

Welcome to the EE Community.

 

As we've said before, there is no functionality in our customer service systems that allows a number to be transferred from one active pay monthly subscription to another.

 

You can upgrade your EE phone, keeping the same mobile number, via third party dealerships as well as direct with EE. This means you shouldn't be in a situation where you need to port you number out and back in again.

 

Hope this helps.

 

James


James,

 

You miss the point that all EE Upgrade contracts (either through EE directly, or through third party re-sellers), are significantly more expensive (to the tune of over a hundred pounds over the contract period), than brand new contracts.

 

The *only* difference between upgrades and net new other than price, is the 'inability' to port EE MSISDNs onto net new EE contracts.

 

The only workaround seems to be temporarily porting externally to another MNO, then porting back (or putting up with losing your MSISDN).

 

There are no technical reasons for this (there may be functionality issues within your BSS stack, but that's a different matter, it is specific to EE, and doesn't inspire confidence in EE's customer service capabilities).

 

From a customer perspective, you have to agree that this appears to be a cynical attempt to guide existing, loyal customers down the 'easier to follow' (though more expensive) upgrade path...

 

If it wasn't for the fact the EE happens to have a rate plan that suits my needs, I'd be off to another network (Three is a close runner-up).

 

As it is, I'll have to go through the port out/port in dance to keep my MSISDN when the time comes, as a new contract is well worth the £100+ savings over an upgrade.

 

On a side note, consider (as I mentioned aerlier) the additional internal costs to EE for customers doing this Out/In porting dance... Exactly who wins in this scenario?...

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