I recently switched to a new mobile phone contract, using the mobile phone comparison site BillMonitor. The contract recommended for me was through an intermediary called e2save.com. It’s a SIM-only t-mobile contract which will save me about £14 a month. So far, so good. I gave my direct debit details (and endless other details) and that was that.
But a few hours later, e2save texted me. Could I contact them regarding my order? I rang the number (0871 521 1420) and immediately heard a recorded message telling me it would cost me 10p a minute from my landline, then a second message saying the average waiting time would be 12 minutes.I hung up.
Let’s recap. They want to get in touch with me because they have a query. But instead of ringing me, they text me and ask me to ring them. Fair enough – it lets me return the call at my convenience. But I rang back immediately and still couldn’t get through. So they’re sending texts asking people to ring them, at a time when they know people will have to wait before they can speak to anyone, while paying for the privilege.
Also, I have no idea why they want to speak to me. I tried to reply to the text but replying was disabled.
A few minutes after the text arrived, I got an email.
Your order is currently being processed, however we need to check some final details with you before it can be despatched.
As we want to get your order out as soon as possible we’ll try to contact you on the numbers you have provided to us. However if it's easier you can contact us in one of the following ways:
- Calling our dedicated processing team on 0871 521 1434, our office hours are Monday - Friday 9am until 8pm (Tuesday 10am until 8pm) & Saturday 9.30am until 6pm
The intelligent reader will note that after the words “one of the following ways”, only one way is listed.
The email they sent me said at the bottom:
Please do not respond directly to this email as it's automatically generated and you will not receive a reply from us.
Go to the e2save website and you will find the same total absence of contact details. The “Customer Service” section of the site is the same as the “Helpdesk” section of the site. It’s just an FAQ page with no way to contact the company.
Here’s the situation:
- e2save has contacted me in two different ways to tell me that it needs to communicate with me.
- e2save has chosen not to give me any hint as to what it needs to communicate with me about.
- e2save has set things up so I can’t reply to the text or email I’ve been sent.
- My only option for getting in touch is to pay 10p/minute without knowing how long I’ll have to wait on hold, how long the call will take or whether or not the call is even necessary.
- If I don’t make that expensive call, I may not get the new SIM card and contract I’ve ordered.
What would you do?
When I got the message this morning saying “thanks for your order”, I thought the whole thing was done and dusted and the SIM card was in the post. I have an instinctive aversion to any company or any person who reopens an issue after I think it’s finished with, because I like to MOVE ON.
I also have a huge instinctive aversion to companies who set up one-sided communication, contact-harvesting the hell out of me without providing a scrap of contact info for themselves.
My next move: Twitter. Even the most contact-avoidant company often has a social media presence (one that they might not even need if it was easier to get in touch with them).
I asked them to tell me what they need to know, or ring me on the number they already have for me.
The e2save Twitter account responded within minutes, asking me to fill in a webform:
As far as I can tell, this webform isn’t findable anywhere on the site – you have to already know the URL for it. So it’s purely for people who are persistent enough to contact them on social media, I guess.
The webform, like many webforms, required me to choose a category for my query. My actual query didn’t fit any of the categories – how could it, when I still have no idea what they were contacting me about? I pointed this out on Twitter but they are still insisting that I use the webform.
So my choice is to do nothing. If e2save really need to contact me that badly, they could...y’know....actually contact me. Actually use my mobile phone number to ring me, instead of sending a text I can’t reply to. Actually send me an email explaining what this is about, from an address I can reply to.
Maybe, by waiting, I’ll find out if they really do need an answer to this (still unspecified) query before they can go ahead and take my money using the direct debit I’ve already set up.