How Will My EE Services Be Affected By BT’s Purchase?
EE customers may be wondering what the future holds for their accounts after the recent acquisition by telecoms giant BT. They finalised a deal last week to the tune of £12.5 billion that would see them take over EE, the most used mobile phone network in the United Kingdom.
It will surely leave EE customers wondering how their accounts will change and what they can perhaps expect in the future. If that is the case, don’t worry, we have all the answers for you.
So, what happened between EE and BT exactly?
Described as a major milestone for BT, the telecoms giant has bought out EE in a £12.5 billion deal. It will see BT return to the mobile phones market and allow them to rival Virgin as a quadplay provider – supplying broadband, mobile, landline and television packages. It will help strengthen BT’s business – a fact already demonstrated by its 4.5 per cent share jump.
What changes can I expect from EE and BT?
BT will integrate many of its services with EE’s to offer broadband, fixed line and television services to those who aren’t already subscribed at a reduced cost.
Similarly, BT customers will likely be offered deals for mobile phone tariffs. This will bring both companies closer to what is currently being done by the likes of Virgin who offer bundle services.
When might these take effect?
You won’t be seeing any changes for quite a while. Although the deal has been finalised there are still several stages left before a full integration takes place between EE and BT. Shareholders are both companies still have to approve the move and the Competitions And Markets Authority have yet to have made a decision.
It could be as late as next year when changes start to occur.
How will prices change now BT is taking over EE?
The consumer advice group Which? has expressed some concerns over precisely this issue. The chief executive said that bundling their services together makes it difficult for customers to determine how their service compare with competitors.
How have things changed a year on from the acquisition?
February 2016- acquisition completed
BT sealed the merger with EE back in February this year. However, it has ruled out getting rid of the EE brand, which means that we will still see EE stores and those annoying adverts starring Kevin Bacon. The merger means BT now has a 35% share of the telecoms market.
The Chief Executive Gavin Patterson said that the acquisition was ‘great news’ for shareholders, customers and the UK as a whole, as the two companies will continue to ‘invest and innovate’. He said that the company will create a multi brand, where customers will be able to choose from a mixture of BT, EE and Plusnet services, to pick the one which suits them best.
There will also be a new company structure, with the business being divided into six sectors: Consumer, EE, Business and Public Sector, Global Services, Wholesale and Ventures and Openreach.
What does it mean for customer service?
In their fields, BT and EE are both ranked worst for customer service. Ofcom notes BT’s performance to be ‘significantly lower than average’, with the brand performing lower than average in factors such as speed and ease of getting through to the appropriate person, time taken to handle queries and offering compensation.
Previously, the company had admitted that they struggled to cope with the influx of customer service calls following the launch of BT Sport.
Are price rises on the way?
BT paid £12.5 billion to acquire EE, so the shortfall has to be made up somewhere. It’s said that some of it will be paid by shares, but the company will still need to find around £7 billion. BT has said that it expects to make savings from cuts to several services such as the IT department, as it has recently centralised this service. However, a Barclays analyst has valued the cuts at around £5 billion and is estimating that subscribers may have to pick up the rest of the bill.
Will it be harder to change networks?
A side effect of the deal is ‘reducing churn’ aka the amount of customers who leave a service. For example, if you have a quad play contract (TV, broadband, mobile and landline) but you are unhappy with the broadband, it will become more difficult for you to switch broadband providers, whilst keeping your other services.