Charging for Priority Customer Support

Share:
EE, the British telecommunications company, recently began offering a new service called Priority Answer that allows customers of its pay monthly and SIM-only plans to pay 50 pence ($0.81 USD) to be moved to the top of the queue for customer service calls when call volumes are high. The new service has created a firestorm in social media and other forums among some customers who are upset about having to pay extra to receive faster support.
Customer Engagement

EE, the British telecommunications company, recently began offering a new service called Priority Answer that allows customers of its pay monthly and SIM-only plans to pay 50 pence ($0.81 USD) to be moved to the top of the queue for customer service calls when call volumes are high. The new service has created a firestorm in social media and other forums among some customers who are upset about having to pay extra to receive faster support.One of the potential drawbacks to offering customers a priority support service is that it can make other customers waiting for support feel undervalued. On the other hand, some customers are willing to pay a premium to save time - so long as they're receiving solid support and have their inquiries resolved effectively.

For its part, EE has stated on its community forum that it still intends to answer all customer calls as quickly as possible and that 60 percent of all calls to its contact centers are answered within seconds.

EE isn't the first company to offer customers the option to pay for priority service. Time Warner Cable and Apple are among companies that have offered customers preferential support for a fee. Many airlines offer customers priority access to security check-in and boarding.

How do you see it? Is it fair for companies to offer customers an option to receive preferential treatment for a fee?

EXPERT OPINION
EXPERT OPINION