Earlier this year EE started to offer its customers a 2600mah Power bar to help them keep their devices charged on the go. To be eligible you need to have been with EE for at least 3 months and send a texts costing just 35p.
All this sounds like a great idea in theory, after all everyone loves a freebie don’t they? Well unfortunately it’s not quite that simple. Although at first glance it looks like EE are offering a great little power bank in return for a 35p text message. When in fact it turns out that customers are actually just hiring the power bank out for an 18 month period. When reading through the Terms & Conditions you can see quite clearly that the unit is just on loan
“2.3 A Power Bar is made available to you on a free to hire basis, under the terms of this agreement, for a maximum of 18 months. After 18 months, the Power Bar must be returned to EE and the Service will end”
EE may have busy customer service lines as the first wave of users come to the end of their 18 month agreement, especially since EE plan on charging customers £5 if they do not return the unit within 60 days after the hire term has ended.
"2.7 When this agreement expires or terminates (for mobile or broadband customer this will happen automatically if you chose to cancel your agreement with us for mobile or broadband services), you must return the Power Bar to an EE store within 60 days. If you don’t you’ll have to pay a charge to compensate us for replacing the Power Bar. Currently this is £5. For mobile and broadband customers, this will be applied to your bill. If you’re not an existing customer, we’ll contact you using the information supplied to us when you joined EE Power and we’ll issue a bill for the cost of replacing the Power Bar that has not been returned."
While all the advertisements looked great, I feel it was never clear that the power bank was in fact on loan. Many people regarded the device as a generous freebie, although this doesn’t mean that it’s not worth claiming one. The T&Cs just takes the shine off the whole thing. It is of course always worth reading the terms and conditions of any deal you enter into, but I do feel many people would have skipped them due to the prospect and excitement of a freebie.