What would you do if you called up the customer service line for your mobile phone operator and a voice offered you an immediate service if they could charge your bill 50p, or waiting for an available operator as a free alternative?
In many cases people in a hurry will just add the fee to their bill, but is it right to offer this kind of queue-jumping service? EE has just introduced this measure and they argue that the additional cash generated is going to be ploughed back into improving the service offered.
I am usually in favour of service providers offering a premium option that can be accessed by paying an additional fee. It allows customers the choice to opt for a better service if they are prepared to pay a little extra, but in this case I’m not so sure.
In this example, someone with a critical issue who does not opt for the priority service will wait far longer for help than someone with a trivial issue who has paid for the upgrade. It doesn’t seem fair and if the wait times are not acceptable then surely the focus should be on improving service levels for all customers?
What do you think? Is it fair to charge extra for faster service and would you pay? Leave a comment here or tweet me on @simondillsworth.
Photo by Bart Maguire licensed under Creative Commons