Diary… The mystery of the missing £57.43

A bit of amateur detective work must be more fun than flogging mobile phones

Yesterday afternoon my wife Jane and I went to the EE shop in Angel, Islington, to sort out my phone problem.

For some reason I have a legacy credit of £57.43 on my account from the days when EE was T-Mobile. 

This arose because I was originally on a T-Mobile Pay-As-You-Go deal.

But when I came out of hospital on 8 February 2013 after my stroke, we decided a simple Pay Monthly arrangement would be easier to deal with.

So eventually I visited a T-Mobile store in Moorgate and made the switch.

What I didn’t know at the time was that T-Mobile had been taken over by an outfit called EE, or ee!

So far, so dull.

Plot twist 1 Back in time, when I was a plain and simple T-Mobile PayAsYouGo customer, every time we went abroad on holiday I’d buy a top-up T-Mobile ‘Booster’ so I could check the football results on the internet.

This quirk of sporting interest drove me into the holiday habit of regularly replenishing my T-Mobile account with £20 or so to cover the eventuality of the footie Booster in the sunshine.

In short, my T-Mobile account was always in a kind of ’emergency credit’.

Plot twist 2 When my PAYG account morphed into my Pay Monthly deal after my stroke (or so I thought), the ’emergency credit’, which by now had casually accumulated to more than £57, did not move with it. Or so it appears.

The bottom line is that my £57 has been sitting around in an EE account somewhere wondering what to do with itself. For 7 years.

The amount never changed (though it did oddly drop 15p from £57.58 over the 2019 Christmas/New Year holiday) because since that fateful day more than 7 years ago, EE has been automatically deducting a monthly payment from my bank account, and I have been happily on the internet checking football scores whenever the urge took me.

Only now that I want to leave EE for Tesco Mobile, has the mystery been uncovered and the £57.43 legacy money become an issue.

Note the illiteracy of the message pictured above. Angel EE Tom says that the second ‘sentence’, the one that starts with the word internet (lower case i), suggests a redaction has been made.

Luckily he saw the funny side of what looks like a cack-handed attempt to hide something.

We all laughed at the hilarity of it, but Tom was genuinely baffled as to how such a ridiculous oversight could have remained buried for so long.

So he grasped the initiative and referred the issue up to someone at EE Big Office called Patricia, who told Tom that she needed proof of the disputed £57.43.

The cliff So far we’ve heard nothing, so soon we will go back to the EE shop in Angel and bug Tom for a few more hours. 

I suspect he won’t be too bothered. He seemed to enjoy the whole fiasco. A bit of amateur detective work must be more fun than flogging mobile phones.

Like us, he might even be looking forward to the next episode of this exciting saga.

BTW: Even EE staff suffer the tedium of having to navigate the multitude of automated phone menus. Just like the rest of civilisation does.

There is no “Press hashtag 007 to silence the menu woman and speak to a real person” option for them.

◾Read yesterday’s diary.