Bacon inflation reaches 3,500%

25 Jun 2018  |  John Lowery 
Bacon inflation reaches 3,500%

John Lowery decodes EE's absurd justification for its price inflation

Remember the EE ad in which Kevin Bacon told us: “You want a slice of Kevin Bacon? Well here’s how you get some. You ‘bacon-up’ to a new network that’s designed not just for your mobile life but for your whole digital life.”

For the masochists out there, it can be found here.

Three months ago, I ‘baconed-up’ to a new EE mobile contract.

Two months later I received a letter explaining that the cost of using some charges outside of my price plan were going to increase after June 25. You can see the increases below:

The cost per minute of a call to Ireland has increased by 100% in 3 months.

I feel as though that needs to be spelled out in full: One Hundred Percent in Three Months.

Not all the increases are quite so dramatic but let’s imagine I was trying to get ‘a slice of Kevin Bacon’ and I had to use five international calls (to each of the zones above) and send one final text to get hold of my rasher.

When I signed my new contract, it would have cost me £6.65. From June 25, it will cost £9.05. That’s an eye-watering increase of 36%, made considerably more lachrymal if you consider that price inflation over that period will amount to less than 1%.

You’ve already done the maths, I know, but that makes EE’s charge for ‘a slice of bacon’ 3,500% (Three thousand, five hundred percent) above the rate of inflation.

On further perusal of the letter, I alighted upon the final paragraph:

Let’s unpack that sentence by sentence.

“We do try to keep our prices changes to a minimum.”

How is +3,500% a minimum?

“We’re investing £1.5million in our network every day so that we can give you the very best 4Gspeeds in more places across the UK.”

That’s a bit like going into Tesco on Ladbroke Grove in search of a packet of streaky and discovering a massive price hike with a disclaimer that the company has just built a new store in Croydon. And I’m paying for it.

Moreover, the £1.5m/day doesn’t seem to have reached all of London W10 yet. There are parts of it where I can’t get a signal of any kind, let alone 4G.

“We’re ensuring we now answer all calls from our pay monthly customers in our UK and Ireland call centres.”

What did you do before, just hang up? Or did they used to be answered in India? If so, what’s wrong with that, as long as the person on the other end of the phone can explain your price rises more convincingly?

You’ll see the letter was signed by someone called Mark Carberry - ‘Director of Consumer Operations’. The operation he’s performing involves taking a slicer to the consumer’s wallet and extricating increasingly crispy amounts of money; presumably to invest in EE’s slice of Kevin Bacon.


John Lowery is a marketing consultant who has worked both agency and client side

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SimonMorris, Advertising creative., TBWA on 25 Jun 2018
“The thing I don't understand is, (and there's lots of things I don't understand,) but you have to sign a contract. But it's not really a contract because they can change it whenever they want yet you have to pay. Surely any change in the contract nullifies the deal?”
MIKEMCKENNA, CREATIVE PARTNER, SMOKE & MIRRORS on 25 Jun 2018
“Perhaps Bernie Maddoff (who Mr Bacon lost all his money to) is the CFO at EE?”

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