back to article It's not you, it's EE: UK mobile network goes titsup, blames gremlins

Brits on the UK cell network EE are reporting dodgy connections, delayed text messages and other problems tonight. Some users are unable to make calls even though they have a full signal strength showing on their mobiles. According to handy uptime monitoring website, most of the complaints are coming in from …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Any help from EE?

    My wife and I are both on EE (although technically she's still on Orange). When my phone went down I checked hers and it was fine.

    So I assumed it was my phone. Tried to phone EE from landline and came up number not recognised. Then tried 150 from my wifes phone, went through the options and was told "we are very busy, please call back tomorrow".

    How hard is it for these people to put a notice on their website or put a recorded message in place explaining the outage for the people who do get through.

    What they did end up doing was tweeting a picture of a Gremlin (from the films) on their Twitter feed.

    Thanks lads, good work. While you were wasting time googling for pictures you could steal, you could have been doing a proper status update for your website!

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Any help from EE?

      This seems to be the norm anywhere. Here in the States, sometimes the call center folks are appraised of the issue and are actually surprised that the call volume suddenly jumped. It takes them about an hour or so before the "official" word comes through about the outage. Even then, the website(s) never get updated.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Any help from EE?

      The same EE that notifies me of missed calls that have never rung me?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Testing customer service and corporate attitude

    The wonder of the modern digital age, this outage hits the public arena quite quickly and the test for the company won't be how quick they fix the issue, but how good and timely their public response is.

    Just updating social media is not enough, all their channels should be saying the same message.

    1. kevjs

      Re: Testing customer service and corporate attitude

      Indeed - even my local bus operator is able to simultaneously update Facebook, Twitter, and their website - if they can do it why can't the UK's largest mobile phone operator?

  3. andyb2000

    Not very impressive. My service is working here in the North-East but since Monday I cannot download or view any of my billing information via the EE website. Today it's given up completely and either immediately rejects the HTTPS connection, or rejects with "SORRY... SITE UNDER MAINTENANCE"

    Not good timing since I'm at renewal time

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Billing information has been broken for days - they just won't admit it. I reported it and "Paul" in their "customer services" section deleted my online account as it "had an error on it". So created a new one but of course it didn't fix the problem.

      EE just seem to be totally incompetent / inept when it comes to customer support.

  4. Ommerson

    That their website was totally hosed as well at one point (outright refusing connections), and that they don't have network status page is piss-poor.

    Achieving a robust network status page is not hard: static content on a cloud service such as AWS, with a different domain name (just in case somebody forgets to renew the domain name, or an attack of DNS poisoning).

  5. kfmr

    Rubbish All round after 15yrs!

    I've been having these issues for 7 weeks now and EE have stooped low enough to not even have a record of my calls and asking for 5 examples of this happening, on two occasions they haven't even noted down the examples, after several hour long phone calls every week, its still the same. Their customer service is abysmal and so is the network and still no light at the end of the tunnel, even told I couldnt complain at one point! Never been so angry as a consumer in my life!!!!!

    1. AlbertH

      Re: Rubbish All round after 15yrs!

      Orange used to have somewhat patchy countryside coverage, but calls were generally possible. The amalgamation with T-Mobile has reduced connectivity radically (their 4G service is mostly hot air), their customer service (great when they were Orange) has become unusable, and they've put the bills up!

      The sooner this joke of a company collapses, the better.

      Sadly, O2 have serious coverage issues, and Vodafone are incredibly expensive for a sub-O2 service.

      When can we get a proper, truly ubiquitous, high quality, reasonably priced service? Mobile telephony should be a "licence to print money" if done properly!

  6. Borg.King

    Nothing Nowhere?

    <letters required, apparently>

  7. Andy Barker

    Fine in Hertfordshire

    I'm actually using my t-Mobile phone as a hotspot at home due to Virgin having a network outage around here... Guess we are both lucky and unlucky at the same time!

  8. Bunnie

    EE not working in the north west Cumbria

    Its been on off here for the past 2-3 phone has no reception :( gutted coz came off O2 because was having the same issue with them last year!

    How long will this go on for :(

  9. Bunnie

    Still no EE in the North West Cumbria

    Really unhappy as came off O2 for this last year in total spent over a month without service move to EE ....& now the last 2-3 days its been on & off & is now been off a while ...,,how long will this go on for now??? Gutted

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: Still no EE in the North West Cumbria

      I don't usually like to do the "you don't know how lucky you are" bit, but what you are describing is my usual level of Orange/EE service in Dundee. Some days I'm lucky to get any reliable signal. I've been with Orange for years (last contract was entered into whilst in the Midlands, with a brilliant service all the time), but when renewal comes in October, I will be looking for another service unless I get some sort of satisfaction from them.

      Edit: No 4G - never even see 3G unless I'm in a completely different area (Edinburgh seems to be the closest).

      1. Rob Crawford

        Re: Still no EE in the North West Cumbria

        If you are in Dundee don't bother with O2 (and more so with Giff Gaff) as the only service my daughter finds reliable there is 3

  10. Tom Wood

    Back here

    I rebooted my phone and it came back to life; writing this over 4G.

    It's 7:15am so your 7:45am update apparently hasn't been written yet though...

  11. JohnMurray

    I'm on EE via virgin mobile.

    I'm surprised anyone noticed anything abnormal, the level of service is pretty poor anyway.

  12. Volvic

    EE? More like FA-A

  13. xpz393

    Business as usual, then.

    Unable to make calls or send texts despite having a signal, and incoming calls going straight through to voicemail is 'business as usual' for most of our poor users since they were moved from Vodafone to EE.

    The recent Rootmetics test trumpeting EE as most reliable is at huge odds with our day to day experience as a coprorate customer.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Network goes titsup? Really?

    A lot of commentards obviously not happy with EE, but actually only two of them relate to last nights outage. Given the number of EE subscribers out there, it doesn't seem like it was affecting too many of them. The 4 connections in my house were all ok.

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: Network goes titsup? Really?

      I lost all access to the 3G and 2G EE networks on my phone in West Somerset (there is no 4G service there), which is on a 4GEE plan. Strangely, my old Palm Treo with an Orange prepay sim in it connected to the 2G network without problems.

      Repeated attempts to register the phone on any of the 4 EE networks visible there failed.

      From this information, I think it must have been a problem with the access keys or identity for 4G enabled SIM cards, because my 4G phone could see the network, but could not connect to it.

      It was working OK at 06:30 this morning when I checked.

      If you are wondering why I have a 4G plan in an area without 4G coverage, I got this phone call from EE offering me an upgrade at a significant discount if I switched from my 3G Orange plan to a 4G EE one. Saved me about £5 per month (on a £25 contract!), and gives me more data and texts. Would be better if it worked, though (they screwed up the port between the networks as well).

      I think the upgrade offer had something to do with them trying to build up their customer base to claim they are the largest 4G network.

  15. beddo

    South Cumbria - no signal all evening

    I had no signal all evening yesterday. Rebooting did not help.

    I turned my phone off overnight & it came back on fine this morning.

    Re the AC that mentioned missed call notifications. This seems to be very common. I believe the technical reason is that calls still come through on 3G so your phone has to drop out of 4G in order to receive it and something goes wrong along the way.

    I never hadcalls dropping straight to voicemail before we went to 4G though it happens very regularly now. I'd be interested to see a reg article studying whether dropping back to 3G is in fact this issue & whether it is related to the type of phone or purely on the network side.

    (Google Nexus 5 here)

    1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: South Cumbria - no signal all evening

      Ask, and Vulture Central's backroom gremlins shall provide...

      Why 4G voice calls are dog toffee - at first.

  16. auburnman

    All the networks seem to be bloody awful at doing anything nowadays. If it's anything that can't be done without phoning customer services you are buggered. They have been spoiled for far too long with public acceptance of long-term lock in contracts.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. peteste1

        And you're not even bothering to disguise your affiliate link *sigh*

        1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

          A tree fell in the night.

  17. ExRLCBod

    I got hit

    The outage hit me in Birmingham - 6pm till 6:03am

    Its the first problem I have had with EE and the only criticism I have is the lacklustre communication from EE.

    Yes, their twitter feed was alive, but it was the same apology time after time, with a couple of funny pictures, no new information handed out and it stopped around 10pm

    bullhorn - well, it was a way to communicate

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I got hit

      Why don't these people have a service status page?

      Remember the old days of a Demon dial up connection and seeing the status message as you logged in (which told you what was broken today).

      A simple web page listing network issues would be really helpful, but the suits would never allow it.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Glad I s**t-canned them, then.

    Well, it's good to feel vindicated in my decision of 12 or so years ago never to touch One2One or its successors with a 300ft bargepole.

    Why ??

    I was abroad (on business) in the Indian sub-continent. My phone stopped working. Got hold of a landline, got through to customer services. To be told I'd hit my credit limit, and yes they had tried to contact me to tell me and to take a payment. Not by phoning, texting or emailing, they hadn't. Oh yes we have, sir. So I cleared my balance (£450 or so) there and then via debit card. Asked them what my credit limit was for future reference. Oh no Sir, we can't tell you that. Well then, if you ever cut me off again in this fashion, I'll terminate my service with you and never come back.

    Two years later, guess what. Exactly the same sequence of events, but with a different conclusion. I terminated with them and have never gone back. And never will.

    And it seems frmo comments here they still can;t get customer service right. In comparision, I've been (generally) most impressed with O2, and also Gamma resellers.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "..users are unable to make calls even though they have a full signal strength"

    This sounds like an average day for us on the EE network in central London. We ported our business connections from Vodafone to EE middle of last year, and I can clearly remember during trials one of our senior managers telling me that "they can't be any worse that Vodafone". Oh how wrong he was!

  20. Rob Crawford

    The story I have heard is below

    The mobile reseller Ovivo closed down yesterday without notice <<< Danger Sign

    Apparently they where using EE as their provider and when they shutdown their kit it buggered up EE

    I lost service somewhere around 19:00 and found that I had service again around 07:00 this morning, though I was blaming a faulty SIM card (due to EE having no obvious status page) as my wifes phone/SIM (T-Mobile) continued to work regardless (yes I exchanged SIM cards and the fault followed the card)

    As I'm just outside Belfast I suspect the issue was more to do with routes to wherever the authentication servers exist rather than the actual mobile network

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The story I have heard is below

      Nope. Ovivo used Vodafone.

      1. Rob Crawford

        Re: The story I have heard is below

        Ah well that adds to the huge pile of absolute bollocks i hqve heard today (on several subjects)

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So that's NN then?

    Nothing nowhere?

  22. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

    Text received

    I've just received a text from EE (well, actually my phone shows it as an 'Unknown Sender') that apologises, and says you may need to reboot the phone to get it working.

    It's good to know that anybody who has a phone that is not working will receive this text so they know to reboot.

    Oh! Wait a minute......

  23. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge

    So cruel

    I was on a train and I couldn't tell anyone.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here's what I think happened

    A) the 4g network was upgraded via a software change, this was the speed doubling upgrade

    B) the upgrade un expectedly knocked out everything not just 4g

    C) the fix required a network settings change that only a phone reboot would detect

    D) the network appeared to be down longer than it was because people were not rebooting and we're simply enabling airplane mode or something similar.

    I can report that post upgrade that 4g devices will now download at 54mbit rather than half that speed with uploads in the 34mbit region. My speedtest just now 'pinned the needle'.

    This was a massive 4g speed boost upgrade and Ee should stick their hand up about why they did it.

    1. Rob Crawford

      Re: Here's what I think happened

      Fraid not my phone got many reboots last night along with sim card changes etc and no joy.

      Phone was left to charge about 2:30 and at 7:00 connectivity had returned (without a further reboot) at the time I thought I had a duff sim and didn't trust it. It wasn't until I phoned EE that I found out it was the network itself

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Here's what I think happened

      I rebooted my phone several times between 6pm and going to bed at 1am. It never once connected. So your theory is incorrect.

  25. Simon Harris Silver badge

    Just received a text

    EE just sent a text to my EE phone apologising for the fault and suggesting that if my phone's not working I should try turning it off and on again.

    Err... EE, if my phone's not working, how am I going to get the text to tell me how to get it to work?

  26. John 61

    EE still down in South Manchester

    As of 3.00 PM it was still down (according to work colleagues); my Orange phone was and still is working, although the signal is weak and I was near Virgin Media.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Text message

    12 hours after the service was restored, EE sent me a text to say that I may need to reset my phone to be able to get mobile reception again.

    Just think about that for a second.

  28. Piro

    No problems noticed for me

    Have a t-mobile SIM.

    Then again, I very rarely text.

  29. EssEll

    God help me... company has just announced they're switching over to EE. Should I start looking for a new job?

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