This week saw two important announcements from EE both relating to the popular Power Bar (the external rechargeable battery that the network give away free of charge to EE customers.)
EE have said that there is a faulty batch of Power Bars which are subject to an immediate recall and (probably) as a consequence of this, they have stopped the release of Power Bars to customers. We understand that this is only a temporary measure at this time.
About the Power Bar Recall
On Wednesday 5th August I received a text message from EE detailing that there was a problem with a batch of Power Bars. Specifically, there was a range of Power Bars that were marked E1-06 (see image) that are at risk of overheating.
The message read –
Important safety issue: In a very small number of cases EE Power Bars marked E1-06 have been overheating. Find out what to do with yours at www.ee.co.uk/recall
It is understood to be a batch of over 500,000 units and there has already been a report of an injury sustained as a result of a faulty Power Bar in this batch.
If you have a Power Bar from this batch you should go to your nearest EE shop and return the unit back to them. Their advisory page at http://ee.co.uk/power-bar-recall states that EE will offer a new Power Bar when the new batch is available but we believe that EE are offering a £20 voucher to spend on accessories in store as a gesture of goodwill.
EE followed up with another text to users that had applied for a Power Bar but had not yet got their unit –
Power Bar update: We’ve temporarily suspended the EE Power Bar programme. Your 35p will be refunded and we will contact you when we restart.
So from the above text it does seem that EE do plan to continue offering Power Bars at some point in the future.
PR Own Goal by EE?
They say all publicity is good publicity and even though we are talking about a product recall which is never a good thing for a company, we are still seeing vast amounts of publicity for EE in the press.
The original idea to offer the Power Bar free of charge was a masterstroke by EE as Power Bars are cheap to produce, they help to increase the usability of ever power hungry mobile devices, they tie users into EE through the Power Bar hire agreement which means if you leave EE you would need to return the device and the goodwill generated by offering a genuinely useful “freebie” cannot be understated.