Woman, 78, 'traumatised' after visit to Chichester phone shop

A 78-year-old woman was left 'traumatised' after a visit to a Chichester phone shop, her daughter has said.

Sunday, 27th September 2020, 1:51 pm
Updated Wednesday, 30th September 2020, 10:08 am
East Street Chichester

Wendy Squires, 78, from Hayling Island, was celebrating a friend's 80th birthday in the city when she mistakenly visited East Street's EE store to top up her phone, despite using an O2 mobile.

Wendy's daughter, Vicky Rhodes, from Littlehampton, said: "They took her debit card, took the £20 payment and then took her phone off her and said 'you're not with EE', he then told her to go to a different shop to get her phone unlocked so that she could go back to get credit.

"The guy [at the other shop] refused to do it and said EE really shouldn't be doing this. When she came out of the other shop she was so flustered that she fell on the floor — she feels like she has been robbed."

After going back to EE to get a refund, Wendy was refused.

"She has been traumatised by it. £20 is a lot of money for a pensioner."

Vicky told her mother she would try and resolve the issue because 'it's morally wrong' and after spending 50 minutes on the phone to EE, she spoke to staff who said they would get someone to call. Five hours later, they did.

"Five hours later someone called me and simply said, 'we don't do refunds'.

"I really couldn't believe his attitude."

The annoyance has 'absolutely put her off' buying credit in store again and left septuagenarian Wendy spending an entire weekend 'unable to get out of bed'.

A spokesman for EE said: "‘We’re very sorry to hear about Ms Squire’s experience. All our people are trained to give our customers the best help and advice, particularly the elderly or vulnerable who might need the most support.

"To protect against fraud, top-up vouchers are non-refundable after purchase. This is standard practice across the industry as stores are unable to tell if a voucher has been used when a customer returns with one. We’re sorry for the inconvenience this caused Ms. Squire and have been in touch with her to offer a gesture of goodwill."