EE TV: You won't own it and you might not want to

ee We told you about EE's new fancy TV box gizmo, which they think is the bee's knees. They love it so much that you're not actually allowed to have one for keeps.

See, if you're thinking of getting EE's TV service, you won't be owning their set-top boxes, rather, you'll have one on loan and you'll have to return it to the company at the end of your contract. Seems a bit of a faff and something that might put some people off applying for one.

A press statement said: "Worth £300, the EE TV smart box is free for new and existing EE mobile customers who also subscribe to EE Broadband plans of £9.95 a month or above, delivering even greater value to EE's 25 million customers."

That £300 valuing seems to have made EE think; 'We're not bloody giving you 300 sheets! We want our stuff back if you're done with it, thanks.'

In EE's terms and conditions, they say that the box "will remain our property at all times. We provide you with free hire of the set-top box so you can receive content."

The contract conditions add further: "If you cancel your television Service (whether that's during or after the expiration of the minimum term), you will need to return the set-top box to us."

“If you fail to return it to us within fourteen (14) days, then in addition to any fee payable for early termination of your plan, we may also charge you the cost of the set-top box as set out in our Price Guide and lock the services provided on the box, including pause, record, rewind, replay, restart, multi screen and catch up services."

“If we lock your box, you will only be able to watch the free to view channels."

That all said, Virgin Media do something similar to this, but Sky, BT and TalkTalk let their customers keep theirs, presumably under the impression that by keeping the boxes, it might allow them to woo you back into their service again if you walk away.

EE's t&cs show that their box isn't too great with regards to their Replay feature. Having a nosey around, they say: "Set your box to record your six favourite channels. Replay means you'll have an extra day to watch whatever has been on your favourite channels." An extra day? Pah. The terms also say: "Replay is currently only available to record standard definition (“SD") channels and high definition (“HD") channels are excluded. The box will not record between the hours of 3am and 5am so anything airing partially or fully between these times will not be recorded."

No recording Babestation for you.

They continue: "You will only be able to select six channels from two pre-defined groups. This may result in not all of your favourite six channels being available for this feature. The allocation of channels into groups is outside our control, and is dictated by Freeview channel allocation."

So there you have it. Things to consider if you're looking at getting on-board with EE's television service.


  • jaffacake
    This works both ways - if the set-top decoder box belongs to you, you'll get a year's guarantee period, after which if the box breaks you have to buy/negotiate a new one from your provider. If the box is only on a free hire, and something goes wrong with it AT ANY TIME then it's up to EE to fix things for you at their cost.
  • OlPeculier
    I've just had somebody on the phone trying to say if I want it I will need to extend my broadband contract to 18 months. Not sure if that's true as I was also told the box would record HD. Think I'll sit on this one for a while.
  • Malc
    A press statement said: “Worth £300, the EE TV smart box is free for new and existing EE mobile customers who also subscribe to EE Broadband plans of £9.95 a month or above A misleading press statement as so far existing customers have had to sign up to an 18 month contract at extra cost so how can they write that it is free!!???
  • richard
    @jaffacake In theory maybe, but realistically if you're sky box breaks down outside of warranty then you're probably also out of contract anyway, in which case you phone up and say you're leaving unless they give you a new one :-P
  • Noghar
    When I moved house Virgin gave me a new TiVo for the new house, and didn't bother taking the old one back... I doubt EE would bother collecting the old one, they're just covering themselves. Remember the fuss about On Digital? No you don't because you're twelve.
  • Carl
    @Noghar I have had similar experience with Virgin. I have three of their boxes sat in my shed!

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