Don’t let Power struggles deter innovation


EE is recalling all 1.4 million Power Bars due to safety issues, but the industry must not be turned away from launching similar innovative products 

When EE’s Power Bar scheme launched in April, it proved once again why the mobile operator was one step ahead in the innovation stakes with a smart and beneficial idea.

So much so that it ran out of stock within 24 hours, with EE not able to take more requests until mid- June, proving just how immediately popular the product was to consumers. In fact, it’s fair to say it was one of the most innovative customer initiatives this industry has ever seen.

But just two months later, EE was forced to withdraw a batch of 500,000 Power Bars after reports of them overheating and catching fire.

It would be very easy to criticise the company for this and claim that it put consumers’ safety at risk and dented its own reputation through this, but this should not be the case.

EE handled the situation very well, effectively communicating the problem and what to do next to customers via text message and social media, and also offering a £20 voucher to spend on accessories for those returning them.

EE was also vocal about how it planned to resolve the situation, sending the affected batch for stress-testing in Sweden, with CEO Olaf Swantee giving the all-clear to them in October following strenuous stress tests.

Now it is recalling all 1.4 million Power Bars after another reported two incidents showed they could still be prone to overheating.

Remember, this has come at a cost of around £20 million for EE, just because of seven incidents, but its decision has been the correct one.

Let’s hope this doesn’t deter other mobile operators from launching similar innovative products and services of this type in the future.