Pricewatch: readers’ queries

Unsatisfactory customer service is making readers see red

Bank of Ireland, College Green, Dublin. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Bank of Ireland, College Green, Dublin. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien


That’s your queue: unhappy with life in the slow lane

A cross reader from Roscommon writes: “It seems that in Ireland today the least important person is the customer when it comes to so-called services.”

He gives two examples. “Last Tuesday I went to Bank of Ireland on College Green to get a bank draft for €100. I went into the Trinity branch there, as it was empty. A woman asked whether my account was with them. I said no, it was at the Baggot Street branch. She advised me to go to the main office.”

So he did. There was “a long queue, as expected. I queued for the inevitable age and as I neared the top I noticed an employee of the bank working her way along the queue inquiring what services customers were seeking.”

By the time she got to our reader he was at the head of the queue. “She told me the bank no longer gave drafts for less than €500. I should go to the post office, she said. I advised her that customers seemed to be of no interest to the banks any more and left.”

He went to An Post across the road on St Andrew’s Street.

“There was a queue of mostly tourists, as usual, from the information office across the road. It just grew and grew, in sweltering heat. I estimated there were at least 30 people. Meanwhile, of the 13 counters, just five were staffed. This at a busy time of what are always busy days in that post office at this time of year.

“Just as striking was the leisurely pace at which customers were served. We who keep these shows on the road, whether as taxpayers or customers, would appear to be of least significance where so-called service providers are concerned. And that seems to apply as much in the private as in the public sector.”

Aircoach no-show made worse by unanswered mails

Another complaint about customer care comes from Brigid Greene. “On July 27th, I left two house guests at the Dalkey Aircoach bus stop to return to the UK, using the return ticket they had bought on arrival in Dublin,” she writes.

“The bus was due at 7pm but it never arrived. My guests then rang the company, but received no reply, so they had to call me.

“By using the toll bridge and tunnel at my expense, I managed to get them to the airport to catch their flight,” she says.

When she got home she emailed Aircoach, which acknowledged her complaint and promised to investigate and get back to her.

“This they have never done. I will not recommend this service to visitors in the future.”

A phone fix that requires all data to be lost

Betty Kavanagh is cross with phone repair companies.

“Whenever I go on to my mobile phone provider with a problem with my phone, it has to be sent away and I’m warned that all the data will be lost,” she writes.

“I recently brought my iPhone in to have the screen repaired and was told that it would cost about €180 – I can’t be sure on that figure – and that it would lose all the data.

“My kids told me to bring it to a fix-it guy, who replaced the screen for €80, kept all my data intact and did it while I waited,” she says.

Last week her son brought his phone in to be repaired, “and he was told exactly the same thing. Send it away, costly, and lose all the data.”

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