Pricewatch: Readers’ queries
This week’s consumer concerns include the unwanted cancellation of Eircom’s eFibre service, and the great hotel deals available to those who do their homework
Our reader’s Eircom eFibre service was cancelled after he tried to get his landline and eFibre bills bundled into one
Untangling reasons Eircom cancelled eFibre service
A reader contacted us “in desperation” after failing to get his eFibre service “uncancelled” over the course of a fortnight. “There is no technical or physical issue,” he writes. “There is no financial issue and we have always paid our bills by standing order.”
His account was cancelled because he tried to get his landline and his eFibre bills bundled into one instead of two bills, he says. “We pay a total of €90 per month based on a recent bill with minimal call charges. We get two bills because of another disaster a year ago when we upgraded to eFibre. We lost our landline and then got somebody else’s landline.”
After many days speaking with different people back then, the couple got their landline back as well as the eFibre upgrade but they came with two rather than one bill. “Since the ‘cancellation’ this time, my wife and I have spent many frustrating days speaking to various people in Eircom’s customer services and technical support teams. We hear about emails they are sending to various colleagues. However, nobody seems to have a clue what the problem is and who can/has the authority to switch us back on. Nobody will take ‘ownership’ of our problem.”
He stresses that this is “not a technical problem and nobody needs to come to our home. We were ‘cancelled’ remotely.
“Applying logic, I have no doubt that we can be ‘uncancelled’ remotely by somebody with authority who cares about customer service.”
We contacted Eircom, and everything is now resolved. A spokeswoman said: “We have been in contact with [our reader], and I can confirm his eFibre service has been restored. We have also applied a credit to his account as a gesture of goodwill and in recognition of the poor customer service experience he had. This is not the type of experience we want our customers to have when attempting to get an issue resolved. We are very sorry for any inconvenience or stress caused.”
Great hotel deals available for those who search
As a retired person, Iarla Mongey says he has a lot of time to search for the best rates for hotels and the flexibility to take advantage of them. “Off-season, sites such as hotels.com are useful, especially if you access their ‘value deals’ and ‘genius deals’ and are flexible – for example, the Salthill and the Connaught Hotels in Galway have quite incredible deals in winter. Both are of a good standard, I have stayed in one and inspected the other on behalf of my retirement club,” he writes.
“At this time of year, as the season is beginning, Discover Ireland launches its ‘saver deals’. While these are useful, far better deals are to be had from Lidl deals on the web. Note that no vouchers or receipts are necessary.
“The best examples of these are an offer for three nights with one meal at the Radisson in Sligo or the Clayton in Galway, both four-star, for €105 per person sharing, both of which I accessed. In the Discover Ireland, they are €159 and €179 respectively.
“Another site, Travelzoo, increasingly includes offers in Ireland, which, when they do not include flights, are very good value. Recently, the Great Western Way made its first foray there, and the rates were better than anything on offer on the home market.”
Why can’t I register online with Russell Hobbs?
In April, Tony Burke bought a Russell Hobbs kettle in Dublin. The instructions that came with it said he could register online, but he was unable to do so as the registration process only accepted UK addresses and phone numbers, and the Irish website shows the message “under construction” and has for the past month.
“In the month since purchase I have sent three query forms through the Russell Hobbs website and two emails to their service department – all resulting merely in a series of ‘do not reply’ acknowledgements promising a response within 10 days.
“I also placed a query on the Russell Hobbs Facebook page, which resulted in the suggestion that I phone the UK. The instructions with the item state that you must register within 28 days – but it would seem to be well nigh impossible to register a Russell Hobbs product purchased in the Republic.”
As our reader says, the Irish site does not work. We are trying to track someone down to help our reader out with the registration process but had not been successful at the time of going to print.