UPC in tune with customer service
Your consumer queries answered
Alan Fairbrother often sees people complaining about UPC’s service on these pages. He has an alternative view.
“This is the experience I had with them this week,” he writes. “HD box stop working at 8.30pm on Wednesday. I rang them the following afternoon and was left holding for about 20 seconds after going through the options.”
He then spoke with “a guy who tried a few things to try and fix the problem remotely but no luck. He then made arrangements for an engineer to call out on the Friday afternoon between 1pm and 6pm.
“Got a call at 3pm from the engineer that he would be there at 4pm . He arrived at 4pm looked at the box said it can’t be fixed, left a replacement and was gone by ten past four. That’s service.”
It certainly is.
Don't bank on e-statements
A READER CALLED Andrew describes himself as a “long-standing Bank of Ireland customer, no debits, no overdraft, ever, etc”. He is now just a little bit cross.
“I liked using their online service when it finally got going,” he writes. He used it to keep track of accounts, do transfers and other bits and bobs. It was, he says, “all very efficient and saved the cost of travelling to a branch”.
He also gets paper statements as Revenue require them for any audits and they are good for accountant/tracking purposes.
He has recently been encouraged to switch to e-statements “It’s good for the environment,” the bank said. In response he thought, “Well okay, but revenue need paper statements, so I’ll keep mine thanks”.
On the website “you can only see transactions back to last statement. If you try to view more they tell you ‘switch to e-statements’.
But where did my online transactions go? You cant even search the e-statements electronically the way you could back transactions.
“Okay, so maybe I’ll switch to e-statements so I can get back to where I was, viewing my transactions online. But wait, buried in the small print ‘e-statements replace your paper ones, which you will no longer receive’ (unless you pay for them!).
“So now I have to pay for what I had before, or pay to print my statements myself! Meantime, my online transaction view has disappeared.
“This is like hitting me with a sneaky stick to try and save B of I the cost of printing and postage. Boo, hiss. Bad customer service – sneaky price increase.”
Student village defends administration fee
LAST WEEK we carried a complaint from a reader about the deposit for student accommodation required by Corrib Village in Galway.
Before would-be NUI Galway students get their Leaving Cert points, they must register their interest in taking rooms in Corrib Village on the fringes of the university campus and pay a deposit of €250.
If students do not get the required points or decide not to do the course, the deposit is returned minus an administration fee of €100. Our reader thought this policy unfair.
At the time of going to print we were awaiting a response from Corrib Village. It came last week. A spokeswoman pointed out that the Leaving Certificate results were announced on August 15th and CAO offers delivered on August 20th.
“Here in NUI Galway, our residences opened on September 1st as the academic year resumed on September 3rd. This is one of the reasons that first year students and their parents make accommodation arrangements before the announcement of results as the window before the start of term is very limited.”
She said the booking process was comprehensive. “The student’s course choice, preference for sharing and gender are amongst factors considered before deciding on an allocation, payment was processed and during each step of the booking process, e-mail communications issued.
“Obviously there is a cost involved in processing a booking and when deciding on a cancellation charge for this year, cognisance was taken of the work involved together with bank charges, etc.”
She said the company was “very conscious of the difficult economic circumstances which we all find ourselves in and have taken measures to try and accommodate people’s needs on a confidential basis.
“However, we are required to run the residences on a commercial basis, these few weeks are extremely challenging as we trying to manage bookings, maximise occupancy and deal with the concerns of many parents who are sending their children away from home for the first time.
“There is a lot of juggling, some students can be slow to progress bookings which has implications, and when deciding on the non-refundable fee, all aspects were considered.”