Eir’s two fingers to customer service

Minister must ensure ComReg has powers to take action against Eir over ‘appalling’ service

Eir’s customer service was described as ‘totally unsatisfactory’

Eir’s customer service was described as ‘totally unsatisfactory’

 

To tune into the Dáil this week, you’d swear the issue of Eir’s customer service was a new concern. Minister for Communications Eamon Ryan said the telecom group’s customer service was “totally unsatisfactory and something the company is going to have to address”. The regulator, ComReg, would, he said, have to do something about Eir’s “shocking poor performance”.

The comments came as Ceann Comhairle Sean Ó Fearghaíl said Eir’s service was “appalling” and raised “profound questions as to whether ComReg is doing its job”.

It is now more than two years since Eir pulled the plug on its outsourced customer service provider, Indian group HCL over concerns about poor standards.

As far back as February of last year, chief executive Carolan Lennon said one of her “key priorities” was to tackle the group’s reputation for poor customer service. At the time, she said Eir was close to completing the process of bringing its customer service back in-house.

But the complaints just keep piling up. It won’t answer calls, people are kept on hold for hours, calls are dropped, customer agents are rude or unhelpful and, most importantly, fairly routine issues are simply not resolved.

Moolah

Customer service has been a contradiction in terms at Eir for many years. Over that time, in practical terms, ComReg has done the sum total of zilch.

As Independent TD Mattie McGrath said of Eir only a few months ago: “There is no interest in serving the public, all they want is the moolah.”

After McGrath’s denunciation, ComReg said it had been in contact with Eir. It had finally, it appears, become aware of “a noticeable increase in the number of contacts from Eir customers who are having difficulty contacting the company and/or resolving their specific issue”.

That seems to have been as far as it went, and as this week’s Dáil comments make clear, nothing has changed in the interim.

If the Minister is aware of something ComReg should be doing, he should ensure it acts: if it cannot, the Minister should ensure he puts powers in place so that it can or will. Pious statement in the chamber count for nothing with beleaguered customers.

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