Problems with Eir dominating reader complaints at the moment

Pricewatch: Phone and broadband supplier tops the list for most complaints to us

To say we have been getting a lot of complaints about Eir in recent months would be an understatement. The company is – by far – the one we are getting most correspondence about at the moment.

Here are just some of the stories.

“I have been writing to Eir, without result,” starts the mail from Renee. “On December 22nd, 2017, I phoned Eir to pay my bill for €107.24 from my debit card. It was due to them for my house phone. They deducted the full amount and when I at a later stage checked my account with my bank I noted that they deducted the amount twice.”

When Renee spoke with the numerous staff and went over and over the case, she got nowhere “and was promised return calls which never came. I have written to their customer care team twice without success. I am an old age pensioner. Please can you do something for me to have the matter dealt with.”


Next up was Bernard. “It seems quite unfathomable to me that, given the unquestionable importance of the internet in our daily lives, a consumer can be subjected to a break in service by a broadband provider for merely switching,” his mail begins.

“I ordered a bundle on January 16th, received an order confirmation email on the same day and a welcome email the following day. Apparently, I would receive conformation of my installation date within three working days.”

Bernard was “excited”. But not for long. He did not hear anything from Eir. “I did hear from my former provider Sky on the night of January 23rd advising me that my account had been deactivated. I have had no broadband since. I have been passed from Eir customer care, to open Eir, to the wholesale department to technical support and back to Eir customer care again. The range of different excuses for this “inconvenience” has been “fascinating”, he continues, and marvels at the company’s inability “to take ownership of the issue and provide me with the service I was promised”.

He has complained to Eir, opened a case with ComReg and made a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland and still he has no broadband. “I was informed today that it could take days to resolve the issue – when they agree on what it is, that is.”

Natalie wrote to highlight “an ongoing problem” with her Eir landline. “My phone rings, I answer it and a recorded female voice says: ‘Please dial the number you are calling.’ If I have been out and check my 171 mailbox I get as many as seven recordings saying, ‘Please dial the number you are calling.’ It is now 9.30am and I have got two calls already today. As I have a family member very ill in hospital I have to answer all phone calls. The calls are spasmodic in that I did not get any yesterday, but today looks like it might be busy. I have noticed that I may get a spate of them on two days and then have a few days free and I think it’s fixed.”

Natalie first complained to Eir about this in September. “Since then I have called many times, emailed their complaints department many times, web-chatted and dealt with an engineer who promised to call me back. It is now wrecking my head and I dread the phone ringing.”

We contacted Eir in connection with all these stories – and others that we don’t have space for – and received the following statement: “We have investigated the cases you highlighted and we have spoken directly to the four customers. We will ensure that all outstanding issues are resolved in full to each customer’s satisfaction. We are genuinely sorry that their customer experience has been less than satisfactory.”

On the broader issue of the large number of complaints we get about Eir, the statement said: “Improving customer service levels and advocacy is a key strategic priority for the company. We currently have a dedicated customer service improvement programme under way to identify areas where changes are needed. This programme is spearheaded by the CEO and senior management team.”

Marker manager makes an indelible impression

Last week we carried a good customer service story in connection with Lidl. This week it is the turn of the Marker Hotel in Dublin.

"Last Saturday my partner Pat and myself got tickets to see Beautiful: the Carole King Musical," starts the mail from Barbara Walker. "We went into town early and popped into the Marker for a bite to eat and a nice glass of wine before the show."

So far so what. The couple arrived in plenty of time “and a very nice girl showed us to a table and took our order. A short time later a young girl arrived with our food and first drink. Everything was going really well and the atmosphere was lovely as always. Pat then ordered a second drink and the story begins,” she continues.

“The young girl serving us arrived with a tray full of drinks. I was having a glass of white wine and Pat was having his usual Guinness but, unfortunately, the tray toppled and a large glass of red wine went all over our table, and also on my fur coat which was folded neatly beside me.”

Disaster. But all was not lost.

“The duty manageress saw exactly what happened and she came over immediately and took over the situation. Her name was Silvia and she was so charming and helpful about the whole situation. She apologised so many times and I said to her, ‘Look, don’t worry, it was an accident,’ but she ordered another drink for us, she said there was no bill at all for the food, and she took my fur coat the following day and had it cleaned at the local furriers.”

When Barbara returned for the coat a few days later she was met by Silvia.

“I told her that she was a great asset to the Marker Hotel and that I would like to see her manager to convey this message to him myself. A lovely gentleman came out to me and I explained the whole story. He said it was lovely to get positive feedback because we both agreed that in this day and age people are so quick to complain but not as quick to tell the positive side of things.”