Reader calls herself ‘a plagued Eir customer’ - she’s not exaggerating

Reader Query: Her Eir broadband was useless so she tried to cancel - then the real frustration began

 

A “plagued Eir customer” by the name of Joanne Hilary contacted us with what she described as a “tale of woe” but what we could call a stress-filled nightmare without end. And we’re only slightly exaggerating.

“In a nutshell, I got an Eir bundle in September 2016. I was moving into an apartment in Dún Laoghaire and needed internet and TV,” the email starts. “There were no problems setting it up and when I moved again six months later I quite easily called the move home department. I moved to Cabra and again I was able to use good speeds and I had home phone (I didn’t need it but they said it came with the bundle).”

Because her landlord sold the apartment quite quickly she had to move again with little notice. “We moved in [to an apartment near the Phoenix Park] at the end of July 2017 and they don’t support fibre [broadband] in the new address, we were told. That wasn’t great news but there didn’t seem to be anything we could do. I actually didn’t think it would be a problem. More fool me.”

So for the first two weeks she had no internet due to an “unknown issue”. She called Eir many times to try to get the wifi working and then to ask whether the data charges could be reduced or waived. “As you can imagine, my issue was passed from department to department, I never knew what the fault was in the end.”

Then in September she sent an email hoping to have the issue escalated after another unreturned callback promise [from Eir customer care]. “Needless to say, the email went into an Eir abyss.”

She says she doesn’t need “excessive amounts or very fast internet but I do require a minimum to enable two of us to do some work in the evenings, or to watch films on Netflix”.

But so bad are the speeds she is not able to work from home at times and her phone switches to mobile data to receive Whatsapp messages.

“Forget about watching Netflix without it throwing a tantrum. The smart TV fails to pick up the signal. Since then I’ve spent more hours and hours on the phone trying to explain to various departments my connection problems. My mobile data gets maxed and I am then left with no data on my phone. I am then charged for this.”

Seething

She has gone through troubleshooting with the company around five times and “as you can imagine, by the time it takes me to get through, then explain it to them and each person has no idea what I’m talking about, it is hours and hours on the phone. And that is if I don’t get left on hold indefinitely and then the line goes dead. I am seething at this stage, really stressed and feel very helpless”.

She decided to cancel the service. “They sat up and took notice and said I couldn’t cancel without a fee (I was told it would be over €1,000) as I was under contract. However if they sent a technician and he/she failed to fix the problem three times they would let me out of the contract. I asked for them to please send a technician so they could see for themselves.”

A few days later she called again and, having heard nothing, she emailed the company. The email was ignored. “Emails go unanswered or I get an autoresponse of ‘We are currently experiencing technical difficulties with our email platform’. I have tried webchat, I have tried to get my data from supervisors, who reluctantly take my call after me asking the customer care assistant to speak to them. They give me their names and assurances and it goes nowhere. I have tried every department – loyalty, customer services, accounts – I am at the end of my patience. I went into Eir in Liffey Valley in Dublin on November 16th. A man working there said he could email an insider department(!) and I would be receiving a callback the next day from a supervisor. Can you guess? No call back. Nothing.”

She says it got to the stage where she was “forced to cancel my direct debit to gain some bit of control of the situation. I have paid them outstanding fees for my mobile (with my credit card directly) and the last bill I was sent does not include the disputed mobile data charge but at the moment I do not owe them any money. I realise I am in a contract. I am not trying to skip out on paying what I would owe for a service but I am disputing the service and the surrounding customer care.”

We contacted the company and a spokeswoman said Eir “appreciates that this was a frustrating customer care experience and we apologise for this. The eir customer care team has been in touch with her and cancelled her broadband and landline without penalty; she has decided to remain an eir mobile customer.”