M50 toll operator 'accepts failings'


The company operating the M50 barrier-free toll, BetEire Flow, is to run a competition between its existing customer service provider and a possible replacement firm in a bid to improve customer service.

The move is in response to what the company accepts are “failings" in its customer service which have left a significant minority of M50 users frustrated at incorrect toll charges and difficulties contacting customer service representatives directly.

The French consortium operates barrier-free tolling on behalf of the National Roads Authority (NRA) and has contracted out its customer service support to Teleperformance.

BetEire Flow decided to review the system when complaints remained at higher-than-expected levels after “bedding in” the new system once the M50 barriers were removed last August.

As part of this review Co Cork-based firm Abtran will run a parallel customer service operation for M50 customers, alongside Teleperformance, for the next two months.

BetEire Flow will then decide what action to take. It is not clear what proportion of M50 customer queries will be handled by Abtran.

The competition with Abtran follows a recent report in The Irish Timeson BetEire Flow’s concern with the ongoing customer service difficulties. The NRA is also unhappy with the level of complaints from M50 users, as is the National Consumer Agency.

A spokesperson from Abtran was unavailable tonight. A spokeswoman for Teleperfomance declined to comment.

In a statement BetEire Flow said: “Customer service is something we take very seriously. We accept there have been failings. In response, we initiated some weeks ago a strategic review to resolve matters to customers’ satisfaction.”

Teleperformance handles general M50 tolling queries and also provides customer support for eFlow, which provides tags behalf of the NRA and BetEire Flow.

It employs 2,400 people in Bangor and Newry in Northern Ireland and provides customer service to a range of firms including Sainsburys.

An NRA spokesman said: “Unfortunately there are still too many errors. We are working with BetEire Flow and Teleperformance, asking them to reassure us that this level of service will improve.”

Reasons for inaccurate readings include obscured number plates, incorrectly positioned tags and drivers swapping tags.