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Man billed hundreds by Eir for service he never used and didn’t know he had

Customer was passed between departments ‘each time having to repeat my complaint and request a refund which they are not willing to give’

A reader by the name of Adrian who is based in Clonmel got in touch after having what can best be described as a long-running and apparently endlessly frustrating experience with Eir.

He had a landline with the company for a long time and had a broadband contract – which included another landline – from a different provider.

Adrian starts his correspondence by telling us that he realised he was being double charged for the landline in August 2019 so Eir refunded him 44 payments totalling €2,059.52 not long after he contacted them to highlight the issue.

So far so good.


His broadband provider continued supplying him with a service and his mail continues.

“Following this refund in August 2019 I was not charged the monthly landline charge by Eir for September and October 2019,” he writes. He thought that was the end of it.

It wasn’t.

“For some reason they recommenced charging me the landline charge in November 2019. And because I had a separate Eir account with them for my holiday home in Kerry I did not notice the charge being added,” Adrian continues.

“I should have been more vigilant but whenever I went to try and access this new charge online it would only show me the charges for my holiday home. I have never received a paper receipt of the landline charges only an email notification which I cannot access. I have never received a notification of the costs being increased either,” he says almost as an aside.

The increases were not, however, insignificant. The charge started at €47.99 per month in 2019 and continued until Adrian recently “did a deep dive into my accounts to find out what this second charge was actually for. It now stands at €64.29 for a landline that I no longer use (I have not made or received any calls on the phone as I removed the physical phone in 2019).”

In that same year, he paid €95.98 and has paid between €576 and €668 each year since then for a service he did not use and did not even know he had.

“I contacted Eir on October 6th and was initially told to contact its Data Protection Office” who told him it was “unable to assist with service and billing queries”.

He was redirected back to the customer care team and was assured they would “attend to your request. We can of course provide you with a copy of your account data, if you so wish, if this will assist you with your query?”

So he contacted Eir again and was told he would not be getting a refund.

“I decided to go through all my bank account statements and follow the timeline and dates of each payment to Eir over the years [and] called again with this information,” he says.

He was passed on to collections and then back to customer service “each time having to repeat my complaint – and request a refund which they are not willing to give me. This call took two hours and 18 minutes alone.”

He was promised a call back from a manager Jack within 48 hours and at the time of writing he was still waiting for that call.

He says Eir is not willing to refund him “because they have no record of me cancelling the landline. I am under the impression that I did when I got the refund as I realised then that I had no use for it as the phone was removed from the wall.”

He also says he has been told there were issues with the porting of his details by a third-party provider and says that he was “under the impression that having received my refund all was in order. No one explained to me that the landline needed to be ‘ported over’ to the third party.”

He reiterates that he was sure he “had cancelled the landline once the refund was done but Eir have no record of that and neither do I. It is all very confusing to me and probably to you. Maybe I have made an innocent mistake here but either way, I don’t think it is right that I should be paying on average €50 per month for a landline that they know is not being used and has never been used. Is there any Consumer Rights advocate that could help me recoup my costs perhaps?”

We contacted the company on his behalf to see if anything could be done.

“Following an investigation we can see that this billing issue has spanned several years,” a spokeswoman said. “The issue primarily pertains to billing for a landline service that continued to be charged after the customer had successfully cancelled other services. When the customer called Eir to request the cancellation, as a goodwill gesture, a refund payment was made.

“However, the cancellation request at that time was not recorded due to a technical problem, which led to subsequent issues. After the refund, the customer was not billed in September and October 2019, leading to the assumption that the account was cancelled. However, the customer continued to be billed for the landline from November 2019. Eir acknowledges the complexity of this issue, we have contacted the customer to apologise and organise a refund and are actively working to address the remaining concerns and ensure a satisfactory resolution.”