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Caveat Emptor: the Eircom tale...

Beware of Eircom salespeople offering broadband

Part 1: We reported in May about experiences we had with Eircom and BT. We thought we would share a bit more of what happened now that both cases have been settled.

Our Eircom experience was a salesman working in South Dublin and Wicklow/Wexford area, who called us and offered to switch us over to Eircom from BT. We had been frustrated with the service from BT (see below) and welcomed the opportunity to make a switch, on the basis of receiving broadband at a good speed (3mbps plus). The individual called out and met two of us at the office. He promised 17mbps, which he "verified" with a call to his office. In the end this appeared to be fabricated. His motivation appears to have been commission from the switching of lines, and so simply lied to us about the speed of broadband to get us to sign our two landlines across. In reality, the lines were not capable of receiving broadband and the promise should never have been made.

It took the best part of three months to undo the damage of this situation. One of Eircom's biggest failings from a business point of view is lack of accountability, and it firstly took us one month to get in touch with this salesman's manager, to begin to have the situation reversed. In the end we received a full refund for the cost of the rental and calls during this period when our lines were with Eircom, but the time and effort in securing this was far beyond what we would expect from any service provider.

Eircom, and the structure of their business, seems chaotic. From talking to employees, morale is very low, and this shows when dealing with their call centres. It is almost impossible to work out the structure. The business sales team appears to work in units, and each unit is responsible for their own work. If you call and ask to speak to the manager of one unit, the employee you are talking to may not have that information as they belong to a separate section. Emails are sent, but unless that unit phones or emails you back, there is no way to contact them.

If you ever find yourselves in a similar situation with Eircom, our advice in this situation is as follows:

1/ never accept a promise of broadband speed from a salesman or saleswoman- it is clear now the sales team will promise above the true level of speed, and they do this due to their commission based salary. This was confirmed to us by a number of Eircom employees. It is well know in Eircom that the sales team will simply tell the customer that they can have 7.6mbps or more, but do not run the appropriate checks to ensure that this is true.
2/ as with any provider, write everything down- dates of calls, what was promised, names of people you dealt with.
3/ use ComReg- the only way to get Eircom to react seems to be the threat of involving ComReg in your case.
4/ if you are sold incorrect business broadband packages in the South Dublin/Wicklow area- drop us an email. We will happily provide details of the people we contacted in Eircom.

Simon Spence/2009

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