Internet saga mocks the phrase “customer service”

EIR claims to be the largest and best network in the country with the fastest broadband in Ireland.

If you click through to their website, you will find a blurb declaring their vision for the company’s future. Our vision is to be at the center of your digital world. We’re here to help you work, play and learn, connecting everyone and everything from big cities to small villages.

He continues: “Everything we do is built on our customers. You are an essential part of our vision of a brighter, more modern and dynamic future. At home, on the go or in the office, we aim to make things easier with 24/7 technical support, longer opening hours, and improve your customer experience.

Sounds great, but as a long-suffering customer of Eir’s, I can tell you that my experience is completely at odds with their vision, and it seems I’m not the only one.

The Irish Examiner reported earlier this year that Air faced high levels of customer complaints, something it claimed it had largely controlled.

Last May, the company claimed to have turned a corner on customer care issues, citing new numbers from regulatory firm Comreg showing a decrease in complaints.

The Irish Times reported that many punters would likely take this with a grain of salt, and said that the company, mainly for its poor record in handling customer inquiries and problems, has turned into one of those companies consumers love to hate.

In response, Eyre claimed that they were aware of the problem, and were trying to fix it.

CEO Oliver Loomis said their ultimate focus has been on improving the quality of customer service.

At the worst, call wait times averaged around an hour, while customers complained that calls were dropped and that routine issues were left unresolved. The company later apologized for the poor performance.

It was in May, and aside from the CEO’s absolute focus on improving the quality of customer service, I can say without fear of contradiction, I haven’t seen any improvement.

In my experience dealing with customer service lately, I’m of the opinion that it’s really bad, and it can’t get any worse.

In 2019, I spent a grueling six months dealing with Eir, trying to resolve an issue involving incorrect billing. I’ve lost count of the calls my wife and I had with them, but we sure were in regular contact.

Every time we went through, we had to explain the problem to someone new. Most of these calls lasted between 15 and 30 minutes.

After each call, I made sure the issue was resolved, only to receive another text or phone call threatening to suspend our service if the bill was not paid.

My wife’s phone once went off while we were on holidays and incorrect bills kept coming in.

Finally, at the end of my rope, I called the regulator, and the problem was finally resolved.

In the past year I have been in regular contact with Eir again regarding the poor quality of our broadband service. Three new routers have been delivered to me over the course of the year, and none of them have made even a slight difference in the signal.

In August, I was told that fiber broadband would be available to me soon, so I signed up, thinking it could just be an improvement over what I had.

Meanwhile, while I was waiting for the installation, my internet deteriorated to the point where we had to use our data on cell phones while at home.

I kept ringing eir and they told me over and over that they couldn’t do anything for me because I subscribed to fiber broadband and this somehow prevented them from getting better with my signal.

It seems all hope has now settled on fiber broadband, so I was delighted when I got the install date of November 30, 2022.

Two men duly arrived on that date, but could not find the airway of the present line and advised me to dig the footpath, at my own expense, to locate it. They also discovered an air duct obstruction on the road and called in another crew to look into it.

I located the tube within the hour and called eir to let them know. They told me it had nothing to do with them. It was up to the contractors to bring in the line and deal with the blockage.

I called the contractors, and a few days later a different crew arrived but they couldn’t get them out either.

I called the contractor again to be told another crew with larger equipment would have to dig the road, and that was eir’s responsibility.

On December 15th I got a text from eir telling me that my broadband order is in progress and due to be completed in six weeks, so I called them again.

I explained how I still didn’t have broadband fiber, and that the crosswalk now had a huge hole in it.

The lady I spoke with promised to call the contractor for an exact date for the work and she would call me back.

I’m still waiting for that call, but it doesn’t surprise me. Eir’s staff often promised me a call back from a supervisor within 48 hours – but I haven’t gotten a call back yet.

Four days later, on Monday, December 19th, I got another text from eir telling me my installation was arranged for the next day.

This hasn’t happened either, and my latest appointment is March 14th.

Their CEO may be happy to serve, but I certainly am not.

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