Eir does not deserve awards

Louise Hickey

On February 1st Eir was awarded the Excellence in Customer Service Management award by the Public Sector Magazine.

The public is not happy. Over recent years Eir’s customer service has been a nightmare to deal with.

My own experience is like many. Eir was our broadband supplier for one year. In this year, there would be days where our internet would just not work and there was no way to fix it because the team was impossible to get through to. One day we spent 8 hours straight on the phone, to get through to the team, just to be told to turn the modem on and off again…

We would still get huge bills, to the point where we just had to cancel our plan. Even after cancelling, Eir still sends us outstanding bills each month. I ignore them, but imagine an older person receiving a scaremongering, outstanding bill?

After so many complaints about customer service over lockdown, the CEO of Eir Carolan Lennon took to PrimeTime to apologise for the lack of help from customer service. Was this apology enough? No. It wasn’t even an apology but more of a chance to defend her company in the worst possible way.

Lennon blamed the company’s customer service on covid, training, wages and the town of Sligo being inadequate… which was not taken lightly! Lennon also claimed that it was difficult for staff to “listen to angry customers all day”. These customers were angry for a reason.

One customer, Mairead Hopkins, community health service manager and graduate of DCU also believes the apology was simply not enough. “I don’t ever like to see a business not succeed or struggle, but I do think it’s time to boycott Eir,” said Mairead.

Mairead had just moved into a new house and was in a rush to get internet installed, as she was working from home. She took the ‘best deal’ that the shop assistant had, and says it is her “biggest regret to date”. The package consisted of broadband and T.V, but neither has ever worked. Mairead has signed up for a one-year contract, despite the contract being explained properly. To cancel the contract now would cost €300.

Mairead explained that “their teams can’t actually communicate with each other. It’s the customer’s responsibility to chase each individual department and follow back up. I’ve spent so much time going from technical support to customer service and repeat”.

This is an ongoing problem, similarly, experienced by a lot of people. The Irish Customer Experience report from CX Company 2021 shows results of Eir being at the bottom for customer satisfaction rate this year. How can a company that is at the bottom of a customer service satisfaction rate win an award for customer service?

Winning this award will allow more people to fall into the company’s trap. Eir has also disabled all their comments on social media, most likely due to the many bad reviews already on Twitter and Facebook. They are censoring the reviews to avoid losing customers.

With this censoring, it’s not just a few angry customers that are affected, but the public as a whole.

Louise Hickey.