Former Smart residential customer now cut off

ClubMan

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Good news - her line is back working as of this afternoon. Looks like Age Action Ireland were able to convince eircom to lift the block on the line in spite of them telling us all along that this was impossible! Hopefully it's not a false dawn and it is, in fact, back for good. I presume that it's routing via eircom right now so the next step will be to go back to UTV and see about effecting the transfer that we originally attempted and get them to credit us for the charges levied to date (in particular the contract breakage penalty) as they promised.

Aodhán O'Riordán did follow up the issue with me earlier too. And to be fair to Mary Fitzpatrick she did also get onto my mother this afternoon having been tied up earlier but at that stage the issue had been resolved.

Threadser - if you are not an OAP then perhaps you should pretend to be and call Age Action Ireland? Only half joking!
 

sherib

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Originally Posted by ClubMan
.....her line is back working as of this afternoon.
That's very good news - and hats off to your mother for thinking of AAI and to Age Action Ireland.

Do UTV ever answer support or emails?!
Yes they do. I've had replies several times, usually after a couple of weeks and when the problem has been solved! I've also found Utv pretty helpful when I've phoned.
 

ClubMan

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Thanks.

Yes - my mother was on the ball. I think that Brendan suggested something similar to me (privately) but I never followed up on it myself.

I've rarely received a response (other than an automaticallly generated ticket number) to any email sent to UTV. Once they did follow up by calling my mobile but that was it. Even a formal complaint which a support person explicitly told me would be answered last week. They are always very nice when I call. In this case they were not really helpful though.

Anyway - the latest twist is that I called eircom this evening to check on the account and they don't recognise the number as a domestic number and the Indian call centre dude told me that it comes up as a business line on his system.

Maybe the fun hasn't ended yet...? :(
 

Threadser

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Clubman

That's great news about your Mam. Hopefully her she will have her phone services restored by today. I can't believe that COMREG advised her to try BT. I have been emailing them updating them on the fact the although BT wrote to me saying that they had set up a "special team" to deal with the issue, this dedicated team hasn't retured any of my phone calls or replied to any email I sent them!

Thanks for setting up this thread. Finally the issue might get some attention and some progress might be made in the New Year. Did you hear anything back from Joe Duffy?
 

ClubMan

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Maybe it's because I'm the wrong sex and don't live in Clontarf?

Her phone is working since yesterday but eircom accounts don't seem to know anything about it themselves. It doesn't appear in their residential line database. The system seems to think that it's a business line but then can't fine the account. She was advised to call 188000 to get an automated announcement of who her current CPS provider is but that doesn't work. So it's working but still in limbo as regards service provider ownership goes and I need to get to the bottom of this before attempting the switch to UTV again.
 

sherib

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Just wondering - did eircom give your mother a new phone number? I suppose that's likely. Since everyone is in "Christmas" mode, maybe the new line is a temporary arrangement until things get back to normal? I'm surprised you got on to an Indian call centre. I only ever got them when I was looking for technical support. Did you ring 1901 and say "Agent"? That always got me through to someone here. If it were me I wouldn't tempt fate and be in a hurry to switch to utv until this recent outcome has been securely bedded down. But you know that yourself:).

With regard to the Joe Duffy Show, "normal" complaints issues seem to have been suspended this week and Joe usually likes to get a person on the phone so he can say stir the pot and say "sure, sure, sure..."! Maybe it would be worth trying again in the New Year if only to point older people in the direction of Age Action Ireland. It would also be a public service to tell Comreg that AAI solved the problem.
 

ClubMan

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Just wondering - did eircom give your mother a new phone number?
No - her original number is working again. She was with Smart for the last few years and before that with eircom. The problem is that eircom now can't seem to find an account for that number in their system nor are they able to tell me who the configured preferred service provider is (probably Smart, eircom or UTV) or how calls are being routed or charged! I presumed that in removing the temporary out of service block (which they insisted was impossible up until yesterday) the may also have taken over the line (from Smart?).
I'm surprised you got on to an Indian call centre. I only ever got them when I was looking for technical support. Did you ring 1901 and say "Agent"?
1901 and I followed the menus until I got an agent. Maybe it was an Indian guy here in Dublin.
If it were me I wouldn't tempt fate and be in a hurry to switch to utv until this recent outcome has been securely bedded down. But you know that yourself:).
I have already been on to UTV again to retry the transfer so here's hoping!
With regard to the Joe Duffy Show, "normal" complaints issues seem to have been suspended this week and Joe usually likes to get a person on the phone so he can say stir the pot and say "sure, sure, sure..."! Maybe it would be worth trying again in the New Year if only to point older people in the direction of Age Action Ireland. It would also be a public service to tell Comreg that AAI solved the problem.
Good points. I might follow up on them.
 

sherib

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Originally posted by ClubMan
No - her original number is working again.
That's good and suggests that Smart is out of the loop leaving only eircom or utv as possible providers. That is my interpretation. Do you think it might be worthwhile checking with utv again? You might find that they are now providing the service - or not. Worth making a phone call I'd say. Information may be slower to trickle down at this time of the year.

My experience with ringing eircom's 1901 is that you have to interrupt the various numbers/menus suggested by saying "agent". That got me onto a real live eircom person. That was nearly two years ago now so maybe it has changed.
 
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ClubMan

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I've already been on to UTV and they don't have the line yet but will try the transfer again.

"Agent" still works. Also - it took me a while to figure out that the computer only understands "zero" and not "oh" when you dictate numbers to it! :eek:
 

Satanta

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Also - it took me a while to figure out that the computer only understands "zero" and not "oh" when you dictate numbers to it! :eek:
Seems like a strange one. I've never heard of anyone in Ireland refer to a mobile phone number with zero (e.g. "zero eight seven" vs. "oh eight seven") and would have assumed "oh" was the more common of the two.
 

sherib

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Just one further thought! You can't ring 1901 from an utv enabled home telephone so if 1901 doesn't ring out from your mother's phone that would strongly suggest she is now an utv customer. I discovered that when I tried to book an alarm call dialling 1901 and it didn't ring out.
 

sherib

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Sorry - I have to correct my last post. Out of curiosity I dialled 1901 and, lo and behold, I got through to a real live eircom person! So - my suggestion about discovering who your mothers' phone provider now is wouldn't work. The person I spoke to was an Irish woman and very pleasant and ready to help. I didn't press any of the suggested numbers, just stayed on line while listening to messages - making myself out to be an idiot!! That's the way to get through to eircom!
 

RainyDay

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Just a general suggestion for others who are getting bounced around between two suppliers - I've found it helpful to conference in both parties on a single phone call, so they can't blame each other. Telling them to work it out with each other while I hang on the line proved a powerful technique. This is generally dependant on getting people with authority to do things on the line, rather than call centre jockeys.
 

ClubMan

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Trying to actually get hold of a UTV and an eircom representative simultaneously to conference them together would be pretty difficult based on my experience of trying to get them alone!
 

ClubMan

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Latest update. My mother just received a bill from eircom so it seems that her account is back with them now (same phone number and at least she has a recognisable eircom account number now). The bill included a (re)connection fee of about €20 which was cancelled out by a credit of the same amount. I guess that this was under their recent (current?) free line connection offer. So the bill basically charged her for line rental and calls since the line was reactivated. Fair enough.

Now the issue is to somehow see about getting UTV to refund some or all of the money that they charged to date for broadband (even though it was largely not available anyway other than for a few days) and account cancellation (they claim that my mother told them to cancel her account but she did not). If we can get the now reactivated line transferred over to UTV (for voice & broadband service) and have them credit these charges to her account (as was promised by some of their support staff but not by the last person that I spoke to in December) then that will be fine. But I did phone and email them with instructions to do this before Xmas and, as usual, they never responded.

BTW - Comreg phoned her asking how she got on and she told them fine but no thanks to them and only due to the intervention of Age Action Ireland. Comreg told her that consumer issues such as this are not really within their remit in spite of the fact that they invited Smart customers to contact them if they had problems at the time Smart pulled out of the residential voice only market. Seems to me that Comreg are worse than useless when it comes to consumer issues such as this.
 

Threadser

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Thanks for the update Clubman. Looks like the only way I will manage to get my existing line reconnected is to move back to eircom (and pose as a pensioner!). This means that eircom is effectively blocking competition from other telephone and internet providers which might be of interest to the competition authority. I am just wondering what has happened to the other 40,000 former smart telecom customers. Were some of them able to switch providers and was I just among the unlucky few who were unable to get the temporary out of service block removed from their phones?

I must contact COMREG again tomorrow to highlight this, although their powers to intervene in this situation seem limited to say the least.
 
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