Former Smart residential customer now cut off

ClubMan

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This means that eircom is effectively blocking competition from other telephone and internet providers which might be of interest to the competition authority.
There seems to be a strong case to me made for the argument that the market is still an effective monopoly alright. Note that eircom told us several times point blank that they could not remove the block on my mother's line but in the end (thanks to Age Action Ireland) they did just that.
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?
As I said Comreg told us several times that others were in the same position as my mother but when I asked them for more information (e.g. indicative numbers) they could not or would not give it to me.
I must contact COMREG again tomorrow to highlight this, although their powers to intervene in this situation seem limited to say the least.
I wouldn't bother if I was you to be honest. They are useless. Literally all talk and no action in my experience.
 

Threadser

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Finally I have made some progress thanks to the information I received on this thread. I phoned eircom this morning and asked for the temporary out of service block to be removed from my phone. They were unable to do so immediately but there are sending out a technician within the next week and I will have my original number restored plus there will be no charge for reconnection. Once I am reconnected I presume I will be free to switch to another provider, although to be honest I have been so badly burned this time that I'll probably just stay with eircom.

Thanks for posting such useful information. I have informed COMREG so that they can forward the info onto any other former smart telecom customer who had been left without service.
 

ClubMan

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Good to hear. Hope it all goes smoothly from here on in. I don't really understand how they say that they cannot remove the out of service block on the line/number when (a) they did it for my mother and (b) they claim to be able to reinstante your line with the same number some other way (surely the same thing?)!?
 

Threadser

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I have no ideal why they couldn't do it straightaway but as long as it's sorted next week I'm happy enough. I wouldn't be too sure yet that there won't be further problems with the reconnection.....I'll just have to wait and see what happens ...
 

Threadser

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Latest update on my phone line is that I got a bill from eircom for line rental although I am still unable to make or recieve calls from my landine. I can however now use dial-up for the internet so my line has been partially reconnected...or so it would seem!

I have no intention of paying a penny to eircom until I can use the phone for the purpose it was intended...
 

ClubMan

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I am still unable to make or recieve calls from my landine. I can however now use dial-up for the internet so my line has been partially reconnected...or so it would seem!
That's very strange because, as I'm sure you know, dial-up is a call!
 

Sn@kebite

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Latest update on my phone line is that I got a bill from eircom for line rental although I am still unable to make or recieve calls from my landine. I can however now use dial-up for the internet so my line has been partially reconnected...or so it would seem!
That's very strange because, as I'm sure you know, dial-up is a call!
Yes that's wierd, dial-up number for me is 1890924042, probably different for you.
Maybe something wrong with your actual phone itself...
Latest update on my phone line is that I got a bill from eircom for line rental although I am still unable to make or recieve calls from my landine. I can however now use dial-up for the internet so my line has been partially reconnected...or so it would seem!
...Or maybe the phone socket, if u use a different socket for your pc and that dial-up works, disconnect the phone line to the computer and plug in your telephone there and see does it work.
 

Threadser

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The good news is that I finally have my phone reconnected after 3 months without service!

I rang eircom today and explained that I was now receiving a bill for line rental for a phone that I couldn't use to make or receive calls. The customer service rep was very unsympathetic and didn't see that it was any "big deal" that I had been left without a phone service for so long. After months of being patient and reasonable I finally "lost it" and burst into tears. I told him that it looked like my only option now was to contact Joe Duffy.

He finally relented when I explained that my mother had been admitted to hospital and I needed the phone line to contact the Coronary Care Unit (entirely true). By the time I returned from work this evening the phone was working, without needing the technician (although I had been told last week that this would be necessary).

I am now a reluctant eircom customer as it was my only option. I probably won't change providers again as I don't ever want to be caught up in a similar situation again.
 

ClubMan

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Glad to hear you got sorted. Sorry to hear that it was so traumatic. Like my mother's case it seems to have been more of an ordeal that it should have been especially since in both cases eircom were ultimately able to sort things out even though they claimed that they could not all along. I am going to retry the switch to UTV mainly because they have already charged €80 for effectively no service. If they don't reactivate my mother's account and credit her with the charges to date then we're off to the Small Claims Court because they charged broadband subscription fees while the broadband was not available and a cancellation fee because they claimed that my mother told them to terminate her account even though she did not.
 

Sn@kebite

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If they don't reactivate my mother's account and credit her with the charges to date then we're off to the Small Claims Court because they charged broadband subscription fees while the broadband was not available and a cancellation fee because they claimed that my mother told them to terminate her account even though she did not.
That's just irresponsible of them!!!:mad: And the fee for the small claims court would probably be close to the amount you would get out of them in the first place. Or does the SCCourt charge the loser of the case a bit more?
 

ClubMan

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The SCC fee is €15. The charges to date are at least €80. If it comes to the SCC route then I will claim for the charges levied to date, less an amount in respect of the short time that the broadband did work and plus the SCC costs. Not sure if that's the norm but I'll certainly try it if necessary. First off however I'll try to get back onto them tomorrow and see if they can sort this amicably - as they previously told me (verbally) that they could/would.
 

ClubMan

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Latest update...

She (well I because it's currently on my Laser card! :() was charged the following:
  • October 2006 statement
    • Subscription [broadband] charge: €1.98 - which is presumably in respect of the October 26th-31st initial part month.
    • Advanced subscription charge: €9.99 - covers November
  • November 2006 statement
    • Advanced subscription charge: €9.99 - covers December
    • Extra charge: €59.99
    • Credit: €59.99
    • This was the cancellation charge which they levied when they claimed that she had asked them to cancel her account (she didn't) and since then they seem to have credited it but it did not get lodged back to my Laser/current account and it's not yet clear (i.e. UTV didn't know!) if this remains as a credit on her account.
  • December 2006 statement
    • Advanced subscription charge: €10.72 - covers January 2007. I don't understand why this is €10.72 and not €9.99 and UTV were unable to explain either! Her package is supposed to be €9.99 for the first three months and €15.99 thereafter so perhaps because of her initial part month in October there is some pro-rata calculation of the higher charge included this month?! :confused:
Bear in mind that the broadband only worked from October 26th to about November 10th and hasn't worked since then so the [advanced] subscription charges are for a service that is not being delivered. The credit of the early termination charge is progress except I don't know where the credit has gone yet!

I suspect that I am going to have to put all this in writing (a letter - not email since they never answer those) to try to finally resolve the whole mess.

:mad:
 

CCOVICH

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I don't think that you can take a SCC case against UTV as they are not an Irish company. Open to correction on that.
 

ClubMan

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  • November 2006 statement
    • Advanced subscription charge: €9.99 - covers December
    • Extra charge: €59.99
    • Credit: €59.99
    • This was the cancellation charge which they levied when they claimed that she had asked them to cancel her account (she didn't) and since then they seem to have credited it but it did not get lodged back to my Laser/current account and it's not yet clear (i.e. UTV didn't know!) if this remains as a credit on her account.
OK - my mistake. I just trawled back through the statements and my Laser card transactions and it seems the cancellation charge of €59.99 was credited in time for it to cancel the charge before it hit my card. So it was never actually charged and is irrelevant after all.

I have written a letter to UTV summarising the billing and line transfer issues so hopefully that will be more effective that emailing them (pointless!) or taking to their support staff (all very personable but seemingly unable to sort this stuff out).
 

Threadser

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In fairness to BT they have just sent me one bill and that was for 0.00 euro. Their broadband did work for a while so I will probably be billed for that now that I have cancelled my order with them. It will be interesting to see if they charge me a cancellation fee also. I will be very reluctant to pay up considering the apalling customer service. Hope your mother manages to change over to UTV without any further hassle.
 

bond-007

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I don't think that you can take a SCC case against UTV as they are not an Irish company. Open to correction on that.
Nope not in the republic, but you could issue proceedings in an NI court if you were so bothered.
 

ClubMan

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I see - thanks. For the sums involved at this stage the legal route would not be justified.
 
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