Formal Complaint To Eircom

[UPDATE 22 MARCH 2007:  This case has been resolved.  See here for details.]

Submitted today:

Here is supplemental information in relation to this complaint which I have submitted by phone today. I spoke with ____, who has contacted Operations in relation to it.

I ordered a new phone in August because I needed broadband at this address, which is only 2 miles from a broadband exchange (Sixmilebridge, Co. Clare).

I was told that the lines on that exchange were tested each month, and that I would know by the end of August whether it was fit for broadband.

However, it turns out that the line which was installed is what is known as a “split line” or a “carrier line”. Instead of a direct connection to the exchange, my calls and those from other houses are multiplexed on a single copper pair. This “party-line” is inherently incapable of broadband.

Since then, I have discovered that the house next door has got broadband. This subscriber pays the same as I do – yet they get their own copper and I do not, despite the fact that I ordered the line for the sole purpose of broadband.

When I ordered the line, I was under the impression that the only determining factor governing broadband suitability would be distance from the exchange. I had no idea that it would also hinge on the apparently arbitrary decision as to whether a dedicated or a split line was installed.

I want this split line replaced with a dedicated copper pair to Sixmilebridge exchange.

Comreg tell me that I am entitled to a reply within 10 working days. However, I was astonished to hear them also say that they have no regulatory function in relation to broadband – just voice.

Is there anyone in charge here? Minister?

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17 Comments on “Formal Complaint To Eircom”

  1. Kay Says:

    We had this problem. Its all very strange. We were told that despite the fact that there was an exchange around the corner, we were connected to a further away one and that this was the reason why we couldn’t have broadband. In the end and after a lot of frustration we changed our telephone service provider and now we have broadband. There is more to the story than this but it depresses me to go over it. Commiserations, tuigim do chás. In the end and after a lot of frustration we changed our telephone service provider and now we have broadband. Eircom send nice young people around regularly to try to win us back… I try to be polite to them.

  2. Go raibh maith agat Kay.

    It’s difficult to keep civil. Almost everyone I have spoken to in Eircom has been irritable and unhelpful and some have been rude. I don’t blame them. It must be so demoralising trying to hold a corporate line which is indefensible.

    I encountered the same thing with BT, before I left them after they failed to get me reconnected three months after I moved house.

    In that case, it was partly Eircom’s fault too – since they own the local loop, and BT must contract them to provide the connection. But, like Eircom, BT’s customer support is a shambles.

    This kind of thing comes from the top. Maybe it’s true that all the telcos are hampered by Eircom’s strangling grip on the infrastructure, but that’s no excuse for dropping the ball on the things they do have control over.

    We have a second rate telecoms regime in this country and it seems that, instead of addressing the issues, everyone is content to simply make excuses.

  3. Kay Says:

    Once there were the good old days when people communicated by pigeon and if things didn’t work out they could always have pigeon pie for dinner. Ah those were the days. Nowadays the customer gets eaten.

    I hope you get action soon.

  4. Dave Wroe Says:

    Good luck in getting the response from Eircon, but don’t hold ye breath. The fact that they are chartered to reply within 10 days seems to be totally ignored in my experience. And, as Comreg has zero clout when it comes to enforcing these things, I often sit and wonder, what thier purpose is, but to take money for things, yet police nothing.

    I have a commercial 2-way radio license with Conreg (no speeling mistake) and they charge me a 22 euro administration fee every year for renewing my license! How the hell can that be right?

    Anyway Conn… Good luck with it, but don’t expect a reply. I never got one with my dealings with them in Lissycasey over an ISDN service they tried to provide, that only worked in 1 direction, and despite 2 of Eircons finest telling me it was my equipment, it was all in my head, it’s now working fine yada yada yada, i never got a single, solitary cent back from the knackers.


  5. Good luck, Conn. We happen to be in an area of Hawai’i island where we are just a tad to far away from the exchange for DSL. Cable runs along a major highway (by our standards) about 3/4 a mile from our home, but the cable company says home density in our area is too low for them to justify pulling it to our neighborhood; anything less than 39 houses per mile of road is too low. Everytime I see a commercial that says DSL is better than Roadrunner or Roadrunner is better than cable (nearly every commercial break) I want to pick up the nearest heavy object and fling it at the television. The TV is safe so far.

  6. Lorenzo Says:

    I have the exact same problem at my home which leaves me funing – even dial-up was restricted

  7. Lorenzo Says:

    Let me try that again with out the angle brackets.

    I have the exact same problem at my home which leaves me funing – even dial-up was restricted to less than 28k. 28k! It’s the 80’s again. My mood is not helped by the monthly calls from Eircom saying
    “Hello ______. We’ve noticed you are using another call provider. We’d like to tell you about our new–”
    “STOP RIGHT THERE! You vampires ain’t gettin’ a penny more from me until you provide me with a decent f****** LINE! NOTHING! Do yuo hear me?”

    Shouting at telemarketeers is therapeutic, good for the soul. *Especially* Eircom telemarketeers.

  8. Eoin Says:

    I know the feeling!

    Keep putting up the correspondance – I’ve linked this to my page of letters and correspondance seeking help…any help…in getting anything from anybody….

    Telephone calls are no good unless you record them…maybe as MP3? and entertain us.

    Go n-éirí leat Conn


  9. Aido C Says:

    I am hopefully moving to sixmile bridge what are my options, is there not a digital satelite provider ? I have heard that they mess around untill you threaten to get one of these

  10. Hi Aido,

    Satellite is an option, but it’s expensive and it has latency which makes it unsuitable for certain applications such as Voice Over IP.

    It appears to be the luck of the draw whether you get a split line or a full line. Several houses in that area are currently enjoying broadband service on their dedicated lines. My advice? Cross your fingers.

  11. BarryM Says:


    What a familiar sequence! Until LLU is actually implemented it will ever be thus. OTOH LLU cannot be properly implemented as long as multiplexing exists. I was informed some time ago that in many ‘rural’ areas (meaning they were rural at one time, a lot of them have been urbanised since) over 50% of the lines have been multiplexed, due to lack of circuits.

    I had (in the old days!) a dial-up connection which dropped the throughput from one day to the next and when I phoned the guy said ‘oh f**k, we didn’t realise that you were “on data” and we multiplexed you’

    Now, if you expect a change…. I was reliably informed that Mr Howard, the OZ PM visited Ireland last year to get an assurance from Bertie that the new owners of Eircom would not be ‘interfered with’ i.e. no legislation which would require LLU, for example, would be introduced. The Minister had already announced the ‘heads of the legislation were ready’ but when I asked him in September he said ‘there is no time on the Dail calendar’ – draw your own conclusions.

    There is an election next year, ask all those who canvass you what their party’s intentions are…… you’ll get interesting answers, if you get one at all.

  12. Mark L Says:

    Its all very familiar. I have been trying to get Broadband since December 2006. Eircom first told me line not suitable but should be upgraded mid January. Call January were told it would be February and the “Kind” sales agent said he will put us on a priority list! Called february and was told it will be March if at all in the next 3-4 months. Also no record/no such thing as a priority list. A week later I got a call from an Indian lady on a very bad line. I was difficult to unterstand her but she did say that the upgrade to our line is complete and broadband modem will be with us in 5-10 working days. on the 12th working day after the call no sign of our modem. Called Eircom and was staggered. The was no record of our broadband order and our line is STILL not suitable for broadband!!!! I asked to complain to management but was told that “there was no management in the office”. Did not have time to call the next day due to been in work. The Complaints office has the same working hours as I do! So I went on the Eircom website to send a complaint email- Limited to 400 charactors – Load of Sxxt.

    PS. Live in a 4 house Cul de Sac. All 3 neighbours have Eircom broadband.

  13. UPDATE 22 MARCH 2007: The issue has been resolved in my case. See here for further details. However, split lines continue to be a problem for many people.

  14. eircom agent Says:

    I work as a 1901 agent for eircom and the reason you cant get broadband is because the line is not suitable…uit needs to be upgraded but they wont do that…so realy its like tough sh*t to the customer if they cant get it…also with phone line having to wait months (in some cases years) still even i dont no…all we can do is give them the date on the system saying “your phone line should be up and running by the forecast date which is always a few months or a year away.”We could email off to the technicians to get a further update but they never get back…so really if the date on the system does show up2008for there line…obviously if you dont want an ear ache…you’ll blag your way around the call…saying aw a technician will be in touch soon!!!
    Thats eircom for ya!When it gets to the broadband end of things ,when we test the line and it shows a fail TOUGH SH*T really because nothings going to be done no matter what you do!There is no facility for us to turn around and investigate why the customer cant get it and when will it be up and running as where all tied down to log in time and call handling time–basically it destroys an agents bonus if they log out to call customers and to be on the call longer than 4minutes so once you see 4 minutes on the call you try and fob the customer off in most cases as the bonus is too precious!!so mabey Eircom should facilitate the system to be more geared towards customer quality and not “perfect agent targets”….i think its great craic listening to customers go mad on the phones but after a few months its just borring thats why dont have long left…and the amount of people coming and going thats why nobody knows what there at….its all down to the staff not being treated well…like if your not happy the customers wont be happy!!

  15. hughgreen Says:

    Hi Conn,

    I notice that they no longer have an e-mail address on their website for logging complaints. They say you can log it by e-mail, but this is a hyperlink which takes you to an on-line form with a limit of 400 characters.

    I spent this morning writing up an e-mail complaint, which even by my best efforts at brevity came to 4,923 characters.

    The comments of eircom agent are interesting, and entirely borne out by my own experience with 1901 over the last couple of days.

  16. […] State Your Complaint – I’m Sorry – Time’s Up! Hugh Green comments that Eircom have come up with an inspired strategy for dealing with customer complaints.  The […]

  17. […] As a result, I’ve had to reorder from scratch. The previous 10 working days we’ve waited counts for nothing. (The agents lie through their teeth about this, though — one agent says they’ll send it out in the “next 3-5 days”, the next agent insists that we have to wait the full 10 days, and the next says somewhere in between — anything to get us off the line within 4 minutes.) […]

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