For years now it’s been my belief that Irish businesses treat all their customers on a “once 0ff” basis. Customers are screwed for as much as possible on initial dealings with a businesses, and after that, the businesses don’t really care what happens.
As an example, a colleague of mine has had an interesting experience with BT Ireland in the past week. He was a broadband customer of theirs in his house for a number of years before moving and passing on the contract to his tenants. He then rented accommodation and because a customer again of their broadband package.
So, in the space of a few years, he had given BT Ireland two customers each of whom was paying at least €56 per month.
Then, in the last couple of weeks, he canceled his contract in rented accommodation, moved back to his original house, and asked BT Ireland to be reconnected to his original connection. The connection was already still live in the house, but he just wanted his name on the bills again.
BT Ireland ignored him for a few months, then discovered that the connection and was still live, and disconnected it.
They then claimed they had no request for reconnection, but that they would gladly reconnect him at a cost of €121. Even though new customers can get connected for €45 (or free if they’re moving from another broadband provider).
What a crazy way to treat someone who had been a loyal customer of the company for a number of years. Unfortunately, there was nothing that BT Ireland were doing wrong legally since he didn’t have a current contract – he was just a prospective customer – but they knew he was a previous customer.
So, there was no one to complain to. COMREG will not get involved in customer-provider contract issues as I’ve found out in the past, and we’ve already seen here how useless the NCA can be – a pre-written PFO saying that they’d “work with the company” rather than do anything isn’t going to get broadband connected.
The final outcome – my colleague has found an alternative supplier for his broadband and will be getting connected to them later this week. Lost custom for BT Ireland, and he’s telling anyone who’s in the market for broadband about how they’ve treated him.