Tag Archives | broadband

Irish consumers are shopping around to save money

There was an interesting report yesterday evening on the Irish Times website – link here. According to the report, research from the National Consumer Agency found that:

More Irish people are shopping around before buying into service contracts for broadband, mobile phones or electricity, according to a survey by the National Consumer Agency (NCA).

Some 12 of the 17 contract areas surveyed show increases in the incidence of consumers changing service providers in search of better value.

The research found that consumers were shopping around and changing their service providers in the areas or home and car insurance market, home electricity provider, fixed line and mobile phone providers, as well as broadband providers.

I was interested in the article statement that said:

Of the people who changed, four out of five have saved money as a result, the survey, which was published today, indicated.

Are people switching for other reasons other than to save money? Are the leaving because of poor service quality (8%)? Or poor customer service (14%)? Or because of overcharging (not reported)? 15% of consumers said that they they changed because they were following the recommendations of others.

The full report, available here on the National Consumer Agency website is definitely worth while reading.

A final point to leave you with – there is a table giving reasons why people haven’t switched different service providers. Interestingly, only 2% of respondants said that they haven’t switched broadband providers because of a lack of alternatives.


80% of people still use fixed line phone at home

That was the interesting stat in a press release I received last week. The research was carried out by BT and I’ve asked them for more details on that particular findings.

The press release was sent out to tell us about a new BT offer whereby anyone who signs up for a Broadband bundle between Friday 29th May & Friday 5th June will get free Call Mobile for 6 months .

According to the press release, this means that customers availing of the offer will automatically get 33% off any calls to Irish mobiles on any network for a full 6 months.

You can find more details on the offer here.


Are you an O2 BroadBand Customer? Want to save some cash?

We received this information in a comment on this post last week but I thought it was worth while bringing directly to your attention.

I cancelled my O2 mobile broadband account today. When I signed up over a year ago I was paying €40 a month for their(RUBBISH)mobile broadband service.

I noticed the other day they are charging new customers €20 for the same service. When I phoned them to cancel they said they would put me on the lower tariff straight away.

This is not good enough existing customers paying the €40 should have been lowered to the €20 tarrif as soon as it became available.

Anybody who signed up with O2 for the €40 euro tariff should check to ensure they are not been ripped off like I was!

If you’re calling them, make sure you check out the terms and conditions. From a quick check on their site, it looks like you’d have to sign up for an 18 months contract to get the deal.


Broadband Penetration – what do the published numbers really mean?

There’s lots of comment and reportage around recently about broadband penetration within Ireland, and how poor we might be compared to the rest of Europe.

I wonder how would I be counted in any of these numbers when it comes to broadband subscriptions. Take my fiancee and myself as an example. Between us, we have the following:

  1. An NTL broadband subscription
  2. A home Eircom broadband subscription
  3. An O2 mobile business broadband subscription
  4. An O2 mobile personal broadband subscription
  5. A Vodafone 3G pay as you go mobile

Technically, from what I understand, that’s 5 broadband subscriptions. But we’re only 2 people. I wonder are we counted as 5 people with broadband subscriptions, rather than 2?


NTL – are these actual hidden charges?

I see lots of coverage, particularly relating to Ryanair, where people talk about “hidden charges”. In most cases, these aren’t really hidden. They may be unfair, unwarranted, and just downright nasty, but in pretty much all cases, they’re not actually hidden as they’re shown to you before you actually commit to paying anything.

During my call to NTL referred to in my NTL post earlier, a curious thing was mentioned to me when I was getting my broadband upgraded. The lady mentioned that if I was to subsequently change my subscription again back to the lesser service, I would be charged a €10 administration charge.

Watch out for this. I wonder is it mentioned to everyone who calls to have their service upgraded – though you would expect to see it on their website.


Why don’t Irish businesses try to keep their customers?

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.


Problems with 3 Mobile Broadband

I have complained frequently here about my 3 Mobile service frequently in the past before moving to Vodafone (and being completely happy in the year since moving)

Today I received an e-mail from a fellow blogger asking me to bring to your attention the issues many people are currently having with the 3 Mobile Broadband offering. Given my experiences with 3 previously, I’m happy to do so.

As you all probably know by now, allot of people over at boards.ie ( 130 pages, 2593 comments) and subsequently 3broadband.info are not happy with the mobile broadband being offered by 3.
They have complained to and about 3, ComReg, NCA, they are trying to get a petition going as well as a protest, but these need some weight.

Now they are trying get more recognition of the problem. Unfortunately nobody is paying attention. Politicians, radio stations, and newspapers are turning blind eyes and deaf ears at them. It is my hope that the blogging community can help get them some well deserved coverage.

As I’ve written about before they’ll get no joy from ComReg or the NCA, and the 3 customer service is appalling – even when you’re a departing customer they’re a nightmare. Best of luck with it though.


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