Tag Archives | price rises

Rail User? Have you noticed your annual fare has increased?

I can’t at the moment find the newspaper article I’m sure I read recently where it was said that Irish Rail would not be increasing fares into 2010. (If anyone saw it, and knows where it is, please link below).

However, based on an e-mail I received recently, it looks like Irish Rail will be increasing fares by over 10% in 2010 for some of their customers. Travelling in from Kildare, last year an annual ticket cost €1950, while for 2010 the same ticket will cost €2170 – an increase of 11%

There’s no details on the Irish Rail website about these increases.

Has anyone else noticed these price rise?

Update: Thanks to the ValueIreland reader who sent me in the story I was referring to – it’s here in the Sunday Business Post from November 8th, CIE pledges freeze of bus and train fares.

In what seems like a complete contradiction of what the VI reader above is experiencing, Barry Kenny, Iarnród Eireann spokesperson is quoted as saying the following:

The cost increases are not in the economy at the moment, and there is no need to increase fares for customers.

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The “Shoparound Index”. Irish rate of deflation underestimated?

I recently had an interesting conversation with someone that’ll lead to a few posts here on ValueIreland.com in the coming weeks.  The first of these was where they introduced me to the “Shoparound Index”.

The “Shoparound Index” is used by the AA in the United Kingdom as they believe that it better illustrates how the cost of insurance is increasing or decreasing compared to any published statistics that take just the first quote presented in any research.

Given that most of us won’t take the first quote we receive for any insurance renewals we get (should be all of us), we’ll make a couple of calls to see if we can get a better offer elsewhere.

On most occasions, we’ll actually find that our own insurance company will actually reduce our renewal quote on the first call without any qualms or pushback at all.

It makes sense therefore, that any insurance costs that are included in any published statistics should be an average of a few quotes rather than taking the first quote which will nearly always be higher – sometimes by upwards of 10-15%.

Take, for example, the cost of insurance as published in the recent CSO Consumer Price Index information for June 2009 ( I haven’t had a chance to check the recent report but I believe the numbers referred to here continue to be relevant for July).

This table indicates that in the past 12 months that home insurance has increased by nearly 25%, health insurance by 21% and car insurance by just over 13%.

I’m waiting for feedback since early August from the Central Statistics Office as to how they calculate these insurance cost increases – whether they’re based on a single insurance quote request, or whether they take an average of 3 or more quotes.

As of now, if we were to assume that they don’t take an average of 3 lowest quotes, it’s quite reasonable to assume that insurance costs haven’t increased as much as is indicated above and that since these are the biggest increases across all components of the CPI, then our deflation rate could actually be higher than is reported.

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Prices rise as weather soars

I did get this e-mail last week and given the weather yesterday, I suppose I should have posted it sooner. Has anyone else noticed during the recent hot spell what this reader is referring to:

I noticed that the prices of drinks in my local Spar seemed to rise with the tempiture yesterday, is this merely a coincidence or was it retailers taking advantage of us i dontknow. I was down at the maritime festival in grand canal dock, dublin and I went into fresh for a can of coke and noted a price of €1.09. In protest i decided to go to spar in ringsend to find the price had risen to €1.05. Can someone please justify summer increases in a recession?? It just seems to me that they are taking advantage of peoples thirst in hot weather. I also notee that around the corner in Tesco Express, the price of a can of coke was 68c!!

I know that a store close to where I work has made a big issue of advertising their cans of Coke for 99c. Then again, I suppose there is the case that Tesco Express will always be cheaper than the normal convenience stores given their bigger spending power.

Anyone else noticed this happening? Has the price of cans of Coke dropped dramatically yesterday and today with all the rain :-)?

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Save money on your Dublin Bus tickets

I blogged about this very same subject this time last year as well, and the timing is important, so here we go again.

Dublin Bus have increased their fares again for 2009, by up to 10c per ticket for adults. For me, my bus fare will go from €1.70 to €1.80 – an increase in my travel costs for the year of €50. It’s not all that much in the greater scheme of things, but still, with all the other price rises we’re experiencing these days, it’ll all add up.

So, to avoid this Dublin Bus price rise, at least for a short time, go to Ticketmaster and buy up any remaining tickets that they still have available at the old prices. That I can see, all the tickets currently on sale for Dublin Bus on the Ticketmaster website are still available at the old prices. Get them while you can.

Not sure about Irish Rail prices, but the same thing might be the case for the train tickets that are on sale via Ticketmaster also.

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Did you tell the CER, ESB and Bord Gais what you think?

Did anyone actually go to the public consultation meeting on Monday morning, 10am, in the Gresham Hotel? The hoteliers came out strongly against the price rises anyway according to the Irish Independent.

I wonder was there a “good turnout“?

The presentations given by the ESB and Bord Gais at the meetings, justifying their price rise requests, are available here.

I gave up after 3 pages on the Bord Gais one. I wonder what the powerpoint gurus have to say about them?

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8% Taxi Fare Increase

There was a little controversy last week over the 8% rise in taxi fares implement over the weekend. Not that much though, and it’s pretty much died down at this stage. Sort of like how the Irish public was shafted by the benchmarking process, we consumers are expected to pay more for a service that hasn’t improved for years, and where costs are actually decreasing at the moment with the fall in petrol prices.

However, in case you didn’t see the mention of this anywhere else – are you aware that this is actually a “maximum taxi fare”?

So, you could offer a lower fare to the taxi driver, or in an effort to attract your business (in these tough times for taxi drivers) they could offer you a discount on your fare as well.

Fine Gael’s Olivia Mitchell had the following comment to make on the fare increase:

This is against both taxi driver and consumer interests and unions are misguided if they think this is going to solve the problem of a lack of business.

Yet interestingly, you should look at the type of people who are representing consumers and business interests on the taxi regulator advisory panel. You’d have to wonder what input these people had when the Regulator made her decision. If they did kick up a fuss, we definitely haven’t heard about it and obviously they were ignored.

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Tell the CER what you think about Gas/Electricity rises

The Irish Independent today wrote that the energy regulator, the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) are having a public consultation meeting where:

CONSUMERS will get a chance to air their views on proposed price increases in gas and electricity.

This opportunity is being provided because of the fact that gas will increase by 4.2% and electricity by 5.8% on January 1st, 2009.

The public meeting is planned for 10am on Monday November 10th, in the Gresham Hotel in Dublin 1. Almost as handy a time to hold a meeting as the Consumer Association of Ireland AGM. You’d almost think that they didn’t want anyone to attend.

The public meeting is expected to last until 1.15pm and will involve presentations from the CER, Bord Gais and the ESB. The full meeting details are available here.

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Vodafone Increases cost of Directory Enquiry calls

There was a notification in the Irish Times on a Saturday a couple of weeks ago indicating “changes to Vodafone call charges”.

I love notifications like that – the call charge has changed, or the interest rate on savings accounts has changes (as frequently notified by the banks). Why not be straight with us and tell us if things are changing up or changing down.

As it turns out, the Vodafone call cost changes are an increase in the cost of calling the 4 directory enquiries numbers. (Quite poor form also that the webpage that’s advertised in the paper as having more information is giving a 404 error).

As per the table below, for both pay monthly and prepay customers, the cost per minute of calling each directory enquiry number has gone up 5c per minute – as has the connection cost per call also. That’s a 6% cost increase – let the bluster begin.

Our research article into the cost of Directory Enquiries has been updated with these new costs.

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VI Better Information 20-May-2008

  • Announced today, by Ryanair, the first price rise that makes the most sense, ever – charging for priority check-in. Coming back from Stanstead recently, there was the ridiculous situation where there was a plane full of people in the priority boarding queue, and only 1 person in the regular queue – and they still had to wait for everyone else to board. Madness!!! At least now priority boarding might actually provide some distinction.
  • Via Mr.Mulley again, further difficulties caused by Vodafone for one of their customers, BifSniff. One wonders how much you’d have to spend with them for them to actually attempt to keep one’s business.
  • I’ve been fairly critical of the National Consumer Agency on this blog – and here’s another gripe. Their Press Release and News and Research RSS feeds are driving me insane. Almost every single night, they republish hundreds of items and confuse the dates so that nothing appears in order at all – basically negating the use of the feeds at all.
  • Speaking of dodgy RSS feeds – it’s been months since I e-mailed Fine Gael about their faulty RSS feed for their news service. It’s still not working, and they don’t seem to have done anything to fix it.
  • Finally, has anyone noticed the very frustrating way in which The Sunday Tribune manage their website on a Sunday? While it’s not a great website in the first place, their way of encouraging newspaper sales rather than charging for content is to simply take down the whole website, providing a 404 message rather than doing anything more elegant.
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