Eircom broadband — it’s never easy

Argh, it’s never easy.

After this post, the consensus was that nowadays, Eircom have a pretty good quality of service for their DSL offerings, taking both price and service into account. I was happy enough to go with that, so I ordered their “Eircom broadband always on 2MB and Eircom talktime anytime bundle”, back around the middle of April.

I had a great call with the sales agent, Hazel. Everything went swimmingly, we were all set for the modem to be delivered and the service to be up and running in 10 working days — by May 1st April 30th. I asked for an order reference number and she said I didn’t need one, it was all handled in their system. Great!

Unfortunately it seems the call centre staff never got that quality-of-service memo.

Come May 1st, there was no sign of the modem, so I rang Eircom’s order line to see how things were going. To my horror, the staff I talked to told me that there was no record of my previous order, or call… it was as if that call had never taken place at all. No part of the order had even started.

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.)

This is bad news, since we’re waiting on the broadband to move in — since I work from home, we can’t move in until we have a good ‘net connection.

We can’t even make a complaint to Eircom about this fuckup, because they refuse to take complaints without the original order number to reference — the one that “Hazel” told me wasn’t needed anymore. Now that’s bureaucracy. Attempts at escalation just wound up with a dead end, where supervisors had no names and had left the office at 10am anyway. >:(

Best of all, their online complaints system now takes a maximum message length of 400 characters, so you can’t even provide a detailed written complaint online anymore. (That is, not unless you submit the complaint in 15 separate parts…)

What a fiasco.

So we now have to wait until May the 15th. We’ve submitted the complaint via the aforementioned 15 parts, and postally; if they don’t take action on those, we’ll complain to Comreg (and let’s see what that’s worth).

But here’s a question — assuming they fail to deliver the second order within time this time around, can we cancel at that stage? There’s a minimum contract length of 6 months, but since the service hasn’t been delivered, I would hope that hasn’t started yet. The terms and conditions document says:

“Ready for Service date” (otherwise “RFS date”) means the date on which eircom establishes the Facility for the Customer.

3.1 This Agreement shall commence on the Ready for Service date and shall be for the Initial Period. Provided that this Agreement has not been terminated in accordance with its terms or in accordance with the Regulations, this Agreement shall thereafter automatically renew for successive six-month periods. For the purposes of this clause 3, a six-month period will be calculated from the anniversary of the RFS date.

3.2 The Customer may cancel its order for the Facility at any time prior to the RFS date. In the event of such cancellation by the Customer it shall be obliged to return any Kit, which may have been provided to it by eircom. Any Kit shall be returned to eircom by posting it to the freepost address detailed in the welcome pack. In the event of any Kit not being returned to eircom within fourteen (14) days of the cancellation of the Order for the Facility, the Customer shall be charged by eircom and shall pay to eircom such sum as is set out in the Regulations as being the charge payable in respect of the non-return of any Kit.

So I guess as long as the facility — the ADSL line — is not up and running, I’m clear to cancel, right? It’s a little worrying that the “facility” doesn’t include the “kit” — ie. the broadband modem, though; if they fuck up sending out the modem, but the line is up, am I liable for 200 Euros?

In terms of who are viable options to switch to — in my opinion it’s got to be fixed wireless, since everyone else now would have to go via Eircom’s exchanges anyway, and be delayed there. So — Irish Broadband. I know they had some pretty massive problems 2 or 3 years ago, but recently I’ve been hearing good things about them, Boards.ie has some reasonably good-sounding recent experiences, and half of my new neighbours (srsly!) are using them with great results. Anyone got recent news about how useful they are with service quality and install speed for their Breeze product in the D9/D11 area?

Alternatively, Ripwave might make a reasonable stop-gap option? 120 euros is the minimum fee (6 months at 18.95 per month), which is better than the money I’m paying now to live in two houses…

Alternatively anyone know an Eircom engineer in D9/D11 that can nip over to the exchange and plug in my connection on the DSLAM? ;)

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  1. Brian Scanlan
    Posted May 9, 2007 at 12:40 | Permalink


    Here are some random smokeping results from schools in the D9/D11 area connected via IBB Breeze to HEAnet over PPPoE. Quality is quite good, they do appear to suffer from packet loss during peak consumer hours, however you can see that things have improved over the last while. Of course, YMMV, IANAL, etc.

    One Two Three Four

  2. Posted May 9, 2007 at 12:47 | Permalink

    Hi Justin,

    I’ve had Irish Broadband’s fixed wireless for the last 2 years in D9. In general It’s been pretty good – a very occasional outage but it generally comes back on quickly and I’ve never had to deal with their customer service. I was initially on a 1MB bi-directional package which was a bit slow at times, but a few weeks back they contacted me to give me a free aerial upgrade (they were using a wire mesh one, now using a flat one) and an upgrade to the 2MB breeze package. So far it’s done what it says on the tin – at or close to 2MB whenever I’ve tested it. Also on both times they’ve visited me, they came on time, when they said they’d come and on both times it was within a couple of days. The guys who installed it were good, competent and quick to. So, all in all it seems to be a good deal.

  3. Posted May 9, 2007 at 15:14 | Permalink

    I spoke too soon — we just got a response to that complaint which claims that everything has been resolved and the line is now up and running! I’ll pop over tonight with a modem and laptop and see if it works. Fingers crossed…

  4. Posted May 9, 2007 at 22:44 | Permalink

    yep, it worked. Also, the modem has been delivered — to the wrong address ;) Ah well, will pick that up tomorrow.

  5. Alex
    Posted May 17, 2007 at 00:39 | Permalink

    ah, the beginning of a beautiful relationship. My esat experience has just gone to comreg after they have been charging me for an additional line FOR THE PAST TWELVE MONTHS. Hopefully I’ll be able to ditch them completely when ntl come to town.

  6. Alex
    Posted May 25, 2007 at 15:39 | Permalink

    Went to comreg. Nifty little online form. 3 days later I got a grovelling apology, a full refund and a good will gesture! I can’t believe it. Go comreg.

  7. Sevti Arss
    Posted April 20, 2008 at 16:13 | Permalink

    Eircom are Tossers.

  8. Orla
    Posted May 11, 2008 at 00:34 | Permalink

    I have a brand new laptop and just got eircom wireless broadband at the highest speed but i cant download anything or play games which i was actually able to do on my ancient pc can anybody help please i dont want to download a load of rubbish.

  9. anne o neill
    Posted October 24, 2010 at 10:39 | Permalink

    i cannot credit the fact that i was so stupid to believe the sales rep from eircom and signed up ,a pack of lies,lie after lie!!everybody take heed!