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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, 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? ;)