So the story goes like this…
2.5 years ago 3 of us (my fiancée, my colleague and myself) decided to move in together to save up on rent and bills. Plan was great and worked fantastic. I was paying the rent and rubbish (we shared the price of coz) from my bank account. Flatmate was paying for the eircom internet bill from his account. My fiancée didn’t have any bills in her name coming to the house. 2 years+ later due to many factors flatmate decided to move to a bigger city where he works now and we have decided that this is a great idea as we are planning to get married soonish. Everything worked out fantastic. 2 weeks before we were to get married flatmate moved out. No fuss. No arguing. No BS. 3 adults were going separate way. He is still our good friend and we have many great memories gathered over the period of 2.5 year. Peachy…
Not so much. Why? Well – since flatmate was moving out and broadband from eircom was in his name I thought that its a good idea to move the broadband bill onto my fiancé’s name. I did my research and found out that in the past the current account holder had to actually close down the account for the address and 24 hours later a new account could be added with this address. You then had to wait for the eircom’s router which was sent to you via An-Post – whole operation took more less 2 weeks. 2 weeks of no internet? That’s a long long time… I’ve decided to check if something changed in that matter and while at work I got one of the eircom’s bills and found a contact number. It was 1890 something or 1850 something. I called the number and super extremely polite girl told me that I have reached eircom for business customers service and that I need to get eircom’s personal account customer service but in the same time she said that this way of “transferring” the account is a thing of the past. All I have to do is call the 1901 number from landline or mobile and then press 3 when asked. I will then reach one of the personal customer service departments and they will transfer the account from my flatmate’s name / bank details to my fiancé’s name and bank details. Both – current account holder and the future account holder have to be present. It will take maximum 24 hours for the details to change. I will continue to pay the bills from my bank account where I would have set up a direct debit. Bills will kept coming to the house but with my fiancé’s name on them. Account would continue to exist. No internet interruptions would have to appear. Fantastic… right?
Wrong. Today flatmate came in to deal with few final things and drop off a key. One of these final things was to transfer the eircom’s account as planned. I was sure it will take 3 mins tops. I did my reasearch. Right? Wrong…
We called the 1901 number and we got the helpline. First person that we spoke to was a weird young girl who didn’t seemed to care. I told her what the story is. She told us we cannot transfer the account to another name because she can only change the first name and not the last name on the account. I was also told that its impossible to transfer account to someone who is not a member of the immediate family. Wait! What?! I told her that I’ve spoke to the Eir representative sometime ago and they said its done in 3 – 5 minutes and the transfer of ownership takes 24 hours top. She said “she must ask someone” and left me on hold. After she came back online she was even less pleasant. Ok… I have gotten very much annoyed and asked to be transfered to the girls manager. Instead I landed in the “Cancellation” department after hanging on hold for a minute or two.
This time I got a professional customer service representative. Stewart. Very polite. Excellent phone manners. I felt like he tried to help me… but at the end I’ve heard the same story. “I am sorry but…“. Yes I know. They are always sorry. They are a customer service representatives. They are not really responsible for the issues I am having. I know that and this is why I am trying not to be rude to them. Its like being rude to a waiter after you’ve received a non-edible food. Chef prepared it. Waitress only delivered it. Waitress has nothing to do with food quality. Waitress can only pass my messages to the chef but she cannot really influence the food making process. He / she is a face behind the food and they are responsible for the way the food (message) reaches you but beside this – they are just messengers really. Do not shoot the messengers. I told Stewart the truth. The fact that he is sorry is in no way going to make me feel better when I am waiting for approximately two weeks for my new eircom account to be activated and for my router / internet password to be delivered. Even if its not 2 weeks but just 6 days. It’s still a very long time to stay offline. He offered me to transfer my call to the “Billing” department. I said fine.
Another person listened to our story and was sorry but… I was offered to be transfered to the “Loyalty” department. I said fine – go ahead.
At this point my flatmate and my fiancée started to laugh because they were sick and tired of me trying to explain the situation to another customer service representative.
I spoke to Amy in the “Loyalty” department. I must say that Eir does hires a phone pros in their helplines. Most of the time they (I spoke to 5 different people and 75% of that) were making a fantastic job as customer service. Really. No its not a sarcasm. Like I said – just because Eir has stupid policies and a broken database / computer system where the customer service representative is faced with grayed out “Last name” box which he / she cannot edit it does not mean that I cannot appreciate that their representatives are doing great job trying to “soften the blow” and keeping me on as a customer. Amy works in “Loyalty” department. Loyalty for me means – a mutual respect. I am a loyal customer. I was paying my half of the Eir bill for the last 2.5 years. All I need is for them to help me transfer the account to my Fiancé’s name / banking details and to provide me with uninterrupted internet connection. I asked Amy if leaving me hanging for almost (or even over) 2 weeks with no internet is their definition of loyalty and what stops me from closing the account today and opening another one with Vodafone 5 minutes later. Her reply was… precious and actually quite brilliant. “Early cancellation fee – €150”. Turns out that even tho we have signed up 2 years contract with Eir when the 2 years have passed and we didn’t canceled our contract was extended for another year. I am not saying its a bad thing. They didn’t just disconnected us from the internet – they have extended our contract for a year. IF we want to cancel the broadband flatmate has to call Eir customer service 30 days prior to 19th of February 2016 year and let them know that I want to cancel. IF we decide to cancel today – we have to pay the early cancellation fee. IF however flatmate was to move the account (Eir broadband) from current address to the new address Amy would make a note in the file to not to charge us extra for cancellation because he wasn’t canceling but moving the account to the new address. First of all – flatmate is planning to go with UPC (Virgin) broadband in his new apartment so Eir account will be needed there like a saddle on a pig. Second thing is – if he moved the account I am (again) in the position where I have no internet for approximately 14 days so its of NO help to me whatsoever. Amy said that she was sorry… but that’s how things work.
I thanked Amy very much, wished her a good day and disconnected the call. 43 minutes. 4 people. 1 company. And we were not happy.
Do you see how they narrowed the options for us?
– Cannot change the last name
– Cannot transfer account if the person is not family
– Cannot close the account without paying €150 cancellation fees
– There is no simple way to transfer ownership so that the service / payments continue without at least few days of interruptions
After all this we have decided to keep the Eir account in my flatmate’s name. He will keep paying for it till the February 2016 and then he will cancel it to avoid the cancellation fee. I will send him the money each month via online banking. €53. So basically I will be paying for the internet connection from his account. Yes – I know. RIDICULOUS. And this brings me to the second part of the conclusions we have came up with. We are not sure if we are going to sign up for Eir e-fibre broadband in the February 2016. They might be the best option in this God forsaken town – yes. But I will wait and see. Maybe UPC (Virgin) will be available here by then, maybe I will go with Vodafone broadband. I will do my research and find out. I will do a better research then when I was checking for “how easy it is to transfer ownership of the Eir broadband”. And even if they are the best option – I might not want to give them my business after the left me hanging for 14 days with no internet connection because of a stupid policies / broken database system. We are sorry but… loyalty means something to us. We are paying customers. When we want something – the last thing we want to hear is “I am sorry but…”.
That’s all. Rant mode off.