Eir faces fines, pleads guilty to over-charging customers
Irish Sun - Tuesday 10th October, 2017
Eircom was fined 10,500 euros
It has admitted to overcharging customers
Eircom pleaded guilty at Dublin District Court
DUBLIN, Ireland - Eircom has pleaded guilty at the Dublin District Court to offences under the Communications Regulation Act 2002 and was slapped with 10,500 euros.
After Eircom’s customer service teams failed to resolve problems of five customers, they went to the industry watchdog ComReg, following which the phone company faced prosecution in connection with the complaints.
According to reports, Cavan pensioner Irene McHugh was an existing customer and had been cold-called by an Eircom sales agent last year.
He reportedly agreed to a fibre optic broadband plan for 65 euros a month.
On Monday, ComReg compliance analyst Una Milton agreed with prosecution counsel Ronan Kennedy that a verbal contract was entered into but a day later she had second thoughts.
She was concerned the payments were difficult to make and made a number of calls to cancel the plan.
She revealed that she ended up paying two bills, her old account which she believed was cancelled and the new account.
She was eventually disconnected and left without a service for two weeks.
She had a personal alarm on her wrist and would not have been able to contact anyone in an emergency, the court heard.
Later, the court heard she was overcharged by 148 euros but Eircom has since refunded her.
Another woman, who reportedly moved from Belfast to the Glenties in Co. Donegal, opted for a landline and mobile broadband service which did not work.
The court further heard that the woman was overcharged 592 euros and cancelled her direct debit payments after which she got disconnected.
Milton agreed that the woman was upset and in an emergency, she would not have been able to contact anyone.
Three other customers were also overcharged.
Defence counsel Joe Jeffers pointed out to the court that Eircom had refunded them and had co-operated with the investigation.
He said the company has put new ways of dealing with customer issues.
He added that this has seen complaints drop from 1,000 to 300 a month.
Judge Brennan ruled that it was clear the measures taken after the 2015 case was not sufficient.
He further noted the distress caused but accepted that Eircom had taken action to improve customer service.
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