Ahhhh … back at last.
I was so looking forward to sharing my christmas and house move with you all … there are heaps of pictures … but it was not to be.
As a result of a series of what I can only call systemic incompetencies … I have been without my broadband for some time.
I believe that if I hadn’t persisted over a number of hours and days to keep ringing Eircom … explaining my situation again and again and again to about 17 different people … then I would still be looking at a red internet light on my modem [and no internet connection].
I have sent a letter to the CEO of Eircom and their press office and I now put it here for you to ‘enjoy’.
I will let you know when and if I receive a reply and appropriate restitution for the stress and not being able to be in contact with friends, family and clients over Christmas.
I will be posting photos of the new home and our snow covered Christmas over the next few days.
Sending you HUGE wishes for a healthy and very abundant 2010 and new decade.
20 Pairc Fea
It is with deep disappointment [but little surprise] that I have to write you this letter to report a litany of exchanges I have had with your staff that have left me frustrated and very annoyed with your organisation – Eircom.
If it wasn’t real life I would almost have thought I was in an episode of The Office.
And here for your perusal is a chronological account of my encounters:
- Dec 1 2009 – rang Eircom to notify them that I would be moving house on December 12 and wanted to organise closing the old line and opening a new one as well as my broadband services. Was told to ring back in a week. I asked what the process was and the woman told me how they closed off the old line and then would send me a modem and it would be 10 working days to connect my broadband. She also asked me to send a letter with my new rental contract. I sent the letter and a copy of the contract to the person and address. [person 1 ]
- Dec 7 – rang to organise new phone and broadband. Was told that everything was in order. [person 2]
- Dec 11 – rang the day before moving to ensure that everything was organised. Told that the phone was connected. [person 3]
- Dec 14 – modem arrives. I connect everything and insert the CD and follow all instructions. Have 3 solid green and 1 red light … the internet light. I reboot the cd just in case it’s a software problem and re input ssid and wpa codes. I turn the modem on and off and also press the reset button. Internet light still solid red.
- Dec 17 – ring Eircom and explain the situation and the red internet light. She tells me that the order was placed on Jan 14 and my broadband should be connected by Jan 18. [person 4]
At this point I trusted that what the woman had told me was true and my broadband would be connected the next day. Ahhhh … false hope, false hope.
- Dec 18 – no broadband. Internet light solid red. It’s a Friday so I wait patiently until Monday.
And now the farce begins.
- Dec 21 – Ring Eircom [and by the way dialling 1901 and having to keep responding to a recorded voice to get to a ‘real’ person can be very irritating when you have to do it over and over and over again] and speak with a customer service person. I explain my situation from December 1. [person 5] Am told that I am connected – I point out that a red internet light means that I can’t access the internet [something I am going to have to explain to nearly 10 more people in the following weeks]. I am put on hold [something that will happen many times and will last as long as 10 minutes when I am cut off … more frustration]. Mary comes back and tells me she is transferring me to a technical person but she will explain the situation so I don’t have to repeat myself – I am put on hold. Technical person [person 6] comes on the line and asks me to explain the situation [this happens every time even when the previous person tells me they will explain the situation]. I explain the situation again. He asks me to turn the modem on and off and press the reset button. I explain that I have done this before but he asks me to do it again. I do – and the internet light stays red. I am put on hold. Technical person returns and says that the exchange hasn’t turned on my port or internet line and they will send someone to the exchange to fix it.
- Dec 22, 23, 24 etc – red internet light.
It’s now Christmas and I know that people won’t be working for the next week.
Because I have no broadband connection I can’t talk with my family and friends via Skype or my blog or Facebook over Christmas and the New Year. Your organisation is responsible for that.
- Jan 4 – red light still showing on internet. This is the day I get to talk with 5 Eircom employees and get put on hold about 6 times – 3 of them disconnect and I have to go through 1901 4 times in order to talk with a ‘real’ person. Person 7 – Talk with customer services and explain the whole situation from January 1. She looks at file and says an order was sent out on December 23rd and I was connected on December 24. Explain that I am not connected and have a red internet light. I am put on hold. Then put through to technical support [person 8] – explain the situation from Jan 1 again. I am put on hold. Techie returns and apologises and says that Eircom has made a mistake. My broadband line is connected but the exchange still needs to open the port that will enable the internet light to go green. I ask him what he will do. He says that he will put me on to the exchange and explain the whole situation so I don’t have to. I am put on hold. The exchange person [person 9] asks me to explain the situation and tells me that I am connected as an order went to them on December 23rd. I explain [again!!} that I have a red internet light. I am put on hold. She returns and explains that someone cancelled the December 23rd order and I will now have to wait another 10 working days [2 real weeks] to be connected.
At this point I thought I would explode with frustration. So far I have had to:
- talk with 9 people since December 1 and no one has resolved the situation.
- I keep getting fobbed off and passed around.
- No one takes responsibility.
- No one seems to be recording data about my situation and I have to repeat myself all the time
- There is no quick response process or system for a customer such as myself who is experiencing a breakdown in service.
I explained to the woman that waiting another 2 weeks was totally unacceptable as I had a business to run and clients needed me to be doing online research. I had already lost weeks of online time because of Eircoms incompetence.
She said there was nothing she could do about it. I asked to be connected to their Complaints section.
I also want to point out that I NEVER lost my temper and was polite and calm at all times. Having said that … I can understand how people get angry then furious then raging when they continually have to explain themselves to different staff … and still have no resolution of a problem that is not their fault.
- Still Jan 4 – [person 10] – I explain the whole story from Jan 1 to the woman who says she is very sorry for all the inconvenience. The phone disconnects and I have to ring 3 more times … listen to robot mans voice … get put on hold … get cut off … until I get through to a customer service person [person 11]. I ask to be put through the Cathy in Complaints. I am put through to Margaret [person 12] who tells me Cathy is on another call. I explain my situation since Jan 1 again. She apologises and says she will send an investigation request to the exchange. I ask whether this will get my broadband connected and how long it will take. She says it could take days.
So far I have talked with 12 people and the problem is still not solved.
This process has taken hours of my time … caused me deep distress … affected my capacity to do work for clients … and the problem is still not resolved.
- Jan 5 – [person 13] I receive a call from the exchange. We go through the usual thing of me explaining the situation since January 1. I am put on hold. He comes back and explains that 2 things have happened. The December 23rd order was cancelled and somehow they reconnected my old broadband line but my new line hasn’t been opened [I really know that!] … and he needs a new order to be sent to his blackberry before he can open the port. I explain that I know all that and all I want is for someone to get it right and sort it out. I ask him who I need to ring in Dublin to get a new order number. He says the broadband section. I ring them. [person 14] answers and I explain the whole situation again. I am put on hold. She tells me that I am connected from an order sent out on January 4. I tell her that I am not connected as I HAVE A RED INTERNET LIGHT. She says that it’s a technical problem and she will connect me to the technical section. I tell her that it is not a technical problem as I have already had 2 conversations with the technical section. I say that it is a connection problem and they need to ensure that the exchange gets that order so the nice man can open the port. I told her that I had just been talking to the exchange man and he said he needed the order. I am put on hold for 10 minutes and the phone disconnects.
- I ring a friend and ask him to come and pick me up from my house which is 5 minutes out of Ballinamore and iced over as I can’t walk safely. I go to his house to use his internet and check the 500 emails in my inbox.
- Jan 6 – At this stage I am so wearied by the incompetence of your organisation that I give myself the day off from making phone calls and feeling frustrated.
- Jan 7 – I start again and ring 1901 … go through robot man and get to customer services [person 15]. I ask to be put through to Margaret in Customer Complaints [I’m hoping that she can help me sort the process]. I am put through to Luke [person 16] who proceeds to talk to me as if I am an idiot and parrots the following to me ‘we have sent your complaint to the appropriate department and they will deal with it within 10 days’. I explained that I had talked with the department and they weren’t dealing with it and my attempts to deal with other departments to get a new order number were unsuccessful and very frustrating. He repeated ‘we have sent your complaint to the appropriate department and they will deal with it within 10 days’. I told him that the matter wasn’t being resolved to my satisfaction and he wasn’t helping and I would recontact the exchange myself. I believe that Luke needs some retraining in basic communication and empathy skills. Patronising a customer when they have had to get to the point where they are ringing Complaints not once … not twice … but three times … is so inappropriate I am gobsmacked. At least the other 2 people in complaints had the decency to listen and sympathise.
- Jan 7 – rang the exchange again [person 17] and talked to the man from Jan 5 [he had the decency to give me a direct line and his name so at least I didn’t get passed from one person to another]. I explained that I had rung the broadband section and they were saying it was a technical problem and weren’t resolving it and I had just rung the Complaints section only to be patronised by the staff member. I told him that I was just weary and frustrated from all the calls and could he help. He said he would be in Ballinamore today and would personally go to the exchange and come over to my house. I’m hoping he will be able to resolve it. Update Jan 7 12.14am … the man from the exchange rang and I now have a GREEN INTERNET light!! He rang Dublin and sorted things out. They had been sending and cancelling orders since Dec 14!! I thanked him profusely and said he seemed to be the one person who took some responsibility to sort the problem for me. He doesn’t want his name mentioned.
Somewhere in all the conversations one of the people said ‘you won’t be charged for the time you were without broadband’.
As CEO of Eircom, you and your senior management team create and lead the organisational culture.
All I can say is that you have some serious process and system issues regarding customer service to deal with as I know I’m not the only deeply deeply unhappy customer.
As a result of your systems failure I have:
- Missed talking online with family and friends over Christmas
- Had the ongoing stress of not being able to do my work for clients online
- Been on the phone for hours explaining my situation countless times to at least 17 people who gave me varying and different diagnosis of my situation
- Been treated like an idiot by one of your complaints personnel
- Been unable to write my blog
And I must make this very clear … if I had not persisted over days and weeks to explain the situation … I would probably be looking at a red internet light forever. Some people trust your organisation to be efficient … I don’t.
When an organisation stuffs up as badly as Eircom then they should provide some form of restitution.
Not only do I expect you to not charge me for the time I had no access to broadband … I expect you to provide me with some form of restitution for the losses and stress I have experienced.
A letter of apology from you and at least 6 months free broadband would be a useful start.
I will also be posting this letter to my blog [https://lizbiz.wordpress.com] and Facebook.
Yours in exasperation
All I can say dear reader is that I am delighted to be back online … and really pissed off with Eircom.