Pricewatch reader queries: UPC customer unimpressed with box-set situation

Also, a problem with a Leap Card; and Lotto iPhone app ‘as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike’

David Evans recently upgraded his UPC TV package to one now being advertised on the company's website.

“If you go to the ‘Broadband, TV and Phone’ tab, you will see three bundles costing €75, €80, and €85 per month,” he writes. “These packages include box sets. If you click on the information tab under the MyPrime, On Demand and Horizon Go info, you will see this statement: ‘You can watch even more top-quality live TV, a huge library of movies and a great selection of box sets on your smartphone or tablet in and out of the home using Horizon Go’.

“This seems clear and unambiguous, so I went for the €80 package.

“With my old package I could access TV box sets whenever I liked. So when I discovered I could no longer access them under my new package, I phoned UPC. In fact, I phoned them three times over the past few days and got the same message each time: box sets are only available under the €85 package.


“Despite pointing out that their current website advertises otherwise, I was informed politely but firmly that if I wanted to watch box sets, I would have to fork out another €5 per month, regardless of what was stated on the website.”

We contacted UPC, where a spokeswoman confirmed there was an issue.

“The case in question relates to a recent upgrade to UPC’s Horizon Value Pack,” she said. “What we missed – and we put our hands up on this one – was an explanation that the box sets will be on offer with the introduction of our new My Prime service from Monday, February 23rd, at no extra cost.

“We have spoken to our customer, apologised and explained the situation, which is now sorted.”

An expensive leap from the Dart

Derek contacted us about a Leap Card he tried to use over Christmas. He wants to know who gives out refunds when the turnstiles are out of order and open, meaning they can’t tag off or tell the system they have left, as they are supposed to do. If you can’t tag off, you will be charged the full whack for a trip – to Greystones or to Howth in the case of the Dart, even if you hop off halfway.

"I exited Tara Street at the new exit that goes down to Ulster Bank," writes Derek. "All the turnstiles were open, no staff were at that exit and there was no way of tagging off. There was no extra tag-off stations except the non-working turnstiles. I was heading into a meeting and didn't have time to walk all the way around the block to the front entrance of Tara Street station and tag off there."

He wrote to Irish Rail and was told he could whistle for a refund, as the Tara Street station had "a number of validators in place in order for customers to tag on and off correctly. Customers can avail of the other validators and turnstiles in the unlikely event that one of these turnstiles or validators aren't working."

Derek wants to know if the onus is now on “the customer to prove they couldn’t tag off? With a picture of the malfunctioning turnstiles?”

We contacted Irish Rail. “If the exit barriers are open it does not mean that you cannot tag off,” a spokeswoman said. “You can still use the reader on top of the exit validation machine. If there is no functioning tag-off points within the station, you are entitled to apply for a refund. These refunds are processed by Leap Card. However, if there is a Leap Card reader functioning in another part of the station, then it is your responsibility to tag off.”

No dice for Lottery app

"The National Lottery's app for the iPhone is about as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike," writes a reader called Denis. "You cannot access results. All that comes up on the phone is 'No Network'. While trying to check current results, up pops 'No data, the application was unable to retrieve draw results from the National Lottery Server'."

We contacted National Lottery and were told it launched a results app for iPhone in 2009. Then, in 2012, it launched “a mobile-optimised website for use directly through the native browser on IOS and Android handsets”. It then discontinued support of the iPhone app, “as the mobile-optimised website provides a better user experience”.