Readers’ queries: Left hanging in the Eir by internet provider

One reader has had internet connection problems for three months; another has her head scrambled by a pricing anomaly

Maura from Sligo contacted us "in total desperation" as a result of "almost two months of trying to have my problem listened to and dealt with effectively by my internet supplier, Imagine.

“I first reported the fact that my internet connection was not working on July 9th and since that time I have spent countless hours on the matter and incurred an amount of needless expense.”

One of the first things she did when she contacted the company was to ask for her phone line to be tested. Instead she was advised to buy a replacement modem which she did. It made no difference and a week later her line was tested and it was discovered there was a problem. “I was quite angry because several days had been wasted even at this stage and also because I knew now that most likely I should not have been put through the expense of a new modem,” she writes. “However, I was at least relieved that there would shortly be a solution.”

Imagine said that it would report the matter to Eir who would send out a technician. On July 21st a technician arrived from Eir who said there was an external line problem. “At last someone had listened and the problem would be solved. He left to deal with the problem, saying that he would not need further access to the house,” she says.


Two days later and the problem had not gone away. “I reported it to a technician in Imagine who said that the problem would be dealt with. Since then it has been a nightmare of phone calls and inaction,” she says.

Every time she rings Imagine she is put through to a different technician and has to go through the whole scenario again and again. “I appear to have been bounced backwards and forwards between Eir and Imagine. I don’t know if Imagine has passed on my request for a technician to Eir. I have made many such requests. On occasions Imagine have told me the problem is solved, to which I have replied it isn’t.”

She says Imagine’s mantra has always been “that they had to satisfy everything on their end before calling in Eir to work on the line, as Eir would charge me €90 if they were called out needlessly. On each occasion I would say that I was happy to incur that risk as I knew that there was a fault with the line. As I need my internet and phone for work, to which I am returning this week – not to mention for practical and personal reasons – I began to despair in the second week of August and felt literally sick every time I had to interact with Imagine.”

She then contacted ComReg on August 10th. She was given a reference number and told to tell Imagine she had lodged a formal complaint and had been told that if the situation was not satisfactorily resolved within 10 working days ComReg would deal with the matter.

“A missed call came to my mobile on August 12th. When I returned the call on the following day it was Imagine. I was asked whether the problem was phone or internet or both. They should have known the answer was yes to both. The only communication with Imagine since then was when I rang them to ask the status and they told me that they would ask an Eir engineer to come out. Since then I have heard nothing.”

She says she is weary of the whole affair. “It has cost me time and money. I do not have a Smartphone so am using my mobile for calls which I would normally make on my landline - extra expense to me. I have to go to the internet cafe and library and friends’ houses to get online access. My home is my office and I will be intensely busy over the next few weeks with work. I do not know how I will manage.”

We contacted Imagine which, to its credit, took action immediately. The problem appears to rest with a creaky old phone line network. Imagine got on to Eir, which sent a technical crew to visit our reader and they “put in a temporary solution for her which she is happy with”. They were due to return on Friday to put a permanent fix in place.

“The Eir fixed line network is old and creaking in many rural areas,” an Imagine spokesman said. “A second problem is that she is a few kilometres from an Eir exchange, which means that Eir will only be able to deliver very limited slow broadband on her line on their current infrastructure.” He also said the infrastructure in rural areas, particularly down the west coast, is vulnerable to storms “which have caused outages but also weaken connections which gradually have an impact on service.”

Eggs-asperated by a price difference

And then we have a less complex story from a reader in Dublin 6.

"I ran into the Tesco Local this morning, but a pricing anomaly soon put a stop to my gallop," she writes. "I picked up a box of a dozen medium-sized free range eggs, under which the label said €3.52. Perhaps I don't need a dozen, I thought, and I swapped them for a box of six which, to my confusion, cost €1.59."

She says she encourages her children to shop clever and to read the labels, “so I applied myself to the sum at hand. Twice six is 12, and twice €1.59 is €3.18. That is a difference of 34 cent. Cheaper by the dozen? Not in this case, Tesco.”

We got in touch with Tesco and were told that due to human error the 12 pack was incorrectly priced. “We apologise for this mistake and we have corrected the price to €3.15,” a spokeswoman said.

“It is never our intention to mislead our customers and we are sorry for any inconvenience caused. We are happy to refund any customer who purchased the 12 pack at the previous price.”