ComReg craps on consumers (again)

Pat reported this morning that Smart Telecom’s phone service was down. Their upstream provider, Eircom, cut them off for non-payment of bills leaving 40,000+ of Smart’s customers with no phone service.

Were I cynical I’d suggest that Eircom did this as a cheap means of acquiring 40,000+ new customers.

The Irish telecom’s regulator, ComReg (aka Eircom’s lapdog) knew this was coming for a long time and never bothered stepping in to try to resolve the dispute – why would they? It is not as if ComReg gives a toss about the consumer. Nope, yet again they (in)acted in Eircom’s interest.

It will be interesting to see what position Isolde Goggin will be offered in Eircom when she steps down as ComReg Chair.

6 thoughts on “ComReg craps on consumers (again)”

  1. I think we need to keep asking serious questions about why nearly every regulator apporinted by government in Ireland serves business interests first and the consumers needs last.

    Why are we paying to ensure job mobility for political appointments?

  2. I find Eircom’s transperency to be rather refreshing, they turn off one of their main competitors, hire a mass of temporary staff to sign up the competitors customer base and do it it full view of the paying public, the communications regulator and the competition authority. Well done Eircom! Oh before I get shot that was sarcasm D’uh! šŸ™‚

    Action must be taken against Eircom for this obviously anti-competitive behaviour.

  3. This is a complete disaster for the Irish telecoms market.

    Confidence will be eroded on two fronts from now on. For a start, a lot of consumers will be wary of sourcing services from anyone other than eircom, in case something like this happens again to another operator.

    Secondly, it shows the Irish telecoms market as being uncompetitive, which could mean that potential operators and their investors will think twice about entering the market here.

    I agree with you that (in)Com(petent)Reg have handled this situation disastrously. Isolde Goggin was on Morning Ireland this morning saying that ComReg was not obliged to keep any operator on business, and in other markets like the US there had been high-profile business failures in the telco sector. But Ireland’s market is nowhere near as developed as the US, so a high profile failure like Smart just erodes confidence.

    I think that the fault must equally lie higher up than ComReg, at the desk of our old pal ‘Dialup’ Dempsey, who oversees ComReg and has failed to make them an effective referee of the market.

  4. Even worse, eircom’s radio adverts are claiming that Smart subscribers must switch in the next two weeks; while this is true of those who still have their old phone number, it is not true for anyone who switched numbers in order to get broadband.

    Guess it suits eircom to overlook this distinction in order to get all of the Smart customers to panic…..

    Mind you, after this episode I wouldn’t touch eircom with a bargepole, and I’m dumping my Irish soccer jersey in case it advertises them….

  5. I’m a Smart customer and appalled by the current situation.

    I’ve outlined how here but eircom are not adhering to the agreement with ComReg. I was disconnected after ComRegs agreement.

    I’ve complained to ComReg and apparently I’m not the only one disconnected post agreement, and still without a service.

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