I had a bit of a wry chuckle this morning.

If you're going to have a chuckle, a wry one is as good as any other kind?

Anyhows, I was browsing the papers as one does and came across an item about Eir [can anyone beat that for a daft name?] what used to be Eircom, our main telephone company.

Now the article is just a thing about them raising prices [since when does a weekly occurance become newsworthy?] and I merely skimmed through it.  But then I came to the line that was the cause of much merriment –

He added that any customer who had a question or query could contact Eir and it would work with them to find the most appropriate bundle based on their current spending and usage patterns.


When did "he" ever try contacting them? 

Now they have been doing fierce work out at my hedge for the last little while building fancy boxes that look more secure than Fort Knox.  They are the much vaunted fibre cabinets that are to provide me with super duper speeds.  I have naturally been curious and have been rying to get in touch with them for ages.

Fibre cabinetMy wall, my brambles, their boxes.

I could phone them but that would involve endless menus of the spoken variety [“I do not understand – please repeat”] and life-long holding.  There is no point emailing them so that left one option – Live Chat.

A few days ago I found their Live Chat thingy and it apologised and said everyone was very very [very] busy and could I please try again.  Every time it was the same – no one available.  Day after day, the same thing.

Anyhows I did actually get through to them on Live Chat this morning.  I sat there waiting for the thing to switch from "Not available" to "Chat now" and clicked before it could flick bact to "Not Available" again.  It took incredibly sharp reactions to click within the nanosecond allowed, but I did it.

Yer Man [I’ll call him John, because that was his name] was very helpful.  He contacted my exchange and assured my I was in a very high priority area and that's why there was so much commotion outside my hedge.  I asked him how long and could I have it next week, and he said no but I could have it within six months.  Maybe.

He told me that when it comes, I won't know myself for speed, will have oodles of television channels [I sincerely hope that means less than I have at the moment] and can make free phone calls all day and every day.  In the meantime though all he could offer me was broadband about four times the speed I'm getting at the moment and the free phone calls.

I may go for it.  It'll cost me around €50 a month [no doubt to be increased next week and every week thereafter] which is less than the €80 I'm paying for the two seperate services.  Seeing as it will only cost me an extra €10 a month, I'll have two broadbands running in parallel and will be able to chat to myself via Farcebook.  If it works, I can get the old broadband removed, but won't be able to chat to myself any more.  We must all make sacrifices.

Interesting times,

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Narrowband — 13 Comments

  1. My provider here in Germ(o)ney doesn't hold with "life-long" holding. They're so kind as to simply throw you out after about an hour. I guess they assume that no one in his right mind let's him- oder herself hang on in their phone lines for an hour or more. They don't cater for people desperate enough to do just that.

    All phone companies are created equal, no matter where on earth …

    • For some reason phone companies and gubmint departments are all the same.  They have endless choices on their menus [which invariably land you with the wrong person] and require a large stock of food, drink and tranquilisers to last you through the call.  I really hate phoning either so I avoid them wherever possible.  The only real reason I contacted Eir was dogged determination.

    • "All phone companies are created equal, no matter where on earth…"  Ain't that the truth.  France is just as bad.  They have a help-line for English speakers except when you ring up nobody answers!  Go over to the one for the natives and struggle for a bit with the techno-lingo and they ask you why you didn't ring the English one.  Then to get your hopes up they ask you if you'd like to speak to an English speaker now.  You say "yes please", they go click click whirr for a bit and the line goes dead.

      France Telecom is under investigation for the high number of suicides among their employees.  So either they're employing depressives or there's something seriously up with the company.  Wonder how high the rate is among their customers?!

  2. Dependent upon how well you like your neighbors (we all know your feelings toward tourists) you can make the odd extra dollar/bob/euro when the new fiber is ready; many of my neighbors complained that with the new lines their through-put, both up and down, was not improved. They claimed to have called teh Google and were told there was nothing that the behemoth could do. So I offered to look at the hiptsers' pretentious Airbook's et al and discovered gold.

    I told them i could get them Gb through-put, but it would cost $250 and take me about 4 hours. All readily agreed.

    I took their devices home, then went to the nearest 'puter bits store and swapped out their 10/100 NICs for 1 Gb NICs; quite often I got a discount on the Gb NICs in exchange for the older ones.

    The I would go have a barista pour me a plain cup of .90 cent coffee (to just watch him twitch  & drool in barely repressed frustration) and read for a bit. Later I headed home and returned their device, working now!, and collected the monies.

    In my defense, I did the grans' and grandads' for nuthin'. Oh, and that buxom gal down the lane…

    • Nice thinking!  [Like father like son?]  Another idea is to ramp up my wireless router and sell 'em shares in the feed?  

      So you did the buxom lass for nothin'?  As I say – like father………

  3. What century are we living in? Why does all of this go so far over my head that you could be wittering away in Turbo-Croat? Sorry, I’m just not on your level. Could one of you simply explain what is going on here?

  4. We live in the town centre on a ten year old development where we were one of the first to buy. We don't have fibre. God knows why on a new development they were wiring anyway!

    Doesn't stop the twats at BT trying to sell me fibre when they haven't wired us for it thought. Absolute twats!

    •   It makes as much sense as anything else in this crazy world.  Here am I living in a 200 year old cottage in the middle of nowhere supposedly about to get connected, yet I bet there are large areas of Dublin that don't have fibre.

  5. I reverse-engineered my contact with the phone companies. I ran, (run), a spreadsheet for mobile and fixed lines listing the bottom-line figure from every invoice. It gives me a mean average of cost and usage over a full year. The first to jump was the mobile and when I rang, I had to listen to the usual shit about what plan I was on. So I told the guy I would only pay €30.00 a month maximum and it was up to him to formulate a "Plan" for me. He did and it's been the same since. Then Eircom began to get smart and the bills creeped up. So I put the same proposition to them and the monthly bil came down to €85.00 a month. When fibre-optic came along I did the same and oddly, it is a fiver a month cheaper than the slower broadband for the last three years. I have told both Eir and Vodafone that if it creeps up without consultation with me, I will change supplier without consultation with them. I firmly stated that I don't want calls asking me if I'm happy because as long as I'm paying the bill, everything is fine. 

    It's worked so far! (Three years).

    • I have been keeping track of my bills too.  Records are a bit hairy as I frequently forget to make notes, but I'm basing my costs on the basis of around €180 a month for phone, broadband and television.  So once fibre is available I should make a considerable saving as the latter should cost around half that.  The problem then is working out which of the dozens of "bundles" from the many operators makes the most sense.

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