Thursday 18 December 2014

Cold calls and doorstep sales from telecoms companies top annoyance for home-owners - RTE programme

Anita McSorley

Published 09/06/2014 | 12:49

Presenter Keelin Shanley on the set of RTE's Morning Edition

Cold-calls and doorstep sales from telephone and internet service providers are a constant frustration to many home owners.

That's the findings of RTE's The Consumer Show, presented by Keelin Shanley, which sees reporter Tadhg Enright going around the country to hear about people's frustrations with cold-call and doorstep sales tactics.

Eircom come under fire for their lack of clarification when selling items.

A customer from Newbridge, Co Kildare, claimed she was sold an Eircom bundle on her doorstep but the sales rep failed to point out that it came with a download limit.

Another customer from Dundalk, also signed up by Eircom on her doorstop, claimed she was promised she could switch her payments from Direct Debit to BillPay but she wasn’t able to do so and was charged missed payment fees as a result.

Another customer explains how a Vodafone sales rep on her doorstep in Dunleer, Co Louth, told her she was almost out of contract with Eircom and it was free to switch to Vodafone when this wasn't the case.

She told the programme she later cancelled the contract with Vodafone but was told by Eircom it was too late to avoid a cancellation fee, which could only be prevented if she signed another contract with a provider she’d already wanted to leave.

The majority (40.3pc) of telecoms complaints received by The Consumer Show last year were against Vodafone.

Complaints about Eircom and its subsidiary brands, Meteor & eMobile, added up to a similar percentage (40.3pc). 3 Ireland accounted for 9.6pc of complaints and 4.8pc were about O2.

Some 84pc of complaints involved the standard of customer service. 

Some 39pc of complaints involved the terms and conditions of a contract and  6pc involved doorstep or distance selling.

ESRI economist Pete Lunn, who studies trends in the telecoms sector, explains why doorstep selling and cold calling works well for companies.

“Because the market is very complex, consumers find it difficult to know when it would actually save them money to switch, and that’s one of the reasons why doorstep selling and cold calling works quite well.  Someone is saying to them with quite a lot of certainly ‘you will save money if you come to us’ and people tend to find that persuasive.”

The Consumer Show is on RTE One tomorrow night (Tuesday) at 8.30pm.

Irish Independent

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