Wednesday 21 August 2019

Eir increases cost for new customers despite loss of BT Sport

Carolan Lennon: chief executive of telecoms group Eir
Carolan Lennon: chief executive of telecoms group Eir
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

Telecoms group Eir is making it more expensive to sign up to its TV, broadband and phone package.

This is despite the fact that Eir TV customers will no longer have access to the BT Sport package as part of their subscription.

This is because Sky Sports is taking over as the exclusive distributor of both BT Sport and Premier Sports in Ireland.

Now Eir has increased its sign-up fee for new customers by €10 to €49.99.

It is the second time it increased what it calls the activation fee for new customers in just a few months.

The telecoms firm has also increased the monthly charge on its broadband, phone and TV package for new customers by €5.

This is despite the company losing the BT Sports package of Premier League soccer games from its TV platform, prompting customers who recently signed up with Eir to drop the one-year contract.

Eir said the activation fee was first launched in August last year, with a standard fee of €49.99.

But the company offered a promotional fee of €29.99 for a limited time.

In January the promotional fee was increased to €39.99, and has now moved to the full standard fee of €49.99 from July 11.

Asked about the rise in the monthly fee for the broadband, phone and TV package, it said: "Like all telecommunications providers, we regularly change our promotional prices.

"This change is for new customers only and sees us returning to €39.99 for 12 months. There have been no price changes for existing customers."

When asked about the loss of BT Sport it said it was the only provider that offers free sports coverage to its broadband customers.

It denied the loss of BT Sport was a change of its terms and conditions, which could allow existing customers to break out of their contracts without paying a fee.

"Our terms and conditions clearly state that the Eir sports pack channel mix is subject to change as this is the nature of the constantly changing landscape in the sports rights market.

"We are in constant dialogue with major rights holders and we will continue to invest in bringing the best content to sports fans. We expect to make some exciting announcements in the months ahead."

Daragh Cassidy, of price comparison site Bonkers.ie, said: "Between its continued customer service woes and recently losing the rights to show BT Sport, the last thing you would expect Eir to be doing is increasing its prices."

Eir has been the subject of sustained criticism over customer service issues lately.

Irish Independent

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