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Complaints against Irish telecom operators rise, watchdog says

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There has been a rise in complaints against telecoms operators in recent months. Stock photo

There has been a rise in complaints against telecoms operators in recent months. Stock photo

There has been a rise in complaints against telecoms operators in recent months. Stock photo

Ireland’s telecoms watchdog has recorded a rise in complaints against telecoms operators in recent months.

Comreg says that 1,473 complaints were registered between January and March, a 10pc rise compared to 1,338 complaints at the same time last year.

Eir, which is the largest telecoms company in the country, attracted most complaints with 550 (167 mobile, 383 fixed), as well as a chunk of the 392 premium rate services complaints for the sector.

This covers the aftermath of the launch of GoMo, its budget mobile operator that raced to over 100,000 subscribers in three months but had some difficulties with number portability.

Vodafone was next, with 298 complaints (138 for mobile, 160 for fixed) and a share of the 392 PRS complaints, while Three attracted 91 specific mobile complaints plus its share of the 392 PRS complaints.

Comreg declined to offer a breakdown of the 392 premium rate service complaints by individual operator. However, it said that Eir (1,475 “issues”) and Three (1,203 “issues”) recorded the majority of the logged PRS “issues” over the period.

Sky received 62 complaints and Virgin received 26 complaints.

The biggest single mobile complaint in the period was around switching numbers, with Vodafone and Eir temporarily at loggerheads over customers switching to GoMo.

The next biggest complaint against mobile operators was being “billed more than the agreed amount”. Being “billed after cancellation” and “loss of service” were also prominent complaints against mobile operators.

Billing issues also dominated complaints against fixed line telecom operators for broadband and home phone services.

However, almost all complaints against Irish operators were resolved within six weeks of being raised.

Meanwhile, the main three mobile operators are set to lend the fixed wireless operator Imagine spare bandwidth capacity in a temporary leasing arrangement.

Comreg has indicated that it has no objection to the plan, which would see Eir, Vodafone and Three give Imagine access to some of its 3.6Ghz spectrum in a variety o locations across the country.

This would give Imagine additional capacity to provide wireless broadband with a 20km range of each location.

Imagine will only pay a nominal fee of €100 to access the spare bandwidth. The leasing arrangement is limited to three months, with the potential for a further three months afterwards.

Online Editors