Eircom and the fallacy of re-branding

And with one leap they were free”…….. well, not quite if you happen to be the former Eircom.

Now glossily renamed eir and with an apparent €16 million re-branding budget to cast an advertising and promotional spell to make us forget the former brand, it’s a trick that only works if the gloss matches the customer experience.

And unless things have changed dramatically in the past few weeks, that’s simply not the case.

As someone who has only recently managed to disentangle himself as a former Eircom / eir customer, I’ve been treated to a level of customer service that, if it wasn’t so inept, would make for a great Father Ted script.

Amongst the litany of silliness, I’ve been sent a rebate cheque with no explanation of what it was for or how the weird looking figure was arrived at; when I set up the account originally I received no documentation welcoming me to Eircom or giving me my account details (They did however manage to send their billing information promptly), different technicians arrived on different days unable to fix matters as I wasn’t “updated on the online system.”

Weeks later and after many frustrating conversations, the newly installed additional telephone line had a distinctive buzzing background noise that made it un-useable and an immediate fault complaint. So, eight to ten weeks of this nonsense, engaging with an utterly dysfunctional customer service process and with mobile phone bills escalating on calls that were typically 50 minutes long, I had had enough.

The final straw came when I asked for contact details for whoever was responsible for Customer Service so I could make a complaint I was told it wasn’t possible to give me those details. After that I admitted defeat.

In 2015 when every business is rightly focused on customer acquisition and retention, offering a “best in class” experience of their brand / service / utility is an absolute must, the former Eircom falls very, very wide of the mark.

And being called eir doesn’t change that.