Eir will apologize for poor customer relationship service

On Wednesday, the chief executive of telecommunications company Eir “will apologize wholeheartedly” for the customer relations issues the company has faced, and blame the impact of Covid-19 for leading to numerous issues that have led to many criticisms of the company in recent times. weeks.

In her opening statement to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport, Eir Chief Executive Officer Carolann Lennon will say that the main challenge for the business stemming from Covid has been “to provide quality care service to our clients”.

She will tell the committee that due to the pandemic, hundreds of customer service employees have been moved to remote work while an effective hiring and training freeze was put in place at one point. where the company says it has seen a 30% increase in call volumes.

Waiting time

“The result has been longer than acceptable wait times for our customers and I apologize wholeheartedly,” Lennon is expected to tell the committee in an opening statement. The pandemic’s problems have been compounded, she will say, because two years ago Eir moved customer service jobs in-house, at a call center in Sligo, with smaller centers to Cork and Limerick.

The closure of Eir’s retail stores has also resulted in increased demand on phone lines, with queries that normally arise in these outlets now inevitably going to call centers. Photography: Maxwell

The fact that all of that workforce is now at home, she says, means they no longer have on-site support networks, “and so we’ve seen increased wait times and increased wait times. reduction in the average number of calls handled to 30 “, which is down from 40 before the pandemic. Additionally, IT issues take longer to resolve, resulting in delays.

“If an agent has a system issue today, we have to send their computer back to our IT team, which means that an issue that could have been fixed in minutes before Covid now could take a day. “

Telephone lines

She will also tell the committee that staff have found working from home difficult. “Working in a bedroom or at a kitchen table is not the job our staff signed up to do and we lost 80 employees between March and July when we were unable to recruit due to lockdown restrictions. “

The closure of Eir’s retail stores has also resulted in increased demand on phone lines, with queries that normally arise in these outlets now inevitably going to call centers. Ms. Lennon will tell the committee that the average call wait time has now come down to about 10 minutes, but says “there are some variations to these times, depending on the service required.”

She will tell the committee that she “understands the frustrations of the members” as many voters contact them about Eir’s service. Issues regarding Eir’s service and customer service have been raised recently at meetings of the Fine Gael parliamentary party and in Dáil.

Last week, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Communications Minister Eamon Ryan also met with the company recently to discuss consumer frustrations, which Varadkar says “causes enormous frustration for people.”

The company will also inform the committee of its involvement in the National Broadband Plan (NBP), which it fully supports, and of its broadband fiber offer.

Joseph P. Harris