eir named worst in country when it comes to customer complaints

Telecoms companies dominate the list of businesses raising people's ire...

eir named worst in country when it comes to customer complaints

Eir, Facebook

Telecommunications company eir received the most complaints to Ireland's consumer protection agency in 2015, the Irish Independent reports.

The telecoms sector in general was the worst when it came to complaints, closely followed by the motor industry.

According to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), it received 6,017 "consumer contacts" relating to telecoms companies last year.

When it came to the companies in question, eir was followed by Vodafone, Three, UPC/Virgin Media and Meteor as the most complained-about businesses.

The motor sector closely followed telecommunications as the second most complained-about area. 

In its new report, the CCPC revealed that 33,819 unsafe products had been prevented from entering the market between October 2014 and the end of December 2015.

The products ranged from plugs and adaptors to toys and IT equipment, with almost 1,500 "hoverboards" being exported back to their country of origin. 

CCPC chairperson Isolde Goggin said it currently relies on whistleblowers to detect wrongdoing in public procurement bids, estimating that rigged bids add between 20% and 30% in public procurement costs.

Goggin said:

"If only 5% of procurement processes were subject to bid-rigging, the extra cost to the Irish taxpayer would be in the region of €100m a year."

She told the Irish Independent that she expects that the CCPC will get more aggressive and carry out more "dawn raids" and other investigations.

The CCPC is in the midst of a recruitment drive, adding 23 staff to the 86-strong team of last September.

She says of the group, which was established in October 2014:

"Just seeing those new faces around the place is great, because it's been a struggle, like for everybody else, with scarce resources over the last couple of years.

"But I am quite proud of the fact that I think we did manage to do a lot even with the scarce resources – we didn't just throw in the towel. And we got the amalgamation done at the same time, because that takes resources."