Cork North West TD and Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Communications Michael Moynihan is hitting out at Eircom for charging customers who were cut off in the aftermath of the winter storms earlier this year. Thousands of customers were left without a phone service more than a month after Storm Darwin hit. It’s since emerged that these customers were billed the standing charge for the month, despite having no phone line.
“It’s unbelievable that Eircom has charged customers for a service they didn’t receive. I’ve been contacted by a number of constituents angry at being billed for the weeks when they were without a phone line. More than 18,000 homes and businesses were still without a phone line more than a month after the February storms.
“Many of those worst affected were older people living in rural areas, who depend on their phone as a link to the outside world. It’s bad enough that they were deprived of that service for an extended period of time, but it’s unacceptable to expect them to pay a bill, when they were cut off for over a month”, commented Deputy Moynihan.
“These are the very people who were callously targeted by the Government when it abolished the phone allowance in the last Budget. They now have to pay for an essential service, which had been afforded to them and maintained by successive Governments until the current administration decided to scrap it. What’s worse is they’ve been billed for a period when the service was non-existent.
“I would urge Eircom to reconsider this insensitive move. If anything, these people should be compensated for the disruption to their phones and not charged for a service they didn’t receive. The company provides a vital service but cannot expect to bill loyal customers for the weeks and months they were left without any phone provision.