Eircom denies ‘spin’ – stands over 3.1pc average increase

18 Feb 2011

Eircom has refuted claims by rival operator Magnet that it is increasing call-connection feeds by 60pc and is standing over the 3.1pc average increase it outlined last week.

Sources close to the company said it stood over its recent 3.1pc price increase across all customer bills.

They say that up to 70pc of Eircom customers could be unaffected if they stay within the term of their package or bundle.

This was in response to accusations yesterday by Magnet CEO Mark Kellett, who said Eircom misled the public in how the price hikes were represented and accused the incumbent of “spin to cover up the real costs to Irish consumers and businesses.”

More severe price hikes?

Kellett said yesterday: “The 3.1pc average increase figure used by Eircom is an outrageous piece of spin and is being used to hide much more severe price hikes. Dig a little deeper and the real costs are laid bare.

“Call connection fees will increase by 60pc. A one-minute local call made during peak times will increase 30pc and off peak the increase is 43pc. These rises are exorbitant to say the least and not something that can be glossed over. Where the 3.1pc figure came from is a mystery.”

Regarding the changes to its peak-time hours, Kellett added: “Eircom also fails to mention in its media announcement that bank holidays are now charged at peak time rates for new and non-bundle customers. This subtle change will be introduced six days before St Patrick’s Day – a time when people are more likely to call friends and family.”

“As well as bank holidays, peak-time charges will now apply from 7am to 7pm, versus the normal 8am to 6pm. Again, because of the subtlety of this change, many will be caught out,” Kellett warned.

“As confirmed by Eircom, approximately 330,000 customers are not part of a bundled offering and thus will be affected by the increased charges. That’s a lot of people and businesses,” Kellett said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years