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Smart Telecom – Getting worse and worse

January 5th, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

As people who have been reading this blog around 6 months ago I ordered Smart Telecom Broadband when I moved into my new place. Anyway after around 3 months of being messed around I finally got sick of waiting and canceled my order. This was around 3 months ago and in fairness I fell I was very patient by allowing them 3 months to get it sorted out.

Anyway I canceled the order around 3 months ago and got Eircom Broadband instead. Got it it really quickly and everything was great.

Just before Christmas I found out I had to work Christmas Day. No big deal I suppose. I don’t really like Christmas anyway and now I can work from home. But wait a minute my broadbands not working. So I ring Eircom and they say they’ll look into it but it won’t be fixed for Christmas. Ah well.

Anyway a few days ago I got a few calls on my mobile from people saying they can’t ring my home phone. Weird. So I ring Eircom and find out they no longer control my phone line that I has been taken over by another company. What! I tell them there must be some mistake but they say there is nothing they can do. I will have to get in touch with the company who controls the line now. “Who’s that?” I ask, but they don’t know. Well I said who asked them for the line but they said they don’t have that info but if I ring a number it can tell me. Fair enough.

So I ring these numbers and they are all engaged. So I ring Eircom back and they say they have no way of finding out as usually lines are moved by the request of the owner and it doesn’t come up. Fair enough I suppose but you would think they would have it on file. N

So I ring Smart to see if they maybe decided to take over the line 6 months after I had ordered it and 3 months after I had cancelled the order. Anyway I am waiting for 50 minutes for my call to be answered when I decided enough is enough and I ring ComReg.

I won’t bore you with the details of my ComReg call but it went something like this.

Me: “Who owns my line?”
CR: “Don’t know”
Me: “Well can you find out?”
CR: “Well I can try but it will take 3 weeks and there is no guarantee I can find out”
Me: “So what do I do so”
CR: “Ring around all the providers and ask them do they have the line”

Ring around!! Useless. Now to be fair the guy on the phone was very polite and helpful but my God what use are ComReg if they can’t even tell me this.


Me: “So when I find out what can I do?”
CR: “Make a complaint with them”
Me: “Well to be fair if it is who I think it is they are imbeciles and won’t do anything”
CR: “Well ring us back in 10 days with the complaint number from them and we’ll see what we can do”.

Two weeks! I have to wait two weeks for ComReg to do anything, and I have no great faith in them either to be honest but I will reserve judgment.

So anyway I cancel everything, ring my family to say I might not talk to them for a while and set my VCR to record all my favourite programs for the next few weeks as I settle down to ring Smart again and boy they didn’t disappoint.

I wait for 1 hour and 15 minutes for my call to be answered (Been waiting for 2 hours and 5 minutes total now!!). Only to be told they neither have my name, number or address on file. So it looks like they don’t have my line. “But who else would have it?” I asked. Dunno.

So now what Eircom can’t tell me, ComReg can’t tell me? What do I do.

Anyway messing with the phone I ring my mobile on a whim and realise my number has changed. So I ring Smart again. I ring them at 16:10. They answer 1 hour and 20 minutes later. And this is the entire conversation.

Me: “Uh, hell………..”
Smart: “We’re closed [click]”

Oh my God!!!! They just hung up on me. I was so mad I nearly smashed to phone to pieces.

Should I ring ComReg to complain I think? Nah, what’s the point they’d only tell me ring them back.

Total time on hold with Smart now 3 hours 25 minutes.

So I decided to ring them from work the second they open the next day. So at 09:00 on the dot I ring them. Only to here their phone system say I was the 6th person on the line. I wait for 50 minutes for an answer.

Total time on hold with Smart now 4hours 15 minutes!

I give them the new number an surprise, surprise my name, address everything suddenly appears on their system. So I ordered the line 6 months ago and they only install it now. AND I actually canceled it in October!!!! Muppets.

So I explain the situation and the first thing she asks is don’t I just stay with them now that I have been switched over. Man if I wasn’t so angry I would have laughed.


So I ask them for my line back. They say they can’t just give it back to Eircom and I have to cancel it with them and reorder the line with Eircom.
“Why should I do that?”, I ask “It was your fault my line got switched over.”

“Well” she says “the customer has to order the line”. I ask why they can’t just tell Eircom they made a mistake and get it switched over. Doesn’t work that way she says.

So I think to myself what choice to I have I can either

a) Complain to ComReg who seem to be fairly powerless.
b) Press the point and get the incompetents in Smart to move it back which would probably take 4 years or
c) Just bite the bullet and cancel the line and reorder with Eircom.

So I chose C. So now they tell me it will take up to 2 weeks to cancel the line. I ask to make an official complaint and they give me a number they probably got off the back of a lucky bag or something for the good it will do.

So I hang up and ring Eircom. They say as soon as the line is ceased I can get my phone line back but broadband could take up to 2 weeks. Fair enough.

So now I have no broadband for another month. I have had to spend literally half a working day trying to get it sorted out and have had to do all the line ordering etc myself.

And man am I angry because I haven’t really got an apology or help from anyone. Basically its, like, Smart made a mistake and I have spend all this time to rectify it while they just sit there oblivious. It’s caused them no discomfort whereas I am running around ringing all these people doing all the work.

Man avoid Smart Telecom like the plague. Even if you are with them now I’d leave because they day something goes wrong you are on your own.

Anybody know is there anything I can do to get some satisfaction. Get them to pay for my broadband for a month to equal the month I’ll be without service or something. Can I bring them to small claims court to get something for the time and hassle it’s caused. The 4 months without broadband. I want something, anything, a free pen, something, just so I don’t feel like I’ve be boned.


I think I’ve been boned and there is nothing I can do.

p.s. Anybody want to link this from their blog or email it around please do. Let people know that Smart should be avoided. Hey, you don’t have to ask me. Just ask the thousands of people who had their connection severed without warning because Smart couldn’t pay their bills. Please a little give me this little victory.

Tech Note: If you do link this. THANKS! But a quick tech note link it using the words Smart Telecom so that if I get enough links it might creep up the Google rankings when people search for the word “Smart Telecom”.

Update: Now today 12th I got a bill from them for around €60 for line rental. So now they want me to pay for the privilege of having my phone line stolen.

Update: Still waiting for Smart to release me line. Just rang ComReg a couple of days ago and they said they will send them a strongly worded letter. Wow! I’d ring Smart for an update but I don’t have two hours to spare and anyway what’s the point. Frustrated isn’t the word.

Update: New Post

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  1. play piano
    February 19th, 2013 at 19:54 | #1

    Spot on with this write-up, I seriously believe that this website needs far more
    attention. I’ll probably be back again to read more, thanks for the info!

  2. Francis
  3. December 23rd, 2008 at 13:54 | #3

    I’ve never heard any issues with Irish Broadband from my few friends who have it. €73 does sound a lot though but when you add in line rental and VAT all the ones that require a phone line cost around the same.
    I’d stick to who you have to be honest. Why not pay a little more for good service. If you go with Smart you’ll pay a little less but you could be opening yourself up for a lot of hassle down the road. remember I was MONTHS without broadband!

  4. ernie whalley
    December 22nd, 2008 at 13:14 | #4

    Why do Irishbroadband get so much grief? I’ve been with them for about 6 years now. I have the receiver-on-roof variety, beamed from the Pigeon House, I believe. 3mb for 40 + VAT Which I can reclaim). They told me a line contention of 8 when I signed up. On the very few occasions it’s gone down their helpline service has been excellent.
    My only quibble is, it seems rather bad value nowadays as if you add in line rental for my house phone I’m paying about 73 euro before I make any calls and only getting 3mb.
    I’d thought of switching to Smart but all this grief, plus the fiasco where they owed Eircom for line rentals, is putting me off. Any advice?

  5. vivian
    October 24th, 2008 at 14:52 | #5

    Been with smart since sept 2006, no problem their customer service is terrible when you’re not buying something. 6mb broadband plus line rental; and calls averaging 55euros/month which is fantastic when compared with eircom, perlico, irish broadband etc.
    Call centres are terrible, anyone ever tried calling NTL???? You’ll understand what i mean.
    Over all smart is great value even if customer service is a let down but something’s gotta give:)

  6. September 26th, 2008 at 15:28 | #6

    I agree totally. It is a real pity ComReg have no power. And human (and companies) nature is to leave things slip if you are getting away with it.
    Still doesn’t help consumers though :(

  7. rw
    September 26th, 2008 at 14:16 | #7

    Have to say reading this – it appears to me that Comreg are the people at fault – not Smart or even though I’m loath to say it Eircom.
    The question is – who do you complain to – it the regularity body are not doing their job – if they leave companies away with swtiching without checking with a customer – and if they leave companies away with taking weeks to do a provisoning job that should take minutes …. companies will do that

  8. Murphy
    August 31st, 2008 at 22:42 | #8

    been with smart for a year now, got a seven meg line no line contention, no download limits f***ing brilliant! Getting smart was the best thing i ever done. Eircom is just s**t, my friend has it and every saturday and sunday it just basically grinds to a halt because all the little kids looking up there bebo’s and crap take up all the bandwidth. the only reason you think smart f***ed u over is because the two companies hate each other. Eircom pretty much did the same to me when i was trying to change to smart. this is an old post, so im betting having been with eircom for about two years now you’ll be seeing how s**t they are.

    all in all eircom sucks.

  9. Johnny
    August 15th, 2008 at 20:08 | #9

    been with smart for nearly two years, 5mb line no download limits, no contention. Never had a problem, their customer service helpine has gotten better but it does take a while to get through. Their forums are the best place for questions, very helpful guys in there.

    I left Eircom because they robbed me blind, loads of problems and seriously… have you ever tried to ring Eircom. They are by far the worst helpline in the world. No messin’… they are rubbish. Smart pay my eircom line rental now and for about 15- 20 quid on top of that I get really fast broadband and a phone with cheaper rates than eircom. My broadband with eircom was nearly 30 euro more a month and a fifth of the speed and when you went over the limits they took a weeks wages from you. Eircoom vs Smart telecom… no comparison.

    I’ll admit they way you were treated was bad but they have gotten much better and nowadays you would just have to get somebody who knew what they were doing and your problem would be solved easily. eircom are still useless, robbing people blind and their broadband is limited and slows all the time and they overcharge you on bills etc etc etc.

    Just my 2 cents Thanks

  10. Mary
    July 22nd, 2008 at 10:29 | #10

    NTL are worse!

  11. martina doyle
    July 17th, 2008 at 00:26 | #11

    I am on the verge of switching from eircom to smart, but reading these negative comments has me nervous. in all honesty, should I stay or shouldd I go? eircom bills way too high and customer services inadequate and unclear.

  12. martina doyle
    July 17th, 2008 at 00:25 | #12

    I am on the verge of switching from eircom to smart, but reading these negative comments has me nervous. in all honesty, should I stay or shouldd I go?

  13. Mark
    May 25th, 2008 at 23:56 | #13

    Hi, I’m a youngster living with my parents and we’re with eircom, but I always wonder are they the best? Back in about October-November, it was on-off for several days and it still happens every now and then for shorter periods of time.
    Has anyone any experience with chorus broadband? They are the only Irish brosdband company (that I can find) that boast decent speeds. 12Mb/s and 120GB for €40 per month. That SOUNDS really good. The next fastest (again, that I can find) is eircom, at a pitiful 3Mb/s. Also, apparently they are winners of the Digital Media Award for best ISP.

  14. April 24th, 2008 at 16:37 | #14

    Well I am with Eircom now. A little more expensive but you get what you pay for.

  15. Dave
    April 22nd, 2008 at 21:48 | #15

    “Smart” telecom are absolute rubbish. Constantly breaking down, and forcing you to wait on hold for marathon sessions. Once, we rang them to complain that the internet had stopped working (again) only to be told that the internet hadn’t been used for a month- turned out it had been a neighbour’s wireless broadband we’d been using until that stopped working (obviously Smart customers too…)
    Anyway, spotted your site while searching for an alternative service provider; so far we’ve received 4 modems from them. We’re not even with them for a year yet.
    Oh ya! It’d be nice if people who spew out techno-jargon to the technophobes like me out there- I like to think we’re still in the majority- could at least do it in passable English.
    I’m not being remotely racist here, but surely if you’re only means of communicating with someone is a phone, then you’re depending solely on language.
    I’ll leave you with a Smart anecdote. Once while tryig to sort out another problem with the broadband over the phone, which was (wonder of wonders )working, the technical support guy suggested unplugging the phone line and then tell him if the broadband was working……! Now, I know I’m a technophobe, but even I know that an unplugged phone working is more of a miracle than me remaining one of their customers.
    “Smart”?! DOH!!!

  16. March 6th, 2008 at 08:49 | #16

    I am lad to hear that Brian, I think for you own benefit it is a good idea to avoid them.
    And I believe you are right William. I remember in the past they wouldn’t refund you but I seem to have heard that now you can. However I am so annoyed with the whole thing that I am just going to leave it slide. I am going to opt for the quiet life. :)

  17. William Flynn
    March 4th, 2008 at 19:51 | #17

    The best way to get your money back, is contact the bank and explain that the the money taken using the DD was in error . Under the terms of the DD scheme they must refund you straight away and it will be up to smart to prove that the money was correctly taken.

    While i haven’t had to this yet with DD, a few times I have had to do it with various companies when using my credit card.

    Another trick I found very useful when dealing with phone companies is treatning them with the data protection act, esp the requiremnets to keep data upto date.

    Eircom’s wholesale web site has some very usefull documents as regards local loop unbundling (which smart use), this will document how errors and transfers of lines should be handled.

  18. Brian Golden
    March 3rd, 2008 at 13:26 | #18

    Well, if its any consolation, I was going to switch to Smart Telecom but after reading this I won’t. So at least you know you are costing them custom.

  19. Chris
    March 1st, 2008 at 22:01 | #19

    I’ve had SMart for nearly 2 years now, I have to say.. I’ve had no problems with them, except that time with Eircom. I had more trouble dealing with Eircom when I made the switch to Smart.

  20. January 25th, 2008 at 10:29 | #20

    Very true about Keith Barry. Plus if you type in Smart Telecom sucks my site is the first that pops up! :D

  21. January 25th, 2008 at 05:15 | #21

    Dude, that’s harsh, very well written tho! Smart Telecom B**t**ds!

    I think it’s funny because they had keith Brry as their spokesperson, the magician, good trick, he made a whole telecommunications company dissapear lol!

    BTW, your 2nd of google ranking when searched for smart teleom!

  22. January 14th, 2008 at 20:51 | #22

    Yeah ComReg didn’t help me and neither did the Consumer Association (they sent me back to ComReg). What I had to do was threaten Smart with legal action in small claims court. It’s actually fairly straightforward as long as you don’t mind traveling to Dublin (as that’s where the contract was signed).

  23. david walsh
    January 14th, 2008 at 18:07 | #23

    HI, i am yet another smart telecom victim. Currently i am receving letters off there debt collection agency demanding the sum of 570 euro for a broadband service they did not provide. I signed for a 12 month contract and tried to cancel it 2-3 months into it as the connection was constantly going on and off or simply not on at all. Today i rang comreg and they were of little help. Surely they must be some organization to protect us from this injustice.

  24. January 9th, 2008 at 13:46 | #24

    I am not sure what they are like myself but this discussion forum and this site may be off use. The forum maybe better to get an idea of customer service levels.
    I found when I was dealing with Eircom as soon as they hear you logged a complaint with ComReg they are very helpful and usually you get a call-back from someone senior. However most other companies just ignore ComReg as they can’t force them to do anything or fine them if they are found not to be providing the agreed level of service.
    I’ve also know that Irish Broadband and BT should be avoided.

  25. paula
    January 9th, 2008 at 13:21 | #25

    HI Sympathies with the Smart victim! I am going through something just as frustrating with Eircom.
    Just wondering if anyone can suggest an alternative to eircom. Having a nightmare with their so-called customer service and Ive decided to leave them. They are not only incapable of doing their jobs and seem to have endless ‘versions’ of their own policies, they are rude and arrogant. Smart dont cover my area (fortunately, it would seem!), … what are HomeVision like? Anyone know?

  26. December 24th, 2007 at 15:28 | #26

    Trish and Frederic Smart are all well and good when things go smoothly (which in my personal experience is never). But when something goes wrong you will be in trouble. Hours waiting for their call-centre only to be disconnected, their inability to release the line so you can move to another operator etc.
    In fact I have received a letter from debt collectors acting on behalf of Smart saying they will initiate legal action to get money from me for a service they didn’t provide! I told the collector on the phone not to call me again unless it is with a summons where I will get an opportunity to lay out my grievances.
    I genuinely hope your service is smooth and it all works out for you but I will never go back to them again and I recommend people avoid them as they are of no help when something goes wrong.
    And it will……

  27. Trish
    December 24th, 2007 at 15:15 | #27

    Are you all mad?
    Smart are head and shoulders above eircom.
    Perhaps you like paying over the odds for slow so-called broadband – I’ll stick with Smart thanks.

  28. frederic
    September 22nd, 2007 at 21:20 | #28

    hi everyone it seems to be mad to be one customer of smart telecom.
    i just move in to new apartment and we are not allowed to have a dishe outside.the only company i found is smart and magnet.
    if one of you know another company to watch tv and have internet via only FTTH phone connection let me know thanks.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)

  29. thesraid
    January 30th, 2007 at 09:36 | #29

    M F I agree. I rang ComReg again yesterday because in my stupidity I never canceled the direct debit order from Smart and they took around €60 from my account. So I rang ComReg to see what the story was and they said they only mediate and can’t deal with money or broadband (In fact broadband is unregulated in Ireland!!!).

    So anyway I ring the Consumer Agency and they said they also have no power and if i want to try and get my money back (should Smart refuse to refund me) I would have to go to small claims court. But as Smart are in Dublin that means i have to go to Dublin for small claims court. So lets do the math

    Owed €60

    Small Claims €15
    Train to Dublin €55

    So even if I win I will be down €10 and will have wasted a day.

    So I guess I am boned and just have to grin and bear it.

    I was thinking of starting a website to highlight this for people and make them aware of their rights (or lack of them). Anybody think this is a good idea.

  30. M F
    January 29th, 2007 at 14:50 | #30

    This is just typical of Ireland really even the goverement sites that are supposed to be in place to help people are so crap it is disgraceful, this country is so good at fu***** things up it sometimes amazes me.

  31. Niall Óg
    January 6th, 2007 at 01:35 | #31

    Unbelieveable. In the US we have the Corporation Commission – they helped us with our phone extorsionists (Quest) a few years ago.

    The only consumer advocate I can think of in Ireland is gerryryan@rte.ie – RTE’s web site tells us that the Ryan Line is open Mon-Fri 9am-12.

    Good luck

  32. January 6th, 2007 at 00:24 | #32

    HA HA! Serves you right for trying to get a bargain. BTW Clearwater will give you broadband the next day and …………… (with a smug american accent!!!!) That’s a guarantee!!!!

  1. January 6th, 2007 at 00:26 | #1
  2. January 30th, 2007 at 09:39 | #2