TRYING TO BE A GOOD citizen, I cautiously converted my eircom telephone services over to Gaelic Telecom. In so doing, a portion of my telephone charges would be donated to the Gaelic Athletic Association and also be earmarked for local athletic teams in Cashel, the town in County Tipperary where young Mia may play Gaelic games within five years. I should have merely worked out a direct debit to the GAA as a contribution from source. Because with Gaelic Telecom, a few things happened that made me reverse my decision.
On first setting up the account, my business broadband speed (3 Mbs) dropped by to below one megabit per second. This ensured I could no longer run Online Meeting Rooms from home and that disrupted initial negotiations with a distance learning partner. The decrease in speed happened because the Gaelic Telecom sales team misjudged my broadband package and that meant I got the basic service. They had lied in saying, "You'll have the same service as before" and that didn't happen. I had misgivings about this whole process and tried to revert to eircom but Gaelic Telecom lied to me again.
When I tried to cancel my subscription to Gaelic Telecom, four different people refused to give me my Universal Account Number, citing "data protection" compliance requirements. That's a bit much, coming from a call centre who had no problem with me giving them my bank sort code, account details, and bank address. The Universal Account Number is tied to my name and address. It's mine to claim and keep but Gaelic Telecom lied and told me that they would be cited in violation of Ireland's Data Protection Act if they told me my universal account number.
I also was not aware that some caller ID elements of Gaelic Telecom would come into play when using my landline to call a mobile phone. However, it turns out that my phone displays a UK calling code when ringing Vodafone mobile phones. In some case, this means my friends won't pick up the phone because they don't recognise the caller or they may think they will get tagged with roaming fees. Although I didn't expressly ask Gaelic Telecom whether my Caller ID would change, the call centre staff gushingly told me "all services would be just like eircom except cheaper."
I now enter the Christmas period by sending Registered Post to Gaelic Telecom, politely requesting my Universal Account Number. I know eircom will take 10 working days from receipt of that number to restore my services--10 days is the cooling-off period invoked when people jump providers. This sentences me to over-the-air broadband for the Christmas period and ensures I'll be throttled back for the first part of January as well.
NTS: Don't separate your broadband provider from your landline service provider.
Boards.ie thoughts on Gaelic Telecom service.