Monday, January 29, 2007

Eircom Complaints

On the Ray D'Arcy show today on Today FM radio station they had the head of Eircom customer service. And he got some going over from customer issues. Nothing really was resolved on the show although, following the show highlighting issues with their automated phone service, they started an investigation into their service which continued all weekend. Hopefully this will make it better but to be honest any little change would make it better.

Also he stated that if all complaints that were sent into the show could be sent onto his office each one would be answered individually by his team. So get emailing your issues to

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Want to be a Garda?

Want to be picked up in a Paddy Wagon and beaten?

Want to drive a top-of-the-range 1987 Ford Sierra with go faster stripes?

Want to chase teenagers in souped-up Nissan Micra's or Toyota Starlet's around a City Centre?

Want to talk in a demeaning manner to ordinary Joe Soaps or ask people where their "veh-icle" is parked or if they want to be "apprehended"?

If you answer yes to all of the above then Gardaland is the place for you.

Getting Broadband - I wish...

I tried to get broadband yesterday as I can work from home if I so wish. So, I checked through the 'wonderful and easy to use' *cough* Eircom website to see if my phone line was suitable. Its not. So I called Eircom. What a fuckin joke they are. Unreal and these are a company?

I called the number listed on the website for pre-sales and was told that they also checked my line on-line (a big wow....just so you know, the basic Eircom support agent has the same access to check phone line status as you do) and also found it was unsuitable. Great. So I was advised to try another Eircom service. I called another Eircom number (1901) and advised what I would like and was told that my line was not suitable (after telling them I checked already) for broadband. What can I do ??

"Call 1800 503 303"

So I did. And asked them what could I do?

"I will put you through to someone who can help you. Please hold"
"Hello, I would like broadband. I checked online and my line is not suitable. One of your colleagues checked also and then put me through to you"
"If you are not within 5km of an exchange you may not be able to receive it" I was told.

To counter this I checked the distance from my house to the exchange via both roads - 1.2 and 1.4 miles depending on the road - last week. I advised them of this.

"Well, there are people beside an exchange who cannot get this because of the loops" the bloke said. Loops? Loops? What fuckin loops? If I lived beside an exchange and was told this shite I'd go fuckin mad.

"Right", I asked, "How can I get my line suitable for broadband?".
"You will need to talk to after-sales".
"What's the number?"
"1800 503 303"
"I called them already. They put me through to you"
"Ah, there is a secret way through. Call, say 'Agent', say 'Yes', let the messages go through and then say 'Home'"
"OK thanks."

I called and spoke, I have to say, to a lovely lass. Told her the story as per above and asked what can I do.

"Maybe your exchange is not enabled"
"Cobh is enabled as we had issues last summer with the phone line for the business and it is not broadband enabled. And yes I am within the relevant distance"
"OK. Let me check which exchange you are on. Can I have you address please?"

I gave my address and it turns out we are not on the Cobh exchange but rather the Rushbrooke exchange.

"Are there any plans to get this exchange enabled?"
"Is that a big area? Would there be more than 1000 people there?"
"Yes! At least that"
"Well I will note on your record and if enough people call and have notes it may be done"
"It might be this year. There are no set dates for enabling exchanges"

Might? This year? Sweet fuckin Jesus....and this is OUR NATIONAL PHONE SERVICE !!!

I should also point out at this stage that I was told by different people that because I was not using Eircom for phone service that could be the reason I couldn't get broadband. Shite. You own the fuckin lines and exchanges and until you allow others to use them we will always have a phone service reminiscent of Kenya circa 1810.

There is more to the story with regards to other companies but that's for another day. Suffice to say I am, by Minister Noel Dempsey's definition, in a broadband enabled area - only if I want someone to come and slap something on the side of my house and then drill holes in my gaf. And I have one choice. And they are expensive.

Thanks Dempsey !

Total length of call? 40mins.....

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Day 31 of Irish Rail Saga

And so Day 31 of trying to get a proper answer from Irish Rail on my issue continues. As I told you previously I got an email from the station master in Cork and this was followed up on Monday last by a call from him.

He asked for further details on the conductor and said that it was unacceptable. Which was great. He asked for a few more days to talk to his staff and then he would get back to me. And he did. And not with a great answer. In fact, here is the email:


I have investigated your complaint and I have spoken to the staffmembers involved. Once the signal is given to the train driver todepart from the station, nobody can board or attempt to board the train.The Conductor in question has informed me that it was the gentleman withthe TV that he was talking to and not you.

Thank you for bringing this matter to my notice, if you are traveling mytrain again please call to my office and make yourself known to me.

Hilary Twomey
Station Manager

and here is my response

firstly I would like to thank you for taking the time to investigate my issue and for speaking to your staff members about this. However I have to say that I am worried about the outcome you have outlined below. There are a number of issues that I would like addressed with regards to my complaint.

The first one is with regards to your conductor. From your reply below I can see that the conductor has indeed admitted to being abusive, but not towards myself. The fact that he was abusive to anyone is still an issue. Working in a customer service environment myself I can understand the need to keep a cool head and deal with customers, especially paying customers, in a dignified manner regardless of what is being said to you. The fact is that your conductor lost his head and I can admit that I felt very threatened by his behavior. This manner of dealing with the public really cannot be tolerated especially in a country which relies so heavily on tourism. I would like to know if there is any action against the conductor on this in case this situation should arise again (if indeed it has not already occurred). I can also state that the conductor did indeed address us all when he said that we would be lucky to board the next train and that he decided who got on the train or not.

The second issue is with regards the signal being given. I can clearly remember that prior to the train driver waving us to board the train no signal was given for the train to move. The signal was only given as we were approaching the train and indeed the driver did not move until the conductor advised us we were not boarding the train and asked the driver to move off. The issue also is that the conductor was on a mobile phone, company or personal I am unsure off, and was ignoring our pleas to board. There was plenty of time for us to board the train well before the first signal was given but as he was talking on the mobile he choose to ignore us and indeed only ended to call as we approached the train. If indeed he had turned around when he first saw us at the gates, and I know he did see us wave, and advised it was too late to board it may have been a different story but as he was on the phone he did not. I have been at the station, and other train stations in various countries, before and know that once the signal is given you cannot board. And I would not have attempted to in this case if I had seen the signal. Also as there was no time displayed at the station we had no means to clarify if we were late or not. My watch stated that I arrived at the station 2 minutes before departure time.

Another issue is with regards to your initial comment quoted here "I have never received your original e-mail,". Can you please investigate what happened with my original correspondence? I received the automatic response but if the initial email was not sent onto you I would like to know what happened it. Customers queries cannot be ignored. Please let me know what happened.

Finally with regards to traveling on the trains now. I have to admit that since that incident I have not used the Irish Rail service at all. I was less than happy with that incident and with the threatening behavior of that conductor I do not want to use a service that treats its customers like that or indeed come into contact with that conductor again. I have spoken with friends and acquaintances about this incident and most are horrified with it.

I trust that you will follow up on these issues and provide me an update on these. I feel that my complaint has not been satisfactorily dealt with and again I reiterate that just because the conductor was not talking to me this does not make it OK.



Lets see what happens...

Big Brother....bag o'shite

I have been listening to all this rubbish over the last few days about Big Brother which is on in the UK at present. I have to say I cant and never could stand reality shows. I personally think they are a complete bag of shite and are an easy way out for TV producers. All they have to do is think of a concept ("Hey, why don't we throw a load of celeb's in the jungle, give them horrible things to eat and do each day and let people watch them") and let the alleged celebrities 'entertain' the hordes. Most of the celeb specials start out with some proper celeb's (well, depends on your definition of celebrity) and for the second show they have Z list celeb's or people who are famous for having a famous parent or partner.

For the current BB there is massive uproar at the moment as there is alleged bullying and racism in the house. You cant escape this as it is in every newspaper, on TV all the time and on every radio station. A Bollywood actress is the subject of this abuse from some other house members who are Jade "The Mouth" Goody, Jo from 'Pop group' S Club 7 and Danielle Lloyd who is known for getting her tits out and shagging a footballer. Who fuckin cares ! Stop the show altogether, never have another and there will be no more issues....excellent idea ! Stop all reality shows - even better idea.

There was a survey done on a radio station asking for the most hated BB contestants of all time in the UK and here are the top 5.

5. John McCririck
Velvet-voiced horsey predictor on Channel 4. Apparently he was very sexist and chauvinist which was great as famous feminist Germaine Greer was also in the house.

4. Jodie Marsh
Velvet-voiced large breasted yoke who is only famous for having knockers the size of big Ben and for doing other "celeb's". She famously wore a t-shirt on which it rated some of the blokes she slept with including Cian from Westlife and other knob Fran Cosgrave. To me it screams of "I'm a whore, sleep me out of here".

3. Danielle Lloyd
Velvet-voiced glamour model who was stripped (appropriately) of her Miss Great Britain title when she posed nude in a top-shelf mag. Currently she is shagging footballer Teddy Sheringham who is about 120 years older than her.

2. George Galloway
Velvet-voiced politician noted for his confrontational style. He was expelled from the Labour party and also met Saddam Hussein. Don't know much else other than he is Celtic fan.

1. Jade Goody
Most definitely not velvet-voiced and one of the most irritating people I have ever had the misfortune to see. My eyes burn at the very sight of her and when she speaks you wish at those times you had enough wax in your ears to drown out her drivel. Famous for coming second in BB, and for getting her tits out on the show, how people like this become celeb's these days is beyond me and shows how easily led people are. Get her the fuck of my screen. If there is any benefit of her being on this current BB is that people now dislike her and after being dropped as the patron of an anti-bullying charity in the UK hopefully every else drops and and she disappears back to the hole she crawled out of..

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Orla's Wedding - Weekly Update

So the date has been set for Orla's wedding and that is November 10th 2007. We know the venue for the ceremony and rumors are abounding that Fr. Brian Darcy from the Sunday World will be officiating.

There is also a rumor that Orla will be wearing white but we know that aint true. And finally, although not officially set, people are saying that Hayfield Manor Hotel will be where the reception will be although a Marquee may be placed somewhere also.

Once I can get the truth behind the rumors I will let you know.

There is much talk and excitement around the Cork region about this wedding.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Blog Awards

Nomination time for the Blog Awards.

To register simply go here

Im not asking for any nominations as I doubt there are enough people reading this to vote...

Thanks Hilary !

So.....on Friday last I finally got a reply from Irish Rail. The station master at Kent Station in Cork emailed me asking for further information. Worringly, he asked for information to follow on from my last email as he had not received the original complaint.

I sent this on an got back another email from Hilary saying he will follow up with the conductor and driver involved....I had some hopes but not sure now. I cant see them not agreeing with each other on this. If only I could find the other people who were on the platform at the same time. I suppose the only way of finding them would be to go on that Gerry Ryan wannabe gobshite's talk-show on 96fm in the morning. Not a hope.....

Lets see what happens.......

Friday, January 12, 2007

Kelvin MacKenzie is a tosser

On Saturday last, Jan 6th, Liverpool played Arsenal in the FA Cup at Anfield. For the first 6 minutes of the match the Kop (and other parts of Anfield it seemed also) chanted "Justice for the 96". This is in reference to the Hillsborough disaster and the fact that no-one has been found guilty of the death of 96 fans.

However, the mosaic "The Truth" was aimed at former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie. He was editor of that piece of shit paper in 1989 and authorized a story in which it claimed that Liverpool fans robbed the dead and urinated on the Police officers who were helping and was published under the heading "The Truth". He apologized after that but recently stated that he was made apologize by Ruppert Murdoch and that he stood by his original story.

MacBolloxhead was recently employed by the BBC. The reason for the protest last Saturday was that the game was being screened live on the BBC. The 6 mins of chanting is in reference to the fact that the game lasted 6 minutes in 1989 before it was stopped. He still refuses to believe that the story was a lie. Since then the S*n's sales are down by a massive amount in the Merseyside region and legions of Liverpool fans everyone refuse to buy (and some refuse to even read) that paper...and with good cause.

In 2004 the piece of tripe tried to apologize but the reason was that Wayne Rooney's story was published in it and they wanted to make more sales. There was outrage that a Scouser could sell their story to them. That was the only reason for the apology.

And that brings us to this week. On last nights Questiontime on BBC they had this bollox appear. Have a look at what he said that the he says "I have nothing to say sorry for". What a prick.


Thursday, January 11, 2007

Day 24 - Irish Rail - Complete

Day twenty four of waiting for an answer from Irish Rail is over...linky.

Yes indeed, 24 days since I lodged a complaint to Irish Rail customer service. I am also still waiting for a response to my other email sent two days ago to Irish Rail which seems to have been conveniently ignored.

Saw in the paper yesterday a full page ad for Irish Rail stating they are "Europe's fastest growing rail network". This is true for a few reasons:

1) When they replace old track with new track they class that as "new rail" rather than "replacement"
2) No other country in Europe needs to expand its rail network as its already decent. We have an half-arsed service that is extortionate (€61 return, Cork-Dublin, 3.5 hour journey??).

If they carried more passengers than ever before last year, according to a recent report, where is the need to raise prices? Surely the extra passengers cover the costs required. And if they keep "improving" (if they indeed are) then more will use the service and pay for it. But no...over here the idea is that if more people are using it, we can charge more and then make more money. Which makes less people use it, prices go up again and we are back to stupid square one.
When will we ever learn...

How not to get a job in Dubai

This is unreal. You need to read the first link and then look at the links that Google throws up...brill !!

How Not To Apply for a Job
Googgle Search

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Is Orla odd??

Rumors that Orla is odd have been greatly exaggerated. It is a well known fact that TJ is odd but Orla being odd is an entirely different story.

In order to find out the true situation we decided to solicit friends of Orla for their views.

Gerry, one of Orla's oldest friends and manager of the website, had this to say:
"Most definitely, haigh. As odd as two left shoes in a right shoe convention. Now, pass that there yoke haigh"

Damien of fame was slightly more upfront:
"I would have to agree with Gerry. Orla is, and can be, odd except in those mild situations when oddness is not called for such as an odd free day. Maybe there should be a 'Who is the oddest one with the oddest blog award' at the Blog Awards? But TJ is odd".

Lorraine, CEO of UCC's IT and Technology R&D Division, had this to say:
"Go away ya spacer...what are ya like there with your odd talk. She's not odd at all unlike TJ who is odd. Leave her alone, like, she trying to prepare for her wedding. Ye are all spacers"

TJ had this to say.
"I'm not odd. I'm not. Stop saying I'm odd" *storms off in a huff*

I think its fairly official as to the odd situation

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Reply from Dept. of Transport

As noted below I sent an email to the Department of Transport to see if they could assist in my Irish Rail enquiry. Here is their reponse:

Dear Mr.Fucker,
please advise why you even bothered to send this email to us. Obviously you have no chance of getting this issue resolved. What Irish Rail will do is sit on the issue long enough for you to forget.

If you have not forgotten about this please do so immediately. You will never get this resolved.

We look forward to you using our excellent service again and also dealing with our ever so friendly staff.

Please do not ever contact us again you stupid fuck.

Fuck off,
Dept. of Transport

Well, thats what it seemed like. Here is the actual email:

Dear Mr Boyce,
As this is a day-to-day operational matter for Iarnrod Eireann it not one inwhich the Minister has any function.

You should contact Mr. Richard Fearn, CEO of Iarnrod Eireann, Connolly Station, Dublin 1, or ring the contact numbers as follows:
The contact numbers for Cork Kent Station are:
Phone Number: 021-4506766 or 1850 366222
Fax Number: 021-4505211

Other contact numbers: Customer Services (Comments, Suggestions, Complaints):
InterCity services 01-7032613
DART and Dublin Suburban services 01-7033592

Communications and Information Division

I have X'd out the lads name that responded as its not his fault that we have the crappest public transport system ever, with the rudest staff getting paid extoronate wages for feck all. So I went back onto the Irish Rail website and sent another comment:

on Dec 18th I completed this form to register an issue I had with a conductor on the Cork-Cobh line. Other than an automated response I have had no other contact from Irish Rail.

I find this level of customer service to be quite appalling and I would appreciate a follow up as soon as possible.

It is now 22 days since I sent my comment of which there have been 13 normal working days.

I look forward to a response,


Lets see what happens there...Minister for Transport here I come !

Irish Rail - Escalation 1

So, I am slightly miffed at Irish Rails total lack of customer service and decided to escalate to someone else so lets see what that does. Email sent is below.

But first one of the girls at work sent an email yesterday about them which just sums them right up. Recently they installed a ticket machine at the Little Island station which is just outside Cork. If you are on the train now (the Cork-Cobh train) and dont have a ticket and you got on at that station they are fining people. Yup, fining. No mention that maybe you had to leg it and just made the train. Nope...they are right, you are wrong. Tough shit. Typical. Why not do something else like you have to pay more if you buy a ticket on the train and cheaper tickets if you use the machine. No.....lets fuck more people over because we are gobshites.

Heres the email I sent to

To whom it concerns,
in December 2006 I had the displeasure of witnessing, and to a point being involved in, an incident with an Irish Rail employee that has somewhat lessened my regard to that company. I noticed on the Citizens Information website that should you have an issue with Irish Rail that you should raise it with the station manager but in this instance I was unable.

The following day I followed the instructions and sent my complaint to Irish Rail via their on-line service. I am still awaiting a response from them. This was sent on Monday Dec 18th and so far I have only received an automated response and no one has been in touch to follow up.

I am less than satisfied, and to be honest I am extremely annoyed, with their non response to my issue. Below is the issue as detailed in the contact with Irish Rail:

email sent was inserted here

I would appreciate it if you could assist in this matter as this is a truly unacceptable manner to be treated by a state employee and a state company. How waiting this long for contact can be called customer service is beyond me.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Regards, Stephen Boyce.

Day 22 - Irish Rail - Complete

Day twenty two of waiting for an answer from Irish Rail is over...linky.

I found this piece of info on the Citizens Information webpage

If you have complaints about Iarnród Éireann services, you should bring them to the attention of the relevant station manager. If you want to take your complaint further, you can contact the Customer Services (InterCity) division or the Customer Services (Suburban Rail) division of Iarnród Éireann. It is recommended that you write a letter of complaint, including as much detail as possible (date and time of travel, where you were travelling from and to and a phone number). You should also send your ticket, if you still have it. You may get an immediate response to your complaint but if not, you will get an acknowledgement within three days and you should have a full response within 15 days. You may also
make complaints or raise customer services issues online . "

You will note that there is no independant place to raise a complaint about rail travel in Ireland...similar to Eircom and ComReg really in the telecoms sector.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Day 21 - Irish Rail - Complete

Day twenty one of waiting for an answer from Irish Rail is over...linky

It's also nice to know that its not only me who has seen Irish Rail at their best. Thanks to Luke for his comment showing what happened him and what he has witnessed.

They truly are a "great" company.

Friday, January 05, 2007

New Zealand

Read a blog entry about New Zealand on the "The Dossing Times" blog.

I completely agree with this and I also found NZ fantastic. Although I only spent 3 months there I did manage to get around a fair whack of the Island's. It is a lovely, lovely place and the people there are fantastic.

I urge everyone to visit at some stage and forget about the distance...its worth it.

Day 18 - Irish Rail - Complete

Day eighteen of waiting for an answer from Irish Rail is over...linky

Was thinking about this last night and was wondering if this is how they normally conduct customer service.

I sent my notification at about 10am on Monday 18th Dec. So, they basically had all day Monday and the rest of that week to respond - total=5 working days.
The following week there were 3 potential days for working - total=8 working days.
This week there have been (including today) 4 working days - total=12 working days....

12 working days and all I got is an automated response? Sweet Jesus they are as unreliable as their service....shower of useless feckers...

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Big event in Fairhill in 2007

As some of you know from one of my previous blog entries young Orla from Fairyhill is now engaged.

The big event will take place in St. Finbar's Cathedral in Cork in 2007. No exact date is set as off yet, however, the Bishop has stated that once Orla sets the date the church will be free.

More information will be added about the wedding over the next few months from the straight from the official wedding planner.

If anyone has any info on the wedding, feel free to send it on and I will publish it here.

Day 17 - Irish Rail - Complete

Day seventeen of waiting for an answer from Irish Rail is over...linky

Day seventeen finds us awaiting anxiously for an answer from Irish Rail. I'd say its fair to say at this stage that an answer will not be forthcoming. So, here is what I propose...

If no answer by Day 20 I will contact the Irish Rail manager (if I can find who they are)
If no answer by Day 25 I will email the transport watchdog in Ireland (if we have one)
If no answer by Day 30 I will email the Minister for Transport (I know who he is).

Thanks for those who sent comments on this.

Just one that I would like to mention is on my mentioning of the fare increases. I would just like to point out that while 2.75% is indeed within the inflation in this country what I dont like is that in the 5 years since I first got the train to Cork (from Dublin) fares have risen from about €48 to about €60 now...a 25% increase in 5 years.

That is a big rise to me and personally I cant see the reason for it. They are already very expensive if you consider how far €48 would take you in Europe.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Day 16 - Irish Rail - Complete

Day sixteen of waiting for an answer from Irish Rail is over...linky

Amazing when you consider their annoucement today which basically states that 2006 was a record year for them in "completed" journeys and the one of the reasons given, I believe, was improved customer service...

Also their fares are increasing from 4th Jan by 2.75%. No reason given. Probably been a few weeks since the last one and they need to cover some debts from Christmas.

All a load of bollox really....

Happy New Year

Just a quick note to wish everyone a very Happy New Year or as in an email I received....

I ran my “have a great Christmas and a happy New Year” text by my legal adviser who suggested – at great expense - a more politically correct and unprejudiced greeting as follows.
“Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, and gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday as practiced within the traditions of the religious or secular practices or traditions of your choice or, if none, without regard to any religious or secular practices or traditions at all.

I wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically healthy generally accepted calendar year 2007 with due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make this country great.

The foregoing does not imply in any way that this country is greater than any other country, or that the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, or sexual preference of cultures who have helped make other countries great is inferior.

By accepting these greetings you are accepting the following terms.

- These greetings are subject to clarification and withdrawal at any time and imply no promise by the wisher to the wishee to implement any of the wishes herein.
- These greetings are freely transferable on the express condition that there be no alteration of the original greetings.
- These greeting are void where prohibited by law and are revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher.
- These greetings have no guarantee or warranty of any kind.
- These greetings are valid for a period not to exceed one year or until the issuance of subsequent greetings or until clarification or withdrawal of these greetings pursuant to the terms of these greetings, whichever comes first.

The sole remedy for any dissatisfaction of the wishee is, after service of written notice on the wisher by the wishee, clarification or withdrawal of these greetings or issuance of new greetings, at the sole discretion of the wisher.”

Steve - without prejudice - Boyce