An Irish college in Mayo is drowning in complaints from people who think they are contacting Irish Water.
Coláiste Uisce is an adventure centre in the heart of Mayo’s Gaeltacht, teaching Irish through activities. Its website is uisce.ie, which some have confused with water.ie, which is used by Irish Water/Uisce Éireann. The logo and font are also similar.
So far, more than 50 people have rung in the last three months to give out about Irish Water and a 54-year-old man accidentally signed up to a Leaving Cert course thinking he was registering for the utility.
The education manager at the centre, Daithí Ó Gallachóir, said a similar mix-up happened last week.
“We got a call from a man trying to sign in online and he couldn’t figure out what his password was,” said Mr Ó Gallachóir. “Of course, he thought he was on the Irish Water website and didn’t have any sort of an account with us at all.”
Ever the optimist, Mr Ó Gallachóir said staff try to turn the misunderstandings around by trying to sell the callers a summer course.
“People start giving out to us and then we do our best to calm them down,” he said. “We’ve even developed a system. We let them give out to us and vent their frustrations, then we agree with them and explain that we are, in fact, an Irish college in Belmullet.”
The college has since created a tongue-in-cheek informational video dubbed ‘Coláiste UISCE Vs Uisce Éireann — Is mór an difríocht’ to highlight the fact they are not associated with Irish Water.
“We have spent years perfecting our brand image and doing our best to create a positive atmosphere around the word Uisce,” said Mr Ó Gallachóir. “Now we’re a little worried that with the other Uisce on the scene our marketing may become a little more challenging.”
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