The call by the Consumer Association of Ireland (CAI) comes as iD Mobile, powered by Dixons Carphone, enters the Irish mobile phone market promising cheaper bills, flexible plans, and more transparency over payments than any of its rivals.
Part of its service includes the first “build-your-own-plan”, which it says gives customers control over the number of minutes, texts, and data that they want to include.
Customers will also be able to change the make-up of their plan every month at no extra cost and without recontracting.
“Customers can choose plans that adapt and change with their needs,” said the company’s general manager, Hamish White. “Most importantly, our plans are completely transparent — we give customers everything they want, and nothing that they don’t want.”
CAI Policy and council adviser Dermott Jewell called on iD Mobile to place a high value on customer care and back-up support.
“It’s good news to have another player in the market offering more choice for consumers,” he said. “However, the key point we would like to get across is we hope the company, from day one, will put customer care and back up support as a high priority. There are clearly difficulties in this area with so many other operators.”
Mr Jewell said the CAI encounter consumers regularly having issues when it came to accessing adequate support from their operator.
“It’s easy to get a phone,” he said. “It’s easy to get yourself on a plan and receive a tariff and a bill. However, it’s when something goes wrong, that’s when people need back up and support.”
A report estimating iD’s impact on the market by independent comparison service, KillBiller, found the average price paid by iD customers if they choose the cheapest available plan on the new network would be €20.81 per month.
This represents annual savings of €166.50 when compared to the average bill pay cost across the market of €34.69 per month.