27 September 2007 Edition

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Eircom slammed for scrooging on senior citizens

Críona Ní Dhálaigh

Críona Ní Dhálaigh

Sinn Féin’s Dublin City Councillor, Críona Ní Dhálaigh has accused Eircom of ‘scrooging’ senior citizens by pursuing them for hefty reconnection fees following their move to a new senior citizens complex. Calling on the company to reconsider, she pointed to the vast profits made by Eircom and its top executives and asked whether the company’s commitment to ‘corporate social responsibility’ was mere hypocrisy.
Cllr Ní Dhálaigh said: “The move of 70 local senior citizens from Islandbridge Court and Sarah Place to the new state of the art Senior Citizen complex at Memorial Court should have been a cause for celebration. But the decision by Eircom to charge reconnection fees of €130 for each of its customers is simply scrooging senior citizens.
“I would like to applaud NTL who have taken an enlightened and a progressive approach to the situation and have waived any fee for reconnecting these senior citizens.
“I would ask Eircom how they square their miserly approach in this case to their claim that ‘Corporate social responsibility is an integral part of eircom. We want to do the right thing for the environment, our customers, our employees, and the community in which we live.’
“In my book the notion of corporate social responsibility should not include reconnection fees of €130 for senior citizens moving, in some cases less than a hundred yards, to a new complex. That smacks of hypocrisy and greed.
“The fee of €130 needs to be put in the proper context. The state pension is only €200 and according to Age Action Ireland, ‘were it not for other allowances, like the Living Alone Allowance or the Fuel Allowance, many pensioners would be below the income threshold for poverty.’
“The fee also need to be put in the context of Eircom’s wealth. Last year the Sunday Business Post reported that the four top Eircom bosses had earned €16.5 million in a single year and last week Eircom announced a pretax profit of €655 million, an increase of 7%.
“Hunting down senior citizens for what is pennies in comparison to those figures is miserly and disgraceful. If Eircom truly want to ‘do the right thing’ they should reconsider and, like NTL, waive the reconnection fee.”  

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