So imagine that you move into a new house/flat and you need to get a phone line installed before you get ADSL Broadband, you plan on choosing Smart as your phone and Broadband provider.
So as eircom basically have a monopoly in Ireland you first have to get them to install your telephone line (PSTN line) before Smart can give you any services, so you ask them to install the line/activate the existing line and they advise you that there's a 6 month contract.....your thinking this is new and has never existed before and your 100% correct!
As per the eircom website
6 month contract applies to residential lines
As of approx two weeks ago Eircom have introduced a 6 month contract if you get a phone line (PSTN line) installed and your a residential customer, if you move your telephony service to another provider eircom will see this as breaking your contract.
Such a move is anti-competitive and only serves to block LLU providers such as Magnet and Smart from competing with Eircom, in addition this will affect other providers such as Vodafone, UTV, Imagine etc if you choose to pay line rental to them instead of Eircom (This has been confirmed with eircom directly).
Whats most concerning is some Eircom employee's appear to be clueless in relation to why eircom are doing this, accordingly to one user on boards.ie an eircom employee said the following when the user asked why eircom have introduced this new rule:
How else can we make money? We don't get a cent of the line rental paid to other ISPs
This is misleading to potential customers and is 100% incorrect, it would appear eircom need to train some of their employees better, a good general rule is if you don't know what to say put the customer on hold and check instead of giving out incorrect info.
This new change by eircom is extremely concerning as it could affect consumer choice when it comes to which broadband provider a consumer chooses to go with.