Apr 28 2009

eflow Website

Category: Internet,ReviewsTeknovis @ 22:46

Tonight I had to use the eflow website for the first time. I am lucky that I do not have to ever suffer the M50! This is a motorway that almost circles the capital city (Dublin), and it is the busiest road in Ireland. There is a toll to pass one bridge on the motorway, and until recently you could pay the toll at the bridge using cash. I have never understood why you could not pay using your credit card like most of the EU! Recently a barrier free system was introduced, and infrequent travellers must now pay the toll online within 48 hours.

This morning some Spanish friends of mine arrived in Ireland. They rented a car at the airport, and the set-off for the west of Ireland. I was talking to them this evening by phone to determine if they had passed the toll bridge on the M50. I know that they travelled on the M50, because they told me that they were on a road that looked like a motorway except everybody was parked. Yup – that is the M50 :( However, they were not sure if they crossed the toll bridge.

As a precaution, I got the registration number of their rented car, and I visited the eflow web site. My expectation was that I should be able to enter the registration number, and that the website should tell me what was due. This however is not possible!

Indeed, the website is so bad that I can enter any random Irish registration number and pay for any small number of trips!

So I paid the toll in the end for the rented car, even though I am not sure if it was due or not.

Next I thought that I would phone eflow to try and confirm if the toll was due or not. Unfortunately, eflow only advertise a 1890 phone number. I detest these, as I describe in Say No To 1890!. The national number provided on SayNoTo1890 went to voicemail because it was after 17:00 when I phoned, even though the eflow website states that customer service is open until 23:00 :(

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Feb 04 2009

Say No To 1890!

Category: TelecomsTeknovis @ 20:21

I have a regular land line to my house, and I buy both my voice and my broadband data services from Eircom. In general, I am happy with the price and service levels.

I subscribe to one of Eircom’s bundles that gives me free unlimited national and local calls, and this provides me with significant savings compared to paying for my calls on a per minute basis.

I rarely need to pay for any additional calls for two reasons:

  • I use my mobile phone to call other mobile phones (I rarely need to call mobile phones in other operators’ networks)
  • I use Skype for all my international calls

However, the single greatest category of phone number that I regularly need to call that results in an increase to my phone bill is 1890 numbers. These numbers are intended to be non-geographical low cost numbers. Unfortunately, Eircom charges me for calling these numbers because they are not deemed to be national numbers. It is both annoying and petty!

In order to avoid these charges I started using the national numbers for organisation that have 1890 numbers. Most organisations list these somewhere on their web pages, often as the International Number. I think that a company must have a national number in order to obtain a 1890 number.

I recently came across a very useful web site, SayNoTo1890, that provides the national numbers for all known 1890 numbers. These numbers are well categorised, and they are updated regularly.

This is a great recession beating tip in my opinion ;)

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