Proposals by the ESB and Eircom to introduce a minimum payment of €20 when customers are paying bills at post offices should be abandoned, the Oireachtas Committee on Social Protection has said. Eircom has announced that from October 1st, customers will have to pay at least €20 when paying off their bill at the post office while the ESB has also stated that it plans to follow suit by introducing a minimum bill payment for customers.
This action has prompted the Committee to contact both the ESB and Eircom to urge them to shelve these plans immediately. The Committee has also decided to call both organisations along with An Post before it.
Committee members are concerned that this move will force cash-strapped customers who have been paying bills in weekly instalments of €5 or €10 to now pay a minimum of €20. The fear is that this move could cause hardship and difficulty for up to 100,000 customers. It could also result to increased levels of bad debt and more people being disconnected.