Eircom is no longer offering new phones to customers on a rental basis, though this will not affect customers who are already renting.

It is also changing its replacement policy for faulty phones. From January, rental customers who call out an Eircom technician to change a faulty phone will be charged £45, but the company says customers can replace the product free of charge at any Eircom store or agent, or have a replacement phone posted out free of charge within two working days.

The company says many customers prefer to buy their phone outright rather than pay a fixed charge every month. Eircom says the average rental charge is around £1.33 a month, while new handsets can be purchased for around £30.