“ Provider: Tiscali TalkTalk / Service Type: Internet Service Providers (ISPs) „
A few years ago, a young lady representative called at my house, inferring (but never stating directly) she was from BT to examine my contract and see if they could offer a better deal. Once inside she admitted she was from TalkTalk. She was asked to leave before I called the police. This was in part because at the time a near neighbour of mine had answered a cold call from TalkTalk, and simply hung up saying she wasn't interested. A week later she got a surcharge bill from BT because she'd broken her contract with them - in fact she'd been 'slammed' without her knowledge into a TalkTalk contract. It all ended in court (my friend won with costs). So it's not surprising that from then on I've always refused to have anything to do with this firm.
My broadband had been with F2S for many years - IMHO once the very best small isp in the UK, no question. But they were sold to Pipex, then Tiscali. The standard of connection went rapidly downhill - though not as fast as the customer services. Last year they became Opal. When that turned out to be TalkTalk, it was the last straw and I requested a MAC. To be fair it came through in about a week, and I moved to Plusnet. Being pre-warned by other ex-customers of TalkTalk, I insisted on a written confirmation that my contract was at an end and that I owed no money. After several tries, I eventually got an email to that effect.
The changeover went fairly smoothly - and I thought that was that. But you're probably ahead of me by now...
A few weeks later, a red letter arrived from TalkTalk demanding £50-odd in back payments, as they were 'unaware' that I'd cancelled my contract - despite their own confirmation email. An angry email (attaching the by now substantial back correspondence) brought an apology - eventually. By now we were emailing each other via Plusnet - to which they claimed they didn't know I'd moved!
A fortnight later - another red letter, this time threatening debt agencies, etc. After trying to phone and deciding I didn't wish to spend my life on hold, I sent another - very angry - email of complaint. A few days later I received a phone call from a TalkTalk operator insisting I was still under contract but claiming he had 'no authority' to resolve the matter! Then why the hell had he called?!! I simply hung up on him before I burst a blood vessel. I've just now received (over a week after my last complaint) another email confirming I have no current contract and owe them nothing.
Sorted? On past experience I somehow doubt it.......
(and I was right ... a week after first I posted this review, and with two admissions from TalkTalk that I owe them nothing - yet ANOTHER demand for money arrived on my doormat this morning. What a bunch of crooks.)
I gather that there's a substantial Ofcom fine hanging over TalkTalk's head pending their cleaning up their act with regard to their massive levels of spurious (read - fraudulent) billing. I've logged my own problem with Ofcom and suggested that - given the still enormous amount of billing complaints - they apply the fine immediately.
TalkTalk's 'mistakes' are too common and widespread to be pure misfortune on their part. They are either the most incompetent firm in the UK or the most dishonest - it has to be one or the other - I suspect it's both. It's high time Ofcom sorted them out - decisively - once and for all, instead of pussyfooting around with suspended fines. Just a pity such fines aren't applied to management salaries - TalkTalk customers will take the loss, and management will undoubtedly sail on regardless.
Along with others, can I ask DooYoo to start allowing a no-star rating - I begrudge even the single star it took to submit this review.
Given the overall scale of this problem in the UK these days (and even agencies like HMRC are up to it) it's about time there was a quick process, perhaps allied to the small claims court, to exact statutory damages for customers pestered by these bent firms. It's no more nor less than demanding money with menaces in my book.
My partner signed up with Tiscali almost 2 years ago which was a doddle to set up. When we moved in together it took a week to transfer over which was a bit of an inconvinience but something that had to be done. It wasn't until I asked how much he paid per month (£14.99 on top of our bt line rental) that I was shocked and shopped around. Other providers such as Orange and O2 were offering line rental and broadbanc with off peak calls for £17.50 a month, when we paid £28 a month (with the option of £50-100 cashback too). This is where my troubles began .....
I never had problems with the service Tiscali provided, after all, I don't download things and mroe or less use the internet to shop and check my mail, same goes for my other half. The problems with Tiscali aren't setting up an account but trying to end it. We were out of the 12 month contract and were entitles to leave. All we needed to do was to ring up and request a MAC (migrate away code) and our new provider Orange would do the rest. Simple though it may sound, it was far from it. When you select the option to leave from the automated voice, you immediately come in contact with a real person. On telling them we wanted out MAC we were bombarded with questions and told the truth, we had found a better deal and wanted to leave. Despite them not being able to mach it they insisted we stayed and kept going on and on. I said no quite firmly for about the 100th time and just asked for them to email me the code which they can do within the hour. 1 day later, it still wasn't here and went through the hassle all again. We finally got a code and thought it was smooth sailing until we were told the code didn't work.
Basically 3 months down the line and I'm still having to ring up to hassle the,m for a code which never comes. i can't wait to leave and would NEVER come back.
My experience with Tiscali has never been anything but good. I signed up in June 2008 and my time with them will end on Monday. Signing up was an easy process. I completed my application online and purchase a 12 month contract for £11.49 a month + VAT for unlimited downloads. This incorporated my call plan whilst I kept my line with BT.
Throughout the duration of the first 3 months in my new flat with my new internet service I was hassled on a daily basis by TalkTalk, who had somehow got hold of my number and were making as much use of it as possible. I was being called twice daily and even when I answered and told them I wasn't interested they persisted in calling and failed to acknowledge ever having spoken to me.
The TalkTalk issue is a side note, but an important one in what ultimately drew an end to my relationship with Tiscali.
I moved house in June 2009 and as a result had to cancel the talk plan as I was tied into a new contract with BT. After a few hiccups during the move my broadband was back to normal in no time and I was a happy Tiscali customer.
Tiscali have recently been bought out by TalkTalk and therefore the Tiscali name is now Tiscali TalkTalk and all products are being brought into line with what TalkTalk already offer. However, in November I received a letter from Tiscali stating that my service would remain the same. I was still a happy Tiscali customer, despite being peeved by TalkTalk's involvement.
December 12th 2009 I received a letter from them stating that my package would stay the same at £14.99 a month should I opt to take on their weekend talk plan. Alternatively if I chose not to do so my service would cost me £19.99 a month in-line (and a 40Gig cap) with Talk Talk's current packages. I was furious.
Firstly should I choose to amend my direct debit to satisfy my bank balance they would crucify me, bill me and add on charges; However when they decide to up my direct debit by £8 its okay, despite being under contract? The letter also stated that should I not make the required changes then I would be billed from 14th January 2010 regardless.
Very unhappy I called Tiscali and got through after a 40minute wait to the Scottish call centre. Tiscali appear to have 3 centres one in England, one somewhere in Asia and one in Scotland. If you ever get through I would thoroughly recommend asking to be put through to the Glasgow office as they are the most helpful.
The staff I spoke to were very helpful and after I explained I was no longer under contract with Tiscali as I had already seen out the 12 months, but I wouldn't be taking on a TalkTalk, talk package as I am under contract with BT I was advised that my best option would be to find a cheaper service elsewhere.
Excellent customer service, though I doubt their statistics back up the target amount they have of talking people out of cancelling their contract. The options available to me were the two listed in the letter or a 3rd whereby I pay £22.50 a month and take a line out with TalkTalk as well as calls and broadband. Declining both I opted for a MAC (migration authorisation code) to enable me to change ISP. I was advised previously by friends that this can be very difficult to acquire, so I was prepared for a fight. Instead the service I received couldn't have been better. I was offered a verbal code and the promise that it would be emailed, posted and texted to me within the next 5 days. Within 20minutes I had received a text message and email confirmation and I had purchased my new internet package by the end of the hour.
I was extremely impressed by the service I received in asking to leave Tiscali and I made it very clear to the staff I spoke to that it was down to TalkTalk that I was leaving a service I trusted.
I am not alone in feeling this way, having trawled the internet and various forums I have found that this is a common problem with many users who are in low populated areas receiving such letters from Tiscali TalkTalk as they have been unable to equip the areas themselves and so are having to share, thus upping the price.
The only concern I have had so far in my move away from Tiscali is that instead of receiving confirmation of my MAC via post I received a letter stating that they had set up my broadband on my new line after transferring it from my old address. This letter is dated December by the actions took place in June 2009. As I am due to have my connection changed over on Monday it isn't a problem and certainly one I am prepared to hang on hold on a 0870 number for.
I hope this review has given an insight into the changes taking place now Tiscali have become Tiscali TalkTalk and the lack of customer service or appreciation that TalkTalk have for Tiscali customers.
As I have said I have no complaints of the service I received as a Tiscali customer but I would never choose to have anything to do with TalkTalk and it's a shame they are bullying and pushing away loyal customers.
I moved from Tiscali Talk Talk to PlusNet. It took Talk Talk 3 months to rebate me the money I was owed and that was after I received threats of debt collectors to retrieve subscription fees from December to March 2010. My contract with them ended in December 2009 - yet Tiscali Talk Talk continued to threaten me with collectors for payments - when in actual fact they owed me money.
This is a very personal review rather than an overall guide to their services. I just hope it helps someone make an informed choice before signing up.
(Also published on Ciao)