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back to article TalkTalk goes silent

TalkTalk, the Lidl of telephony providers, has suffered a catastrophic network failure that has taken down its website and disrupted voice calls for customers. The company's sites are currently displaying an apology, and stating that while voice services were disrupted they are now back up and running, so calls should be working …

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Pint

"Lidl of telephony providers"

Can I be the 1057th commentard to complain it's grossly unfair to compare a fine supermarket to this shower of kronk.

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Bronze badge
Megaphone

Stop taking the piss out of Lidl

They may be cheap in monetary terms, but the products are as good, and sometimes better, than any other supermarket round here (Morrisons, CO-OP and Waitrose).

Yeah TT are carp, but how about BT?? They have just spent 4 days insisting there was nothing wrong with my phone line, before an engineer finally admitted the DSL equipment at the exchange had failed, FOR THE SECOND TIME IN 6 MONTHS!

(Borrowed the loud hailer from my local Lib-Dem, he wont be needing it any more)

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Anonymous Coward

BT

I've had this exact problem with BT before.

I paid for three engineer visits to test the line, all successful, and then the DSL card finally blew in the exchange.

After some heated telephone conversations with inept "managers", I get the visits refunded.

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Alien

So...

... no comment from Huawei, Phorm, or Charles 'Cheng-du' Dunston?

I'm disappointed.

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FAIL

You nuts?

Do you expect the typical capitalist, "capitulated to the City folk" Dunsty to appear and apologise to you? Dream on....

If you go to TalkTalk forums, there are thousands of complaints, but not a word from the Boss and the forum moderators dont take any strong criticism of Charles Dunstone kindly. Your posts are deleted often.

Not to highlight the numerous wooden spoons and worst customer service awards they keep receiving. And yet not a word from the top brass.

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Unhappy

Ya that'll be about right,

Since I only just signed up to them and I went 'live' on Wednesday, a process that was surprisingly straight forward (compared to the 3 month fiasco I had with Virgin!), but yep as soon as I sign up, they go belly up, perfect..... :(

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FAIL

Well....

My Tiscali/TalkTalk broadband was down this morning.

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FAIL

BT having a good day too...

http://btbusiness.custhelp.com/app/service_status_consumer/ss_cat/2468,2470

"We're aware of a temporary problem that's causing some people trouble accessing BT Yahoo services. We're sorry if you've been affected. Our engineers are now working to fix the problem, and we expect to have the service back to normal soon"

Same engineering snafu?

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Coat

"the Lidl of telephony providers"

BIt unfair on Lidl isn't it?

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Thumb Down

Aha!

Huh. This might explain why I'm unable to VNC in to my machine at this minute... (Even though I'm a tiscali customer...)

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Hmmmmmmm

faced with increasingly poor speeds from Orange LLU at peak times I was thinking about either going back to SKY or being very risky and giving Talk Talk a go (they are the only other LLU's on my exchange).

I think this just decided it for me.

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Thumb Up

Well...

It couldn't happen to a more deserving group of people...

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Troll

Here is the latest

Latest Update

Following the 10am call we can confirm a message is now visible on the TalkTalk and Tiscali Business Websites to inform customers that the site is offline. Our engineers are currently working to migrate the Portal Filer 1 which is experiencing issues across to new net apps which should hopefully restore service. The initial migration is expected to be completed within the next hour and once complete our engineers will need to confirm the migration work has been successful and there are no further issues prior to returning the new net app and services into service. Those areas which still appear to be impacted are The TalkTalk Website www.talktalk.co.uk and any applications or portals within the TalkTalk website are unavailable. This includes Portal Online, MVNO, My Account, PIPEX Net Mail. All sales channels will also be impacted as sales cannot be made through the direct sales, mobile sales or TalkTalk website. The TRIO application has been confirmed as fully functional, however some users across some sites are reporting issues logging on to TRIO. This is currently Investigated and may be separated from this incident. The Tiscali Business Portal is still unavailable which will impact resellers accessing the Partner Portal for fault logging. Another conference call is scheduled for 11:30hrs to confirm the latest progress in restoring service.

IT also appears that they have an IBM Active Directory issue which is affecting CPW systems.

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mug

Why are you sending out internal incident updates?

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Anonymous Coward

Am Talk Talk customer..

Not one problem yet. In fact, after signing up 2 years ago they recently replaced the exchange kit and reduced my bill by 1/3. Never had a phone, billing or broadband problem and they even diagnosed a faulty bit of home kit for me.

Where as BT was always down, slow or increasing my billing. Can't get Sky (without costing a fortune where I live) or Virgin.

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Grenade

nemesis!

ever since they transferred my broadband from pipex without asking, I've wanted talk talk to implode - my voodoo juju is finally working!MUWAAHAHAHAHAHA!!

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Bronze badge

re: Broadband unaffected?

Maybe the reason the broadband is unaffected is because it is already down??

We have 2 lines coming in - both are BT lines with a Pipex broadband service on them.

My broadband line hiccuped on 21st April and was down for about 3 hours. The other line however went down on the 21st April about 1 minute after mine and has been down ever since.

The only reason we have yet to do anything about it is because due to this very rapid takeover of Pipex phoning customer service now goes something like this:

"Welcome to TalkTalk Business, to ensure we can deal with your query effectively please enter the broadband telephone number you are calling about"

"We are sorry, we did not recognise that number, please wait for a customer service advisor"

...... wait 25 minutes........

"TalkTalk Business, xxx speaking, how can I help?"

"Oh that isn't a Talk Talk Business account, that's a Pipex account, please hang up and redial this number......"

Some of us though have work to do and can't afford to sit on the phone all day waiting patiently for someone to tell us why CHAP keeps failing.

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Grenade

NoTalk-NoTalk

I wouldn't mind if the never got their service working again.

These are the bunch of Bozos who demanded a mobile phone number from my aged mother when her TT landline went down. She does not have a mobile phone. Err... She has a landline. That is all she needs.

This same bunch of bozos would not accept that there was a fault on her phone line at the Green BT Cabinet less than 50 yds from her house even though:-

- The BT engineer fixing it spoke to them on the phone to explain the problem. The Indian Call Centre droid just couldn't handle his Geordie accent.

In the end, the BT guy fixed her line and the 10+ others in her street who were also with TT and had no phones. He did this out of the kindness of his heart. The problem was some TT Service engineer wired up a new line with total ignorance of how many BT, TT, Tiscali and other customers he was disconnecting at the same time.

The result was that all those in her street who were on TT went back to BT. Yes it cost them a bit more but these mostly old folk wanted a phone that worked. The efforts to get her moved back to BT involved several threats of legal action from OFCOM. Total plonkers.

TT would be better off not coming back, ever.

Grenade. To be thrown at TT

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WTF?

What is a TT Service Engineer?

If you have any idea what you are talking about, you would certainly have known that there is nothing called a TT Service Engineer! The network of last mile and the exchanges in this country are all owned and serviced by a company called OpenReach which is part of BT group! TalkTalk or any other provider using the same cannot have there own engineer even if they want to. So the TT Service Engineer you refer to is none other than a BT OpenReach Engineer. And you can call me anything you like but it was a nice windfall for BT to have gained so many customer for a mistake of one of their own! Most people like yourself still do no understand what LLU means and how it is operated in this country - I certainly don't expect the older folks in question to understand it!

BTW - I have no affiliation with TalkTalk and take my services from BT!

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Silence

>>> We've had no reports of interrupted broadband internet access...

Well you won't will you, they can't get online to tell you.

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FAIL

It's been down since 8:15pm last night

It's not just this morning - our broadband connection (initially with Bulldog, then Pipex -> Tiscali -> TalkTalk) to the Woolwich exchange has been down since 8:15pm last night, all through the night, and is still down now (1:20pm the next day - I'm sending this through my mobile).

This, along with the many, many service interruptions and shocking speed (paying for 16, having to connect at 8) have been enough to make me sign up with O2 for home phone and broadband this morning. Talking with neighbours, their O2 ADSL connection has been rock-solid for months, so if I can get good speeds without lining the pockets of these shysters, then all the better.

RIP TalkTalk - you will not be missed

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Anonymous Coward

Not wishing to derail the point of the previous post, but..

"The problem was some TT Service engineer wired up a new line with total ignorance of how many BT, TT, Tiscali and other customers he was disconnecting at the same time."

Err, might that be another previous Openreach engineer who dunnit? As far as I recall, no-one else has direct access to the cabinets or exchange?

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Flame

@Steve Davies 3

1. TalkTalk cannot maintain the equipment in the BT Green cabinet. This is a BT cabinet, maintained by BT Openreach (A BT Group Company). BT would not call TT and ask them to fix a fault in their own equipment.

2. The "TT Service Engineer" you talk of is in actual fact a BT Openreach engineer. TalkTalk/Sky/BE etc do not send their own engineers to work on Openreach's equipment. The ISP's pay Openreach to do the work. And in some cases Openreach make mistakes. So it was a BT Openreach engineer who "Out of the kindness of his heart" fixed the mistake of another BT Openreach engineer who didnt care about "how many BT, TT, Tiscali and other customers he was disconnecting at the same time".

Openreach are the ones who maintain the last mile (from the exchange to the NTE). If there was a problem from the TT quipment in the exchange to their network then yes it is for TT to fix, but if the fault is between the exchange and the NTE then it is for BT Openreach.

I'm not defending TalkTalk, but I tire of seeing ISP's take the hit for BT Openreach's incompetence. I would recommend your anger is directed a BT Openreach for being unable to maintain their own network effectively.

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Grenade

TT is ok when it works

But when it doesn't, getting help is kafkaesque, primarily due to an apparent culture of avoiding the customer - http://www.dilbert.com/fast/2011-04-30/

As for Brutish Telecon Openretch.....

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Bronze badge

Good experiences

My experience of Tiscali, and now Talk Talk, has been generally good.

Now I'm wondering whether some of this particular FUBAR is essentially regional. How does a website failure affect voice telephone calls over the landline network?

(I have seen occasional DNS problems over the last couple of days.)

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Anonymous Coward

can fix that for you

Bin the TT supplied DNS servers, and replace them with 4.2.2.2, 4.2.2.3, and 4.2.2.4. Job done!

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0

What problems?

I'm on TalkTalk, we had no problems with our Internet, still downloading at about 1MB a second. Also no problems with the phone line. So, is this a regional thing?

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Linux

Mine's fine -has been all day today and was fine yesterday too.

This outage of which you lot speak nay gloat. Where was it cos it ain't in my bit of Essex.

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FAIL

Steve Davies 3

That would be a BT issue, don't comment until you know what you're talking about. The ONLY equipment that is controlled by an LLU provider is within the local exchange. The last mile is owned and operated by BT Openreach, they CAUSED your problem and then fixedit, wow well done them.

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FAIL

typo

Oops "fixed it"

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Anonymous Coward

Not quite so

And don't comment unless you know what you are talking about ! How about Sky putting voice on one line and broadband on another ? This was nothing to do the landline, it was a software/ CP problem (and took about a couple of hours for the engineer to sort on the telephone due to Sky employing too many script monkeys)

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Anonymous Coward

@Not quite so

Perhaps you shouldn't comment as you dont know what you are talking about.

What you are referring to is SMPF (Or Shared Metallic Pathway Facility to the layman). This means the tie pair is split at the exchange so the voice service remains over BT and you need CPS and WLR to bill your calls and line rental to sky and the ADSL goes through their LLU equipment in the exchange.

As an FYI the alternative is MPF (Metallic Pathway Facility) where the line is completely disconnected from the BT network at the exchange and switched to another providers LLU equipment.

Some providers use SMPF as they only need to maintain a data network and let BT Wholesale do the legwork for routing calls and maintaining the line. Others like TalkTalk use MPF where they have control of everything on the line.

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Anonymous Coward

nope

I WAS referring to an MPF line, some bright spark had put voice services on one circuit and broadband access on another. I am all too familiar with MPF/SMPF/WLR3 etc. (its my bread and butter work).

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Coat

as Father jack says'

That would be an ecumenical issue.

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

Coat

More concerning

What's more concerning is that talk talk has a bit that will visit every website you visit. That includes anything encoded in a get string. I keep seeing these attempts too access my website backend tools.

Gawd damn you talk talk.

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@ Not quite so

So please advise how a BT engineer resolves that at the cab? The copper wire that runs from the HDF in the exchange all the way to the property is owned and operated by BT Openreach. Any issue that can be resolved at any point after the HDF is a BT issue, so again they caused it and then fixed it. You simply don't understand how it works. A BT Openreach engineer simply CANNOT resolve CP issues.

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Gold badge
FAIL

Remember there are 450 landline ISP's in the UK.

Of which the top 4 hold about 96% of the market.

I imagine *most* of the rest would welcome new business.

Finding them and getting connected might be more difficult

Finding a good list of all of them is seems difficult but this one has quite a lot of them. It's a start.

http://www.ispreview.co.uk/isp_list/

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Bronze badge
Paris Hilton

TT Sales speechless

A very nice woman from TT sales phoned me and tried to get me to switch only last week; I declined, explaining they were a bunch of useless tossers.

(I dont like being interrupted while watching Cowboy Bebop).

"But we have "X" million customers, so we cant be that bad" she replied.

" I didnt realise there were that many morons in the UK", I said.

There was no reply, so I hung up

Paris, the ideal TT customer - hasnt got a clue !!!

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Anonymous Coward

rotten eggs in all isp's baskets

Since going to TT some time ago, it's the best BB I've had since the early days of pipex, when they were independent.

Had bad experiences with tiscali then sky before settling with TT, no problens with speed or line dropping, just two local exchange problems, can't remember when I joined TT. Must be nearly two years.

I would recommend TT to anyone going by my experience, but obviously a few on here have had bad experiences, I guess the same could be said for SKY, BT, and some of the others.

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FAIL

Toilets can block, so can TalkTalk!

I have had reasonable phone and broadband from Tiscali/TalkTalk for some time - until April. Their systems failed to take payment (direct debit) and instead of telling us, just put a block on. I was told "many" customers are in the same position. They just don't seem to have the organisation to fix these things.

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