back to article TalkTalk, 3UK scratched off Ofcom's Xmas card list

It's official: TalkTalk and 3UK had more complaints than any other Blighty-based telcos since communications' regulator Ofcom started publishing its league table displaying the good, the bad and the downright ugly. TalkTalk is, for the fourth consecutive quarter, the most whinged about ISP. The company also languished at the …

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Bronze badge

BT catching up

The interesting thing about the report this quarter is how close BT are to that top crown for broadband complaints. It's a shame the report only has the providers listed, it would be good to know how some of the other major networks fair, O2, BE, plusnet etc.

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BE

Awesome. 2+ years I have been using them. Not one single issue, problem or down time that I have noticed. No caps and no throttling( that I am aware of). 24Mbs service I get 14Mbs but that's down to the poor copper between me and the exchange. I only use BE for broadband I cannot comment on any other service they offer. It isn't as cheap as some but I work from home and 24x7x365 always on is a requirement as I run Internet facing servers from home.

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Megaphone

What happens when you wear people down

Can't believe the Virgin Media numbers at all , I can only out it down to the fact that there long suffering customers have recognised the futility of complaint.

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Unhappy

I agree. My experiences with Virgin Media were a nightmare, starting with them cutting my telephone off by accident, then having to speak to a manager to get it sorted because everyone else I spoke to was incapable of doing so, then finding that their customer care centre (apparently) do not have internal phone numbers, meaning they cannot transfer your call to the person you have been dealing with, and who you are calling because they have not called you back when they said they would.

I also found out two years after moving out of a house that they were sending mail there, despite the fact I took my account with me to the new place and they were writing to me at the new house too...

I left Virgin after that and went to TalkTalk. I have had more problems with TalkTalk, but none of them anywhere near as serious. My contract with TalkTalk ends in four days and I will be leaving them. I have not decided where I am going to go next, but I don't hold out much hope that any other ISP will be any better, unfortunately.

If we could just get an ISP that delivers a decent phone line and broadband connection at a reasonable (doesn't have to be the cheapest, somewhere between TalkTalk and Virgin Media would be fine) price, that doesn't tie you in to a contract but instead pledges to keep your custom/loyalty with a decent service and good customer service, I do believe they would clean up

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"If we could just get an ISP that delivers a decent phone line and broadband connection at a reasonable (doesn't have to be the cheapest, somewhere between TalkTalk and Virgin Media would be fine) price, that doesn't tie you in to a contract but instead pledges to keep your custom/loyalty with a decent service and good customer service, I do believe they would clean up"

One word: plusnet

I've been with them for ~2 years with no major problems; broadband + phone. Good value and good customer service.

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Silver badge

2nd word: Be

I'm on a 30 day notice contract with them. They still offer those but more expensive than I pay.

Normal is a 1 year.

Very happy with them to date - 3 years and counting.

Heard a lot of good things about Plusnet as well.

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Anonymous Coward

One word: Phorm

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/11/10/plusnet_phorm/

If you value your privacy then avoid plusnet.

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Anonymous Coward

the cheatest telco is the most complained about....

who'd've thunk it.

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FAIL

3UK

Three's billing systems have been up the creek since 2001 ... I had a handset with them back then and they botched my billing so badly I swore I'd never ever go back to using them even if they did have a handset/plan I wanted.

The complete buffoons also told me at the time that "People dont want the internet on their phones" (as a way of explaining their walled garden approach) ... and we all know how that turned out ;)

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Are you Doctor Who?

The company was only founded in 2002 and wasn't launched until 2003...

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Always found 3UK them to be okay ...

Especially if you say you want to leave and 3India passes you on to "customer retention" in 3UK .. then you get a great deal and don't need to leave 8-)

I ordered a 3rd SIM on their website and it turned me down .. so I complained and said I would break the other 2 contracts (I had been a customer of over 2 years nothing extra to payoff) if I didn't get the 3rd as that was the whole point of keeping it in the same company. 3UK retention (nice lady in Scotland) sorted out the SIM order and gave me a 50% discount.

So now I have 2 x 1Gb + 1 x 2Gb mobile broadband SIMs (mifi, iphone and ipad) for a grand total of £15.59 per month. And the coverage has increased over the last few years and the speed appears to have gone up as well .. I even use the mifi as a backup for the ADSL line when it goes wobbly.

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Anonymous Coward

I guess it's quite hard to turn around a ship the size of Talktalk. Even harder when all the passengers are jumping overboard and the crew are too busy sponsoring singing contests.

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Thumb Up

Talktalk is okay

I must be one of the 999 in the thousand that are happy with Talktalk. I joined Talktalk right at the beginning and have had no problems, in fact I recommend others because of the low price, reliability and good service.

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Happy

Me too

I was with Tiscali since my dial-up days of 1998, they were taken over by Talk Talk a couple of years ago. Never had any issues with Tiscali, nor Talk Talk.

I've got my broadband, line rental and calling plan with them at a price I'm happy with, and never had any problems with the service, reliability, billing etc.

Of course, the fact that I've not had cause to complain means I haven't experienced their infamous customer care....but other than that I'm happy and would recommend them to others.

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Z80

Not being driven to complain to Ofcom != being happy

I take your point though that most people will have no trouble with any of these companies.

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I can only assume Virgin Media customers can't get through to complain.

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Anonymous Coward

overseas call centres vs uk call centres

The services from each are mostly the same.. the stupidity of some of the people they employ is a universal constant and knows no geographical boundary... nor colour, nor creed for that matter

and once in a while you find a gem who can sort it all out and gives a f***

this is the power of hope. we've all uttered a small prayer just before you hit the IVR..

now press one...

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I used to be one of those gems. And then I was forced to resign.

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Silver badge
Boffin

Talk-Talk Phone Complaints

If your Landline goes down, you have to call an 0870 number. They insist on a mobile phone number to call you back on. They never call.

If you are elderly and don't have a mobile phone and have 'popped next door' to use you neighbours phone to report the problem, they are left with the bill for upwards of an hour on the phone explaining to one Indian after another the problem is with your landline.

Then they threaten you with all sorts of costs if it turns out that the fault is on your equipment. Then they delay and prevoarrocate over escalating it to BT who fix the faults on the ground.

That all happened to my 90yr old Mother. They even carried on billing her after she'd moved back to BT. 9 months on, she has just gotten the money back.

And people still want to use 'Don't Talk'?

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Anonymous Coward

This survey is old.

Just check the latets howlers on their (TalkTalk's) forums.

1. Their usage meter started showing daily usages of 50gb plus and worry about large bills for such bloomers, or worse go over the DL limits and be penalised. They have even pulled the usage meter from their website and no one knows where they stand in regards to their downloads.

2. People who have paid yearly line rentals are still charged the monthly rental separately. Multiple & wrong billings are still the order of the day.

3. Customer services ? Have heard of that. Its difficult to talk to anyone intelligent in theri call centres in South Africa, Philippines, India, wherever.

4. If you use Non-talkTalk suplied routers, your speed increases on an average 1.5 Mbps.

5. IF an engineer comes for problems, you are guaranteed to be charged (whether they find any fault inside your property or not). Evryone invariably gets stung. Its routine. And money is taken off peoples direct debit accoutns a few months after the incident.

And OFCOM gloats over their surveys doing nothing about it.

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FAIL

TalkTalk are great when they work, but the moment you need support it's absolutely dreadful. They're the only LLU operator on my exchange, so it's either TalkTalk or 8mb broadband. The speed is great but as soon as I need to report a fault it's straight through to a heavily script-based interaction with India.

The problem is, I run Linux. Their first question when I go to report a fault with my entire Internet connection is "what operating system are you using". As soon as I say "Linux" I get "Sorry we do not support your operating system". No amount of telling them that there's a flashing red light on the "Internet" icon on my router will change their mind.

They have a forum based support ran out of the UK, which is fine if you are prepared to wait three days for a response, but as far as their Indian call centre is concerned, they'd be better off replacing it with "The IT Crowd"'s looped tape machine.

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Silver badge

So lie to them. Simples!

Just tell them Windows 7 and let them go through the script.

Maybe do the Linux equivalent of whatever they ask - it'll probably just be reboot anyway - and eventually they'll get to the place in the script where it says 'check blinkenlights', and you'll be able to listen to them say "I checked and your local exchange is broken. Bye."

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Anonymous Coward

I don't think they really understand what the internet is. Operating system should be irrelevant - what's to say you're even using any kind of personal computer? These days, the user may just have a router, an iPad and an internet connected fridge.

All they should need to care about is the connection between the router and the DSLAM. If they can't diagnose problems without going the wrong side of the router, perhaps they need to raise their game.

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TalkTalk Billing

I was an old Freedom2Surf customer, who got bought by Tiscali and then TalkTalk. I tried TalkTalk's "business class" service, but it was awful - slow speeds, terrible phone service, and hopeless support. I've been super-happy with Plusnet ever since (because weirdly BE said they couldn't take on customers who didn't have a BT landline!?).

Even several months later, TalkTalk keep sending me invoices for £0.00. They really are hopeless.

As for 3 - I've found them to be pretty good. You can't activate global roaming while you're abroad though, which is annoying. But other than that, they've been pretty good (nothing like O2 who I found to be hopeless, and unilaterally blocked half the internet "to protect the children", even though those children can't legally have contracts).

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Anonymous Coward

ISPs and privacy

Both Talktalk and 3 routinely invade the privacy of their customers and are best avoided. The less said about HomeSafe and Bluecoat the better...

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Another one for plusnet

I wonder if plusnet figures are included in with the BT Retail ones... as they became part of BT a few years ago. I've been with them since 2005, and not had a single problem, they even reduced my monthly bill after I sent them a cheeky tweet because my exchange got reclassified. Oh, and because I've recommended several friends and family to join them and they are all very happy with the service, plusnet take even more money off my bill every month to boot... which is nice.

Unfortunately I might be moving to Hull soon, which means no BT lines, which means I'll have to suffer the pain that is Karoo. Ick. That's a good reason to NOT move to Hull.

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You get what you pay for

I pay quite a lot for my internet, comparatively, but on the rare occasions I get issues I can talk to someone on IRC and have it fixed in minutes (or at least start them beating BT Wholesale with the cluestick).

OTOH I tried VM 50mb once.. absolute shite.. my nightmare with that ended with them attempting to charge me a £500 disconnection fee and me talking about lawyers.

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