back to article TalkTalk Q1 sales fall as number of broadband punters declines

TalkTalk saw 146,000 broadband customers quit the service in the company's first quarter even as its overall subscriber base for all of the telco's products returned to growth. The past few months of heavy rain in Britain hampered TalkTalk's rate of connections for new customers, the firm added. It saw growth in fully unbundled …

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Joke

Suprising

That many people managed to get through the process of leaving them and of still being billed for up to 18 months afterwards.

So possible that they all left in Q3 2010 but have only just stopped being charged still for the connections :)

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FAIL

uptake

How, when there site has been down for the last 2 weeks... If its not then they are blocked by my works BT fibre line...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: uptake

How? When their site has been down for the last 2 weeks? If it hasn't then it's being blocked by my work's BT fibre line.

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Anonymous Coward

People don't like switching broadband suppliers when it rains? Creative!

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Anonymous Coward

@AC

Or more likely they've taken a leaf out of BT's latest excuse book and are blaming their probs on a shortage of openreach monkeys.

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Anonymous Coward

Opeanreach declared a MBORC due to the recent wet weather which has affected new line installations:

http://www.openreach.co.uk/orpg/home/updates/briefings/servicebriefings/servicebriefingsarticles/ser00212.do

More areas were added to this recently.

Of course they favour BT installations with sooner install dates but won't admit it.

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Thumb Down

Not really surprising customers are leaving

Been a customer for 5 years and no real problems to speak of (apart from reallllllly slow broadband during the day).

Now we are moving house and want to stick with them cos "its really easy with Talktalk (TM)".

"Thanks" says Talktalk, "we will start charging you from today, but it will be 6 weeks before we can connect you. Oh and by the way, its a brand new 18 month contract, no you cannot stick with your old package, no you cannot have any of these special deals 'cos you are not a new customer, oh and you can only have one of these two packages on offer which cost more than your old package. You can be there on this day for the Engineer to visit can't you? Er no, it cannot be your wife, it has to be the account holder who has to be there in person".

So which particular bit of that wonderful offer actually makes a loyal customer want to stay with them?

Plusnet here I come.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not really surprising customers are leaving

You only get charged when your new line gets activated. They won't charge you when you're not with them in the change over.

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Re: Not really surprising customers are leaving

"They won't charge you when you're not with them in the change over."

Really? Are you sure? If so you are better informed that the lady explaining the the 'deal' to me.

Still since I am not staying with them I don't really care any more.

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Stop

24 months for existing customers?!

How's that supposed to help their retentions department stopping customers from leaving? The only reason they can shaft existing customers like this is because it's easier to give yourself an organ transplant than it is to move between LLU providers.

I'd be tempted by an 18month contract but I'd want to know what happens to my contract when FTTC comes to my area in September.

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Go

Re: 24 months for existing customers?!

Hang on - where's all this talk of a 24 month contract for existing customers? I can't see anything in the T&Cs on their page https://sales.talktalk.co.uk/product/tv and the link from the My Account management just takes me there.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 24 months for existing customers?!

It's 18mths regardless of being new or existing.

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Their retentions department have been working overtime too. Every day for the last month, their Indian call centre has been calling home in order to speak to me about signing up for a new 24 month contract. However, every day my wife has told them that I am at work, could they call back later. No, they say, we need to speak to the account holder.... and then call back at the same time next day.

Surprisingly, since the weekend the broadband has been shit, offline for several hours at a time etc. They've stopped calling.

I'm off to BT or Plusnet....anyone...

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Anonymous Coward

Legged it just over a month ago...

Rang up TT fibre support ...

me: "...my upload speed has dropped from 8mbps to 1.6mbps, why is that? can I get it looked at?"

TT indian call centre "1.6 is still very good"

me "yes but it was 8, can i have that back please"

TT "1.6 is still very good"

Me "but BT are offering 15+ for 4 quid a month less"

TT "1.6 is still very good"

Me "bye! off to BT"

Signed up with BT... they sorted out all the line switch over. Saved cash, got 17mbps up 78mbps down, lots better.

Used to hate BT when they ripped me off years ago, but seems they are best of a bad bunch again now.

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Managed to leave

Not in Q1, but recently I managed to leave TalkTalk Business (simply because I wanted a fixed IP address). The service had descended from 2Mbit to ~600kbit since TalkTalk took over Pipex, and weren't able to offer FTTC. I went with a leading FTTC provider and saw immense improvments in bandwidth (but no fixed IP address).

I think that TalkTalk (non business) offer FTTC, but their website was so confusing for me (upgrade pack for FTTC - huh?) that I couldn't get a "what it will cost me each month" price. The provider I went with for FFTC hass substantially lower price than my old ADSL too, which means I could afford a hosted site for Emails etc.

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The best thing you can do with this company

If, like me, you're a former customer and want nothing else to do with Talk Talk, send them a section 11 notice and ask them to cease processing your information to send you direct marketing: www.mindmydata.co.uk

If you're an existing customer watch out for special offers as my dad subscribed to a 12 month special offer at half price but it only lasted six months; then they put the price up. I got involved as my dad is in his 80s, and after getting nowhere with their Indian customer services, I contacted their head office and got them to sort it out. Apparently the person who processed the 12 month discount only did it for 6 months and failed to keep a reminder that he needed to put the other six months through. But why didn't he do it for 12 months in the first place and why, after their customer service people kept my dad talking for nearly an hour, did they not discover the error? Why did it take an investigation from head office? I was going to report them to Ofcom but my dad didn't want to get involved.

The other thing to watch out for too... if you contact Talk Talk and ask them to make a change to your account, this will require you to automatically renew your contract with them and they don't necessarily make you aware of this. That's what head office told me.

I'll never do business with Talk Talk again. I switched to Plusnet last year and haven't look back - good speeds no disconnections and excellent UK-based customer service. It's more expensive but it's worth it.

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Re: The best thing you can do with this company

Of course Plusnet are simply a subsidiary of BT...

However, be that as it may, the important thing with Talktalk is NEVER use the call centre, use the excellent TT staff supporting the on line user forum. I'm surprised that people here don't already know that.

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Bronze badge

Been with Plusnet for about 3 months now (previously with Zen and Freeola) and I'm very happy with it.

A few tips though:

Bear in mind, that unlike most other providers, Plusnet count weekend usage towards your cap, so if you're on the cheapest tariff and watch a lot of TV online, you'll go over. They warn you though and it's only a few bob to get the 60GB allowance.

They charge a one-off £5 for a static IP if you want one, rather than BT's £5pcm.

If you're a gamer, you might also want the low-latency upgrade at £5pcm, you see it's all about choice!

I introduced a friend who signed for the same deal I did (6 months free broadband and phone line at £12.99pcm) and I get £1 off my bill per month for the introduction. This offer appears to have no limit, so I believe I could reduce my bill to nothing with enough introductions.

There are short contract options, if I remember correctly, I can buy my way out for @£20 at any time.

You can manage most elements of your account online, including adding the static IP and low-latency option.

So basically, for less than £20pcm, you can have a short contract, phone line rental and diet broadband from a UK company with UK call centres.

So, Plus One, Plusnet

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What does a "low latency upgrade" consist of?

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Anonymous Coward

& Pay for the P&P for the router sent out.

Outdated BB limits.

Stupid adverts.

Rebadged BT crap.

More like Wanknet.

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Silver badge

Low latency = ADSL fastpath

Most ISPs will twiddle that switch for free.

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Anonymous Coward

You know Google are currently doing free Internet in the US?

https://fiber.google.com/plans/residential/

The UK will never ever surpass the rest of the world in terms of Internet quality, no matter how delusion it wishes to remain about it.

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Bronze badge

It's not fastpath, that's already on (and they will happily switch it if you ask if it isn't already). They prioritise the gaming packets.

Amounts to something in the region of a 10ms improvement. (ADSL2+)

It's called Plusnet Pro FYI

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My 18 months is up

At the time I had no choice between sTalk sTalk and Virgin. Virgin refused to deal with me coz I failed a credit rating. No idea why. I even offered to pay cash up front. They didn't want my money.

I won't bore you with the nightmare that is Talk Talk customer service. They even do it to wind you up. It is personal sometimes. They also admit to not knowing the difference between wep and wpa. Though to be fair they did send me a new router that supported this and thanked me for educating them.

I will see what providers service my area and see from there. BT will not leave me alone. They have even got my name from somewhere whilst I have avoided even getting on to the electoral register so far. I suppose they bought it from someone.

I get 7Mbs tops, but am lucky to get 2 or three at peak time (between 7 and 11pm). For months at a time the service goes tits up every week or so. It is a nightmare. I could get a new router, I could fill out their troubleshooting form, but I just haven't got around to it yet. It is the sort of thing I usually love to do, but I have read all the stuff about sockets and such and got it working ok. The problem is obviously they can not deal with peak time or cap it. I watch a lot of iPlayer and do not have a TV licence, so I wonder if that is a cap coming from the BBC servers. I don't mind being fed propaganda for free, but if they started charging I would decline to pay.

The service works ok, but for nearly £50 a month (calls included) I might be able to do better, I suppose.

And that is with a 40GB download cap. I am sure I must have gone over that some months (Linux Distro Madness), but they haven't charged me so far. I dread moving from them to be honest - I know what a nightmare it can be. They do it on purpose.

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Re: My 18 months is up

Since they blocked the Pirate Bay they've been doing unlimited again, so you might want to look into getting that.

But...

>2012

>antiquated 40GB download limit

>"enough for anybody"

Yeah, like a decade ago.

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The move is easy!

I moved from TT to BT fibre last September. Didn't have to contact TT at all, BT did it all for me. Spent a few minutes on the BT site putting in my order and a month later the engineer was out to fit the modem. One of the easiest transactions I have ever made.

TT did contact me to ask why I was leaving and to try and persuade me to say. When I explained about the crap service, the almost daily breakdowns and how I always knew when TT had signed up new customers in my area cause my speed dropped like a stone the nice young lady gave up! I'm sure she had heard it all before.

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Linux

I've been with TT (Business) for about 2 years. In a rural area, I have about 4.5 Mbps, day or night. No fibre here. Apart from one night, when possibly BT were doing some work at the exchange, I have had no outage periods that I'm aware of, and I'm online 24/7. I watch streamed TV and download a fair lot - monthly bill, including calls, between £35-£40. I can't express an opinion about their customer service, as I've never had occasion to call them. I don't expect I'll be wanting to leave them any time soon.

YMMV.

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